@Cosme Best Cosmetics Awards 2018 Part 2: Skincare
Welcome back to our roundup of @cosme’s Best Of Awards for 2018!
In our previous post we looked at the overall winners and some of the most interesting entrants into @cosme’s Hall of Fame.
Today, I am going to do a deeper dive into some of the most product categories to see what Japanese customers really loved this year! In this article, I’ll tackle some of the best skincare items of the year. Later in the week, in the final part of this series, I’ll cover the best hair products!
Best Japanese Face Wash 2018
Biore Ouchi de Esthetic Massage Cleansing Gel
This year’s best facial wash, Biore’s Ouchi de Esute (“a facial at home”), is a gel type cleanser designed to be massaged over the skin for a luxurious, spa type treatment in the bath. It can also be used as a low-mess, non-foaming cleanser in the morning. Users recommend using it along with a hot bath or shower, where the steam opens your pores and improves the performance. This product comes in a blackhead clearing type (green bottle), and a type for dry skin (coral bottle). This range also comes with a pre-soaked cotton pack product (think a spot-treatment style sheet mask)– great for when you’re low on time.
★★★★★★★ | Riku☆mi, normal skin, 32 years
My nose feels smooth! I’m so impressed! I’ve tried so many things to get rid of the blackheads on my nose with no success. I can’t believe I got these results just by washing my face!
★★★★★☆☆ | Tay.Tay, combination skin, 20 years
My skin is seriously completely clear now! It keeps my skin looking so smooth– my nose area isn’t rough anymore and the blackheads are gone!
★★★★★★☆ | @flat, combination skin, 48 years
It’s quick, cost performance is great, and most importantly it prevents my makeup creasing. This is my saviour on busy mornings.
Obagi C Powder Wash
This enzyme powder cleanser effectively clears blackheads and other hard-to-treat nuisances like hardened sebum and blocked pores without stripping all the moisture from your skin. It’s formulated with vitamin C, a great ingredient for brightening skin and boosting collagen production.
★★★★★★☆ | Amin258, combination skin, 42 years
This really gave me smooth skin. I tend to get a lot of blackheads and blocked pores, so I really can’t live without this enzyme cleansing powder.
Nivea Cream Care Face Wash Moist
You may associate the Nivea brand with Germany, but the Nivea range here in Japan is in coordination with Kao, the company behind Biore, Curel, and other major Japanese brands. This is why Nivea has a lot of unique products tailored to the Japanese market. One big success in the Japanese Nivea brand is the Creme Care range of foaming cleansers and body washes. These cleansers form a very rich, dense, and hydrating foam that customers can’t get enough. This cleanser is suitable for all skin types, but I’d particularly recommend it for those dealing with dry skin this winter!
★★★★★★☆ | sa.28, combination skin, 24 years
My skin feels really hydrated and there’s no feeling of tightness after rinsing it off. The fragrance is good and the lather is good!
Best Japanese Sheet Masks 2018
Ishizawa Keana Nadeshiko Rice Face Mask
These sheet masks are from the Ishizawa Keana Nadeshiko line, which is all about minimizing the appearance of pores. These pleasingly thick sheet masks treat large pores that come with dehydrated skin, and are formulated with a 100% Japanese grown rice-based serum help to deeply hydrate the skin and shrink enlarged pores.
★★★★★★☆ | ○Ruri○, dry skin, 24 years old
I feel like my dehydrated pores have gotten smaller. It’s not sticky at all like some masks. They’re also easy to use. I recommend these.
★★★★★☆☆ | †Kanan†, dry skin, 34 years old
My skin feels hydrated and plump when using these masks. The cost performance is good, you get great hydration at a cheap price.
★★★★★★★ | Ponponmaru, normal skin, 27 years
I only had this mask on for around 5 minutes and the results are awesome! I’m going to buy these again and stock up.
LuLuLun Precious Red
The LuLuLun Precious series is designed for women who are looking for anti-aging care in addition to the hydration sheet masks are so great for. With a thicker, three-layered material and a rich serum, these sheet masks are a little more premium than the regular LuLuLun line– but, happily, not with a big jump in price! This super-moisturising Red version seemed to be the most popular this year, but skin-brightening White version is also well reviewed. A new Green version, based around the concept of maintaining the skin’s barrier and resilience, featured on the Best New Buys list this year too.
★★★★★★☆ | Fankarizumo, combination skin, 34 years
My skin feels hydrated after using these at night, and my makeup goes on well the next morning. Very moisturizing. They’re easy to get of their packet as well.
Saborino Morning Mask
Doing a sheet mask in the morning may seem elaborate to the extreme, but these “wake up” masks are actually an amazing time saver. Simply wear the mask for 60 seconds and gently blot off the excess to cleanse, tone, moisturize, and prime your skin for makeup in one step. Japan is a busy place, and it seems like women are loving anything that takes some of the hassle out of getting ready in the morning. Plus, every packet gives you about a month’s supply– a real bargain for a daily sheet mask fans!
★★★★★★★ | 7-Ａ, combination skin, 23 years
These are so refreshing! They feel so nice! I’m so happy to find an all in one that goes from cleansing to makeup base! These really are the best.
