[UPDATED 5 Dec 2019]
Japan is a drugstore heaven and for good reasons too! ? And we dare say that one does not simply enter a Japanese drugstore and leave without anything because there are so many things you can buy.
Based on our team's various trips to Japan, here are some of the best products we think you can bring home! ?
: The items in drug stores might change over different seasons but we think these would still be good across all seasons!
[P.S. Heading to Japan? Our 7D6N Tokyo-Kyoto-Osaka itinerary is just what you need!]
1. Lu Lu Lun Face Masks
If you’re a sheet mask addict, you wouldn’t believe what Japan has to offer! Facial masks have been a common routine for Japanese women and tourists have been picking it up too. Lucky for us, the drugstores in Japan have plenty of them!
And it’s the perfect excuse to get one during your trip because you can pamper your skin in between your schedules. Consider getting yourself the popular Lu Lu Lun Mask - super refreshing and so scented that you’d want to buy packs of it ?
: ¥400 per pack (inclusive of tax)
: Pokémon fans can have fun with the themed face masks too! ?
From ¥880 per packet
[P.S. Not sure what to get from Japan's convenience stores instead? Here are 9 Japanese convenience store snacks you didn't know were Muslim-friendly!]
2. DHC Natural Lip Balm
Arguably the best lip balm there is in Japan (even bagged an award for best-selling lip product in the country!), you should definitely have a go at DHC’s Medicated Lip Cream! ?
Perfect during the summer and even winter when the weather can get dry, this lip cream is a life saver for many! With its aloe extract and vitamin E, DHC softens the lips and gives it a polished, neutral shine. Nothing is greater than having your lips constantly moisturised during your trip ?
: ¥432 (inclusive of tax)
3. DHC Double Moisture Mask
Here's another product from DHC - its Double Moisture Mask. Using 100% natural cotton and natural ingredients, this mask is perfect for those of you with dry skin.
Credit: Natti Beautyshop on Facebook
The Hyaluronic acid present in the mask will seep through your skin and help to maintain moisture on the skin. Definitely an ideal companion for those dry winter days where your face seems tighter than normal.
From ¥500 (inclusive of tax)
4. Heating Pads
Travelling can be challenging, especially when you’re experiencing period pains or backaches ☹️ That’s when a heating pad comes in handy! Just simply stick it over the affected area and it’ll greatly reduce the pain and increase blood flow.
While it’s mostly used for sore parts of the body, these heating pads are also used as hand warmers in winter. And the best part is that it’s pocket-sized so you can bring it around conveniently and use it. The heat holds up till 6 hours (per pad)!
: ¥516 for the pink pack (inclusive of tax), ¥1317 for green-orange pack (inclusive of tax)
5. SENKA’s Perfect Whip Face Wash
For when you don’t have a cleanser during your trip, Perfect Whip is THE answer for you. Famous for its mochi-mochi
foam, this cleanser works like a cushion and gently cleanses your skin while still retaining its moisture. And while the product is available in Singapore and KL, it's still cheaper to buy it in Japan!
What better time to try this out than in summer and winter? ? You only need a little squeeze for plenty of lather! Plus, it’s the best bang for your buck so you can buy lots of them if you’d like ?
¥348 per bottle (inclusive of tax)
6. Mushiyoke (Mosquito Repellent)
If you’re from Malaysia, Singapore or Indonesia, we all have at least two things in common - hot weather and rainy season! With the latter comes the most notorious season ever - mosquito season! So it’s definitely best to bring home some repellents and if you think the ones in Japan are normal, think again. ?
You can find mushiyoke (mosquito repellent) pretty much in every form - like the wristband! A pretty useful thing to have with you especially when you’re travelling around a lot. The rubbery wristband supposedly helps keep the mosquitoes at bay for it contains essential oils as the active ingredients so you can be assured that it’ll smell very nice!
: From ¥600 per pack (for wristband)
a) Mushiyoke Patch
Or you can opt for the mushiyoke patch! A little different than the wristband, the second mushiyoke you can find is in the form of small patches. Most of the packages are often tied to famous cartoons - like Winnie the Pooh or Hello Kitty!
Where do you stick them? Simple, just put it anywhere on clothes, hats, strollers or bags. Imagine walking around the humid weather stress-free, and like the wristband, the patches also contain essential oils (which is good for you!)
: From ¥298 per packet
b) Mushiyoke Hanging Repellent
Last but not least, we have the hanging insect repellents! Works best in a room or any big space, this mushiyoke comes with a mesh/netting inside so you’ll want to be careful as it contains substances like pyrethroid.
This type of repellent is designated solely for outdoor.
: From ¥699
[P.S. Heading to Kyoto? Don't miss out on these 12 amazing Muslim-friendly eateries!]
7. Pelican Hinoki Deitansaki Soap
Did you know that Binchotan
, or activated charcoal is really good for your skin? And Pelican Hinoki Deitansaki is one of the bestsellers of charcoal-based soap. It's said that charcoal has been used by Japanese women since the Edo period as it's able to draw out toxins and impurities.
