Skincare Wanderlust

Asian Supermarket Beauty Aisle

August 3, 2015

I like grocery shopping. When I’m travelling, I love it. Supermarkets and pharmacies are two spots I always go in a new place. I like to poke around the aisles, look at the different packaging, people watch, see the prices – a lot of people may find this boring no matter where they are, but I think it’s great. I find it’s often a good introduction to a place and culture. When I’m stuck at home, I look for the next closest thing in my own city: a British tuck shop, bodega, Asian supermarket, etc. Granted this is easier to find in a bigger city.

When I lived in Sydney, Australia there was a Japanese store nearby full of shelves bursting with the coolest stuff (in Bondi Junction, for any Sydneysiders wondering!). I recently visited a big Asian supermarket near my house in Toronto and was really excited at the size of their beauty section.  This time I picked up a few things I wanted to share.

Face masks from Taiwanese brand My Beauty Diary are really popular and for good reason. They’re hydrating, fun to use, smell nice and come in adorable single-use packaging. I first picked some up on a trip to LA.

I like the Strawberry Yogurt Mask when my skin is feeling dry and the Rose Brightening Aroma Mask for when it’s dull (and I want to try more!). A box contains 10 individual sheet masks and costs $15.99 (at least at my local). The only thing about these masks is that you will scare the bejesus out of yourself, and anyone unlucky enough to be nearby, when you put it on. It’s the spa night equivalent of this.

I also threw a couple of individual masks in my cart. One has snail essence, which I’ve been tempted to try for a long time, and it was only 99 cents. Cheap thrill. Is it weird to smear snail on your face? Mmmmmno. To be honest, I swing between “I’m avoiding parabens and phthalates and petrolatum and sulfates…” to “If you said applying cement around my eyes would stop wrinkles, I would do it” (as Sofia Vergara said). The other is a milk moisturizing mask for your hands. My mitts feel perpetually dry and it was $4.99 with a cartoon cat and a girl dressed in a cow costume. What’s not to like? 

Do you visit the beauty aisle of your local Asian supermarket? I’d love your suggestions of what to try next!

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