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Singaporeans love experiencing winter overseas, but the only gripe? Nothing we buy is suitable for our weather. So if you’re travelling to Japan this month, take advantage of all the limited edition beauty products that come out during summer. From cooling fabric sprays to sunscreens specially formulated for humid weather, almost every product gets a summer rejig. 

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Two we’ve spotted recently is Biore’s UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence, which now comes in a new Rose-scented formula, and Shiseido Anessa’s Perfect Essence UV Spray SPF50+ PA++++. Don’t forget to take advantage of the many spray-on sunscreens if you’re travelling around by train, it’ll come in handy when you’re out and about!

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While single sheet masks are sold in Japan, those in the drugstores usually come in resealable packets of 5 or more, meant for use at home. Facial masks with ingredients such as collagen, coenzyme q10 and hyaluronic acid are the most common, since anti-ageing and hydration top the list of beauty concerns in the country. 

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There are also limited edition – as with all things in Japan – masks you’ll find at different cities in Japan. The cult-favourite Lululun mask is one example, soaked in serums containing green tea in its Kyoto version, and haskap berry – a local produce, rich in antioxidants – in its Hokkaido version. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll find these limited edition versions in drugstores in Tokyo, too.

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Want to try a beauty product, but not sure if it works (and don’t want to get stares for asking for samples at the counter)? Just buy them, then. Sample packs and trial kits are everywhere. And we don’t just mean drugstore brands, but other stuff we usually get from the counters in Singapore.

Plus, there are many subsidiary lines and affordable labels that major beauty houses like Kanebo, Kose and Shiseido have to offer in drugstores (think Maquillage and Esprique).

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One we like that is unique to Japan is Shiseido’s d program, which targets sensitive skin – great if your skin’s undergoing some holiday-stress!

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Another to look out for is Kanebo’s Suisai Beauty Clear Powder, which is a cleansing powder containing enzymes to get rid of pore-clogging dead skin and excess sebum. They’re all individually sealed, so it’ll help you pack light if you’re heading out of the capital for a short side trip.

We get a decent variety of beauty supplements in Singapore – from brands like DHC, Astalift and Haba, to name a few – but it all goes over the top in Japan, literally. Drugstores are overflowing with them; be it pills, drinks or powder mixes, beauty supplement fans are sure to have a hard time choosing just one to try. 

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Heading elsewhere instead? Here are 3 best beauty stores and spas you must check out in Bangkok and the top places to bring your kids to in London!