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10 Best Japanese Whitening Products 2021

Best Japanese Whitening Products

Want brighter, translucent skin? Here are some of the best Japanese whitening products that help reduce dark spots, freckles, acne scars, and age spots.

These whitening products reduce melanin production to naturally brighten your skin.

You get one of these Japanese whitening products in different forms like soap, lotion, cream, or even a supplement.

Best Japanese Whitening Products — Quick Summary

Best Japanese Whitening ProductsBest for
Kojie San Kojic Acid SoapAcne prone skin
Hada Labo Tokyo Skin Plumping Gel CreamFace and body
Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder Whitening ExfoliantNormal, dry skin
Shiseido Anessa Whitening UV Sunscreen GelAll skin types
Albutin Medicinal Whitening LotionNormal skin type
Kose’s Turn White Vitamin C MasksNormal skin type
Mosbeau Placenta WhiteAging skin
Haku Melanofocus Whitening SerumPigmentation

Our Top Picks:

  • Kojie San Kojic Soap – antifungal and antibacterial properties
  • Shouvy Skin Lightening Soap Pure Gluta White Soap – Improves skin texture
  • Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder Whitening Exfoliant – Renews your skin

Some of these whitening products also have anti-aging properties that improve your skin texture and give you younger-looking skin

Read on below to find some of the best Japanese whitening products

Top Japanese Whitening Products

#1 — Kojie San Kojic Acid Soap – Best Japanese Whitening Products

The first of the best Japanese whitening products on our list is the basics – a whitening soap. The Koje San Kojic Acid whitening soap brightens dark skin quite effectively.

The soap is formulated with whitening ingredients, coconut oil, and orange fragrance, With consistent use, this soap can brighten your skin giving you a  healthy complexion. 

Key Features:

  • Formulated with Kojic acid, tea tree oil, coconut oil, and Irish moss
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Reduces melanin production
  • Brightens skin
  • Has anti inflammatory properties that provides a cooling, soothing effect
  • Coconut oil nourishes skin. It also has antifungal and antibacterial properties. It also a natural emollient
  • Also protects skin against UV rays because of Irish moss
  • Reduces dark spots, stretch marks, acne, freckles 

Related: Provide your skin with intense hydrations and nourishment with these amazing serums from top J-beauty brands!

#2 — Hada Labo Tokyo Skin Plumping Gel Cream

The next of the best Japanese whitening products is a skin plumping gel by Hada Labo.

Hada Labo is one of the best Japanese skin care brands. It offers some of the best skin care products and this skin plumping gel is no less. It has a luxurious formula and texture.

The cream has anti aging properties that makes your skin look young and bright. It also keeps your skin moisturized and hydrated all day.

Key Features:

  • Formulated with Hyaluronic Acid, Collagen, Arginine, and Ceramide 
  • Lightweight formula, absorbs quickly
  • Prevents dry lines, improves skin texture 
  • Makes skin radiant 
  • Keeps skin moisturized and hydrated for 24 hours
  • Clinically tested to give supple, nourished skin
  • Non-comedogenic and non-greasy formula 
  • Suitable for all skin types

Related: Check out these face washes from Japanese skincare brands that will cleanse and keep your skin hydrated!

#3 — Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder Whitening Exfoliant

The next of the best Japanese whitening products is the Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder. It’s a water-activated exfoliant formulated with nourishing Japanese rice bran. It turns into a creamy foam for smooth, polished skin with a healthy glow.

It renews your skin with non-abrasive exfoliation. The powder is formulated with finely ground rice bran and papaya enzymes which reveals a smooth skin.

The amino acid in the formula effectively cleanses your skin without stripping your skin of its essential moisture and oils.

Hadasei-3, a trio of anti-aging Japanese superfoods – green tea, rice and algae – helps restore your skin and give it a youthful radiance.

It’s free of any mineral oils, synthetic fragrances, sulfate detergents, parabens, urea, DEA, or phthalates. It’s dermatologically-tested and doesn’t irritate the skin. 

Key Features:

  • Water-activated exfoliant
  • Formulated with Japanese rice bran
  • Formulated with Hadasei-3, a trio of anti-aging Japanese superfoods – green tea, rice and algae
  • Transforms into a creamy foam
  • Renews your skin with non-abrasive exfoliation
  • Formulated with finely ground rice bran and papaya enzymes
  • Makes skin smooth and soft
  • The amino acids cleanses your skin 

Related: Here are the best cosmetics you gotta get from Japan!

