Best Pick: Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewing Skin Care Lotion

A review on a budget half-litre sized hydrating Japanese toner with sake.

Best Pick Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewing Skin Care Lotion

As you’ll no doubt know by now, I have completely redesigned the site. It’s long over overdue — I haven’t re-structure it for more than 5 years! (Did you know I wrote my first post back in 2009?!) I do all of my website myself — including CSS and HTML — and learn from various bits on the internet, so please bear with me if you see something weird with a page or some functions don’t load properly. Anyway, I just wanted to add this “announcement” to this drafted post while it’s still relevant. Now back to the review.

Big half-litre sized lotions is getting more and more popular — lots of Japanese budget brands have added one to their skin care line. Besides being more economical, they are also more watery and lighter-weight than your normal lotions — making them ideal for stifling muggy summers. I’ll be honest, most of them don’t really do that much – they are simply fancy waters that freshen and tone skin. They may claim to do a whole slew of things and contain some nice ingredients, but in effect, they’re no different to your run-of-the-mill toners you find in Western pharmacies.

Best Pick Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewing Skin Care Lotion closeup

The popular Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewing Skin Care Lotion ticks all the important large format lotions boxes — freshening, toning, and hydrating. Additionally, it soothes, mildly brightens, feels weightless, absorbs quickly even during Japan’s muggy summer days, and it does all off this for the price of a Starbucks venti-sized Frappuccino. Some of these lotions seems to be rather drying once the effects have worn off, while others don’t absorb well and feel sticky in hot, humid climate; Kiku-Masamume version is lightly hydrating and keeps the skin nicely freshened. (This also comes in an alcohol-free High Moist formula that’s a lot more hydrating. I can see why some people might prefer it, but it doesn’t freshen the skin nor absorb well in hot weather. Not my cup of tea, I’m afraid.)

Best Pick Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewing Skin Care Lotion (swatch)This smells of sake, but it should come as absolutely no surprise to you as 1) it’s produced by a famed sake brewery, 2) it contains dry sake, and 3) it’s in the product name! For those who are worried about smelling like a drunkard, the sake smell has touch of floral and it doesn’t linger once the lotion is applied. I use a saturated cotton pad and very gently swipe it all over, taking it across the face and neck in the morning as a “cleansing water” and lotion in one. It’s soothing and replenishing and provides the refreshment that I need in this muggy summer season. It also refreshens and rehydrates extremely well if you spray it over makeup (decant it into a small spray bottle).

The Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewing Skin Care Lotion comes in a whooping 500ml pump bottle and it’s ¥585 (approx. US$5.35) at Rakuten Global Market HERE. You can also get it from for US$14.99+ HERE.


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