One thing that is common amongst Japanese is that they have flawless skin – smooth, radiant, and youthful. While it is mostly because of their genes, their skincare routine also plays a vital role, especially the use of toners.
Japanese toners are also called Japanese lotions, so do not be confused. They are lightweight and clear with an almost watery texture. They are a must-have in the moisturizing regimen. It is a liquid moisturizer.
If you are looking for the best Japanese toner, read on and we’ll help you make the right decision. We’ll also talk about everything you have to know about these toners.
What’s So Special About Japanese Toners?
Before we proceed to our recommendations, let’s first talk about what makes Japanese toners special, which will give you compelling reasons to include it in your routine.
A Japanese toner is essential for the restoration of pH balance. It prepares the skin for the next products that you will apply, including serum and moisturizer, making sure of optimal absorption. It effectively locks moisture.
The Japanese toners are also special because they pack an abundance of skin-friendly ingredients. However, this depends on the specific product you will buy. It has soothing and emollient ingredients from natural sources.
Depending on the manufacturer of the toner, there are other benefits. They can also help in acne treatment, preventing the visible signs of aging, brightening your complexion, and firming the skin.
Our Top Picks for the Best Japanese Toners
Here are the best products that should be on your radar, as well as the things that make them exceptional:
#1 Obagi Nu-Derm Toner
Obagi is a popular cosmetic brand from Japan, so you can be confident that this toner will be an exceptional choice. One of the main benefits of this alcohol-free and non-drying toner is that it balances your skin’s pH level. It is specifically good for people, who have rough and dry skin.
Three of the key ingredients that you will find in this product are hyaluronic acid, panthenol, and aloe vera. They are gentle enough to be suitable for all skin types.
Regular use of this Japanese toner is proven to be effective in clarifying and brightening your skin, making it ideal if you want to correct your complexion. It is also great for large pores and preventing the signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines. The toner also shrinks pores and provides an effective base layer to absorb the ingredients from the other products you will use.
#2 Muji Sensitive Skin Lotion – High Moisture
This is another product from a reputable brand, so you can be confident about its quality and effectiveness.
Like the other products on our list, the secret also lies in the ingredients in this Japanese toner. It uses natural water from Kamaishi, which is in Iwate prefecture. The ingredients include grapefruit seed extract, Lipidure, and purslane extract.
This toner comes with a special formula that is ideal even for people who have delicate skin. It is low-irritation and fragrance-free. It is also free of mineral oils, parabens, and alcohol. The toner is also allergy-tested.
Muji is a company that is particular with their product, so you can buy with confidence knowing that this toner is gentle even on your sensitive skin.
#3 Onsen Face Toner
This toner is naturally enriched with botanical components to make it effective in making your skin youthful and radiant. It contains witch hazel, which is one of the most effective natural ingredients to fight acne. Other ingredients include aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, and green tea. It also has Vitamins A, C, and E.
Another thing that we love in this product is the fact that it is eco-friendly. It does not contain mineral oils and parabens, among other ingredients that can be harsh on the skin. It also has not undergone animal-testing.
If there is one thing that separates this from the other options for the best Japanese lotion, it would be that it has hot spring mineral infusion.
#4 HADA LABO Gokujun Hyaluronic Lotion Mist
While the name of the product states that it is a lotion, it is more of a lightweight and thin liquid that the skin quickly absorbs upon application. It makes the skin dewy, making it a quick way to deal with dry skin. If you have dehydrated skin, you will love this Japanese toner.
One of the highlights of this toner is that it contains three types of hyaluronic acid that work together to deliver a plethora of skincare benefits. The hyaluronic acid in this product holds two times more liquid compared to its regular counterpart.
It is different from most of the products in this article because it is in the form of mist. Spray it directly on your face and massage.
#5 Labo Labo Super Pores Lotion
This toner is from a company under Dr. Ci:Labo, a popular medical cosmetic brand in Japan. They specialize in creating products that are safe and functional, so there’s no need to worry even if you have sensitive skin.
