Dry skin is prone to be extra dried out after washing the face. Caring for your skin with a face wash made especially for dry skin is the best way to ensure that your skin will be kept moist.
However, there's a variety of face washes available in stores, such as those that come in a tube container, the easy-to-use foam types, those that are made for men, and those with a reasonable price that you can find at drug stores. With so many options, choosing the one that will be best for you can be difficult.
To determine the best Japanese face washes for dry skin, we gathered the 20 most popular products from Japan's e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, Yahoo! Shopping, @cosme SHOPPING, etc. ) and tested them all.
We tested each of the products for the following:
Which face washes for dry skin were our top picks? Keep reading to find out more! We'll also explain tips on how to choose the right face wash for you in our buying guide.
Kaori is the representative director of Japan's Scientific Beauty Institute. She also runs the Beauty Science Blog, which sends out beauty science information in a way that's easy to understand. She operates with the mission of "wanting people to enjoy the process of finding skincare that works for them by offering a scientific perspective". Kaori broadcasts her expert knowledge from working with skincare and cosmetics societies and academic journals on her blog, social media, and more. She also works with PR, product development, and corporate support teams for cosmetics.
mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the relevant research (as of 11-04-2022).
Table of Contents
Dry skin is skin with low levels of sebum (body oil naturally produced by skin) and moisture, which makes skin prone to various problems.
Some people experience dryness year-round, while others experience temporary dry skin due to external stimuli such as ultraviolet rays, air conditioning, pollen, and aging. In addition, wearing masks can deprive the skin of moisture and sebum, which can also cause dryness.
Comparing facial cleansers for dry skin with regular face washes, those for dry skin tend to have milder cleansing power and are made with formulas that protect the skin's moisture. If you are prone to skincare issues resulting from dryness, it is recommended to use products designed with dry skin in mind.
Japanese face washes for dry skin, compared to non-Japanese varieties, tend to have a milder cleansing ability and be less oily. The milder cleansing ability is excellent for people with sensitive skin looking for products that gently wash the face. And them being less oily is perfect since they will not leave a sticky or shiny residue, making them essential during the summer when you are out and about and don't want to appear sweaty or greasy.
Here are four essential points to keep in mind when choosing a Japanese face wash for dry skin to purchase.
Dry skin is dry as a result of the skin producing less oil, so try not to cleanse too much of the oil naturally produced by your pores when washing your face.
We recommend using products whose main cleansing ingredients are amino acid-based because their cleansing ability is mild which means that it is more gentle to the skin.
If you are somebody that feels discomfort or itchiness when using amino acid-based products, I recommend looking for betaine or carbon acid-based products which are gentle to the skin while still providing a higher cleansing ability.
However, these products tend to be more expensive, so picking soap-based products with a lot of moisturizing ingredients will also be a good option if you are concerned about price.
Look for products that provide ample moisture retention to reduce irritation while washing your face.
Ingredients are listed in order of the amount included. Thus, look for moisturizing ingredients written near the beginning of the label. Check for ingredients such as those shown in the image above: glycerin, sorbitol, maltitol, and hyaluronic acid.
Products high in moisturizing ingredients, especially those high in glycerin, received excellent reviews in our test, so we highly recommend face washes that include glycerin.
Dry skin likely causes other skin problems, so look for products that will alleviate your other skincare concerns.
Always remember to care for your skin gently so as not to worsen acne and pore issues by friction and irritation. Products with mild cleansing ingredients like amino acid-based ingredients are suitable for dealing with many skin problems.
Products containing acting ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties are recommended for preventing acne and alleviating other skin problems. Sterilizing ingredients are not suitable for acne-prone skin, which is generally more sensitive and irritable.
In addition to adsorbing dirt and grime from pores, clay alleviates irritated skin. Furthermore, sugars such as mannitol and sorbitol improve foaming and reduce irritation caused by harsher cleansing ingredients.
Those who are concerned about their pores should pay attention to the ingredients listed above.
When your skin is sensitive, consider choosing a product that has passed safety tests. Check to see if the product is labeled as allergy-tested and patch-tested on the packaging.
The following ingredients are likely to irritate sensitive skin. You should avoid them, especially if your skin is sensitive or irritable.
If preservatives are a concern for you, parabens, which have a long track record of use, are a safe bet unless you have a specific allergy.
Although preservative-free products may seem to be gentler on the skin, it's important to remember that they contain many other ingredients that have antiseptic properties, which can be irritating to sensitive skin.
Face washes should be used daily, so it is important that they feel good and comfortable when used.
Many face washes for dry skin provide a moist finish. Pick one that lathers and foams a lot to reduce friction on the skin when applying. Different container types can affect the ease of application. A lid that can be opened and closed with a click is easier and more convenient to use with one hand than a lid that has to be twisted.
Click to purchase
Kosé Maruho Pharma
Carte HD Moisture Foam Face Wash
A Super Hydrating, Must-Buy Face Wash
Albion Co., Ltd.
