Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing. We’ve written about the best Japanese drugstore beauty products, all the makeup and skin-care products our writer Rio picked up in Japan, and the best Korean beauty skin-care products, but this time we’re covering the best Japanese skin-care products, according to reviewers on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
Best face peel
“I love this peel. It’s gentle, effective, fast, and easy to use. I use it on my face and neck weekly and on my hands a couple of times a week. I use it on my calves when they get super dry. I’ve even used it on my bikini line. It is very gentle. I would use it all over my body if it were a lot less expensive. It is great for getting rid of dry skin on my cuticles. It doesn’t burn or even tingle. It doesn’t leave any residue behind — just clean skin.”
Editor’s note: We’ve written about this before.
Best oil cleanser
“Oh, man, how did I ever clean my face before oil?!!! It has changed my life!! My dry, blackhead-prone, flaky, dull skin has never looked better!!! I went through a couple of different brands before finding my O4L — yes, that’s oil for life! Lordy I love this brand! This oil is thick, odorless, cleans deep, rinses clean with no residue, and leaves my face baby soft! Once you start cleaning with oil (especially THIS OIL), you will never use soap again!”
Editor’s note: And this one, too.
“This facial lotion is absolutely wonderful. You notice the difference immediately upon use. I use it overnight a few times a week. You can get excellent results by just pouring some into your hands and massaging it into your skin using upward strokes. It’s so hydrating and makes your skin look plump and youthful, almost as if it restores the collagen. I love it and highly recommend it.”
Best moisturizing toner
“For such a watery liquid, this is incredibly moisturizing! Although it is considered a ‘lotion’ intended to be used as a second step after cleansing, it provides basically all of the additional moisture I need. With sake filtrate, two types of ceramides, along with arginine, and arbutin, it contains some fairly impressive ingredients, especially at this price! During hot, humid summer months in particular, it’s all the moisturizer my fairly oily skin can handle.”
Best exfoliating toner
“I’ve only had the product for two weeks, but I can see and feel a difference in the firmness of my facial skin, and combined with some clay deep-pore-cleansing masks, the pores on my nose, and basically T-zone, do look cleaner and smaller.”
Best sheet mask
“My new ‘go to’ weekly mask … it’s very rich and hydrating. I wear it for the entire suggested amount of time, and it literally takes ten years off of my face! I live in the desert, so my skin is always thirsty … this product definitely does its job!”
Best face oil
“Heard about Tsubaki oil from Gothamista, a YouTube influencer, and decided to give this one a try, as it had good ratings on Amazon … and, boy, am I happy! My skin is dry and flaky, not only because of where I live (Utah) but due to use of Tretinoin, and nothing else helps calm it like this oil. I use it as the last step of my skin care, and it has made a significant difference.”
“Because I hate ‘stuff’ on my skin, I’ve never been one to routinely apply moisturizers or makeup. ‘Til now (age 59). This goes on light, absorbs quickly, and doesn’t leave an icky feeling on the surface. Better yet, I can see a subtle difference in the fine lines and tired-looking skin. It’s so light, invisible, and easy to apply that I do it on the fly, without a mirror.”
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