#4 — Shiseido Anessa Whitening UV Sunscreen Gel

The next of the best Japanese whitening products is Shiseido’s very popular Anessa whitening UV sunscreen gel. Formulated with Aqua booster EX that gives you long lasting protection against the sun.

The sunscreen is waterproof but will come off easily with makeup remover or soap.

The sunscreen also reduces dark spots and also helps treat and prevent freckles.

The sunscreen is formulated with Anessa’s signature Aqua booster technology which makes the sunscreen stronger when it comes in contact with sweat or water. 

Formulated with 50% skincare ingredients, the sunscreen is packed with the goodness of hyaluronic acid, marine collagen, aloe vera, rose hip, green tea, and tormentil.

It intensely hydrates your skin and protects your skin against environmental damage. It’s suited for everyday use and moisturizes your skin as well. The sunscreen has SPF50+ and PA++++. 

Key Features:

  • Formulated with skincare ingredients
  • Formulated with hyaluronic acid, marine collagen, aloe vera, rose hip, green tea, and tormentil
  • Hydrates skin
  • Whitening sunscreen UV gel
  • Reduces dark spots and prevents freckles
  • Formulated with Anessa’s signature Aqua booster technology 
  • The sunscreen gets stronger when it comes in contact with sweat and water
  • SPF50+ and PA++++

Related: Find the true match for your skin with these amazing Japanese foundations!

#5 — Albutin Medicinal Whitening Lotion

The next of the best Japanese whitening products is Albutin whitening toner by Hada Labo. Use this toner after washing your face. The toner helps prepare your skin for other skincare products.

To apply, take some product on your palm and warm it up and gently pat it onto your face. 

The toner is formulated with bearberry extract that is a natural skin lightening ingredient.

It reduces melanin production to improve skin complexion. Combined with hyaluronic acid, the toner has skin lightening and plumping benefits. 

Key Features:

  • Skin lightening toner
  • Formulated with bearberry extract, a natural lightening ingredient
  • Reduces melanin production to improve skin tone
  • Contains hyaluronic acid

Related: Seamlessly blend your makeup with these amazing Japanese makeup brushes!

#6 —  Kose’s Turn White Vitamin C Facial Masks

The next of the best Japanese whitening products is a luxuriously KOSE mask packed with Vitamin C.

You’ll see an immediate, noticeable difference with lighter skin tone. One pack comes with 5 masks.

The mask will immediately moisturize and hydrate your skin. It will leave your skin feeling smooth, soft, and plump. 

Key Features:

  • Whitening face mask
  • Brighten skin tone
  • Packed with Vitamin C
  • Makes skin smooth and soft

Related: Get sleek, straight hair with a natural finish with these amazing Japanese hair straightening products. Check it out!

#8 — Mosbeau Placenta White

The next one of the best Japanese whitening products is the Mosbeau placenta white. This is a skin whitening supplement that is infused with Placental Protein.

The placental protein is twice as effective than other whitening ingredients like Glutathione.

This supplement visibly whitens skin in just 2 – 3 weeks. The supplement is formulated with Placental Protein, Collagen, Vitamin C & Asparagus Extract.

The Mosbeau placenta whitening supplement not only brightens your skin tone but also has anti aging properties and reduces wrinkles and fine lines.

The supplement also promotes skin cell renewal to improve damaged skin. It also plays a vital role in detoxifying your body with its antioxidant ingredients.

Key Features:

  • Skin whitening supplement 
  • Infused with placental protein
  • Twice more effective than Glutathione
  • Visibly whitens skin with 2-3 weeks of use
  • Formulated with Placental Protein, Collagen, Vitamin C & Asparagus Extract.
  • Reduces wrinkles and fine lines
  • Promotes skin cell renewal
  • Detoxifies body

#9 — Haku Melanofocus Whitening Serum

The next one on this list of best Japanese whitening products is the Haku Melanofocus Whitening serum. It provides intense hydration to the skin.

Best Japanese whitening products

In fact, of all the whitening serums that were tested, Haku Melanofocus earned the highest rating in hydration. No wonder it left the skin feeling silky smooth after application!

The formula of the Haku Melanofocus whitening serum is a bit dense and firm.

The Haku Melanofocus whitening serum is formulated with 4MSK (potassium 4-methoxysalicylate) and m-tranexamic acid which is a popular skin whitening ingredient and anti-inflammatory ingredient.

