Japanese Cosmetics: Useful Words and Information – Illustrated Guide and Vocabulary List

Japanese cosmetic products are one of the many popular items in Japan! Many tourists who come to Japan indulge in the shopping of these products and more often than not, stock up to last them long enough before visiting Japan again!

If you are planning on coming to Japan and buying cosmetic products here, you may want to know and learn a few useful words to have a more efficient and smooth shopping experience.

In this blog article, we will be taking a look at some useful cosmetic vocabulary words as well as additional information on where to shop for cosmetic products in Tokyo!

Vocabulary Lists for Japanese Cosmetics and Skincare

When at a drugstore, makeup store or any other cosmetics store in Japan, you may want to ask the sales assistant for help with finding certain products. Don’t know what the items are called in Japanese?
Below, we have included two lists of common makeup and skincare products people look for when they go cosmetic shopping in Japan.

[ Common Makeup Products ]

Despite there being a myriad of makeup products, the products listed in this vocabulary list below are definitely basic ones you can find in any makeup store in Japan!
japanese makeup products cosmetics vocabulary

Hiragana / Katakana Romaji English
口紅 Kuchibeni Lipstick
マスカラ Masukara Mascara
ビューラー Byu-ra- Eyelash curler
つけまつげ Tsukematsuge False Lashes
チーク Chi-ku Blush
パウダー Pauda- Powder
アイライナー Airaina- Eyeliner
アイシャドウ Aishadou Eyeshadow
ファンデーション Fande-shon Foundation
コンシーラー Konshi-ra- Concealer
リップクリーム Rippukuri-mu Lip Balm
アイブローペンシル Aiburo-penshiru Eyebrow Pencil

[ Common Japanese Skincare Products ]

If you are in Japan finding skincare products to buy, you have come to the perfect place! Did you know that Japan spends the most on skincare products out of every country in the world? It is a well-known fact that Japan has many established and high-quality skincare brands and products.
Below is a vocabulary list consisting of some common skincare products people usually shop for while living in and visiting Japan.

Hiragana / Katakana



洗顔料 / クレンザー Senganryou / Kurenza- Face Wash
シートマスク Shi-to masuku Sheet Mask
メイク落とし Meiku otoshi Makeup Remover
化粧水 Keshousui Lotion
日焼け止め Hiyakedome Sunscreen
美容液 Biyoueki Essence Serum
洗顔ミルク Senganmiruku Cleansing Cream


[ Skin Types]

Other than asking for help to find makeup or skincare products that you already know you want, you may also feel like consulting the sales assistant so that he or she can recommend the perfect product that will best suit your skin. Below is a vocabulary list of words you can use to describe your skin type.

Hiragana / Katakana



乾燥肌 Kansouhada Dry Skin
脂性肌 Shiseihada Oily Skin
普通肌 Futsuuhada Normal Skin
敏感肌 Binkanhada Sensitive Skin

When at the store, you can ask the sales assistant to recommend a skincare product based on your skin type like this:
すみません。私は 乾燥肌 なんですが、どの化粧水がいいですか?Sumimasen. Watashi wa kansouhada nandesuga, dono Keshousui ga iidesuka?
(Excuse me. I have dry skin. Which lotion will be good?)

[ Bonus Words and Question Examples ]

In addition, we have included some bonus words and question examples that you can use when cosmetic shopping in Japan.
Bonus Words:

  • Pimple ニキビ (Nikibi)
  • Skin Whitening 美白 (Bihaku)
  • Dark Circles 目のくま (Menokuma)
  • Wrinkles しわ (Shiwa)
  • Freckles そばかす (Sobakasu)

Question Examples:

  • このリップクリームを探しています. Kono rippukuri-mu o sagashiteimasu. (I am looking for this lipbalm.)
  • この シートマスクは どこに ありますか? Kono shi-tomasuku wa dokoni arimasuka? (Where is this sheet mask?)
  • おすすめの日焼け止めを 教えてもらえませんか? Osusume no hiyakedome o oshiete moraemasenka? (Can you recommend me a good sunscreen?)
  • マスカラはいくらですか? Masukara wa ikura desuka? (How much is the mascara?)

[ Recommended Places to Shop For Cosmetics in Tokyo ]

In Tokyo, you can find cosmetics anywhere from quiet neighborhoods to the central city, drugstore to department stores. Here is a recommendation list of areas in Tokyo we hope can help you find both budget and high-end cosmetic products!

  1. Shibuya
  2. Harajuku
  3. Shinjuku
  4. Ginza
  5. Omotesando
  6. Minato-ku

With these new vocabulary words, you can now have an even greater and efficient cosmetic shopping experience in Japan!

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