Korean skincare has stolen the spotlight the past few years in the skincare community when it comes to trends like the 14 step Korean skincare challenge or the “Glass Skin” phenomenon but there’s another heavy hitter working behind the scenes: it’s the wonderful world of Japanese skincare products! But where’s the best place to buy Japanese skincare online?
Many Western chains like Walgreens and Target have started carrying Japanese skincare products. You can also go straight to the source and buy budget-friendly products directly from Japanese beauty retailers online!
This post contains affiliate links. If something is purchased through my link it will send some spare change my way that will goes towards keeping this slice of the internet up and running.
Here are my go-to stores for buying Japanese skincare locally (or you can also conveniently have your online order delivered for in-store pickup):
- Target – Carries brands such as Biore, Hado Labo Tokyo and DHC
- Walmart – Find brands like Shiseido and Kose
- Ulta – Locally buy from DHC + Shiseido
- Sephora – Pick up items from Tatcha, SK-II, and Shiseido
- Japanese Supermarkets – These markets sell skincare and beauty as well! If you have one nearby check it out for some sneaky skincare opportunities (if you’re near Portland, OR or Seattle, WA give Uwajimaya a visit)
If you decide to purchase your skincare in-store, it’s best to wait for a sale or special to get the best deal. While I love being able to make a quick visit to a local store to buy Japanese skincare, it can get way too expensive fast. The fees associated with importing these products drive up the prices so I end up buying over 90% of my Asian skincare online. Keep reading to get the scoop on all of my go-to websites for buying Japanese skincare!
Where to Shop Online for Japanese Skincare
While picking up your products locally can be more convenient than waiting for a package in the mail, it can be a hell of a lot more expensive! I shop almost exclusively online for Japanese and Korean skincare because I can get a lot more bang for my buck and the selection is limitless!
Dokodemo is a Japanese online marketplace that is very similar to Ebay. This website has many different sellers which means there is a huge selection to pick from. Some of the most popular brands are these:
They offer worldwide shipping and will also combine your orders so you don’t have to worry about a bunch of little boxes being individually delivered. Shipping is based on weight so the fee will vastly vary depending on how much you buy in one order.
Their pricing seems to be very reasonable when I comparison shopped a few different products but this is a huge marketplace with many sellers so prices will range up and down a bit.
They also have Chinese, English, Korean, and Japanese Customer Support so it’s easy to get help if you need it! They offer no fuss returns for damaged, missing or incorrect items, but you cannot return items due to personal reasons (like it didn’t work for your skin or the product wasn’t what you expected).
Items have points attached which are added up and applied to your cart total for a discount. Dokodemo will also frequently have sales to double or even receive up to 10x the amount of points! 100 points are equal to roughly around 0.90 cents.
Watch the video below for a more in-depth look at the Dokodemo website experience:
Takaski is another awesome online shopping source for Japanese skincare. They have a very large selection of both skincare and beauty products Takaski offers free shipping with tracking numbers and parcel insurance on orders over $90 while shipping for all other orders is calculated by weight.
They also offer a neat gift packaging option called Furoshiki (Traditional Gift Wrapping Cloth of Japan). You can opt in to have any product wrapped in an ornate re-usable wrapping cloth for a nominal fee.
I haven’t opted in for the VIP Furoshiki treatment on any of my orders yet but I think this would be an awesome way to make a gift extra special for that special skincare lover in your life.
You will also receive 3-5 free product samples with every order placed. While Takaski has a phenomenal selection, some of their prices are significantly higher than many other online shops. I recommend that you comparison shop a bit before pulling the trigger on any orders.
This Asian online marketplace is famous for its cheap clothing but it’s also home to a ton of budget-friendly Japanese skincare! They constantly have sales on various items so it’s easy to find a great deal on skincare. Most products also have numerous reviews so it’s easy to see what people think about a product without leaving the site.
YesStyle is also one of the few sites that actually lists the full ingredient list of the product on it’s listing (hallelujah!). I hate having to Google a skincare product and visit 2-3 other sites just to figure out if the formula is problematic or not. It’s so nice to have it all laid out in one place!
YesStyle has a great shipping fee setup which offers free shipping for all orders over $35. I feel like 35 bucks is actually something you could easily spend in one shopping cart without trying to add extra products just to hit a shipping minimum. They also frequently throw free samples in with your order which is always a bonus.
Outlandish shipping minimums like spend 60+ or 100+ are a huge pet peeve of mine. That’s a ton of money to spend just to save 5-10 measly dollars on shipping!
4. Amazon (Yes, really!)
You can find great pricing on authentic Japanese skincare on good ol’ Amazon! They might not always have the best pricing on the planet but Prime shipping and thousands of reviews from other customers makes it a very easy place to shop.
