Our guide to finding the best Japanese eye creams and seeing what makes them so great.
|Fragrance & Essential Oils/ Alcohol-free
|DHC | CoQ10 eye cream
|Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10); Vitamin E; VItamin A; Hyaluronic acid; Vitamin C
|DHC | Concentrated Eye Cream
|Vitamin E; Ginseng; Citric Acid; Radish Root Ferment Filtrate; Royal Jelly Extract
|Hada Labo Tokyo | Age Correcting Eye Cream
|3 Types of Hyaluronic Acid; Caffeine; Camapu extract
|Tatcha | The Silk Peony
|Hadasei-3; Vitamin E; Titanium Dioxide
|Sukoyaka | Suhada Urea Moisturizing Eye cream
|Urea; Ceramide; Lactic Acid (AHA); Hyaluronic Acid
|Boscia | Peptide Trio Eye Cream
Best Cruelty Free
|Peptides; Ceramides; Avocado Oil
How to Pick the Best Japanese Eye Cream?
Eye creams are increasingly becoming a skin care routine staple and more people are starting to see the benefits of using eye creams as early as possible. Thanks to the internet, we are spoiled for choices and can benefit from products made from different countries. When it comes to skincare and beauty products, Japanese products have been consistently recommended as one of the people’s favourites. Well, with a plethora of culturally unique ingredients and cutting-edge technology on their side, it’s easy to see why.
Despite that, picking out your next Japanese eye cream isn’t as straightforward a task as you might think. Although Japanese-made products are known to be unique and high quality, you may not be sure which ones would work for you and which ones won’t.
This is because most ingredients that Japanese products use are not used by Western brands. Additionally, since the composition is different, most people would not know what to look for in these eye creams.
With that said, there are a couple of factors that you want to keep in mind when choosing:
Beauty and skincare have long been integrated with Japanese history. Face powders were seen as early as the 7th century with creams appearing in the 1910s. Japanese customs such as Ohaguro and the Geisha culture have been at the forefront of it all.
Given its long history with the pursuit of beauty and grace, the Japanese are long known as masters of skincare and beauty. Using unique ingredients, they seek the balance between natural and lab-made ingredients. These ingredients are not commonly seen in western skincare products and as such consumers may shy away from these unknowns. However, oftentimes, the rarest gems are the most valuable ones.
When it comes to Japanese eye creams, these are a couple of unique ingredients you would want to keep an eye out for.
Soy is a popular type of legume that is often used in Asian cuisine. Apart from its unique and earthy flavour, soy is great for skin care as well. It is rich in Vitamin E and its compounds prevent melanin pigments from adhering to skin cells which then brightens the skin.
Ginseng is a well-known Asian plant root that has been used as early as 5000 years ago. For skincare products, red ginseng is the popular choice due to its anti-aging properties, specifically its ability to boost collagen production. It has three different types of Vitamin B and has antioxidant properties as well.
Hadasei-3 (Green Tea, Rice, Algae)
Hadisei-3 was developed by the Japanese-inspired brand, Tatcha. It contains three uniquely Japanese ingredients, specifically green tea, rice, and algae. Rice is a great antioxidant that fights free-radicals. This decreases the amount of damaged skin cells, thus resulting in smoother and younger looking skin.
Free-radicals are naturally occurring highly reactive oxygen molecules that damage our cells and proteins easily. This drastically accelerates our skin aging process.
Secondly, green tea has great moisturizing properties and can even protect you from sunburn. Lastly, algae, due to its active nature, acts as an antioxidant, helps to brighten skin and provide other anti aging benefits.
Japanese manufacturers are kings of fermentation — especially with rice. Case in point, brands like SK-II have been known to make use of rice ferment filtrate or sake in their products. Sake or Japanese fermented rice wine enriches the skin to keep it youthful and supple.
The process of making sake is one of the oldest fermentation processes in the world. It predates recorded history and is currently estimated to have started back in 500BC.
Korean-based ferment filtrates such as Galactomyces and Radish Root filtrates are also used in Japanese eye creams. These fermented products are beneficial as they are able to better penetrate the skin and be absorbed for maximum effectiveness. The fermentation process also mellows out the natural strength of an ingredient to make it more suitable to sensitive skin.
