MUST-KNOW drug store vocabulary for buying Japanese skin care products!

22 January 2019 by Jojo

Are you planning a trip to Japan? In case you want to go on a beauty shopping trip in a Japanese drug store you better be prepared! The first time I visited Japan I was overwhelmed, so many brands, so many bottles, so much I couldn't read! I had no idea what to look for and opted for Japanese skin care items with cute packaging which ended up not being that good as the ones that I have discovered recently. If you want your shopping trip to be a success it might be useful to learn some Japanese or you can use this article as a guide!

Wasei Eigo

Wasei Eigo is a term used for Japanese-English which is often incorrect English that was lost in translation. That's why I recommend you ignore any English written on the packaging, you might end up buying something completely different from what you wanted! For example in Japanese lipstick means lip balm and beauty serum is called essence in Japanese.

Skin type

Dry skin vocabulary if you're looking for moisturizing skin care:

乾燥肌(kanso hada) : Dry Skin
ドライスキン(dry skin) : Dry Skin

しっとり(shittori) : Moist
保湿(hoshitsu) : Moist
高保湿(ko-hoshitu) : Extra moist 
潤い, うるおい(uruoi) : Moist

Oily skin?

オイリー肌(oily hada) : Oily Skin
オイリースキン(oily skin) : Oily Skin 
脂性肌(shisei-hada) : Oily Skin
べたつく肌(betatsuku hada) : Sticky Skin, Oily Skin

Go for products with:
さっぱり(sappari) : Light Moist

Sensitive skin? Keep these words in mind!

敏感肌用(binkan-hada-yo) : For Sensitive Skin
デリケートな肌用(delicate-na-hada-yo) : For Sensitive Skin

敏感肌(binkan hada) : Sensitive Skin
アレルギー肌(allerugy hada) : Allergy Skin
アトピー肌(atopy hada) : Atopic Eczema
アトピースキン(atopy skin) : Atopic Eczema
アトピー性湿疹(atopy sei shishin) : Atopic Eczema

If you want to keep your tan watch out for these whitening products

美白(bihaku) : Whitening
ホワイトニング(whitening) : Whitening

Don't worry though, these products don't contain bleach or other damaging ingredients, rather than whitening they are brighten your skin with ingredients like vitamin C!

Anti-aging skin care:

アンチエイジング(anti-aging) : Anti-Aging 
エイジングケア(aging care) : Anti-Aging

Other skin vocabulary:

にきび, ニキビ(nikibi) : Acne
角質(kakushitsu) : Dead Skin
しわ(shiwa) : Wrinkles
ホウレイ線(houreisen) : Laugh Lines
毛穴(keana) : Skin Pores 
毛穴の黒ずみ(keana no kurozumi) : Blackheads
目のクマ(meno kuma) : Dark Circles

普通肌(futsu hada) : Normal Skin
ノーマルスキン(normal skin) : Normal Skin

Makeup remover

クレンジング(cleansing) : Makeup Remover
メイク落とし(make otoshi) : Makeup Remover
オイルクレンジング(oil cleansing) : Makeup Remover Cleansing Oil
ミルククレンジング(milk cleansing) : Makeup Remover Cleansing Milk
クレンジングジェル(cleansing gel) : Makeup Remover Cleansing Gel
クリームクレンジング(cream cleansing) : Makeup Remover Cleansing Cream
クレンジングシート(cleansing sheet) : Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes
リキッドクレンジング(liquid cleansing) : Liquid Makeup Remover
     Cleansing (クレンジング) means makeup remover in Japan.

アイメイクアップリムーバー(eye makeup remover) : Eye Makeup Remover
ポイントメイクリムーバー(point make remover) : Makeup Remover for Eyes and Lips
マスカラリムーバー(mascara remover) : Mascara Makeup Remover

コットン(cotton) : Facial Cotton Pads
カットコットン(cut cotton) : Facial Cotton Pads
コットンパフ(cotton puff) : Facial Cotton Pads

Facial cleansers

洗顔料(sengan- ryo) : Facial Cleansing Products
洗顔フォーム(sengan-foam) : Facial Cleansing
泡洗顔フォーム(awa-sengan-foam) : Facial Cleansing Foam
洗顔せっけん, 洗顔石鹸,洗顔石けん(sengan-sekken) : Facial Cleansing Soap
洗顔ソープ(sengan soap) : Facial Cleansing Soap
洗顔パウダー(sengan powder) : Facial Cleansing Powder

Japanese moisturizers and creams

Keshousui 化粧水 Japanese facial lotion:

Apply keshousui after toner by using the patting technique. Keshousui is a liquid moisturizer used in every Japanese skin care routine!

乳液(nyueki, nyu-eki) 乳液 Japanese skin creamy lotion

Nyueki is supposed to be applied after keshousui to seal your hydrated skin and prevent the evaporation of keshousui. It has a milky slightly thicker consistency than keshousui

クリーム(cream) : Facial Cream
フェイスクリーム(face cream) : Facial Cream

facial cream can be applied after nyueki

美容液(biyoueki, biyoueki) : Beauty Serum
エッセンス(essence) : Beauty Serum

All about the masks

マスク(mask) : Facial Mask
パック(pack) : Facial Mask
フェイスマスク(face mask) : Facial Mask
フェイスパック(face pack) : Facial Mask

シートマスク(sheet mask) : Facial Sheet Mask
シートマスク パック(sheet mask pack) : Facial Sheet Mask

洗い流すマスク(arai-nagasu-mask) : Facial Mask Required to Rise Off
洗い流すパック(arai-nagasu-pack) : Facial Mask Required to Rise Off

Not sure what sheet mask is best for you? Take this quiz!

Vocab for the eyes

アイクリーム(eye cream): Eye Cream
目元用クリーム,目もと用クリーム(memoto-yo-cream) : Eye Cream 
目元専用クリーム(memoto-senyo-cream) : Eye Cream

目元美容液, 目もと美容液(memoto-biyoeki) : Eye Serum

まつげ美容液(matsuge-biyoeki) : Beauty Serum for Eyelashes

Lip products

リップクリーム(lip cream) : Lip Balm (Stick Type)
リップケアクリーム(lip care cream) : Lip Balm (Stick Type)
リップスティック(lip stick) : Lip Balm (Stick Type)
リップバーム(lip balm) : Lip Balm (Jar Type)
色付きリップクリーム(iro-tsuki lip cream) : Tinted Lip Balm (Stick Type)
色付きリップスティック(iro-tsuki lip stick) : Tinted Lip Balm (Stick Type)

We hope that you found this guide useful! Visiting a Japanese drug store can be both exciting and exhausting if you don't know what you're looking for. Luckily @cosme always keeps us up to date with the best drug store skin care products!

What are you looking forward most to buying at Japanese drugstores? Leave us a comment below!

Source: itisapieceofcake2011

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