Counterfeit Asian skincare products is a rising problem plaguing even popular marketplaces like Amazon. I ran into this while shopping for Korean skincare online. If a price seems too good to be true take a good long look at the listing for fishy descriptions or stolen images. I only buy products off Amazon that have numerous positive reviews and this has kept me safe from accidentally buying fakes. Amazon also has a very generous return/missing shipment policy so I never have to worry about paying for damaged or lost goods.
eBay is a great place to find steals on Japanese skincare without costing an arm and a leg! Here are the best eBay sellers to find great deals on Japanese skincare:
- japanesenadeshikoshop This shop has a wide variety of J-skincare and beauty +free shipping on most items. The pricing is also very fair when compared to other sellers.
- japanqualityshop – They have a ginormous selection of Shiseido with free shipping on most products.
- kabukicatjapan – Based in Kobe, Japan. They have a small but unique selection of Japanese skincare + beauty products with timely shipping to Europe and North America.
- stitchy11 – This Taiwanese seller has an extremely wide selection of Japanese and Taiwanese products. They have extremely competitive pricing and the shipping is speedy.
- animetropolis – This is another Taiwanese seller that offers a wide-selection of Tawainese, Japanese and Korean products. Pricing is similar to Japanese sellers with fast shipping timeframes.
- japan_variety_shop – Another Japanese seller with a very wide selection of Japanese beauty and skincare. Users on the Asian Beauty Reddit community have received orders within 10 days!
I found most of these sellers by asking around this Asian beauty community, it’s a great resource for discovering new stores and sellers. It’s also nice to hear feedback on other people’s experiences with a store before you place an order for the first time!
Rakuten is an online buying service located in Japan that buys from local shops and websites that don’t offer international shipping and then ship it directly to you!
This isn’t the most user-friendly website for non-fluent users so I wouldn’t recommend it for first-timers. But if you’re a hardcore Japanese skincare lover this is a great resource. They have hundreds of hard to find products that are impossible to get in the states. They also frequently have sales and coupons that can be used on any order so keep an eye out!
I have not personally placed any orders through Rakuten yet but I have heard a lot of great feedback from other skincare junkies. If you want to try out less mainstream or unique Japanese skincare products this may be the holy grail website for you.
Is it Better to Buy Japanese Skincare Online or In-Store?
While it’s always great to play with a product hands-on before making a purchase it’s very hard to find good deals on imported Japanese skincare in the USA. We love visiting an Asian supermarket in Portland OR called Uwajimaya and I love strolling its aisles of beauty/skincare products but these items are always really spendy at brick and mortar stores.
I’ve also run into trouble with stores keeping expired items on the shelves because they usually can’t move their stock quickly. Buying your skincare online is cheaper, and can guarantee fresher products. Many online shops like YesStyle and Takaski also include free samples with every order which is a lovely perk of shopping on the web.
Cons of Buying Japanese Skincare Online
The largest downside to buying online from overseas is the long shipping timeframes. If you can find fast shipping it is usually very expensive so you need to be in it for the long haul if you want to snag the best deal possible. I personally don’t mind waiting a week or two if it means I can save 10-15 bucks!
You will also want to research the possible customs fees or tariffs that your package may incur on its journey to you. I live in the USA and have never run into customs fees, but I have had packages stopped, opened, and inspected by our customs department. Not all websites will warn you about the possibility of these fees so it’s smart to educate yourself about your countries rules regarding foreign shipments.
Is Japanese Skincare Better Than K-Skincare?
When you type a search for Japanese skincare you will almost definitely get a ton of Korean skincare thrown in the results as well because they are both so insanely popular. But is one really better than the other? And is there a difference between the two?
The two country’s philosophies on skincare are shockingly similar. Both Japanese and Korean skincare ideologies focus on prevention instead of treatment (unlike the USA skincare market….). But there are subtle differences between the two to take into account when shopping for skincare.
Japanese vs. Korean Skincare Philosophies
Both Korean and Japanese skincare philosophies focus on hydration, reduction/prevention of pigmentation, avoiding/preventing sun exposure as much as possible. Japan also boasts the highest per-capita spending on beauty, in both skincare and cosmetics!
The two Asian countries also give great importance to cleansing; Japan is actually the birthplace of double cleansing! Geishas started the practice when removing their heavy oil-based white makeup. They relied on camellia oil to dissolve the thick layer of makeup and then followed it up with a second cleanser to further cleanse and exfoliate their skin. So it’s no surprise that cleansing is one of the key factors in both skincare markets.
Here’s where things get interesting! As you may have noticed, Korea is constantly pumping out new ingredient combinations and some of the most innovative skincare techniques in the world. This is partly because their pharmaceutical laws are not as stringent as those followed in Japan.
On the other hand, Japanese skincare is formulated with more traditional or scientifically proven ingredients and methods in mind. Their skincare revolves around time-tested practices using ingredients that have been passed down for centuries like green tea and pearls. Japanese skincare is more reserved and revolves around functionality and simplicity with long-term results, while K-skincare leans towards trendy ingredients and complex regimens like the 14 step skincare routine.
I constantly mix and match my skincare products to fit my needs so don’t feel like you need to pick a side! That’s the great thing about being able to purchase literally anything from any corner of the world. You have the power to pick and choose what works for you without being stuck with any one brand.
If you’re also interested in where to buy Korean skincare online I have an in-depth review on my favorite Korean skincare website here!