Teppanyaki, cars, Muji, fashion, Hello Kitty and the love of all things cute and kitsch – it’s fair to say that the Japanese know how to get things right. When it comes to beauty, the western market takes a massive backseat against the innovative products that the Japanese have to offer. Since the release of Shiseido and SK-II and Shu Uemura into the mainstream market, Japanese beauty products have caught the eye of makeup artists, beauty editors and enthusiasts around the world.
The Japanese take a hugely different approach to beauty as to what we’re used to in the western world. Design, packaging and natural ingredients take priority in majority of their products; which provide solutions to almost any beauty ailment you can think of. Open pores, fine lines, dark patches, and so much more are all addressed in the Japanese beauty industry; which is not hard to believe as Japanese women are incredibly blessed with beautiful skin.
In recent years, the breakthrough of lesser known Japanese brands such as DHC and Suqqu have paved the way for Japanese beauty to become more accessible to our shelves. My skincare cabinets are filled with sheet masks, snail creams, lotions, potions and all that in between as I have discovered that the fountain of youth really does exist in Japan. Not only are these products oh so cute to look at with their kitsch designs, but the formulas exceed way beyond anything that I’ve ever bought in Boots or Superdrug. The Japanese just know beauty and they have dominated the beauty market beyond belief.
Daiso is Japan’s equivalent of Britain’s Poundland. With goods priced at around 100 Yen each (approx 73p), it’s a beauty lover’s haven. To be honest, I’m not particularly partial to trying any beauty products from the pound store (snob alert), but when it comes to Japanese beauty, I’ll give it a go.
I first discovered Daiso’s Natural Pack, Black Peel Off Mask when researching solutions for my enlarged pores and annoyingly obvious blackheads on my nose. I’m forever researching into the latest skincare trends and I was on the look out for a natural alternative to the typical nose strips that are readily available in the stores.
Having researched into the benefits of charcoal, I knew that this was the core ingredient to look out for when I’m looking to draw out impurities. I don’t normally gravitate towards charcoal as I feel it quite drying on my already parched face, but I love the feeling of squeaky clean skin and charcoal was definitely my best option. Apparently the Japanese have been using charcoal for many many years to maintain clear complexions and, well let’s be honest, you and I both know that if the Japanese smeared cow dung on their faces to maintain a beautiful complexion, I’m going to follow suit!
Daiso’s Natural Pack, Black Peel Off Mask works just like a standard peel off face mask, but supercharged with active ingredients to not just draw out, but practically vaccum all the bad stuff out of your face.Although it’s recommended for the entire face, I have been a little skeptical of applying this all over, mostly because the formula is so strong that I’m worried I’ll be left with only one layer of skin and no eyebrows. I do, however, love applying this to my nose area to really deep clean and extract what doesn’t come out with my regular skincare routine.
The packaging is fairly simple, but not much can be expected for a couple of quid. I like the fact that the formula comes in a squeezey tube rather than a tub, but the white packaging can become quite dirty after some use. It certainly doesn’t help that the ingredients, description and instructions are all in Japanese, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure it out. Instructions of this mask found online does state that it is not to be used more than twice a week; which I would only recommend to those with problematic skin. I use this as a nose pack once a week; which leaves my skin completely clear and super soft for days after.
It’s recommended to apply a fairly thick layer of the mask to your face or chosen area in order to get the maximum benefits when peeling away the mask. You get around 80g in a squeezey tube, which will last you a fair bit, but considering how much you need to put on, I could have done with a bigger size. The product itself is a black, sticky consistency; which dries fairly quickly so you have to work quick. Luckily it doesn’t stain your fingers like some charcoal masks and certainly doesn’t smell like the remnants of a bbq.
I won’t gross you all out with the results of my nose peels, but just know – this is by far the most powerful and effective peel off mask that I have ever used! You can visibly see the ‘gunk’ that you never knew existed on your skin (and I like to think that I have a fairly maintained complexion). It even works well at removing the small hairs that may exist around your face. I’ve always found that my foundation never sits well around my nose and forehead areas due to the tiny bumps of clogged up pores, but this mask has made the world of difference. I must warn, however, that this mask is perhaps not suitable for those with sensitive skin, but for someone like me, it’s like taking an airbrush to your skin.
Upon first application, the formula feels somewhat cooling on the skin, almost mint like. My husband has also tried this mask and he felt it a little itchy and uncomfortable to use, but to be honest, he has a completely different skin type to mine. The mask takes no longer than 15 minutes to dry to a complete matte finish; which indicates that the mask is ready to be peeled off. If you’re going to apply this all over the face, I recommend that you do not talk, eat, drink or basically breathe during the time that you have it on as stretching of your facial muscles can cause the mask to lose its adherence to the skin.
So where can you purchase this Japanese miracle? Well it’s not easily sourced in this country, that’s for sure. I searched high and low for retailers in the UK offering the mask close to its RRP, however, I could only locate it on Amazon and eBay. I personally purchased mine through Amazon, because of it’s next day delivery (thanks Prime), but it did mean that I paid slightly more than other stores. Hopefully one day I can find myself shopping the beauty aisles of Japan, but until then this gem of a mask can be found here and here.
What Japanese beauty products have you tried? Comment below with suggestions of what I could try next.