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

Photo: Amanda Montell

One morning in mid-May, after having fallen asleep on an airplane 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? See what happened when one of our editors lived like a French girl for seven days. 

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