A guide for your first winter in Japan

Winter is on your doorstep and the skin problems related to winter will also be coming along. Itchiness of the skin, dandruff, stomach issues, joint pains etc. will be affecting some of you as the temperature gradually reduces to zero degrees. I am also facing some of such issues with the dry surroundings and the cold climate. My first winter in Japan was in 2015 when I was unable to get advice or unable to understand those words told by the people around me. The skin itchiness made me mad for which I went to some drug store to find a moisturizing cream to escape from it. And dandruff, which I have explained in another article. Let us see how to find some products to get along with the winter climate in Japan.

Dry skin/ Skin irritation/ Itchiness

As the atmospheric temperature is falling down, the surroundings will be getting drier. The use of air conditioner or a heater inside the room and in the office will altogether make the skin dry and cause itchiness, cracks etc. Try these at the beginning of the season itself so that you and your skin will be in the safe zone.

A moisturizing lotion(very helpful for itchy skin)
  1. Apply body moisturizer after every bath or if needed twice every day.
  2. If you are feeling a slight itch, try not to use bathing soap or buy some mild soap or bathing lotions. Apply body moisturizer after the bath.
  3. Use a humidifier(Kashitsuki-加湿器) in your room. You can find it in a home appliance store. Or leave a bucket of water near your heater. You may also hang some wet clothes inside your room.
  4. Drink enough water.

Guide to winter skin care products

There are a lot of creams available in the Japanese market to prevent the itchiness due to dry weather. These are some of the commonly available winter skin care products.

Lip cream: cracking and chopping of the lips are a great issue during the winter season. This is a very helpful lip cream that I have seen int he Japanese market.

Not only skin issues, health issues related to cold climate have to be also scared of. Stomach flu, Influenza are all very common at this time.

Keep yourselves warm

In Japan, apartments and homes are not equipped with a centralized air conditioning system. You have to look for an air conditioner for your living or bedroom. If you are looking for the cheapest option, you can try a Kerosene(Toyu=灯油) stove. It is cheap to buy a stove, but you have to buy Kerosene to refill the stove tank, most probably a tin(18 liters) in every week if you are using it for a minimum of 7 hours a day. It is not safe to use it in homes with kids.

Fan heater

The next option will be electrically operated fan heater. They are available in various price ranges(5000 yen onwards), sizes, and shapes.

Kairo: Kairos is warmers available at a very reasonable price. It can help you to keep yourselves warm during the cold climate. When you go outside and need to warm yourself this will be really helpful. Disposable Kairos for various parts of your body- fee, stomach, arms and so on- are available at convenience stores, supermarkets as well as the 100 yen shops. It can be found in two forms: Adhesive type(貼る) and non-adhesive type(貼らない). Reusable type Kairo is also available in the market.