Be sure to keep an eye out for fermented ingredients in the products you are eyeing.
Coenzyme Q10 was first identified in 1957 by Frederick Crane. Apart from being great for skincare, it is also known to lower blood pressure. [/note]
With this eye cream, skin degeneration under your eyes, particularly loss of elastin and collagen, would slow down. Its antioxidant-rich nature also protects the skin from photo-damages like wrinkles, fine lines, and saggy skin.
Only a handful of eye creams are specially formulated with this coenzyme. If you want to get these for your eyes, then those eyes should be looking at brands like DHC.
Yup, the actual organic compound in urine. There’s no need to shy away from this eye cream ingredient because it is actually packed with amazing hydration benefits.
Urea used in skincare products are cultured in a laboratory. By processing ammonia and turning it into a non-toxic compound, the substance is produced.
Urea naturally exists in our skin to absorb external moisture and store it. Unfortunately, its amount decreases overtime which causes the skin to dry up. This is crucial for our under eyes. Unlike other parts of the body, the area under our eyes has less sebaceous glands. As a result, our under eye skin tends to be drier and more prone to wrinkles.
Urea has actually been proven to treat dry or rough skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. The substance is hydrophilic which literally translates to water-loving so it retains moisture in our skin. As a result, the skin stays hydrated and protects it from cracks and possible infections caused by dry skin.
If you are looking to try out this, the Sukoyaka Suhada brand is definitely one you should check out.
Skin Type Suitability
Similar to Korean eye creams, Japanese products focus more on dry skin. A lot of ingredient combinations that these manufacturers use are geared towards rehydration and maintaining moisture. However, these products also tend to be more lightweight than the Western ones as they are made to be layered with other products.
As such, the effectiveness of Japanese eye creams differs for different skin types. To be more specific, here are some things to take note of when choosing Japanese eye creams:
- Dry skin: Most Japanese products should do the trick for you. However, for those with very dry skin types, you may need to pair these with other hydrating products like under-eye serums.
- Oily skin: The lightweight texture of Japanese products is still suitable to be used by those with oily skin. However, you might want to check for comedogenic ingredients. Avocado oil, almond oil, and beeswax would do you more harm than good.
- Sensitive Skin: Alcohol, fragrances and essential oils are very common in Japanese skincare products. Additionally, fermented filtrates such as sake may not be good for those with ferment sensitivity or fungal acne. If you are easily triggered by these components, it will irritate your skin and may cause inflammation in extreme cases.
Lastly, applying the eye cream correctly is also equally important to maximise the effectiveness of the product.
Packaging can be crucial to the eye cream’s overall effectiveness over time. Packaging like tubs or jars may aerate the cream too much. This may cause some of the ingredients to break down. Thus, losing its effectiveness.
The large opening of these packaging types also encourages the use of fingers which would be a gateway for bacteria. For Japanese products which contain a lot of organic materials, this is a big no no.
Eye creams also have photosensitive ingredients. With that said, transparent packaging should be avoided. Vitamins and minerals break down easily even with a little sunlight.
What you would want to look for are solid-coloured containers, pumps and airtight tubes. These types of packaging would ensure a long-lasting product and more hygienic application. This is especially important if you are considering making your own DIY eye cream.
6 Best Japanese Eye Cream
DHC CoQ10 Eye Cream
- Formulated with Coenzyme Q10
- Reduces crow’s feet, sagging of the eye area, and promotes skin elasticity
- Contains Olive Oil and Shea Butter as an emollient
- Packed with Vitamins A, C, and E
- Suitable for dry and/or sensitive skin types
DHC CoQ10 Eye Creamis the best overall Japanese eye cream in this list and for good reason. It got everything right from the quality of ingredients down to the hygienic tube packaging. The product combines potent antioxidants with hydrating and brightening substances.
As the name suggests, its main selling point is the Coenzyme Q10 formulation. This organic substance reduces skin degeneration by providing antioxidant protection against free-radical damage.
The eye cream specifically targets fine lines and crow’s feet, so it’s perfect for mature skin types who have diminishing Q10 levels in their skin.
Studies have shown that natural Coenzyme Q10 levels decrease continuously at the age of 30 to 80 years old.
