I have a soft spot for old Japanese beauty classics — products that have been around for decades and remained virtually unchanged. In Japan’s fast-moving and competitive beauty market where it’s expected for products to get revamped on a near-annual basis, seeing products from a bygone era next to modern, hi-tech offerings on the shelves feels special. They’re rough around the edges compared to the new releases, but continue to thrive because they offer a glimpse of the other side of history — one that is relatable no matter your station in life.
Launched 54 years ago, HONYU Premium Cream Soap is one of the newer Japanese beauty classics. 1963 is relatively recent considering most time-tested classics that are still in the market today were introduced pre-war. This premium version contains more honey and better suits normal-dry skin compared to the regular amber-coloured Honyu Cream Soap in the clear bottle (which is aimed specifically at oily skin).
I think this clear liquid-to-lather cleanser is quite lovely. It leaves my normal skin feeling fresh and clean but without that dreaded tightness and dryness after rinsing. This would be a good choice if you wanted a very affordable, pared-down foaming face wash option. Its ingredients list is one of the shortest and unfussiest — just 8 ingredients. I should point out that it doesn’t foam up as nicely and easily as modern cleansing foams; many technological advancements weren’t around in 1963. If you like a really fluffy foamy lather — I do! — a foaming net makes the process so much easier and quicker.
HONYU Premium Cream Soap comes in 2 sizes. 80ml is ¥334 HERE and 200ml is ¥823 HERE from Amazon Japan (international shipping available via AmazonGlobal.) Alternatively, it’s US$15.51+ from Amazon.com HERE.