Kiku Masamune Japanese Sake Line Review

April 19, 2017

Hi guys, welcome back to my blog! Today I'll be reviewing some products from Kiku Masamune's Japanese Sake Line!

I got these from my boss/friend/mamasan Tammy, and I kinda wanted to cry when I saw them 😭 The bottles are humongous, so a super big thanks to Tammy for giving me these products!

First of all, these products are from the brand Kukumanamune, which was founded in 1659 in Japan. Their line consists of products that have dry sake in it! According to Refinery29:

Sake is rich in enzymes that gently exfoliate the outer layers of skin by breaking down the ‘glue’ that holds dead skin cells to the surface without stripping your complexion of any moisture. Not only that, the fermentation process produces kojic acid, an antioxidant that can penetrate down past the dermis to limit melanin production. It’s a natural alternative to hydroquinone.

As a Filipino, kojic acid and hydroquinone products are very common to me. In the Philippines, there's a thinking that the fairer you are, the prettier you are. I've asked my mum (on countless times) to buy back some kojic acid soap for me whenever she goes back to the Philippines. What kojic acid soap does is it makes you peel like cray cray. Once paired with an astringent and a cream (both recommended by my mum's dermatologist), I would peel like crazy for weeks.

This pic was taken during my 2nd time using Kojic Acid soap. It looks painful, but the first time was actually even more painful!

Although it was very painful, it delivered great results. I went from an NC45 to an NC42, and now NC42 is looking kinda dark on me as well.

Although kojic acid worked wonders for me, it has its downsides. I cannot be exposed to the sun AT ALL or I will burn, and it is HELLA painful. To soothe my skin I would used aloe gel, and most times I would find it hard to move my face. I also mentioned hydroquinone just now, and hydroquinone is another popular ingredient in the Philippines found in products like Maxipeel.

Filipino beauty products aside, I was really excited to try these products out because:

1. It has kojic acid + is a gentle natural alternative to hydroquinone
2. It has anti-aging properties (I'm ready to stay forever 21)
3. It came in such huge bottles!

In total I got 5 products from Tammy:

1. Kikumasamune Skin Care Cleansing Gel (200g) | RM42.90
2. Kikumasamune Skin Care Facial Wash (200g) | RM39.90
3. Kikumasamune Skin Care Lotion (500ml) | RM42.90
4. Kikumasamune Skin Care Lotion High Moist (500ml) | RM49.90
5. Kikumasamune Skin Care Emulsion (380ml) | 49.90

So there are two cleansers, two lotions and one emulsion. Do note that since these products are Japanese, "lotions" are equivalent to Korean "essences", kinda like Hada Labo's lotions 😊 Here are my thoughts on each of the products!


The skin care cleansing foam (pink bottle) is actually a makeup remover blended with Sake. It's an easy to spread gel that gently removes makeup and can also be used to remove sunscreen and other similar products from the body (since it's the tub is so big). It has a slightly acidic pH level but it contains no colour additives and no mineral oils.

The skincare facial wash (white bottle) is a facial cleanser mixed with Sake, and it promises long-lasting foam that removes impurities (even sebum that's deep down inside pores!). The cleanser can also be used as a body wash as it doesn't have any colour additives or mineral oils at all.

I've been using the foam one more often and I find that its actually a nice cleanser. The sake smell isn't very heavy (it's very subtle), and doesn't last after you wash your face.

Although my face feels squeaky clean after using it, it doesn't feel drying at all!

The gel also has a light scent while applying, and I don't really mind it. It doesn't foam at all and will stay clear even as you rub it.

As for the makeup removing properties, I tried washing off some swatches (after leaving it on after 20 minutes) and it removed them pretty well.

 Although it can remove makeup, I still prefer double cleansing and using a cleansing oil after it just to double cleanse.

I think for the cleansing power, bottle size and moisturizing effects of these cleansers they're quite worth it!


Both these lotions have sake in them (obviously) which is a skin moisturizing component. They come in humongous 500ml pump bottles, which (considering their price) I think is veery worth it. As with all essences, you can use them as a DIY mask by soaking some cotton pads.

I've mentioned it several times here on my blog, but the "soaking cotton pad" technique was actually popularized by a Japanese skincare guru named Chizu Saeki. If it works for the Japanese, it's good enough for me! 😂

Aside from sake and amino acids, these lotions also contain placenta extract (which is good for moisturizing) and arbutin (which is good for brightening the skin). They're both very watery and have about the same consistency.

Although they already have so many moisturizing ingredients inside, the High Moist lotion (the pink one) is said to actually include increased moisturizing ingredients for a more hydrated face. I personally find them both quite similar, so I always use the High Moist one because it's supposed to have more good stuff in it anyway 😅

Because the bottles come in such huge bottles, it's quite hard to pump out an exact amount (I always end up pumping too much). It's not really a problem when I do DIY masks because the cotton pad will be there to save it, but when I use it alone I always have a bit of excess lotion dripping off.

Again, 500ml is huge. My 170ml Hada Labo lotion took me a year to finish (and I used it almost everyday), so these two bottles are gonna last me forever. The lotions aren't overly sticky and smell great while being applied!


This line only has one emulsion, and it's a non-greasy moisturizer with a slightly acidic pH level that promises to keep the skin hydrated and smooth. I personally prefer emulsions/milk as my daily moisturizer as I find that they're not as heavy and really does moisturize my oily skin the best.

So far I think its so-so~ it does moisturize my skin and it's not heavy at all. Perfect for the hot weather here in Malaysia!

My final verdict + Would I repurchase?

I think these products are very value for money, and that they'll surely last me a long time! Among the five products, my fave would be the High Moist Lotion. It's very hydrating, not overly sticky and smells great when applied.

As for what it claims, it is very hydrating, but I have yet to see any dramatic lightening on my skin yet. I feel like my face does look brighter after cleansing and using the lotion as a mask, but nothing too dramatic yet. Maybe prolonged use of this will make more of a difference~ I shall keep you guys posted!

I don't really mind waiting for the brightening effects haha. I'm currently more concerned with proper hydration and clearing out my skin of acne/scars. So far this hasn't made me oilier or made me break out at all, which I love!

If you guys would like to try these products out, you can find them at selected Aeon Wellness & Sasa stores 😊


  1. I’ve always wondered about trying out Kojic Acid, although I’m not in favor of hydroquinone because it ended up burning my skin and leaving scars. Kojic acid on the other hand is made up of natural ingredients.

    1. I think if used in moderation and caution it should be alright, but definitely consult your dermatologist first! :)

  2. I have been using the lotions and emulsion for a week and I am really liking them. I do a cotton pad soaked in the high moist every evening. I have rather good skin already and just want to keep it that way so I think I’ll be using these for awhile.
    I’m interested in the cleansers too

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