Beauty is in the Heart of the Drug Store

June 7, 2007 at 3:55 pm

The drug store is one of my favorite places to shop in Japan. I can blow an entire month’s salary in a matter of minutes on health aids, cosmetics, and other random products devised to make me a better, more beautiful person.

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You thought Japanese women were naturally youthful and stunningly beautiful, didn’t you? In actuality, they’re helped by a plethora of products out in the market these days. Remember those Biore pore strips? That started in Japan, prompting women across the country to drop their compacts and simply rid themselves of those ugly blackheads with one simple application.

Many Japanese women are especially fond of skin-lightening lotions; No, not the kind that turned Michael Jackson from black to white, but rather the kind that diminishes sunspots and dark freckles. Women who have clear, white skin are referred to as 美白(bihaku), which literally means “beautiful white”. I remember a Japanese friend being surprised by all the tan people in Los Angeles. “That’s because tan equates to being healthy,” I told her, later realizing how trite of a notion that was in this age of harmful UV rays. (Though I can’t deny there’s a large population of very, very tan women in Japan who have their own beauty regimen. I wish them the best of luck in their old age.)

You can also find an excellent assortment of makeup in Japan. American brands like Revlon and Cover Girl are popular, but I go directly to the domestic aisle where the packaging is far cuter and the products themselves feel better on your skin. Collagen is also a big in Japan, whether it be collagen gel facemasks or collagen-infused vitamin drinks. I spent a lot of hard-earned money on both products.

Sure none of this may ever return me to my early 20s… but it sure feels good to try.

Himawari

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Entry filed under: Japanese Business, Japanese Culture.

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