You don’t have to hit J-town to get your hands on these Japanese skincare brands. Find them right here in Singapore...
Is your beauty bag filled with K-beauty brands, crystal-infused products, and skincare with super ingredients? Better make room for more – Japanese skincare brands are having a moment right now. Think moisture-locking lotions, gold jelly masks and sunscreens that get stronger after being in contact with water. Here are 13 J-town skincare brands you need to try out now.
We can’t make a list of Japanese skincare brands without SK-II. As we all know, the revolutionary brand is praised for producing the world’s first beauty essence – the Pitera Essence or Facial Treatment Essence. This miracle water holds the highest concentration of its winning bio-ingredient. Pitera has the perfect blend of minerals, amino acids, vitamins, organic acids and over 50 micro-nutrients, and boosts the skin’s natural moisturising factors. The result? Soft, supple and crystal-clear skin in just a few dabs. It’s no wonder this triumphant formula has been unchanged for 38 years.
SK-II, available at counters islandwide including Tangs, Ngee Ann City, Metro, Robinsons and Isetan.
Hada Labo strips away all the unnecessary ingredients used in skincare – no harsh additives, colourants, fragrances and mineral oil. Instead, it spotlights pure and effective ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and the winning combo of AHA and BHA to provide hydration, exfoliation and mochi skin. The highly-rated range holds the popular super hyaluronic acid hydrating essence.
Hada Labo, available at Watsons, Lazada and Shopee.
ReFa probably revolutionised the idea of beauty tools. It all started with this question: ‘Is it possible to replicate the massage techniques of an esthetician at home?’ After launching its first ReFa roller in 2009, we’d say hell yeah! All products are created with a built-in solar panel to capture light and generate microcurrents to release tension on facial muscles. The versatile rollers can also be used for other parts of the body like the chest, underarms, waist and inner thighs. The brand has since ventured into facial cleansing brushes and skincare too.
ReFa, available at Takashimaya, Tangs, Robinsons and Sephora.
Biore has always been a staple in our bathroom cabinet – whether it’s the effective facial cleansers, makeup removers, pore strips or sunscreen. Plus, extra points for the affordable price point and accessibility (you can find them at literally any Watsons or Guardian outlets).
Biore, available at Watsons, Guardian, Shopee and Lazada.
Minimalist skincare brand Orbis uses a scientific approach to its range. Activating the skin’s natural powers, the oil-free ingredients used are not excessive. They merely push the skin to do what it’s already capable of. The skincare extends to hydration care, anti-ageing, acne care and even Japan’s first Foshu-certified oral skincare.
Orbis, available at counters islandwide including Takashimaya, Robinsons Raffles City, Metro Causeway Point and online.
We all rejoiced when this cult Japanese brand finally landed in Singapore. Who could say no to a skincare range made with au naturale ingredients like tea tree oil, evening primrose seed extract, beeswax, rose water and rosehip oil? If you’re new to the brand, try the cleansing oil or treatment lotion for starters. We’re lovin’ it!
Three, Tangs at Tang Plaza, Level 4, 320 Orchard Road, Singapore 238864; Takashimaya Department Store, 391 Orchard Road Singapore 238873
You know it’s serious business when a photography company creates skincare. The creators behind Fujifilm had a lightbulb moment when they found out they could actually utilise their technological processes – like nanotechnology, collagen technology, anti-oxidation technology and optical analysis and control technology – to create an anti-ageing skincare collection. Believe it or not, familiar skincare tags like ‘oxidation’ and ‘collegen’ also play an important role in photography. Though they debuted with an anti-ageing range, Astalift has branched out to acne care and even ‘lighting perfection’ cosmetics, eye shadows and brushes.
Astalift, stores in Jem, Nex and Plaza Singapura and online.
Wanna tap into the skincare routine of a modern day geisha? Tatcha’s the brand to try – but you already know that. It’s just been over a year since it hit our shores and we can’t get enough of its pretty packaging and even more kickass clean formulas that are free from parabens, mineral oil, sulfate detergents, phthalates and more. One of the bestsellers includes the rice polish classic foaming enzyme powder that’s packed with rice enzymes to exfoliate and reduce the appearance of fine lines and uneven skin tone.
Tatcha, available online and at all Sephora outlets.
Of course, Shiseido, one of the biggest cosmetic companies in the world, has to be on the list. There’s plenty to scream about – they’ve excelled in cosmetics and even have a range of shampoos right now, but we’re all for the skincare that heroes Japanese ingredients and the most advanced technology. The anti-ageing line has met with great reviews and we also can’t wait to try the mochi-inspired waso silky smooth mochi mask.
Shiseido, available at various locations, major department stores and online.
There’s no doubt that Albion’s iconic skin conditioner help put this Japanese beauty brand on the map. Formulated with the not-so-secret ingredient of Job’s Tears (Kita no Hato grains), this magic cream brightens dull skin, leaving it soft and supple. It also aids in boosting your skin’s metabolism and regulates the cell renewal cycle to keep the skin clear of impurities and breakouts. Care to try it?
Albion, Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Road Singapore 179103; Metro Centrepoint, 176 Orchard Road Singapore 238843; Takashimaya, 391A Orchard Road Ngee Ann City Singapore 238873
The new kid on block, Utena has been making waves long before it got here. This J-beauty brand has a wide range of skin conditioners, skin care soaps, organic moisturisers, facial clay washes and hair products for you to try. But the golden jelly mask stands out – this sheet mask is loaded with 33 grams of beauty serum that hydrates the skin and locks the moisture in. Pick from various kinds of masks like collagen, royal jelly and rose. No surprises why this is a bestseller in J-town.
Utena, various stockists including Watsons, Don Don Donki and Redmart.
Minon Amino Moist
Got sensitive and dry skin? You’ve probably prayed to the skin gods before adding a new product to your regime. Fear not – Minon Amino Moist promises a gentle derma solution for all skin types from the dehydrated and oily to the extremely dry. The brand offers a range of moisture and protection care lotions, milk and creams. We’d go for the moisture essential mask for maximum effect.
Minon Amino Moist, various stockists including Watsons and Lazada.
Ah, we can’t have a guide to Japanese skincare without everybody’s favourite sunscreen. What’s so special about this all-holy product? Unlike most sunscreen lotions, Anessa’s UV protection gets stronger when your skin comes in contact with water. Plus, its smooth and nourishing texture will make you want to slather it all over your face and body.
Anessa, available at all Watsons stores.