The Japanese beauty industry is well known for it’s innovation, with many products landing on ‘cult beauty buy’ lists around the world, and a selection of these become available at a premium online here in the west. So this time last year when I was preparing to travel to Japan, I researched the beauty products I wanted to try just as heavily as I read up on sight seeing and where to get the best sashimi.
My final list contained a modest five items, based on what was running low in my beauty arsenal:
- DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
- Meishoku Bigansui Medicated Skin Lotion
- Muji Moisturising Milk
- Eaude Muge Skin Lotion
- Hada Labo Goku-Jyun Hyaluronic Moisturising Milk
Surprised not to see any sheet masks? I was, too! I have oily, dehydrated, sensitive skin and while I was traveling I had bad luck and could only find sheet masks designed for dry skin in stock in the shops I visited. Luckily, one of my friends travelled about six months after I did and brought back a packet of the sheet masks I’d been searching for. I’ll have to do a blog on those another day!
Ever since I met Caroline Hirons, my nightly skincare routine is not started (let alone complete) without a cleansing oil or cleansing balm. The DHC Deep Cleansing Oil is one of the most easily available products to purchase in the UK, and at a fraction of the price tag in Japan I decided to try it there for the first time.
This is an olive oil–based cleanser and I found it’s excellent at breaking down and removing make-up and sunblock. I use it daily and my skin feels fresh and springy afterwards. When I ran out I nearly begged a friend to replenish my stocks while she visited in Japan, before deciding to re-purchased at one of the many UK retailers. I now have a 250mL bottle sitting in my bathroom cabinet.
Eaude Muge Medicated Lotion by Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Co. is designed to treat and prevent acne.
For clarity, in Japan the phrase ‘skin lotion’ refers to a watery tonic similar to what we call ‘skin toner’ in the US and UK.
I used this after cleansing in the morning and was happy with how my skin felt throughout the day. It was slightly on the drying side, but I didn’t have any major breakouts for the entire duration that I used the product (yes, I’ve finished the bottle before writing this review) so I can’t complain.
Would I repurchase? Yes, the next time I’m in Japan.
The Bigansui Medicated Skin Lotion by Meishoku Corporation is designed for oily, acne-prone skin. It was first released in 1885 and has since gained a reputation for its effectiveness. Again, I have used every last drop in this bottle and would happily repurchase.
The Hada Labo Goku-Jyun Hyaluronic Moisturising Milk (‘moisturising milk’ is what we call ‘skin lotion’ in the US and UK) is fragrance-free, colourless, and designed to be gentle on skin. It also contains three hyaluronic acids, which are thought to keep skin plump and hydrated.
Moisturising Milk is applied after skin lotion, and this one has become one of my favourite moisturisers. I’m nearly out of this one and already on the search for a UK-based stockist with a good price tag.
The last product on this round up is the Muji Moisturising Milk. Yes, this is easily available directly from Muji in many of their stores in the UK. I bought this while in Japan after I’d run out of the moisturiser I’d brought with me to use on the trip, which is why I opted for the travel size.
It’s not the best moisturiser I’ve used (my skin always feels the slightest tightness after using it, as though it could have been more moisturising, while also feeling the tiniest bit sticky with residue), but for the price tag (it’s £3.95 in the UK and I remember paying less than that in Tokyo!) it’s brilliant and has a welcome spot in my yoga bag.
Which Japanese beauty products would you like to try?
Much love, Katie xo