Acne Troubles? Not Anymore With These Japanese Wonder Products!

Without Breaking The Bank

By Nitika Bhatia
November 11, 2020
Health & Beauty

Just when I thought nothing would ever work on my acne, I discovered the perfect Japanese anti-acne routine that worked like a charm.

Acne has a weird way of finding its way back to you. While I thought I had left my acne days behind me along with my 20s, I was in for a huge surprise when I moved to Tokyo months ago. I was welcomed by not only the pandemic but also by sudden breakouts.

Whether it was due to a change in climate or a change in diet, I couldn’t pinpoint why my skin was breaking out into small zits, especially on my cheeks and jawline. Anyone who has gone through adult acne would agree that the worst part of dealing with it is not the breakouts itself, but the dark spots they leave behind that are often difficult to get rid of. 

Since I had heard a lot about the wonders of J-beauty, I decided to get my hands on some Japanese skincare products to try to help treat acne and their marks. After a few months of trial and error, I finally found a routine that has improved my skin’s texture and even prevented new breakouts. Even though I am not completely acne free yet, I am definitely on my way to achieving clearer skin.

So, to save you from the trouble of finding the best products for acne-prone skin, we’ve selected six Japanese skincare products that would help you get your acne under control, without breaking the bank.

Here’s to better skin days ahead! 

AHA Cleansing Wash

aha wash cleansing

One skin exfoliant molecule that any dermatologist would suggest for keeping acne under control is AHA, ie. alpha-hydroxy acids. This AHA cleansing wash from BCL works as an exfoliating face wash, with mild scrubbing particles that are gentle on the skin and helps remove dead skin cells.

After trying a few face washes that did absolutely nothing for my skin, I stumbled upon this one at a supermarket and was instantly drawn towards its unique formulation—ingredients such as malic acid, kiwi extract, glycerin, and apple juice—that works as a pore-cleansing agent as well as a moisturizer.

I have been using this face wash twice a day for the last few months, and I like how it doesn’t overly dry my skin out (like other AHA-based face washes I used in the past) but leaves it feeling fresh and moist. 

Price: ¥1,100 / 120 g

Acnes Clear Lotion

acnes japanese acne products

Even when many skincare specialists suggest following a CTM (Cleansing, Toning, and Moisturising) routine for achieving a healthy skin, many of us give toners a skip. I was also guilty of doing the same before I researched. It appears that including a clarifying toner in your skincare routine completely changes the game. 

So, I picked this toner by Mentholatum Acnes which is recommended for teen acne—but it does the job well even on adult skin! Just soak a small amount of toner on a cotton pad and gently wipe it all over the face.

It makes my skin feel super clean and fresh, removes any stickiness, and preps up the skin for the next steps of the skincare routine.

Price: ¥780 / 180 ml

Meishoku Bigansui Skin Lotion

Meishoku Bigansui Skin Lotion

While the Acnes lotion works well as a gentle toner, I wanted to pick something more effective to keep acne at bay. I decided on trying this acne skin lotion from Meishoku which was first released more than 130 years ago. 

Formulated with salicylic acid which is a BHA (beta hydroxy acid), this lotion goes skin-deep to unclog pores, remove excess sebum, and also works against acne-causing bacteria.

You can use this lotion by dabbing a small amount on a cotton pad and lightly pat it over your skin, but don’t leave it on like a face pack. I have been using this lotion 3-4 times a week and it has effectively reduced the appearance of blemishes. 

Since it has a strong formula that can sometimes cause redness, I would recommend using this lotion only when you have active breakouts or acne marks, and avoid using it all over your face.

Price: ¥880 / 90 ml

Ihada Medicated UV Screen

ihada japanese acne prodcts

Sunscreen is an important step in your skincare routine, no matter your skin type nor if you stay mostly indoors. There are many amazing sunscreen options in Japan but I found this medicated UV screen by Ihada through a beauty box service I had subscribed to a few months ago. 

If you have a sensitive screen, you will love this sunscreen as it has a non-chemical formulation free of parabens, alcohol, and fragrances. This hydrating SPF50+, PA+++ sunscreen is super lightweight, doesn’t clog pores, and prevents skin from sun damage.

Unlike other sunscreens, it doesn’t leave behind any sticky residue and gets quickly absorbed into the skin. If you have extremely dry skin, I would recommend layering this sunscreen with another moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated for long hours.

Price: ¥1,600 / 50 ml

Hipitch Cleansing Oil

hipitch oil japanese acne products

J-Beauty rituals have always emphasized the importance of double cleansing to achieve beautiful skin. I figured out that simply using a face wash wouldn’t be enough to clear all impurities and makeup from my skin, and that could be a major cause of clogged pores.

That’s why I decided to follow the double cleanse mantra that Japanese women swear by, and added this cleansing oil from Hipitch to my skincare regimen. This alcohol-free cleansing oil is rich in orange oil & eucalyptus oil, known to hydrate the skin while removing impurities and stubborn makeup such as mascara. 

Following the double cleanse ritual has not only left my skin feeling soft and smooth but has also helped unclog my pores and reduce the redness caused by breakouts. The best part? It can be used either on dry or wet skin – so you can also use it while taking a shower. 

Price: ¥900 / 190 ml

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