Mum Talk

By on February 27, 2010
A mum’s day-to-day routine and responsibilities ranging from packing school lunches, nursing babies, and doing household chores can easily put a drain on her energy.  Because of the time and energy sapped away by parenting and putting the house in order, her own health gets minimal to no attention.Mothers, being the center of the home and a source of emotional support to the family, deserve occasional pampering in order to function normally, stay sane, and rub that happy disposition onto their loved ones.  After all, contented mums create happy homes.The long cold winter months are gone, spring is here, and warmer temperatures make it a favorable time to indulge in spring cleaning from inside out.  Recharging, regrouping, healing, changing a look or simply indulging in all sorts of uplifting treatments can truly work in restoring our energy and balance.Although getting spa treatments will no doubt help us achieve that, not everyone can afford regular visits, especially at a time when the current economic climate dictates frugal spending.  If that’s the case, it’s not all doom and gloom.  With the help of applying smart cosmetics and products which can save you some yen while being able to go after what your body cries out to do, you can create your own spa in the comfort of your home at your own time without burning a hole in the pocket.Tokyo is a haven for all sorts of health and beauty products making anyone spoilt for choice.  If you don’t know where to look, here are some of the latest pro-mum products available locally to get your health and beauty regimen started … all at a fraction of spa cost!Skin Food Premium Gold Caviar Line ¥3990 (145ml)
This Korean brand of skin products utilizes and is inspired by all natural ingredients to help promote healthy skin and bring back that youthful, energetic glow.  This newest line uses extracts from Russian caviar to add nutrients and moisture to the skin, while gold particles provide a slight shimmer effect adding to both a healthier look and feel to your skin.  Available exclusively at the Skin Food store located on 1F of the Olympia Annex building in Jingumae, Shibuya-ku.

Clinique All About Eyes Rich ¥3,360 (15ml)

One of their newest products is perfect for this time of year when we’re all feeling (and looking) a bit tired.  This lightly scented moisturizer couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time.  All About Eyes Rich provides relief and enhancement around the eyes by moisturizing and boosting one’s own natural collagen production.  The eye area is one of the most sensitive spots of the skin and by using a light moisturizer like this one you can reduce the appearance of dark circles, fine lines, and puffiness.  This and other Clinique products can be found at most pharmacies, including Matsumoto Kiyoshi and Papas.

Kao Joki de Eye Mask ¥498 (5 pack)

When you’re a busy working woman or a new mum, it’s tough to get a good night’s rest.  Forcing yourself to get up before you have managed to get a full eight hours frequently results in your eyes looking puffy and feeling tired.  Kao brand’s camomile and lavender-scented hot masks will give your eyes that extra boost needed to get you through the morning.  The pleasing scents will help awaken the rest of your senses, leading you to feel generally more alert.  These hot masks can also help relieve sinus pressure and headaches.  You can pick up the Kao Joki de Eye Mask at any Papas or Matsumoto Kiyoshi pharmacies.

Pellicerapi Shampoo and Treatment Trial Pack ¥1,050

Although winter may technically be over, the damage that it has wreaked on your hair may still remain.  Pellicerapi’s shampoo and treatment pack gets down to the root of the problem and repairs even the most extreme cases of damaged hair.  This treatment pack infuses the hair fibres with moisture derived from natural sources, allowing the hair to become smoother.  Available at most Tokyo pharmacies, including Matsumoto Kiyoshi.

Mama & Kids Natural Mark Cream ¥3,360 (120g)

This moisturizing cream contains all natural ingredients, so mums need not be worried about their babies’ safety; it’s safe for both you and your new baby.  This maternity cream not only allows mums to reduce the appearance of stretch marks; it can also be used to keep your skin moist.  Mama & Kids products are available at most Tokyu Hands locations.

Moom Spa Lavender Organic Hair Remover ¥4,935 (170g)

This sugar-based hair remover is ideal for sensitive skin as it contains no chemicals, wax, or resin.  All ingredients are 100 per cent natural and organic.  This convenient at-home kit is also available in tea tree and rose scents, and a special kit is available for men’s hair-removal needs.  Available at most Tokyu Hands locations.

