As the beauty world is constantly evolving and changing, with new trends being picked up every season, it is easy to quickly become overwhelmed with closets filled to the brim and makeup drawers bursting with expired lipsticks and mascaras.

As A-list celebrities like Emma Watson and social media influencers have started to build awareness of the harmful toxins that are used in beauty products, there has been a shift in the industry from which arose green beauty – a middle ground between more traditional brands and certified organic makeup and skincare, which can be expensive and hard to find.

Unlike organic products, which are required to source their ingredients from certified organic producers, brands that fall into the green beauty category aim to use natural ingredients and avoid the use of synthetic components. Green beauty products also tend to be transparent when it comes to how and where they source their ingredients.

Like many foreign products, green beauty brands aren’t readily available in Japan. More often than not, they can only be ordered through the company website or through  European or North American online retailers. If you are concerned about your carbon footprint and would like to find something that doesn’t have to be shipped or imported from overseas, then look into these Japanese brands that fit the green beauty criteria.

The All-Rounder: THREE

The cosmetic company THREE incorporates naturally derived ingredients in their products to replace synthetic ingredients and potential toxins as much as possible. They define their approach as “holistic care,” and this philosophy, along with their complete transparency, has made them one of the most respected green beauty brands in Asia. In addition to their constant effort to use Japanese and certified organic ingredients, THREE doesn’t use any artificial fragrance or coloring, genetically modified ingredients or parabens in their skincare products. It’s also cruelty-free. For a detailed list of ingredients, refer to their website.

The brand offers a wide selection of skincare and makeup products, but among them stands their unique Angelic Synthetic Foundation Serum. Made with 83% naturally derived ingredients, this is the perfect base for those who love a good multi-function product. While evening the skin tone and diffusing redness as a light foundation would, this product also gives its wearer all the benefits of a nourishing and hydrating serum. Consider this to be the perfect base with the perfect amount of glow.

To cleanse your skin after a long day, skincare junkies might appreciate the versatility of the small but efficient rage THREE offers, whether you love a good, oily balm or foam cleanser to wash off the day. These products have the highest concentration of natural ingredients. The Aiming Soap is a homage to old school skincare when women would simply use a bar of soap to take off their makeup, with none of the fuss. Made 100% out of botanical oils, this soap created a rich foam to wash away dead skin and leftover keratin and leaves you with smooth skin.

Photo by Kristine Lo

The Recruit: DAMDAM

A new addition to the Japanese green beauty lineup is DAMDAM. Launched in 2018, it is a 100% natural skincare brand manufactured in Japan. Like THREE, the ingredients used are plant-based, sourced from different parts of Asia, and their products are free of parabens, silicone, sulphate, aluminum synthetic fragrance, alcohol and more. DAMDAM 100% is also 100% ethical and cruelty-free.

Inspired by the bathing culture in Japan, their products are made using specific blendings of botanical oils to turn your beauty routine into an aromatherapy seance, adding an extra dose of pampering to your evenings. If you choose only one product to try, let it be the Magic Drop Balancing Oil. This all-encompassing product is light and non-greasy (meaning it won’t take too much time to sink into your skin), but its uniqueness rests in its defense against “pollu-ageing” properties. Like any moisturizer, this last step to your skincare should act as a barrier against outside damage.

Green beauty is a great option for those who are willing to compromise. Hopefully there will be a wide selection of Japanese green beauty products in the near future that will cover everything from cleanser to lipstick. If you’re committed to curating a beauty routine using only organic products, popular brands can be found at iherb or Cosme Kitchen, but know that you’ll have to deal with special packaging in Japanese or one or another European language.

Do you know more Japanese green beauty/organic brands? Let us know!