During Tokyo’s dry winter weather, the average moisturizer just doesn’t cut it. Switch to a nutrient-rich facial oil or serum to keep skin smooth and supple. Here are some of our picks.

Oshima Tsubaki Oil

Often touted as a Japanese beauty must-have, this is a multipurpose oil that can be used on hair, face and body. It’s 100 percent natural and the main ingredient is oleic acid-rich camellia oil, which seals in moisture and contains antioxidants. Note that it’s quite a heavy oil so those prone to breakouts might find it exacerbates the problem.

From around ¥1,200 on amazon.co.jp, also available at drugstores



From the founder of Japanese brand F organics comes this new luxury, organic skincare range. Launched in November, it includes a concentrate oil and an intensive serum, which contain one very magical ingredient: swallow’s nest. Although the idea of using bits and pieces from a bird’s nest on your skin might sound odd, the practice has long been revered in Chinese skincare as the saliva produced by male swallows is rich in nutrients and helps to stimulate cell regeneration. Who knew!

Concentrate Oil ¥12,960, Intensive Serum ¥16,200, f-organics.jp


The Body Shop Oils of Life Facial Oil

This new offering from The Body Shop is packed with natural oils, including black cumin oil from Egypt, rosehip oil from Chile, and camellia oil from China – all known for their revitalizing and repairing properties to help improve skin radiance and reduce signs of ageing. The Oils of Life range also includes an “essence lotion,” “daily cream,” and “gel cream,” amongst other nourishing products.

¥6,480, www.the-body-shop.co.jp


Clé de Peau Beauté le Sérum

Promising to “awaken” your skin, this lightweight serum contains several exclusive, nutritious ingredients such as Dermal Motivator (for supporting the effective functioning of skin) and Illuminating Complex (for moisture stabilizing), which are designed to enhance your skin’s own power. It absorbs quickly so you won’t be left with oily skin, and serves as an ideal base for other skincare and makeup products.

¥25,000, www.cledepeau-beaute.com


Soaptopia la Squeeze Oil Slather

Aside from their catchy catchphrase – “slather after you lather” – what we love most about this lemon and lavender-scented beauty is that we can count nine fruit, nut, and seed oils in its list of ingredients. It’s great for the whole body, but it’s sold in a small bottle too, which is ideal for popping into your handbag for on-the-go touchups (that office aircon is so drying). It’s also “junk-free,” so it’s vegan and environmentally friendly.

¥1,500 (59ml), ¥3,600 (227ml), soaptopia.jp



Launched this autumn, BUDDHI is the first product of a new range called Retreat Cosmetics, designed to encourage genuine healthy skin, and harmony of body and mind (in Sanskrit, “buddhi” refers to “the higher mind”). This luxury serum, which doubles up as a massage oil, is available in three scents (Nobara, Igusa, and Mitsu), and contains precious organic, fatty acid-rich prinsepia oil as a main ingredient.

¥19,440 each, principlecosmetics.com