There is a skincare line made with Japanese Onsen Water

I've been to Japan seven times but I've never been inside an onsen. I want to go, definitely, but I'm just not ready to be completely naked with other people - yet! I think it will be the experience of a lifetime. Perhaps on my next trip I can make time to go to a proper ryokan by the countryside. I can only imagine how nice my skin would be after a few hours in the hot springs, which are said to have medicinal benefits especially for chronic skin disorders.

In the meantime, I can enjoy of the benefits of pure onsen water with the Onsen Japonica Wooden Box Set (P9,300 at Sephora PH). The three-piece set contains products for a simple routine: the Deep Hydrating Cleanser, Daily Intensive Moisturizing Gel, and Deep Hydrating Night Serum. I've been using these for over a month now and I quite like them, especially the Moisturizing Gel, which is transparent and feels like nothing on skin once it sinks in.

The three-piece set is housed in a beautiful wooden box

The three-piece set is housed in a beautiful wooden box

I start my routine with the Deep Hydrating Cleanser (P2,613 when purchased separately), a gentle foaming facial wash that features Okinawa Kucya Mud to facilitate a deeper cleanse. It does look like mud; but it has a light texture that leaves no residue on my skin once it is rinsed. It is scentless and does the job well in removing dirt and oil without the tight feeling.

The Daily Intensive Moisturizing Gel (P3,349) is a clear gel moisturizer which is perfect for day time use. If you've been searching for a moisturizer that doesn't leave that, well, moisturizer feeling - this is it. It feels thick when I apply it on my skin but once it dries the texture of my face feels so silky and smooth. I love using this under makeup, especially when I don't want to get as oily as I normally do. I highly recommend it for oily girls who need something that moisturizes skin juuuuust right, helps keep their makeup on, and doesn't exacerbate greasiness.

Honestly I thought that the clear gel was just fancy water, but I found my skin feeling tighter and nicer after regular use. It has sacran,  an ingredient sourced from an algea that can be found in the Kyushu region in Japan. A study says that it has an anti-inflammatory effect. Fermented Rice is said to boost brightness, as well.

At night, I pick up the Deep Hydrating Night Serum (P3,953). Like the moisturizer, it's transparent, but it has a more watery texture compared to the stiffer gel. It is also supposed to have a higher concentration of sacran which I assume reflects in the price. I find this serum pretty nice, but I may need to use it for longer to see a more marked difference.

Sometimes I use it alone. Other times I use the moisturizer on top!

photography by Sam Gonzales

photography by Sam Gonzales

Overall, I find Onsen Japonica skincare to be a great choice if you've got sensitive skin, don't like scented products, and prefer ultra lightweight textures. The products are pricey but Onsen Japonica a promising new player in the business with its beautiful minimalist packaging and delicate formulation. Get them at Sephora PH if you're interested to try too!


  • Have you been to an onsen? HOW WAS IT?
  • What's the most fascinating star ingredient you've seen in skincare (aside from snail mucus ok)?
  • What's your top pick out of the three Onsen Japonica products?