This toner is in the form of a wipe-off lotion. It removes the keratinized layer of the skin, which reveals a softer and firmer layer. The toner also improves the permeability of the other products that you will apply.
The ingredients of this toner include water-soluble collagen, sodium hyaluronate, royal jelly acid, hamamelis leaf extract, lactic acid, malic acid, artichoke leaf extract, and pepperwort leaf extract. These ingredients work to refine pores and get rid of blackheads.
#6 DHC Mild Lotion
The alcohol-free formula is a good reason to choose this Japanese toner. It is effective for refreshing, toning, and soothing the skin. The formula is gentle enough to work even amongst people with sensitive skin.
One of the best ingredients in this toner is cucumber juice extract. This has a cooling effect that instantly refreshes the skin. It is also packed with emollients that help to make the skin smoother and softer.
Many of its users were also happy with its effectiveness in the reduction of redness. It is also a good thing that it is free of ingredients that dry the skin.
#7 Nameraka Sana Isoflavone Lotion
This Japanese toner will penetrate deeply into the skin upon its application, making sure of the maximum absorption of its ingredients. As it works on the skin, it does not leave a greasy feeling. Even on a hot day, your face won’t feel sticky.
However, if there is one problem with this toner, it would be that it contains alcohol. Some people might find the smell of alcohol to be quite strong. The ethanol in this toner, however, helps to increase the penetration.
After the application of the toner, your skin will immediately feel soft. Like the other toners on our list, however, take note that they are not meant to remove makeup and dirt on the face.
#8 Minon Amino Moist Charge Lotion
One of the highlights of this toner is the inclusion of nine types of amino acids, which pack the toner with powerful ingredients that penetrate deep into the skin to replenish its moisture while also strengthening the skin. Plus, it forms a protective barrier that shields the skin from external elements that can cause damage.
Two of the nine amino acids in this toner are lysine HCI and carnosine, which are known for their clarifying benefits. It sinks quickly upon application without drying out the skin. It is also effective for improving the skin’s elasticity.
The acids in this toner act as if they are filling the gaps on the surface of the skin to make it smoother. They also support inter-cellular lipid production to ensure the health of your skin.
#9 IPSA The Time R Aqua
The Time Reset Aqua has triple moisturizing effects that promise to deliver nothing but the best for your skin health. It contains 1,000 trillion fine moisturizing molecules that can penetrate deep into the skin. After penetration, it will encourage your skin’s hydration production. Lastly, it will create a barrier to trap moisture in your skin.
Aside from the hydrating benefits of this toner, its users were also happy with its ability to control excess oil production and prevent acne.
It contains Aqua Presenter III for locking moisture. With peony and marjoram extracts, meanwhile, it fights inflammation. EPC-K, on the other hand, is an antioxidant that protects the skin from damages that free radicals cause. Lastly, the toner also has pyrola calliantha and other herbal extracts to make skin smooth.
#10 Shiseido Aqualabel Hyaluronic Acid Lotion
The brand name of this toner is already a compelling reason to consider buying this product over its competitors. The toner comes with a light rose scent, unlike others with a strong chemical odor.
This toner has a watery formula that is easy to absorb for the skin. The main ingredients in this lotion include double hyaluronic acid, double collagen GL, double royal jelly, and D-amino acids. They help to replenish the moisture in the skin to prevent dryness. It is also effective in improving its elasticity, especially as you age.
It has Aqua Synergy and Lift Synergy formula, which have been both exclusively developed by the manufacturer. They keep the skin moist and supple so that you will always look fresh. It also enhances the ability of the skin to absorb the ingredients from the other products you will use.
#11 SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion
Like Shiseido, SK-II is also a popular brand of cosmetics in Japan, so that is already a good reason to trust the effectiveness of this toner. This is one of the bestsellers from the company and they claim it is effective in removing the impurities on the skin to reveal a smoother and fresher layer.
The effectiveness of the toner can also be attributed to the use of PITERA and alpha hydroxy acids, which remove the dullness of the skin while solving uneven skin texture. It purifies and shrinks the pores to make your skin smoother. It also removes the dead skin cells to make your complexion brighter.
