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For us who live in the tropics, travelling somewhere with more than two seasons (summer and rainy) can be quite challenging. This especially applies when our ideal destination and season of travel is at a 180-degree turn in terms of temperature. And with Japan being one of the hottest destinations during winter, prepping for this type of getaway, especially for first-timers can be pretty tricky. It's a great thing that Japanese convenience stores are loaded with all the goods that can help you get by. However, the language barrier can prove to be quite a challenge.


Well, don’t fret! In case you need to pick up emergency beauty essentials to help with your adjustment to the cold, we’ve got J-beauty vocabulary basics to get you started. 

Kairo (カイロ) = heat packs


Strutting in your best pose is no use when you're freezing. This is where heat packs come in handy. They're convenient for having different shapes and sizes that could fit your pockets, your shoes, and even your undergarments. There are even versions that look like sleeping masks to incorporate into your skincare routine after a long day of sightseeing. These can easily be activated by rubbing and shaking. Watch out for haru (貼る) if you want the adhesive type and haranai (貼らない) if you like the non-adhesive version.  


Crowd walking in the snow


Binkan hada (敏感肌) = sensitive skin 


Sensitivities get heightened especially during temperature changes. Most Japanese products are already gentle to begin with so you're pretty much safe with the myriad of options, but just to be extra careful, throwing in the phrase "binkan hada" can help ease your mind when it comes to your purchases. 

Hoshitsu kurimu (保湿クリーム) = moisturising cream


If we need moisturisers despite residing in our always-humid countries, then we definitely need to stock up on these when travelling somewhere cold. While it's easy to spot moisturisers in any drugstore or convenience store in Japan, knowing what moisturisers are called in their language can make browsing easier. 




Lippu kurimu (リップクリーム) = lip balm


No matter how moisturising your lippies are, actual lip balms or lip creams are still your best bets against the cold. Good thing Japan has a variety of lip balms that truly works wonders for your lips. There are also many medicated options you can add to your stash, so just look out or ask for yakuyo (薬用) if you want these variants. 

Tsubaki abura (椿油) = Japanese camellia oil


Looking for a new J-beauty find that will help you survive most winter skincare blues? Japanese camellia oil is definitely a holy grail pick you should not miss out on. Known for its hydrating and nourishing properties, you can easily incorporate this into your routine without worrying about grease or stickiness. It's also perfect not just for the face and body but also for your hair.


Boots with snow


Kaze yake (風焼け) = windburn


Contrary to popular belief, it's not exactly the cold that makes winter weather harsh on the skin. It's actually the dry wind that comes with it. The mix of steady chills and unexpected surges of breeze is what makes winter weather tricky, often leading to painful cases of windburn. In most cases, it can easily be remedied by the moisturising agents we've mentioned above. But should you need to get a higher level of treating necessities or head to the hospital for some serious windburn treatment, knowing what your condition is called is a great way to save some time and get aide ASAP.


Looking for specific J-beauty picks that serve maximum chicness? We've got them all right here.

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