Japan, the home of geishas, the epitome of beauty and grace, has a long history of women trying to enhance their natural beauty. So it comes as no surprise that many amazing products have been passed down from generation to generation to become Japanese beauty secrets. Used by women of all ages, these traditional products have become absolute must-haves here in Japan, and tales of their amazing benefits have made it across the sea. This has led to many of us scouting out drugstores and online shops for these well-loved Japanese beauty products, both before and while traveling in Japan.
However, with a plethora of products the big question really is, which one to choose? Well, to make it easier for you, let me share a few of these popular Japanese products that you cannot miss, and that will change your beauty routine forever!
Yojiya’s “aburatorigami”, which literally means “oil removal paper”, dates back to the early 1920s. It has been especially popular with geishas and actors, helping them keep their beautifully painted faces perfect throughout performances by absorbing any excess oil. Now, even a century later, geishas in Kyoto are still said to be using this item and for good reason, if you ask me. The aburatorigami is a must-have during humid summer days as it keeps you looking picture-perfect all day long. Yojiya’s range of aburatorigami also makes great souvenirs, with its beautiful design and convenient pocket size.
Aburatorigami are available from any of Yojiya’s Kyoto stores and from Haneda and Narita International Airport in Tokyo. Visit their website here.
If you have sensitive skin like me, you will absolutely love this one! Made from all-natural ingredients this azuki bean and brown sugar soap contains pure camellia seed oil, leaving your skin incredibly soft, while the azuki bean helps to gently calm and nourish it. Say goodbye to irritated skin and hello to a flawless complexion, as this will be your new favorite product. It is also the perfect travel companion because this little gem is a solid soap and easily fits into any bag, saving space for any other creams or liquids you may like to bring on your trip.
If you are in Japan, get it at their Kyoto store and selected shops or conveniently order it online here. If you’re looking for a gift, their Ginkakuji store in Kyoto sells the soap packaged in white triangles made out of hand-printed Japanese paper. However, no need to wait until you arrive in Japan to buy this wonderful product, as they even ship internationally, via their US-based online store.
Japanese face masks, with their cute prints and traditional ingredients, are easy to use and easy to dispose of, which makes them perfect for traveling. They will leave your skin pampered, radiant, and glowing within just a few minutes.
I discovered the Lululun Face Masks a few years ago and immediately fell in love with them. They often release special editions, featuring a city or region in Japan and as a rule of thumb are only available there so keep an eye out as you travel around Japan. Adding to this special range, which features Hokkaido lavender and Kyoto green tea, Lululun has just revealed their new Tokyo mask! Using “koji“, a fermented rice used in sake and rich in enzymes, this must-buy mask will make your skin smooth and give it that extra moisture. Of course, they also have a regular line, so if you cannot get any of their special editions, I recommend getting the pink one as it is a great allrounder.
Their regular masks and some of their special editions are available at most drugstores and at airports in Japan. See the range here. For those of you in the US, you are in luck, as there is a US-based online store.
There you have it, my favorite Japanese beauty products that will make you wonder how you ever lived without them. So be prepared to fall in love with them, just as generations of Japanese women have done before. These products truly are the perfect addition to your daily routine or for that special weekend spa day at home. Just lean back, relax, and get ready for the compliments to start rolling in.
As a last note and most importantly, please always read the product label carefully. Since these products are applied directly to the skin, it is recommended to perform a small patch test to ensure that there are no reactions before you use them. Furthermore, please make sure to look at the list of ingredients, especially if you have allergies. It is also crucial to check whether you are allowed to bring the product home as some countries might have restrictions on certain items.