#12 Sake High Moisture Skin Lotion Toner by Kikumasamune
This multi-action Japanese toner delivers an abundance of benefits for the skin, including hydration and brightening. It does not contain any coloring or mineral oil.
One of the highlights of this Japanese toner is its list of ingredients. It has Junmai Jinjo Sake, an exclusive formula packed with amino acids, arbutin compounds, and placenta extract. They work together to provide deep moisturizing to the skin. It also has moisturizing ceramides, which is great for relief from rough and dry skin.
Convenience is one more thing that we love in this Japanese lotion. It comes in a pump bottle, making it easy to dispense the oil and it also helps minimize waste.
Applying the toner is easy since it is in a liquid form, like the other products on the list. It has a lightweight and non-sticky formula, which is also why it is easy for the skin to absorb.
How to Choose the Best Japanese Toner
To help you narrow down the possibilities, below are some factors to consider:
- Texture: This boils down into personal preferences. Some might prefer toners that are light, which easily disappear upon application. Some toners are heavy, which takes quite some time for the skin to absorb.
- Fragrance: There are Japanese toners that smell like chemicals. Look for one that smells refreshing. Fragrance affects your mind, which makes it an important consideration.
- Ingredient: The effectiveness of the Japanese toner lies in the ingredients it uses. The most popular ingredients are butylene glycol, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, trehalose, and collagen.
- Skin Type: If you have sensitive skin, be careful when choosing a Japanese toner, making sure that it won’t irritate. It is best to avoid alcohol as it can trigger harsh reactions if you have sensitive skin. Otherwise, alcohol is not bad at all since it improves penetration.
Other Japanese Skincare Secrets You Need to Know
Aside from using a Japanese toner, here are other skincare secrets that will help you have radiant skin like a Japanese:
- Keep it simple. Minimalism is one of the most popular philosophies in the way the Japanese people live their lives. Even in skincare products, choose ones with a simple list of ingredients.
- Beauty comes from within. This may seem like a cliché but true. Your diet has a significant role. Drinking green tea is also good. There’s a reason why matcha is a popular drink in Japan – it helps make your skin healthy.
- Try facial rollers. This is a Japanese facial care trend that makes the skin firmer and helps to get rid of wrinkles.
- There a reason why Japanese people love onsen or natural hot springs. The nutrient-rich waters are good to improve blood circulation. In turn, this has a positive effect on your skin health.
- The Japanese believe in mienai oshare. In English, this means unseen beauty. This means that beauty is not just physical. When you are happy and confident, you will also be beautiful.
Below, we’ll answer some questions you might have about Japanese toners.
What is the Difference Between Japanese and American Toners?
In terms of their effect and form, Japanese toners are liquid moisturizers. It hydrates the skin while making it softer at the same time. In contrast, an American toner is an astringent that cleanses the skin and dries it out.
How Do You Use a Japanese Toner?
Start by washing your face with water and your choice of cleanser. Pour the toner in a round cotton ball and apply it on your face. You can also just splash the toner directly on your skin and spread it on the face with your clean fingers.
If you are going to use a cotton pad in the application of the toner, one of the most important is to soak the entire pad. There should be no dry spot. This makes sure that the toner will saturate your skin and will deliver the highest level of effectiveness.
What are the Ingredients in a Japanese Toner?
This depends on the product you are using. Most of the time, the common ingredients include those we have mentioned earlier, as well as botanical components like cucumber juice extract, oat kernel extract, willow bark extract, and aloe leaf extract. Purified water is also a common ingredient. In most Japanese toners, you won’t find alcohol in the ingredient list.
Take your skincare routine to the next level. Use the best Japanese toner, including the options above. They will make your skin smooth and glowing. It is crucial for a pre-moisturizer regimen. The toner is effective in hydrating the skin and making it flawless. If you can’t decide which one is most suitable for you, we recommend that you experiment with different toners and see which is ideal for your skin.
Are there other Japanese toners that you would like to include in the list? Do you have Japanese skincare secrets you would like to share? Leave a comment below and let us know.