If there’s anything that evolves quicker than the social media landscape, it’s the skincare and cosmetics industry. As we enter 2018, makeup lovers are abandoning their highly-chiseled cheeks and perfectly-ombréd eyebrows, and instead chasing after the newest beauty standard: clear and glowing skin.
However, Japan is ahead of the game.
If you don’t already know that Japanese skincare lines reign supreme, a trip to Japan will convince you. The bustling streets are home to an array of drugstores—some up to four floors—that carry hundreds of skin-perfecting products. My job? To find the best in the business.
I took a week-long trip to Japan earlier this year. While I traveled there to indulge in authentic food and gaze at light-filled views, I couldn’t help but come back with a luggage of top-rated skincare products. I spent hours in cosmetics stores, standing in the aisles and researching the most buzzed about brands.
Japan’s yearly cosmetics spending is one of the highest in the world, so I had little doubt that these ratings were speaking truth. After putting all of my purchased products to the test, I came to one conclusion: Japanese skincare trumps all. Take a look at why I prefer Japan’s organic skincare over my old American skincare products:
1. It’s Affordable
There’s a false perception floating around in the beauty world that more expensive products are the most effective. I’m guilty, too; I’ve tried everything from Proactiv to Avon creams. Japanese skincare is shockingly affordable. You can pay as low as $6.00 for Perfect Whip, a Shiseido cleansing foam that cleans better than any face wash I’ve tried before.
I also paid around $8.00 for a charcoal peel-off mask. The abundance of skincare products in Japan generates industry competition, hence lowering prices—lucky for us consumers.
Here in America, coming across skincare products as cheap as these seems impossible. Prior to Perfect Whip, I used Purity by PHILOSOPHY, a $24.00 cleanser which admittedly does a great job. However, for just $6.00, Perfect Whip does even better.
2. It Effectively Rids of Dirt
There’s something about Japanese skincare products that make your skin feel squeaky clean. Before washing my face with Perfect Whip, I go in with DHC Deep Cleansing Oil to remove my makeup. You pump a dime-sized amount into your palm and gently rub it into your face. This cleansing oil is much more effective than Neutrogena’s Makeup Remover Wipes, something everyone knows and loves.
An all-one- cleanser like Purity may sound appealing, but a step-by- step routine that Japanese skincare promotes is the best route to clear and glowing skin. Tackling your skin with an array of products (rather than just one) ensures that you’re eliminating every trace of dirt.
3. It’s Gentle
Lastly, Japanese skincare is amazingly gentle. For example, you can rub the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil onto your eyelids to rid of eye shadow and eyeliner, and not feel a single sting. The Hatomugi Skin Conditioner by Naturie is another great example of gentle Japanese skincare.
American skincare toners are meant to sweep away any impurities—from oil to grime—so they typically sting to the touch. In my experience, top-rated toners like Murad’s have harshly dried out my skin and broken me out. The Hatomugi Skin Conditioner does the complete opposite while still doing it’s job.
It’s the final step in my skincare routine—after washing my face with Perfect Whip, I take a cotton pad and saturate it with the toner. I wipe it all over my face to pick up any residue that might have not washed away in the cleansing process. It doesn’t sting at all; in fact, it moisturizes and brightens without feeling sticky.
The next time you visit Japan, make sure to purchase a variety of skincare products. They make the best souvenirs, and you won’t regret it.
About the Author: Sherilyn is a travel enthusiast that’s always been obsessed with beauty. She grew up playing with eye shadows and lipsticks, and now that she’s an adult, she spends her time exploring the world. She brings her makeup bag with her everywhere —from Puerto Rico to Japan. In addition to exploring the food and sights of new places, she loves learning about their ways of beauty, organic skincare, too.