The addition of Vitamins E and C keeps the skin around the eye protected from the sun. Vitamin A is great for your skin’s immunity and reproduction of healthy cells. Lastly, hyaluronic acid ties it all up by providing well needed hydration to the skin.
This night cream is one of two options here that does not contain alcohol. If you have sensitive skin, you should definitely consider the DHC CoQ10 Eye Cream.
Users with oily skin should take note that this product has Avocado and Peanut oils which are highly comedogenic.
DHC Concentrated Eye Cream
- Botanical antioxidants to combat free radicals
- Contains cucumber and ginseng extracts
- Fast-absorbing and non-greasy formula
- Free from fragrance and colorants
- Suitable for dry skin types
Challenging the DHC CoQ10 Eye Cream for the top spot is the DHC Concentrated Eye Cream. Its formula is based on botanical antioxidants which means that most of its ingredients are extracted from plants. Case in point, it has rosemary leaf extract which is a potent antioxidant that can also kill fungi and bacteria. The extract also contains high amounts of rosmarinic acid — an anti-inflammatory acid that can help reduce puffiness under the eyes.
Additionally, it has Organic olive oil which is another source of antioxidants that can, in turn, protect against free radicals. Olive oil is also known to kill acne-causing bacteria and prevents UV rays from penetrating the skin. This helps to prevent hyperpigmentation under the eyes.
Radish root ferment filtrate found inside this contains peptides. Peptides are the building blocks of collagen and elastin — two compounds that keep the skin moisturized and firm. Thus, this product is highly recommended for those with dry skin.
This eye cream is our pick for the strongest runner up for the best Japanese eye creams. If not for its jar packaging, the DHC Concentrated Eye Cream would have overtaken the CoQ10 for the best overall. As mentioned earlier, jar packaging risks bacterial growth, especially when users dip their unsanitized fingers. If you have skin care products in jars, be sure to only touch the product with clean hands or to use a sanitized eye cream applicator.
Hada Labo Tokyo Age Correcting Eye Cream
- Contains Super Hyaluronic AcidTM, caffeine, and camapu extract
- Restores moisture, smooths fine lines and wrinkles
- Can be used as a day and night cream
- Clinically tested to reduce crow’s feet and dark circles
- Suitable for all skin types except for those with very oily skin
The Hada Labo Tokyo Age Correcting Eye Cream packs in a load of unique ingredients and clinically-tested claims. At $18.79 on Amazon, it is the lowest-priced option in this list. And that is why we’re naming this the best budget find for Japanese eye creams.
It contains Hada Labo’s trademarked Super Hyaluronic Acid (SHA). Hada Labo’s SHATM is an enhanced version of the natural Hyaluronic acid. As a result, users can expect better hydration for increased skin elasticity and smooth out the fine lines.
Hyaluronic acid is a substance naturally produced by our body to attract moisture from the air and bind water to our skin.
Clinical data has also shown that the product reduced crow’s feet, fine lines, and wrinkles by 78% in 3 weeks. A 91% reduction of dark circles was also observed in participants. This is attributed to the product’s combination of Pink Silk Tree Bark and Camapu Extracts, which contain high amounts of antioxidants that fight off free radical damage.
Additionally, Pink Silk Tree extract protects the skin against glycation. Glycation is a process where collagen is broken down causing our skin to lose suppleness. Pink Silk Tree extract is rich in enzymes that restore the elastic state of collagen.
Note that the product contains Squalene and Butylene Glycol. These two comedogenic substances are not advisable for those with oily skin. It also contains Dimethicone, a type of silicon that is hard to wash off and may irritate those with sensitive skin.
Tatcha The Silk Peony
- Dual use: prime under-eye make-up & treatment
- Suitable for day use
- Formulated with Hadasei-3
- Made with Japanese White Peony Extract
- Suitable for dry skin types
Tatcha The Silk Peony is our pick for best premium option in this list. This Japanese-inspired brand has been creating products based on their proprietary Hadasei-3 formula. This eye cream is suitable for daytime use as it contains titanium dioxide which protects the skin from UV.
