Spa Beaute Concier

Tips for finding the right product for you—how to choose skincare products.

[Step 5]
Things we tend to forget when selecting skincare products

Advisor Photo: Sachiko Ueda

Writer: Sachiko Ueda

Beauty Specialist / Writer / Beauty Commentator

Things we tend to forget when selecting skincare products

Choosing Products that Never Fail

What standard do you live by when choosing skincare products? Brand? Price? A particular ingredient? While everyone has their own selection methods, today I would like to introduce methods that will allow you to choose the most suitable product for your skin, without error, by teaching about the differences skincare product type.

What is the best way to choose?

Important Points when Choosing Products

What is your basis for choosing skincare products? Because everyone has their own favorite brand, the answer to this question might vary. In truth though, the most important factor is whether or not it is good for your skin. In making this decision, you should also know what your end goal is.

  • Does it match your skin type and age?

    First things first. Does it match your skin?

    The most important thing when trying new products is to determine whether you're getting the desired effect. Even the most popular products are meaningless if they do not match your skin. If you experience any problems, stop using the product immediately. Furthermore, because the effect will be lessened, I cannot recommend any product that doesn't match your age.

  • Does it match your goals?

    Products should change based on your skincare goals

    If your aim is for more beautiful, whiter skin, then using just a moisturizer is not enough. You should also something that clearly fits your goal. For example, if your goal is whiter skin, then check if the product contains ellagic acid or vitamin C derivatives.

  • Is the product reliable?

    Pay attention to each maker / brand's background and circumstances

    When it comes to food products, transparency in the manufacturing process gives you assurances, right? You should also expect the same from skincare manufacturers. Because you apply it directly to the skin, choose a brand or manufacturer with a good history and that uses safe ingredients.

How is it different from regular skincare products?

Product Types and their Differences

In a word, there is a great variety in skincare product types, from those for everyday use to prescription products. Here, I would like to explain how medicated cosmetics, prescription products, and products used at esthetic or beauty salons differ from general-use products.

  • Medicated Cosmetics

    Blended with active ingredients for a particular effect

    In Japan, medicated cosmetics are classified as quasi-drugs. Whereas general-use products can be made freely so long as they meet the standards set out in the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Law, medicated cosmetics, which contain active ingredients designed to promote certain effects, require the approval of the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare or a Prefectural Governor's Office.

Differences with General-use Cosmetics

  • They contain medicinal ingredients designed for treating rough skin or acne, or for skin whitening
  • They are classified between general-use cosmetics and pharmaceuticals
  • Not all ingredients are required to be listed
  • They require the approval of the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, or a prefectural governor's office, for manufacturing or selling
  • The product effects can be displayed
  • Prescription Skincare

    Cosmetics made under medical supervision

    These cosmetics and skincare products are supervised and developed by medical doctors such as cosmetic dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons. Clinical trials are required, and the products have higher levels of efficacy and safety. Because different countries have different medical standards, the ingredients may differ country to country.

Differences with General-use Cosmetics

  • Doctors are involved with their development
  • To improve their safety, they are often designed for sensitive skin
  • They contain many ingredients with clearly known effects
  • The active ingredients are often blended in at higher concentrations
  • They are often produced after extensive clinical trials
  • Beauty Salon Products

    Fast-acting Products for Instant Results

    Products designed for esthetic or beauty salons are often faster acting and more aggressive than general-use products because treatment is undertaken after consultations and skin-type assessments by beauty professionals. They are often described as fast-acting on the skin because the manufacturers were unsparing in their use of active ingredients.

Differences with General-use Cosmetics

  • They are formulated with the latest, luxurious ingredients
  • They have different distribution channels than general-use cosmetics
  • They have the same types of effects as going to a spa or salon
  • They are made with care for skin sensitivity and beauty
  • Because many are used after a diagnosis by a professional, the amount of active ingredients tends to be larger
  • They can be blended with other products for maximum effect
  • They take in the total skincare regime, from cleansing to finishing
  • They are ideal for fighting fine lines

Differences in Prices

Why do the prices differ so much?

These days, skincare products are popular affordable luxuries, but what makes the big price differences between high-end cosmetics and drugstore variety ones? The biggest difference is in their raw materials. High-end cosmetics are formulated with high concentrations of the latest ingredients—created with advanced technology and backed by research—so that they can penetrate quickly and achieve fast results.


Goal, Efficacy, and More
Clearly Define your Criteria

While the criteria for choosing skincare products differs person to person, what you should first determine is whether the product is really suited to your skin or purpose. Furthermore, for those who want fast results, it may be worth considering products targeted towards beauty spas, whereas, for those who want proper results, medicated skincare products might be a good choice.

[Step 4] Tips to enhance your skin's inner beauty, today [Step 1] The components and structure of your skin

Advisor Introduction

Advisor Photo: Sachiko Ueda

Sachiko Ueda

Beauty Specialist / Writer / Beauty Commentator

After being selected as a Clarion Girl in 1991, Sachiko Ueda worked as a model and reporter before becoming a beauty writer in 1996.
In addition to Japanese beauty trends, she also reports on beauty trends from across Asia, including Korea and Thailand.