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Japanese Beauty Brands Every Girl Has to Know and Where to Find Them

Ready your wallets!
Japanese Beauty Brands Every Girl Has to Know and Where to Find Them
IMAGE Courtesy of Shu Uemura, Biore, Shiseido
Ready your wallets!

Japan is renowned for its beauty products, so it makes sense to stock up on popular and trending items when you go there for vacation. The best part? Japanese drugstores are famed for stocking nearly every famous beauty brand that’s made available in the country, making them perfect for one-stop shopping.

When planning your itinerary in Tokyo, don’t forget to squeeze in a shopping session or two so you can hunt down these makeup and skincare must-haves—they’re loved by locals and tourists alike for good reason. 

1. Hada Labo

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Ask any skincare enthusiast about Japanese products, and Hada Labo will surely come up in the conversation. They’ll probably rave about the famous Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion, which, contrary to its name, is a lightweight watery liquid that sinks into skin to leave it plump and moisturized. Worth mentioning as well, is the brand’s Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Foaming Face Wash—a fuss-free low pH cleanser, ideal for even the most sensitive of skin types.

Find it at: Major drugstores like Matsumoto Kiyoshi and Sundrug, and Don Quijote stores all over Tokyo.

2. Melano CC

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Keep an eye out for Melano CC’s bright yellow packaging, indicative of its vitamin C-based lineup. The star product here is the Intensive Anti-Spot Essence, a treatment that aims to tackle redness, lighten dark spots, heal acne, and refine skin texture. How’s that for a multitasker?

Find it at: Major drugstores like Matsumoto Kiyoshi and Sundrug, and Don Quijote stores all over Tokyo.

3. Hakuhodo

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The Rolls Royce of brushes, Hakuhodo’s products have been hand-crafted by skilled workers in the town of Kumano since 1974. Although the brand also makes brushes for calligraphy and painting, most women’s interests will likely lie in Hakuhodo’s highly praised collection of makeup brushes. Just prep yourself for the prices, because they’re definitely steeper than what you’ll find at the department store.

Find it at: Terra Asios Omotesando, Mitsukoshi Ginza, Hikarie Shibuya, and Tobu Ikebukuro.

4. Heroine Make

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The makeup sections at Japanese drugstores and discount stores can get pretty overwhelming, but we think you won’t have problems spotting Heroine Make’s kawaii packaging from the get-go. It’s hard to miss the blonde manga model, after all! Cute design aside, you’ll love the brand’s heavy-duty waterproof mascaras and fine tip liquid liners.

Find it at: Major drugstores like Matsumoto Kiyoshi and Sundrug, and Don Quijote stores all over Tokyo.

5. Shiseido

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As the oldest cosmetics company in the world, Shiseido is trusted by generations of women in and out of Japan. If you like a little history with your self-care, you’ll appreciate the fact that the brand’s first ever skincare product, the iconic Eudermine Revitalizing Essence, has been in production since 1897! Make room in your suitcase for bottles of Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen, too—this one consistently features and tops lists on Cosme, Japan’s biggest beauty ranking and review site.

Find it at: The Shiseido flagship store in Ginza, as well as department stores like Takashimaya Shinjuku and Tokyu Shibuya.

6. Bioré

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What’s a Japanese beauty roundup without Bioré? Makers of UV Aqua Rich, undoubtedly the most well-known sunscreen to come out of the land of the Rising Sun, Bioré has sun protection down pat. If you have dry skin, go for the Watery Essence; for oily-skinned gals, try the Watery Gel. You’ll be blown away by how light and quick absorbing these are—a departure from the sticky, heavy sunblock of our childhood!

Find it at: Major drugstores like Matsumoto Kiyoshi and Sundrug, and Don Quijote stores all over Tokyo.

7. DHC

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Japanese women advocate the two-step cleansing method, which involves dry cleansing with an oil-based cleanser and following up with a facial wash. DHC’s Deep Cleansing Oil is easily one of the best makeup removers around. Meanwhile, its Lip Cream is another favorite—use it as an overnight treatment and wake up to soft, hydrated lips.

Find it at: Major drugstores like Matsumoto Kiyoshi and Sundrug, and Don Quijote stores all over Tokyo.

8. SK-II

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If you’re keen on investing in skincare and want luminous skin a la Cate Blanchett, SK-II may very well be worth the price. If you’re not quite ready to splash on the whole collection, however, consider splurging on just the Facial Treatment Essence. It’s formulated with fermented Pitera, the brand’s signature vitamin- and amino acid-rich ingredient to combat aging and transform your complexion.

Find it at: Department stores like Mistukoshi Ginza, Tokyu Shibuya, and Takashimaya Shinjuku; and even drugstores and discount stores like Matsumoto Kiyoshi and Don Quijote.

9. Shu Uemura

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Although we’re still lamenting the departure of Shu Uemura from Philippine shores, we have to admit it’s exciting to buy it at the source—in Japan, of course! If you’re planning to do some souvenir shopping here, keep an eye out for exclusive collaborations and limited edition designs you can only find in Japan. Needless to say, their bestselling cleansing oil and eyelash curler need no introduction.

Find it at: Ginza Six, Omotesando Hills, and fine department stores such as Isetan Shinjuku, Mistukoshi Ginza, Tokyu Shibuya, Daimaru Tokyo, and Takashimaya Shinjuku.

We’ve already prepped your shopping list. Now click here to book your trip to Japan! 

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