Hadisei-3 is the most popular feature of every Tatcha product. It is a blend of Japanese anti-aging superfoods that promote brighter and younger-looking skin. As discussed earlier, each of the three components has its own unique properties.
Epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG is a substance that is found in green tea extract. It reduces melanin production for fairer skin and it is known as an anti-inflammatory that can reduce eye puffiness.
Meanwhile, algae extract is a source of Beterhelin which is a polysaccharide that serves as an added barrier to prevent skin moisture from drying out.
Lastly, rice extract has long been known as a source of inositol. This component is an antioxidant that has the ability to bind water to keep the skin moist.
Tatcha The Silk Peony anti-aging properties are also boosted by Japanese White Peony Extract. This ingredient, much like other botanical extracts, is an antioxidant that reduces the damage caused by free radicals. Japanese White peony is also high in paeonol which has anti-inflammatory benefits.
Word of caution: readers with sensitive and oily skin should veer away from this. The product is not free of fragrance, essential oils nor alcohol. It also contains highly comedogenic ingredients such as Myristyl Myristate and Glyceryl Stearate Se.
Sukoyaka Suhada Urea Moisturizing Eye cream
- Contains urea, hyaluronic acid and ceramides
- Specializes in improving the moisture barrier of our skin
- Hygienic tube packaging
- Suitable for all skin types except those with sensitive skin
Sukoyaka Suhada Urea Moisturizing Eye cream is primarily formulated with the best unique ingredient, urea. Additionally, it also contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides.
The area under our eyes has the thinnest skin on our face which is why it cannot hold moisture well. The lack of moisture in the area causes premature wrinkles and irritations brought about by dry skin. With that, the main thrust of Sukoyaka Suhada Urea Moisturizing Eye cream is to, first and foremost, moisturize the area.
Fortunately, with its potent mix ingredients, moisturized skin is very much achievable.
The outermost layer of the skin is called the stratum corneum. This layer is not easily penetrated by chemical agents so most moisturizers simply sit on top of this to provide instant moisture.
Urea, being a natural part of the skin, can penetrate the said layer. As a result, the natural ability of the stratum corneum to absorb and hold water is improved with the help of topical urea.
Apart from urea, this product also has hyaluronic acid and ceramides. Hyaluronic acid can also penetrate the stratum corneum to aid the skin in holding moisture. Meanwhile, ceramides help to lock moisture inside the skin and prevent the loss of water.
Users with sensitive skin should note that Sukoyaka Suhada Urea Moisturizing Eye cream contains phenoxyethanol, which is a type of fragrance. The product also has lactic acid, making it unsuitable for users with sensitive skin.
Boscia Peptide Trio Eye Cream
- Tri-peptide blend and ceramides to improve skin elasticity and hydration
- No common triggers for sensitive skin
- Cruelty-free and vegan company
- Filled with organic botanical oils
- Suitable for dry and sensitive skin type
Boscia Peptide Trio Eye Cream is the best cruelty-free option in this list. As there are not many Japanese cruelty-free brands, Boscia really stands out from the pack. The brand prides itself for their plant-to-bottle formulas.
The product mainly targets fine lines and wrinkles. It reduces these concerns with the use of a triple peptide blend that firms up the skin. Peptides are chains of amino acids that build up one of the most important substances on our skin: collagen.
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in our body. With age comes collagen breakdown, especially for the eye area since it isn’t as strong as other parts of the skin.
Apart from collagen production, peptides are also responsible for producing melanin. Melanin is a skin pigment that protects us from UV damage. For the eye area, UV rays are the cause of dark circles.
Boscia Peptide Trio Eye Cream’s organic botanical oils also contribute to reducing fine lines and wrinkles. To be exact, organic almond and avocado oils, are both rich in Vitamin A which stimulates the production of skin cells to smooth out wrinkles and lines.
This product is free of alcohol, chemical preservatives, and artificial fragrance. Users with sensitive skin would be able to use this.
Unfortunately, it is packaged in a jar which may cause some hygiene problems along the line if you’re not careful. Additionally, the abundance of comedogenic botanical oils may be a point of concern for users with oily skin.
If you’ve enjoyed our picks for best Japanese eye creams and want to find out more, be sure to check out our top 10 favourite eye creams!