Ignis Moist Wash Cream
A Gentle and Moisturizing Face Wash
Premier Anti-Aging Co
DUO The Medicinal Vital Barrier Wash
Refreshing Fragrance with Moisturizing Finish
Tokiwa Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
NOV III Washing Cream
Simple Formula that is Gentle to the Skin
Kanebo Comfort Stretchy Wash
Thick Foam that Spreads Well and Provides Mild Cleansing
Matsumotokiyoshi Holdings Co., Ltd.
Recipeo Moist Washing Foam
Weak Cleansing Ability, But is Gentle to the Skin
Sofina Liquid Essence Face Wash
Good Cleansing Ability, but Skin Feels Dry After Use
Nivea Cream Care Face Wash Super Moisturizing
Produces Thick Fluffy Foam, But Fragrance Might be Too Strong
Tsutsumu Gentle Cream Face Wash
High in Moisturizing, but Poor Cleansing Ability
Curel Intensive Moisture Care Foaming Facial Wash
Good Moisture Retention, but Poor Cleansing Ability
Kosé Maruho Pharma's Carte HD Moisture Foam Face Wash is formulated to thoroughly and gently cleanse pores with its thick foam.
In our test for cleansing ability, the face wash removed sebum by roughly 70%, earning a high score in our cleansing ability test. It provided excellent moisture retention, with skin moisture levels increasing by 2% after washing.
The foam is fluffy and smooth yet firm enough, making it easy to spread onto your face. The pump-type container will be convenient even for busy mornings. It is great for sharing with your family since the face wash doesn't have fragrance.
This product is a great product that can gently cleanse the skin while simultaneously adding moisture, making it an overall high-quality best-buy face wash for dry skin.
Albion's Ignis Moist Wash Cream is a cream-type face wash that is said to provide good moisturizing with a soft finish. Just spread it on your skin without foaming it.
It doesn't contain any cleansing ingredients, and the formula uses a milky cream to blend in and cleanse the skin. In our tests for cleansing ability, this product removed ~70% of the sebum, which was highly evaluated. It provides excellent moisture retention, with a decrease in skin moisture content of less than 10% after use. The gentleness to the skin was also impeccable.
The tube-type container's lid is easy to open and close, making it convenient for using. On the other hand, some of our testers said that it was difficult to spread evenly on the face, and it took them a while to rinse off. Further, some of our testers enjoyed the herbal fresh fragrance, but others didn't.
The face wash will be perfect for people with dry/sensitive skin.
Premier Anti-Aging's Duo The Medicinal Vital Barrier Wash is a medicinal milky face wash that is said to alleviate many different skin problems.
The product has excellent cleansing ability, removing ~80% of sebum in our tests. Moisture retention was good enough, with the skin moisture decreased by 14%. However, it might be irritating for the skin when sensitive, due to its containing many kinds of skin-conditioning ingredients. Make sure to test it on your arm to see if your skin doesn't react to the product.
Testers said that it was easy to spread on the skin, and had a comfortable texture. Further they also found it favorable that the product was easy to rinse off, that the finish was very moisturizing, and they enjoyed the refreshing herbal fragrance. On the other hand, the container pours out too much content at once, so be careful for that when using.
Tokiwa Pharmaceutical's Nov III Washing Cream is said to clean pores thoroughly while reatining moisture in skin.
The appeal of this product is its simple, gentle to the skin formula. The main cleansing ingredients are soap-based, but amino acid-based ingredients are also blended for a milder cleansing ability. Our tests for cleansing ability showed that it removed about half of the sebum which is sufficient cleansing ability for dry skin. It also displayed excellent moisture retention, with only a 19% reduction.
Its lathering was pretty good, and the dense foam was highly evaluated by all our testers. It also has no unpleasant odor, making it suitable for those who don't like scented products. However, some of our testers found the container difficult to use, saying that it took time to turn the lid to open and close and that the mouth was too big causing too much of the contents to come out at once.
Kanebo Cosmetics' Kanebo Comfort Stretchy Wash is said to contain plenty of moisturizing ingredients that are also contained in beauty serums.
The main ingredient of this product is soap-based, but in our tests for cleansing ability, only about half of the sebum was removed. It has a mild cleansing ability, and is easy to apply on skin with its low oil content. It contains a high amount of glycerin, and received high reviews for its moisture retaining ability.
The face wash foams extremely well and produces a rich easy to spread foam. The tube-type container is easy to use, although there is some hassle when turning the lid to open and close it. However, the fruity floral fragrance was fairly strong, and opinions of our testers were split.
Matsumotokiyoshi's Recipeo Moist Washing Foam is a foaming face wash that coats the skin with a thick, rich foam while washing.
Containing amino acid-based and other skin-friendly cleansing ingredients, its cleansing ability is very mild. Our tests for cleansing ability showed that the product could remove only a little bit of the sebum. On the other hand, moisture retention is fairly good. There are almost no ingredients that could easily irritate delicate skin, and the formula is appropriate for a product that claims to be made for sensitive skin.
