【日本語あり】 REVIEW: Kikumasamune Skin Care Lotion (Regular/White) vs. Kikumasamune Skin Care Lotion (High Moist/Pink) - (contains aff links)

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Sake powerhouse Kikumasamune has been in the brewing business since its founding in 1659, with a long-standing dedication to their trade. The brand also have been the lead sake maker in Japan for some 350 years, up until 2009. Generally, Kikumasamune typically only uses water and kome-koji (malted rice) as main ingredients to help achieve the classic signature smooth, dry taste. Taking this approach from the brand's sake brewing to it's recently foray into cosmetics in the past decade or so, Kikumasamune takes the fermented goodness in its sake and happy lets you drink (!!!) the benefits, on your face.

Containing actual Kikumasamune branded fermented sake, this line of hydrating skin care lotion is definitely one to consider incorporating into a skincare routine--don't drink this, of course!. The hydrating toner provides moisture to the skin, fresh after cleansing, while helping to create a canvas.

This review has been a long time coming: I recently bought the normal Kikumasamune version and have been using it enough that I can accurately compare this to the "high moist" version, in the pink bottle. Also, it's taken me a good year and a half to get through my first and only bottle of the high moist--bear with me!

Also, since many have complained to various levels about the lack of English translations of the bottle and ingredients, I'm here to give extra presents.

**disclosure: This post contains two affiliate links, which is marked in bold and in red text, towards the bottom of the post. This means that if you click that link, I’ll receive a percentage as commission for what is purchased. If you are happy to, feel free to support this blog. Also, this is not a sponsored post as I purchased the item out of my own pocket and was not compensated from Amazon or Kikumasamune for this post; all photos and opinions are my own.

kikumasamune skin care lotion (regular/white) / 菊正宗 スキンケアローション(日本酒の化粧水)

t r a n s l a t i o n s

front of bottle
  • 菊正宗 - Kikumasamune
  • 日本化粧水 - Japanese sake toner/face lotion
  • うるおう - moisturizing; moist
  • スキンケアローション - skin care lotion
  • 弱酸性 - low pH (lit: mildly acidic)
  • 着色 - no artificial colours added
  • 物油 - no mineral oil

within rounded rectangular box:

● achieve moist skin, with Japanese sake※ in harmony with (rice fermented filtrate (sake), moisturizing ingredients) with this toner.  Moisturizing effect is from high amino acids (glutamic acid, arginine, leucine) in addition to ceramides. ※uses Kikumasaume ginjo sake (with no added alcohol)


● for those familiar with rough, dry or lacking in moisture on bare skin. on a cotton round or tissue, apply desired amount and leave on for approx. five mins as a face pack (let it air dry!!) for effectiveness.

● can use on the face but also on entire body, after a shower or bath.

● store in the fridge or cool place for a cooling effect on the skin

● low pH, free of artificial colouring and mineral oil

the best part, just under the second, bigger rectangular box:

i n g r e d i e n t s  // 成分


water, butylene glycol, rice ferment filtrate (sake), glutamic acid, arginine, leucine, placental protein, arbutin, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, glycerin, styren/acrylates copolymer, alcohol denat, citric acid, sodium citrate, methylparaben, propylparaben, fragrance.
  • rice ferment filtrate (sake) - the good good
  • glutamic acid - naturally occurring amino acid; helps to condition skin
  • arginine - amino acid with anti-oxidant properties
  • leucine  -amino acid with skin repairing properties
  • placental protein
  • arbutin- helps reduce melalin production as a natural skin lightening agent
  • dipotassium glycyrrhizate (licorice root extract) - helps to brighten, reduce skin flaking

Looking at the ingredients, the regular "white" version of Kikumasamune contains some really great things: amino acids (glutamic acid, arginine, leucine), arbutin and of course, the fermented rice filtrate, to overall give much needed hydration to dry and dehydrated, rough skin. Apparently, the 500ml bottle of toner contains the same amount of amino acids that a 1.8L bottle of sake contains--a key marketing point.

While you certainly get value for money, the pump sucks. I always have to tilt the bottle forward so it is perpendicular to the cotton pad, and go from there. Usually, I stick with one or two pumps, or disperse directly into my (clean) palms. Then I gently pat the hydrating toner into my face. This also seems to work for the 3 or 7-skin method, for extra plump dewy skin, over repeated, consistent use.

Results wise, I've noticed softer, plump skin and less flushing of my red cheeks.

The toner itself is a cloudy, milky liquid. A large number of folks online remark how Kikumasamune smells fruity or like bubblegum and I'm here to say, it does not. Momentarily, it smells like sweet sake (NOT overpowering like sugar or overly alcoholic either) and seconds later, the scent dissipates. There is no distinct "bubblegum" or "fruit" scent, but as always: YMMV.

Recently, I decanted some into a spray bottle so I can mist the toner on whenever I want--lately I've been spritzing some onto the roots of my hair, and its been working well. The bottle I decanted it into gives a much finer spray, so it's good in the summertime!


kikumasamune skin care lotion (high moist/pink) // 菊正宗 スキンケアローション ハイモイスト (日本酒の化粧水 高保湿)

The pink bottle contains much of the same goodies, with a couple of differences. I won't repeat myself, except for the ingredients. It is still a low pH hydrating toner with no artificial colours added and no mineral oil.

t r a n s l a t i o n s

front of bottle
  • 保湿 - high moisture

i n g r e d i e n t s // 成分


water, glycerin, butylene glcyol, rice ferment Filtrate (sake), glutamic acid, arginine, leucine, ceramide 3, ceramide 6 II, placental protein, arbutin, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, glycine soja/soybean protein, maltitol, methyl gluceth-10, peg-6 hydrogenated castor oil, hydroxyethylcellulose, sodium styrene/acrylates copolymer, citric acid, sodium citrate, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, fragrance

The only differences between are the addition of some ingredients!

In the "high moist" pink bottle contains Ceramides 3 and 6II (in blue) with added ingredients in red that are not in the regular white bottle. Also, glycerin is moved to the second ingredient as opposed to 12th on the list, as in the regular version.

The key marketing angle of the "high moist" version is that it contains 100 amino acids, helping to hydrate dry and rough skin while brightening.


c o m p a r i s o n

For reference, I have have dry/hydrated skin that is sometimes combo, with rosacea. Having used the "high moist" version first, for almost 1.5 years and the regular for about a month, I can say there is a noticeable difference on performance.  The regular version so far, seems to absorb into the skin quicker whereas the "high moist" lingers on the skin, making it necessary to pat in before moving onto the next layer.


What makes an impression on me it that the price is generally low, and lasts a long while. For 500ml of product, the bottle ranges from about USD$8 on Amazon, up to as high at $16, that I've seen at a local Uwajimaya store. Also the white, regular version tends to cheaper by a couple of bucks on Amazon, than the moist.

Which is better? Both are ideal, when deciding on a hydrating toner to include in a skincare routine. For affordability, I'd recommend the regular but if ingredients are of interest to you, I'd steer towards the "high moist" for those extra amino acids!


w h e r e   t o  b u y

regular (white)

high moist

Thanks for reading!

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