Five Must-Try Japanese Beauty Products

Japanese women have long been admired for their beautiful, youthful skin, so it’s no surprise that Japan is home to some of the best skincare and beauty products in the world. But where do you start? Here is our go-to list of some of the world-renowned Japanese products that every woman should add to her beauty routine.

1. With the dry, cold Tokyo winter already in full swing, chapped lips are a common dilemma. Shiseido’s Benefiance lip treatment is an investment at ¥3,675 per tube, but the rich nourishing balm gives even the most chapped lips a plumped, smooth texture. The formula contains marine collagen, a natural ingredient that helps lips retain moisture. The super fix formula is water resistant, making it a perfect primer for lipstick, as it prevents smudging and fading.

2. This super hydrating mask is a true cult beauty product, and a favorite among “it” girls, models and their makeup artists around the world. Professional makeup artists regularly use the SKII mask (¥1,680) backstage and at photo shoots to prep skin before makeup. SKII’s star ingredient, Pitera, works quickly on dehydrated skin, leaving it soft and hydrated, with a noticeable glow. The convenient and easy-to-use cotton mask is soaked in product, which makes application fast and foolproof. Perfect to use before a special occasion, after a long flight, or simply while relaxing in the bath.

3. Women in Japan spend more on skincare products than in any other country in the world. This market strength, combined with an aging Japanese population, has made skincare brands like Shiseido global leaders in anti-aging technology. Shiseido’s Bio Performance correcting serum (¥11,550) has a growing, loyal following around the world, and is the perfect place to start your anti-aging skincare routine. This best selling serum features Shiseido’s patent pending Bio-Corrective complex, which has been formulated to stimulate the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid in aging skin.

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4. Quality products stand the test of time. This is especially true in the world of beauty, where consumers are always looking for the next big thing. The very first cleansing oil was developed and sold by Shu Uemura in 1967, and today the brand’s cleansing oil (¥4,410 for 150ml) is a best-selling and award-winning product with a loyal global following. The secret of this popular product is that it protects the skin’s delicate balance while removing makeup and impurities in a single step, without stripping skin of its natural oils. There are now seven formulations to choose from, ensuring there’s one for every skin type.

5. Shu Uemura’s classic eyelash curler (¥1,260) is a beauty product that lives up to all the hype. This best-selling and award-winning product is known in the beauty world as the only eyelash curler professionals trust to deliver the perfect curl. Precise design ensures the perfect amount of pressure is applied to eyelashes, and the curved angle suits all eye shapes, which equals no pinching of the delicate eye area. It is a must-buy when in Japan, as the price is significantly cheaper than in many other countries.

All of the above products can be found in the beauty area of Japanese department stores. Do you have any other favorites that we’ve missed?

Alisa Kerr is an Australian marketing professional who worked in the retail and cosmetic industries before moving to Tokyo in early 2013 with her husband, daughter and a six-month-pregnant belly. She is now a very happy (and busy) mom of two who loves exploring the neighborhoods of Tokyo enjoying the never-ending shopping, amazing food, and intriguing people watching. Alisa also loves reading from her long list of favorite blogs, testing new beauty products and treatments, and trying to learn a little Japanese.

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