Although the foam is not very spreadable, it has a soft and comfortable feel as if it's being absorbed by the skin. It's easy to rinse off, and the pump-type container is also easy to use with one hand, making it very convenient to use. The product doesn't have a particularly unpleasant odor, making it great for anyone to use.
Kao Corporation's Sofina Liquid Essence Face Wash is a liquid-type face wash that is said to composed with over 50% of skin-conditioning ingredients.
Mainly composed of carboxylic acid for its cleansing ingredients which are gentle to skin, it received high reviews for its moderate cleansing ability, removing about 70% of sebum in our tests. The appeal of this product is that its simple formula is gentle to skin. Its moisture retention is so-so.
The foam is soft and fluffy, and rinsing it off is easy enough. However, some of our testers said it left their skin feeling dry after washing. The slim pump-type container is easy to use and received good reviews. Some testers found the floral fragrance to be overly strong, so those sensitive to smells are advised to try it beforehand.
Kao's Nivea Cream Care Face Wash Super Moitsurizing is said to provide a gentle finish while keeping skin moist.
It contains soap-based cleansing ingredients, but its cleansing ability was poorly rated with less than half of the sebum removed in our tests. However, it contains a high amount of glycerin, a moisturizing ingredient, and its moisture retention is sufficient.
The advantage of this product is that it produces a lather that is soft and absorbs well into the skin. The tube-type container is easy to use as well. Some of our testers found the sweet floral fragrance pleasant, while others found it to be too strong.
Decencia's Tsutsumu Gentle Cream Face Wash is said to provide a refreshing finish while retaining the necessary moisture in the skin.
The main cleansing ingredients are soap-based, but the moisturizing ingredients glycerin and maltitol weaken the cleansing ability. Our tests for cleansing ability showed that sebum was hardly removed. However, it retains skin moisture, for which it was highly evaluated.
The advantage of using this product is that it's easy to use and you can lather the foam quickly. The container is easy and convenient to use. Although the product is fragrance-free, it has a slight, distinctive smell from the ingredients, which may bother those who are sensitive to fragrance.
Kao's Curel Intensive Moisture Care Foaming Facial Wash is said to keep skin moist away while providing thorough cleansing for alleviating skin problems.
It contains anti-irritant ingredients and is gentle on the skin. Its moisture retention is also excellent, with skin moisture not decreasing much after use. On the other hand, the main cleansing ingredient is a mild amino acid-based ingredient, which resulted in little sebum removal in our tests. We were concerned about the slight amount of PG included in this product, which is a moisturizing ingredient that isn't recommended for sensitive skin.
While the foam is not elastic, it is fluffy and easy to rinse off. The pump-type container can be easily used with one hand, which makes it convenient to use.
We gathered the 20 most popular face washes for dry skin from popular e-commerce sites in Japan like Amazon, Rakuten, Yahoo! Shopping, @cosme, etc, and tested them all.
We tested each product for the following:
First, we tested the cleansing ability of each product.
We evaluated each product based on how clean the glass slide was after applying and rinsing off the face wash.
Second, we tested for changes in moisture content in the skin after washing with each product.
Corneometer CM825 (Courage+Khazaka)
We gathered three Japanese testers and had them apply face wash on their arms, massaging it in for 20 seconds. We then had them rinse it off and had them wait for 10 minutes, after which we used the device to measure the changes in moisture levels before and after application.
Next, we checked the ingredients of each face wash.
We asked our expert, scientific beautician Kaori, to thoroughly examine all ingredients in each product and evaluate them based on how gentle they are to the skin.
Furthermore, Kaori checked all of the ingredients based on how rich they were in terms of moisturizing and conditioning the skin.
Finally, we tested the feel of each product when applied. We had five testers apply each of the face washes and evaluated them based on the following points:
When applying face wash, washing time is an important factor to keep in mind. If the washing time is too long, the cleansing ingredients can harm the skin, so we recommend trying to finish within one minute.
The procedure for washing your face is as follows.
If you are particularly concerned about dry skin, you may choose not to wash the U-zone. Note that most people tend to not rinse well enough around the base and sides of the nose, as well as the chin, so make sure you don't forget about these spots.
Facial cleansers are not required in the morning. Gently washing your face with water should be enough. However, if you applied a rich cream or vegetable oil such as argan oil for skin conditioning the night before, we recommend using a face wash to rinse them off in the morning.
If you use a facial cleanser, use an item with mild cleansing ability, such as a nonionic or betaine-based cleanser.
We've mentioned post-wash skincare enough times that you're probably desperate for some suggestions, right? Here they are.
Translation: Shannon McNaught, Tomoko Leeper, Kazuma Fujiwara, Mitsuki Nagasawa
No. 1：Kosé Maruho Pharma｜Carte HD Moisture Foam Face Wash
No. 2：Albion Co., Ltd.｜Ignis Moist Wash Cream
No. 3：Premier Anti-Aging Co｜DUO The Medicinal Vital Barrier Wash
No. 4：Tokiwa Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.｜NOV III Washing Cream
No. 5：Kanebo Cosmetics｜Kanebo Comfort Stretchy Wash
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