Five Top Japanese Drugstore Beauty Products
Finding your way around the beauty aisles of a Japanese drugstore can be daunting to say the least. The tiny aisles are jam packed with every beauty product possible, but when you can’t read any Japanese, it can be near on impossible to know a cleanser from a moisturizer! After quite a lot of trial and error, I can share with you five beauty products that are now amongst my favorites.
1. One product definitely worth a try is Cure Natural Aqua Gel (¥2,600). This gentle exfoliating gel is very well known among Japanese women. The natural formula contains 90 percent revitalized hydrogen water and an assortment of natural plant extracts like aloe vera, gingko and rosemary. Cure Natural Aqua Gel effectively and gently removes old and dead skin cells, leaving skin smooth and promoting skin renewal. The gentle skin exfoliation also helps prepare your skin to better absorb serums and moisturizers. Cure Natural Aqua Gel can also be used on your body as well to remove any stubborn dry skin patches.
2. Fiber Wig LX Pro Mascara (¥1,620) is Japan’s bestselling lengthening mascara and has a worldwide following. The Fiber Wig LX Pro Mascara formula contains long, thin nylon fibers, which when applied build to extend the length of each lash, creating a false eyelash effect. The formula dries to create a film around your lashes and locks the fibers in place, so you don’t have to worry about flaking or smudging.
3. Kate is a fantastic range of high quality cosmetics made by Japanese cosmetics company Kanebo. A standout product from the range is the Kate Gel Eyeliner in Matte Black or Glow Black (¥1,296). Perfect for creating a cat’s eye or winged effect, the Kate gel eyeliner comes with its own high quality applicator brush, which makes application of the gel liner almost foolproof. The waterproof formula stays in place for a really long time—you will need makeup remover to get this off. Which means, best of all, it’s smudge-proof—perfect for summer in Tokyo.
4. Want to know the secret to Japanese women’s glowing, hydrated skin and shiny, smooth hair? For centuries Japanese women and men alike have used tsubaki, or Japanese camellia oil (from ¥1,008), to naturally care for their skin and hair. Camellia oil has outstanding moisturizing properties, as it contains high amounts of oleic acid (Omega 9), which helps the oil deeply penetrate into hair and skin. If you’re afraid of looking like an oil slick after applying, don’t be. Camellia oil has a light texture and is quickly absorbed, leaving skin, hair and nails hydrated, supple but most importantly, not greasy. This multipurpose, 100 percent natural oil is also used during pregnancy to prevent stretch marks. Camellia oil is a true bargain beauty product and can be easily found in any Japanese drugstore. Just look for the famous yellow and red packaging.
5. We all know that wearing sunscreen is an essential element of our daily beauty routine. So a high quality, easy-to-find and affordable sunscreen is a must. Japanese skincare expert Shiseido is a world leader in sun protection, so make sure you try its drugstore brand Anessa. There are a number of different sunscreens in the Anessa range, but my favorite is the Anessa 50+ (¥3,240), a high protection sunscreen that protects from both UVA and UVB rays. It has great light wearing formula containing hyalurnoic acid to keep skin hydrated, and dries to a slightly matte finish on skin, making it perfect for wearing under makeup. It’s also suitable for sensitive skin.
So there you have it. The next time you visit your local Tomod’ss or Matsumoto Kiyoshi, make sure you pick up a few of these great beauty products.