Credit: Beauty Magic by AYA on Facebook
This is definitely the beauty product to get if you need to detoxify your dry skin or alleviate acne or redness. Besides charcoal, this soap also has the wonderful hinoki
(cypress pine) scent which has calming effects. Another ingredient is bentonite clay, which helps smoothen and brighten your skin ?
8. Ashirira Foot Relax Patches
Ate too much greasy food lately? You’ll need these! This is THE remedy to reduce toxins in the body. The pads contain natural ingredients that stimulate acupuncture points on the body. Sounds pretty cool? And it really does the job!
Many Japanese people swear by this remedy and foreigners are slowly trying it out too, so we thought, why not? All you need to do is apply the foot patch on the bottom of your feet before sleeping and take it off the next morning! ?
: ¥1922 per pack (inclusive of tax)
If the patches change colours (from white to brown/black), don’t panic! Those are the toxins that have been extracted out so if anything, you should feel relieved! ?
9. Cooling Ice Eye Mask
Yet another smart Japanese invention! When we saw this in the store, we were absolutely thrilled. You can now treat your puffy eyes to a cool bath. It’s easy to feel tired these days, that’s why this eye mask helps!
It’s said to relieve headaches, sinus pressure, and puffy eyes. Place it in the fridge for an hour before use and just relax and unwind for up to 10 minutes.
: From ¥400 per pack
: There’s also a Steam Eye Mask that you can try too! Instead of having a cooling effect, this eye mask is produced from the comfortable heat of 40℃ that moistens and soothes tired eyes. Good for winter, if you ask us ?
: ¥1058 per pack (inclusive of tax)
10. Bioré Sunscreen
You really can’t go wrong with a classic like this go-to, lightweight sunscreen that is suitable for face and body. When you’re in Japan during the summer, you can find it almost anywhere!
This ultra-protective product is non-greasy and has water-like texture so for anyone who has oily skin, THIS is your holy grail! With moisturising ingredients like hyaluronic acid and citrus essence, you can be assured that your skin will feel hydrated throughout the day.
: From ¥528 per bottle
[P.S. Feeling hungry while in Tokyo? Make sure you fill up with these authentic Japanese restaurants!]
You may have Salonpas in your hometown but wait till you hear this - did you know that there are variations of this famous patch? ? Yes, we all can agree that the green Salonpas is pretty common but there’s actually tons of different colours in Japan and each represents a different function.
Blue is the type that stretches (which is very convenient!), while pink is skin-friendly for those who have sensitive skin and orange works the same as pink but has an extra warming effect, so choose your fighter! ?
: From ¥478 per pack
12. Kao’s Curel Moisturiser
Have you ever had to deal with dry, flaky skin? Anyone who has sensitive skin knows that it’s hard to find the perfect moisturiser. We feel the same! But with Kao’s Curel, you won’t be disappointed especially when you’re out during summer or winter.
This product contains ceramide which is the key ingredient that keeps your skin moist and healthy. While the price may be a bit expensive, we think it’s definitely worth a purchase!
From ¥880 per bottle
13. Febreze Fabric Freshener
How many of us struggle with keeping our clothes scented at ALL times? We know that feeling, especially when you’ve been keeping your clothes in a luggage, the scent tends to wear off so what’s the best way to deal with that?
These fabric fresheners! With these in hand, you don’t need to rush to the laundry. Just spray it on any fabric and you’ll have scented clothes in no time ?
From ¥398 per bottle
14. Rohto Lycée Eyedrops
The ultimate solution to dry or sore eyes when using contacts! This eye drop is wonderfully formulated using delicate ingredients that keep your eyes refreshed and rehydrated!
It also improves the discomfort when you put on your contact lenses. Just apply 2-3 drops in each eye and you’ll feel the cooling effect right away!
¥300 per pack
15. Softymo Nose Clean Pack
One of the most famous products in Japan, this nose clean pack has been known to work like magic! With just a small charcoal strip, you'd only have to put it on your nose for 15 minutes and it'll do the job of removing impurities, blackheads and whiteheads from your nose pores, leaving them soft and smooth.
Credit: Munchalee Songkram on Facebook
The best part about this is that it's value for money and easy to use, plus you can easily find it at many drugstores too.
From around ¥500
16. Armpit Sweat Pads
We’re saving the best for last! Everyone sweats, and it gets pretty bad during the summer so you resort to deodorant but that doesn’t really give you all-day protection ☹️ There’s another solution though - armpit pads!
¥475 per pack
After a long day, your sweat gives that stain on your shirt and you wouldn’t like that. Here’s where the armpit pads come into play. Extremely lightweight and have a strong absorption layer, these pads can give you an assurance that no more embarrassing underarm wetness to be seen! So, you can now safely say goodbye to smelly odour!
While we can’t guarantee that you’ll find these items when you’re there, we definitely think they're definitely worth hunting for. Plus, you can’t leave Japan without visiting its drug stores around so use this opportunity to go out and find these items! Like we did! ?