These were some of the best Japanese whitening products that are safe to use and offered by some of the best Japanese skincare brands. They are safe to use and not only have whitening ingredients but also skin nourishing ingredients as well. 

Some misconceptions about Japanese Whitening Products

A lot of people believe that this Asian culture of wanting white skin could be racist. But when the Japanese refer to pale skin – they don’t mean the skin like the whites. 


In fact, in Japan, this liking towards white, pale skin came way before the whites came to Asia. 

The Japanese have been concocting recipes since the early 11th century (or even maybe before that). 

The concept of Japanese whitening products (or bihaku products, bihaku = beautifully white) came in the 11th century. 

So what do Japanese whitening products do?

Japanese whitening products are formulated to do three primary things

  • Reduce the production of melanin
  • Brighten the skin complexion
  • Reduce discoloration, sunspots, pigmentation and freckles

Japanese whitening products are more about evening out the skin and reducing the damage caused due to age, or sun rays. Ultimately, preserving your natural skin color. 

Bihaku products don’t only whiten or brighten your skin but they are also designed to improve: 

  • the quality of your skin 
  • Skin tone 
  • Skin texture 

Thing is, in the Japanese beauty industry the words whitening, brightening, and lightning are used interchangeably. 

How do Japanese whitening products work?

Like I said mentioned before, the trend of white, pale skin has been in Asia for more than 1,000 years, even before the whites came along. 

This trend of white skin can be traced back to the Heian Era (8th century). A time when the elite class would lead-based powder to appear whiter and the common people would blend rice and chestnut powder for a whiter complexion. 

In the 1900’s, the concept of Bihaku (=beautifully white) was realised with the production of skin whitening and brightening products.  

It was only by the 20th century that the Japanese beauty industry successfully started producing safe skin whitening products. 

Thing is, the Japanese concept of having ‘white skin’, doesn’t refer to the ‘white folks’. Japanese whitening products only achieve to have a clear skin, even skin tone, and help your skin reach it’s natural whitest point – not force it to be a completely different shade. 

What ingredients are used in Japanese Whitening products?

Japanese whitening products use the following ingredients to lighten/brighten/whiten the skin: 

safe japanese whitening products ingredients
  • Vitamin C

Vitamin C is known to suppress the melanin production in our skin. It also promotes collagen production and improves the overall appearance of our skin. Ascorbic acid is another form of Vitamin C. 

  • Kojic Acid

Kojic acid is found in sake and rice bran. Kojic acid also helps reduce hyperpigmentation and acne breakouts

  • Arbutin

Another natural skin whitening ingredient the Japanese use in their whitening products is Arbutin. It’s extracted from berries and is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial in nature. 

  • Chamomile ET 

This whitening agent is extracted from the chamomile heb and is a very popular ingredient in the Japanese skincare industry. 

  • Rucinol (ルシノール)

Rucinol was patented with a Japanese beauty brand called POLA in 1998. This is a safe clinically manufactured whitening ingredient. 

  • Ellagic acid (エラグ酸)

This ingredient is found in strawberries and is an antioxidant. Ellagic acid is basically found in fruits that block tyrosinase enzyme that controls melanin production. 

  • Linoleic acid (リノール酸)

Linoleic acid is derived from sunflowers. It reduces hyperpigmentation 

  • Placenta Extract (プラセンタエキス)

Placenta is rich in amino acids, minerals and vitamins. It promotes skin rejuvenation and suppresses melanin production, brightens the skin, and reduces age spots. 

Should People With Dark Skin Use Japanese Whitening Products?

If you’re looking to drastically change the color of your skin then Japanese whitening products won’t help you. Japanese whitening products are formulated to only clear your skin and help your skin reach the whitest point it naturally can. 

Japanese whitening products are quite effective in reducing dark circles, correcting hyperpigmentation, sun spots, making the skin radiant. 

Tip: Avoid this ingredient – hydroquinone (ハイドロキノン). This ingredient is extremely harsh and can cause ochronosis, it’s a skin condition where you skin starts getting pigmented in patterns. 

I use Japanese skin whitening products myself to reduce acne scars, sunspots, and dark circles.It has helped me achieve clear and glowing skin!

Also Read:

  1. Best Japanese moisturizers
  2. Best Japanese cleansing oil!
  3. Best Japanese toothpaste
  4. Must-know Japanese Beauty Secrets

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