I Lived in Tokyo for a Week and Learned These 5 Japanese Skincare Secrets


Amanda Montell

One morning in mid-May, after having fallen asleep on an aeroplane in Los Angeles with an eye mask and a bowl of noodles in my belly, I woke up in Tokyo and couldn't believe my luck. The Japanese cosmetics brand Koh Gen Do had invited me on a press trip (in celebration of the reformulation of its iconic Aqua Foundation) to visit its headquarters, take a tour of the beauty shopping scene in Tokyo, and explore the sprawling city of kawaii fashion, ramen, kitty cafés and 9.4 million people. 

So I packed my quirkiest outfits and my passport. Having never been to any Asian country before, I had wide, eager eyes and few expectations. For five days, I was given a crash course in all things Japanese cosmetics and skincare: I discovered drugstore and department store brands, hydrating products and facial massage techniques I'd never so much as heard of before. And by the end of my trip, I felt like I had a new lease on skincare thanks to the lessons I'd learned from Japan's unique combination of centuries-old traditions and brand-new technology.

Curious to learn about how my week in Japan changed my beauty routine? Keep scrolling to read five Japanese skincare secrets I picked up in Tokyo.

Want more international skincare advice? These are the drugstore beauty products French women always buy when visiting the UK—so you know they must be good.

This trip was paid for by Koh Gen Do. Editors' opinions are their own.