I went to Japan a year and a half ago. It was such an overwhelming experience, I couldn’t even bring myself to sift through the hundreds of photographs I took while there. Now that I’ve put a little space in between myself and that phenomenal trip, I’m finally ready to delve into it. I figured starting with some beauty finds would be the equivalent of dipping my toe in a freezing pool. So here it begins, my drugstore favourites from my trip to Japan.

Let’s begin with this magical company called DHC… aka Daigaku Honyaku Center. What began as an educational translation company in 1972 is now Japan’s #1 skincare company and there’s a reason for it; their product line is understated in packaging but incredibly effective. Their Deep Cleansing Oil is the best oil cleanser I think I have ever tried, they are known for this cleanser. In fact, one is sold every 10 seconds worldwide. The original line was based on the moisturizing powers of olive oil, which has become their signature – the Olive Virgin Oil, pictured above, is another one of their bestsellers.

Other products pictured:
DHC Extra Nighttime Moisture Overnight revitalization – an intense overnight moisturizer with olive oil that promotes collagen production. I can always get behind that!
DHC Olive Body Butter – Don’t let the name fool you, this body butter packs a lot of moisturizing punch including shea butter, cocoa butter, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, squalane and argan oil.

It’s also worth mentioning the rise in popularity of snail slime mucus as a coveted beauty ingredient. Back in 2013 there were many articles about the Clinical Salon that launched the first ever Snail Facial. They take their skincare very seriously so I hopped on that bandwagon and purchased a low end hand cream… I must say, it’s very moisturizing! However, I will always have to deal with my wrinkly grandpa hands no matter how much I moisturize. Le sigh.


According to the internet, there are 11 steps in a Japanese skincare routine and one of them is a face mask… preferably of the sheet variety. It’s no wonder they were hanging on racks in every corner of every shop I entered; each package cuter than the last, emblazoned with any mascot you can imagine, including Kumamon, Japan’s rosy cheeked bear mascot for Kumamoto Prefecture. Can confirm this sheet mask looks like the bear and is completely terrifying. I still regret not purchasing the Gudetama mask… that lazy egg is the essence of my being.


What would have been the point of going to Japan if I didn’t bring back some fake eyelashes? The racks of face masks might only be rivaled by the fake eyelash racks in the drugstore. The quality of eyelashes vs the price is astounding; they are so inexpensive and come in multi packs. Every imaginable shape, size, texture… they have it ALL; it’s nothing like in North America. I was most excited to get my hands on some bottom lashes, a trend that has not caught on in the west. A fine tipped eyeliner is the perfect compliment to a fake lash, I have fallen for the DHC Liquid Eyeliner EX. The applicator is fine enough that it compensates for my shaky hand. It’s also smudge proof!


Anyone else obsessed with Japanese beauty products and have some good recommendations? Since being back in North America then only way I can sate my cosmetic obsession is via the DHC online store and the Daiso, a Japanese dollar store in Richmond, BC. It is definitely worth the drive!

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