Have you ever looked at mochi and thought: I wish my skin were as pillowy and elastic as this rice cake? Then you need one of the best Japanese moisturizers, five of which you'll find ahead. These face creams hew to the Japanese skin-care tenet mochi-hada — aka skin like mochi — so they contain gentle nourishing ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides to encourage your softest, bounciest, comfiest skin ever.
Which is not to say that all Japanese moisturizers are ultra thick. In addition to rich creams and healing balms, Japanese skin care companies excel in lightweight formulas, like lotions and serum-moisturizer or toner-moisturizer hybrids. So there’s something to suit every skin type and consistency preference here.
Some bad news: Other than those from luxury brands with global marketing reach, like SK-II and Shiseido, Japanese moisturizers (and Japanese skin care products more generally) can be tough to get your hands on Stateside. Some good news: With just a bit of digging, you can find a handful of the most popular Japanese moisturizers from drugstore and mid-range brands right on Amazon.
And the best news: You don’t have to scour the internet to find them, because I already did that! Scroll on to shop five of the best Japanese moisturizers for soft, smooth, dessert-worthy skin.
We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
1. Best For Oily Skin
Hada Labo makes a lot of cult-favorite moisturizers, but this one is arguably the most popular among J-beauty lovers and Amazon shoppers. It toes the line between serum and moisturizer, as it’s composed mostly of hyaluronic acid (three types, no less), though it’s plenty hydrating enough for people with oily skin. It’ll give you all the plumping, firming, and moisture-retaining benefits of a hyaluronic acid serum, as well. If you have very dry or dehydrated skin then you can use this in lieu of your existing hydrating serum, then layer on a thicker moisturizer or oil over the top.
2. Best For Dry Skin
In this Curel cream, a potent blend of glycerin, squalane, and dimethicone hydrates and locks in moisture, while ceramides help replenish your skin’s moisture barrier, which is often compromised in dry skin — hence the “intensive moisture” in the name. Allantoin and eucalyptus are deeply soothing, so this is also a good choice if your skin is inflamed or irritated. Despite its richness, reviewers say this doesn’t feel at all heavy, greasy, or sticky, so it can even feel good on combination skin.
3. Best For Nighttime
From the makers of the world’s most iconic oil cleanser comes this overnight moisturizer, which contains a potent blend of moisturizers (like olive oil, squalane, and glycerin) and strengtheners (like proteins and collagen) for soft, firm, rejuvenated skin in the morning. One Amazon reviewer noted that this works well in tandem with whatever retinol product you’re using (another overnight-exclusive treatment), since it’ll help quell any drying or irritating effects you might be experiencing.
4. Best Toning Lotion
This naturie Skin Conditioner is technically a hydrating toner, but considering its best-seller status, it deserves a spot on this list. The headlining ingredient in here is hato mugi (also known as Job's tears), an essence derived from barley that’s rich in B vitamins and amino acids. That all helps strengthen your skin’s moisture barrier, resulting in better moisture retention over time. You can swipe this over your skin with a cotton pad, or soak a few pads and leave them on your face for a few minutes as a DIY face mask.
5. Best Multitasker
Yu-Be is Japan’s answer to Weleda Skin Food, plus a hint of Bengay. Like the former, it’s a thick, glycerin-based occlusive with which you can do basically anything you want, within reason; and it contains camphor like the latter for a cooling, healing effect. This is very rich and a little bit tingly, so unless you have extremely dry skin, it might be a bit much for use all over your face. Rather, it’s better suited as a spot treatment on flaky spots, or to help calm inflammation. Though you can (and should) use it with abandon anywhere else on your body that’s chapped, cracked, or itchy, like your knuckles, lips, elbows, ankles, bug bites, scarring, rashes ...you get the idea.