Best Japanese Serums 2018
Melano CC Serum
A cult favorite amongst Japanese skincare fans (including this writer), this vitamin C based serum has a lot of things to recommend it. Unlike some other vitamin C serums, it’s very stable (the days of storing your vitamin C serums in the fridge seem to be over), and comes in a very well-designed, opaque tube with a tiny nozzle. This packaging reduces exposure to light and air which can cause vitamin C serums to oxidise and lose potency. You can use it all over your face as a brightening and acne-preventing serum, or make use of the small nozzle to apply smaller amounts as a spot treatment for breakouts or other spots. Vitamin C has anti-acne, skin brightening, and collagen-production boosting effects, making this a very affordable and effective addition to your skincare routine.
★★★★★☆☆ | OL, normal skin, 22 years
I’m so impressed by how moisturized this makes my skin feel. It has radiance and a youthful glossiness to it. I’m going to keep using it to try and fade some sun spots.
★★★★★☆☆ | Satoayu･☆ﾟ:*:ﾟ, normal skin, 36 years
I bought this because I was concerned about my sun spots. The gentle fragrance is really nice! I feel like my spots have faded after using it for a while.
★★★★★★★ | Mitann☆, combination skin, 22 years
I was worried about how rough my skin felt so I bought this. My unevenness in my skin is way less noticeable and it’s really boosted my skin’s glow!
Kose Melanoshot White One
The name does not leave it ambiguous– Kose’s Melanoshot White One is a skin whitening serum, designed to suppresses the production of melanin in the skin which leads to uneven pigmentation like freckles and sunspots. This serum is based on kojic acid as its active ingredient. This acid is a natural byproduct of fermenting foods like rice or soy, and has been shown to be able to lighten skin. It’s a little higher budget than this year’s winner, the Melano CC version, but its elegant ice-inspired packaging is definitely a step up, aesthetically speaking, from Melano’s function-first design!
★★★★★★☆ | *gengen*, combination skin, 27 years
I had a lot of freckles because of the sun, but I feel like they have gotten fainter after using this!
Shiseido Melanofocus V Haku
Funnily enough, this years top three serums in Japan are all skin-whitening products. A natural, glowy look is very popular at the moment, so it makes sense that women are trying to achieve a naturally even skin tone with minimal makeup. According to Shiseido, the MelanoFocus V Haku serum has been the best selling skin-whitening serum in Japan for 13 years. The fact that it’s still on the top of the @cosme charts after over a decade on the market really says something!
★★★★★☆☆ | **pumi**, combination skin, 37 years
It feels very light on the skin and not sticky at all. My skin tone is brighter than usual, my skin’s texture is better, and my makeup’s finish looks better too.
Best Japanese Sunscreen 2018
Skin Aqua Tone Up UV Essence SPF50+ PA++++
Sometimes when I’m showing friends or family around Japan they seem a little bewildered by things like purple-toned sunscreens. Why would anyone want to look purple? Of course, the purpose of Skin Aqua Tone Up UV Essence is to not add an unnatural tone to your skin, but rather the opposite — if you think back to your art classes in school you may remember that purple is opposite to yellow on the color chart. Just like how green concealers hide redness, this purple-tinted sunscreen and makeup primer helps hide any yellowish dullness on your skin or under your eyes, making it appear a little brighter. This product works best with anyone with a warm undertone– if your skin’s undertone is cool, it probably won’t do a lot for you, and might wash you out.
★★★★★★☆ | ■□nananachin□■, combination skin, 21 years
My skin looks a tone brighter with this on. I use this constantly as a makeup primer and as a sunscreen for the rest of my body too.
★★★★★☆☆ | Yukari…, combination skin, 33 years
It soaks in quickly and really evens out my skin tone. It really love that it instantly covers my pores as well.
★★★★★★☆ | Astrea, combination skin, 36 years
I’m so happy I found this. The highlighting pearl finish conceals my blemishes and makes it makes my skin look dewy.
Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Skin Care Milk SPF 50+/PA++++
The Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Skin Care Milk won number one on the @cosme charts this year, losing the top spot this time to a certain purple newcomer. Japan has a lot of great sunscreens on offer, but if you’re looking for a very high performance, long-wearing sunscreen that is gentle and light on the skin, this is a great pick. The Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Skin Care Milk also comes formulated with skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid, collagen, and aloe, rosehip, green tea, and cherry blossom leaf extracts to care for the skin while it protects it.
★★★★★★★ | ☆:::☆mihiro☆:::☆さん, dry skin, 31 years
I can trust that I won’t burn if I use this! I never forget to take this with me on holiday. This year’s formulation seems more easily spreadable, too.
Shiseido Elixir Reflet Balancing Oshiroi Milk
This sunscreen from Shiseido’s Elixir Reflet line is a sunscreen that doubles as a makeup primer. The Elixir Reflet line is designed as “first aging care” — in other words, it’s targeted at women around their 30s or 40s who are starting to see the first signs of aging such as a lack of elasticity that leads to enlarged pores. This sunscreen blocks shine and conceals pores while providing SPF50+ PA++++ protection– that’s the highest rating for sunscreen in Japan. Personally, I’m also a fan of packaging too!
★★★★★☆☆ | Suuko, combination skin, 38 years
It’s very easy to use, I just put it on in the morning straight away after moisturizing. It has a dewy, brightening effect so my skin looks rested and healthy.
Next up: Haircare!
Thanks for reading part two of our three part @Cosme Best Cosmetic Awards 2018 roundup! Make sure to stay tuned for part three of our series where I do a roundup of the most interesting haircare categories. See you next time!