Japanese Skincare: Drugstore Beauty Haul

Japanese Skincare Products

One of the more popular questions I have encountered since coming back from my Japan travels is did I buy any skincare products, which is usually followed up with what did I get? My trip to Japan is the first time I spent most of my money on skincare products compared to anything else. It’s no secret that Asian beauty products are quite advanced in terms of both innovation and technology. Though I missed this boat growing up, the practice of respecting and taking care of one’s skin is ingrained in Asian culture. The multi-step skincare process is not something new {though we are recently learning about them after K-beauty exploded onto the beauty scene here in the States a few years ago}. Rather, it’s something that girls have been learning from their mothers generation after generation.

I swapped out landmarks and popular eateries for skincare products in my research, listing which products to target when I get to Japan. One of the things I learned from my research is the mandatory stop at any one of their ubiquitous drugstores. I was worried that I would somehow be that one person who somehow missed it since I’ve never been to Japan and don’t know the language, but nope, these drugstores are really everywhere. {Tip: Since I didn’t speak the language and their drugstores are filled with so many products, I later found it’s more efficient to simply take screenshots of the products I want on my phone so that I can show the store associates what I’m looking for}. I’m sharing with you my drugstore beauty haul below, which I had so much fun shopping for. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you recommend other products that are not listed here that I should try!

IMG_6816

Cure Natural Aqua Gel

This very popular exfoliant made it to my must-get list first {one bottle is reportedly sold every 12 seconds}. I read a number of articles boasting about how this product easily gets rid of dead skin in a matter of seconds. When I first saw this bottle up close in person, I was a bit turned off by the packaging, but when I saw the customer next to me grabbed two bottles, I thought, why the heck not and snapped up two bottles for myself too. I would pump out about 3-4 dime-size amount and apply the gel on my face. After letting it sit for almost a minute, I’ll gently massage my face and tiny balls of dead skin start rolling off my face. I personally love the fact that it’s free of fragrance, color, and is very gentle for my sensitive skin. The product is also made with 90% purified water and plant extracts. Since I started using this product, my flaky dry skin patches on my face went away. My husband and I now use Cure regularly, about 2-3 times a week. I should’ve bought another 2 bottles.

Okay so I’m not going to lie, I’m still confused as to what “lotion” means in Japanese skincare. I’ve read that it means toner, I’ve also read it’s an all-in-one product that combines toner, essence, and softener. I’ve been treating it as a toner, so until I’ve been told otherwise, toner it is. =) The Hado Labo skincare line is very popular in Japan, primarily because of it’s effectiveness for the incredibly cheap price point. This lotion is known for plumping skin and reducing fine lines. It’s free of alcohol, fragrance, oil and color, and is very lightweight and moisturizing. Best of all, not heavy or greasy, aannnddd it has hyaluronic acid! {I’m like a moth to a flame when I come across a product with the all-important hyaluronic acid ingredient}. Since I bought this bottle in Japan, I’ve used it every.single.day. And love it. I use it right after I wash my face, before I apply any serums or moisturizers. I place at most two drops in my palms and pat the lotion onto my face. I love how quickly the product absorbs right into the skin. Perhaps it’s a psychological thing, but I feel like my face is clean and prime for the rest of my skincare regimen after using this lotion. I love this product very much and plan on buying more of it from Amazon after I finish my current bottle.

Shiseido Collagen Drinks

I know this may sound a bit extreme for some. When my husband saw what I was carrying, he asked if I was serious about all of this and warned me he’s not responsible if I start breaking out in hives or rashes from experimenting with all these products plus collagen drinks. Literally every drugstore I walked into, collagen drinks were found everywhere, so I had to try it out and see for myself if they really do rejuvenate our skin. {If you’re not sure what collagen is, it’s an important protein that is responsible for skin elasticity, which reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. The older we get, the less collagen we have, resulting to our skin thinning. More collagen info here}. I almost chickened out from trying the first vial because I was a bit worried about the unknown taste, but am glad I did because it actually tastes good, like liquid gummy bears. I’m not sure if there are really any negative side affects to ingesting collagen drinks, but I figured it’s worth a try. While my skin’s appearance has improved since adding a few Japanese products to my skincare regimen, it’s hard for me to say if it specifically has anything to do with the collagen drink.

Dollywink Eye Makeup

So one of the things I’d hear and read quite often is how great Japanese mascaras are…and it was admittedly the one thing I was initially most uninterested because I figured…mascara is mascara. Just how different can it be? I convinced myself to buy just one tube of Dollywink mascara to try while I was there. Well, let’s just say my other mascara tubes are collecting dust somewhere in my makeup drawer. I personally prefer the thinner and finer size of their brush and I find it easier to apply the mascara to even my smaller lashes. Their Dollywink eyeliner is another bestseller. It’s long-lasting and smudge-free, but not waterproof, so it comes off easily with warm water.

LuLuLun Masks

Sheet masks are all the rage now, especially in Japan. There are so many options for face masks there, but you cannot miss the LuLuLun packaging. There are different variations you can choose from {I went with their pink moisturizing one}. Soaked in royal jelly and hyaluronic acid, consistent use of their masks should lead to soft moisturizing skin. I love that the masks don’t leave behind any greasy heavy residue after usage. One down side though- the masks stick together in the pack, so you have to pick it out with your finger tips. Mondays and Wednesdays are my LuLuLun days.

CanMake Marshmallow Finish Powder

Free from mineral oil, paraben, and tar-based pigments, CanMake products can easily be found in many of their drugstores. Since I am a sucker for beautiful packaging, and I have read some pretty great reviews, I decided to give it a go. Given the really inexpensive price point and how the powder sets my makeup and makes my skin look flawless and not cakey, this is a great purchase. While I adore their cute puff, I prefer to use my fluffy powder brush to dust some of the powder on my face for a lighter finish. The only downside to this product is it only comes in three shades.

I read about Kao eye masks awhile back, so I made sure I brought a pack with me back to the States to try. It really does warm up after a couple of minutes and it really is quite soothing. I love wearing the mask for about 10 minutes before going to bed. My eyes are often quite strained from too much computer/phone use, so it’s nice to soothe and relax my eyes before sleeping. I’ll be sure to have a couple with me on my next international flight. There are different scents to choose from, unscented included. I chose lavender {one of my faves!}.
 
Shiseido and SK-II Products
Of course, I couldn’t end this post without including the two big ones – Shiseido and SK-II. Some of the drugstores already anticipate tourists like myself who are on the hunt for these specific beauty products, so they have these big signs posted outside, advertising that they carry Shiseido and SK-II products. So why are they hot ticket items? Because they are for the most part, cheaper in Japan. Exactly how much cheaper really varies, but they’re not dirt-cheap if that’s what you’re hoping for. A 2.5oz SK-II Facial Essence costs $99 at Sephora. It’s roughly $60-$65 in Japan. Personally, I think it’s highway robbery that we get charged $115 {not including tax} for a pack of SK-II Signs Eye Mask here in the States when it costs about $45 in Japan. A single pack of Shiseido blotting papers will fetch you almost $20 here in the States. It’s a little over $4 in Japan. I cleared out what they had left in their shelves at the drugstore I was at. {Make for great souvenirs!}.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.