Good To Know! Beauty Related Japanese Vocabulary And Information

Good To Know! Beauty Related Japanese Vocabulary And Information


You might find yourself running into some trouble when shopping for cosmetics or beauty products in Japan because of the language barrier. But don't worry, this helpful guide is here to give you key terms to know to make shopping a breeze!

Translated by Kayoko Windle

Written by miho

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You might not have the best experience if you go shopping for Japanese cosmetics or beauty products and find yourself at a loss for what to buy, or if you purchase something only to discover that it doesn't match your skin type or tone.

For your next shopping trip, we have prepared a guide of the most often used kanji, or Japanese characters, for cosmetics, as well as some helpful information about the product types themselves.

Hair Items


Reading: Shiragazome


This is a hair dye especially for white hair. It differs from general hair dyes as you use it only for the white parts of your hair and it evens out to your hair color naturally. However, pleas be aware that your scalp and hair might become damaged or affected by it as well.


Reading: Mutenka


This means 'only natural ingredients'; free from artificial additives which can damage your skin, such as preservatives or artificial colors.


Reading: Yakuyou

You might think this refers to some kind of medicine, but it actually means that we can expect a gentle and less-harmful preventive effect from the product, even though it doesn't contain any strong treatments or strong medications. For example, Yakuyou shampoo prevents itching and has an anti-bacterial effect. Generally, we cannot say 'it can treat' here, rather 'it may help with'.


Reading: Negusenaoshi

This is a product to fix bed head in the morning. Generally, it has a quick effect.


Reading: Arainagasu

This is used when you have to rinse a product out after use. If you see '洗い流し不要' on the package of the item you bought, then you don't need to rinse it out.



Reading: Shitaji


This is a foundation primer to put between your moisturizer and foundation. It works to protect your skin from the cosmetic items that are later put on.


Reading: Hiyakedome

This is to protect your skin from UV, in other words, a sun block or sunscreen. If you see '止め' at the end of a word, it means to prevent or stop something.


Reading: Kuzurenikui

This means that the cosmetic item is less likely to come off or to wear off over the day. These kinds of items are long-lasting, but on the other hand, they are hard to clean off.


Reading: Kohasshoku


'Hasshoku' means 'coloring' and 'ko' in this case means great, so kohasshoku means 'strong coloring'. This word is often used for cheek and lip products that are very colorful against most skin tones.

Next PageThe most often used kanji for cosmetic items!
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