Coenzyme Q10 Pumice Stone ¥840

Get rid of dry skin and keep it away with this multipurpose pumice stone.  It not only gently rubs away dry skin from elbows, knees, and heels, but it also provides these areas with natural moisture from coenzyme Q10 that helps keep your skin feeling moist longer.  Available at most Tokyu Hands locations.

Shiseido Crystallizing Aquafix ¥1,575 (90g)

Give your hair an extra boost with this leave-in treatment.  Applied to the hair before styling, this gel-based product leaves your hair looking and feeling healthy with an incredible shine and a smooth texture.  Available at Loft or any cosmetics store that carries the Shiseido brand.

Essence Hair Ceutical ¥1,260

Here’s one for extremely damaged hair in need of a quick fix.  This unscented serum repairs split ends using all-natural ingredients including multivitamins, jojoba oil, soybean plant extracts, loquat leaf extract, and linden extract.  This serum is to be used on damp hair before styling to keep hair looking and feeling smooth all day.  Available at most Loft locations.

Nail*Nail Nail Gel Treatment ¥819 (9g)

This multipurpose nail treatment helps heal damaged nails and dry skin, and when used in conjunction with regular hand and nail care will help strengthen nails preventing further damage.  Keratin, which is one of the main ingredients, is one of the main proteins responsible for promoting healthy hair, nails, and teeth and, combined with herbal oils and milk, helps in stimulating healthy nail growth in the future.  Available at most Loft locations.

Mineral, mineral on the wall …

Currently creating raves in Japan are Dead Sea bath salts.  Unlike the regular salt made up of more than 90% sodium, Dead Sea salt’s content is as low as 10% and slightly bitter in taste.  This is because the other 90% are rich minerals essential to the skin’s health, like magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, sodium chloride, bromides, sulphates, etc.  The body of water where it is sourced from in the Mediterranean has the highest concentration of salt, compared to other seas or oceans, where no water creatures can ever survive, thus the name, “Dead Sea”.

It is a legendary fact that Dead Sea salt has extraordinary medicinal properties, anti-aging and therapeutic benefits – one reason why many foreign travellers flock to Israel every year.

• Anti-aging effects
• Dead Sea salt relieves skin diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, etc.
• Getting rid of cellulite is a bit of a challenge to a number of mums from age 20 and above.  It is important to know how they come into being.  Although there are non-surgical treatments available, not everybody can afford to have a series of costly treatments.  Most experts say that cellulites are formed as a result of accumulating toxic waste elements in the body which get stuck in the tissues over time due to poor diet, some hormonal fluctuations connected to pregnancy, and menstrual cycle including the shifts occurring while taking contraceptives.  Dead Sea bath salts help in general cleansing of the skin to remove impurities that are trapped in the inner skin tissues or fat pockets.  Unlike lotions and creams that rest on the outer skin layer, Dead Sea salt penetrates deeper into the inner dermis doing the work from the inside out.

Which brands work?

We’ve heard about some spas in Tokyo doing Dead Sea salt body therapy but, because it is fairly new in the Japanese market, only a few cosmetic stores actually sell it.  From the various brands that hit the stores recently, we have shortlisted two products that are starting to build a name in Japan due to their remarkable efficacy.

GEOMAR Thalasso Scrub

After its astounding success in Europe, Ishizawa Laboratories imported GEOMAR Thalasso Scrub to Japan from Italy.  Packed in a jar, Geomar is a cocktail of Dead Sea salt granules in rich emollients made up of essential oils infused with spa aroma, Vitamin E, and Retinol.

Applied to wet skin, massaged, and rinsed away, this product works very well in dry skin areas such as elbows and heels; you’ll be amazed with the silky texture of your skin.  Works wonders with cellulites after three months of continued use.  Downside:  Contact with polished nails not advised.

Available at Loft Shibuya, Tokyu Hands Shibuya and Plaza Store (B1 of Mark City, Shibuya), and MS Style (inside Omotesando subway station).
Jar size ¥2,625 (600g)
Pouch ¥252 (40g)

Mineral Osmo

Imported from Israel, Mineral Osmo contains minerals sourced from the Dead Sea between Israel and Jordan.  The high concentration of minerals has a very effective moisturizing effect that aids in exfoliating dead skin cells, treats cellulites, improves blood circulation, and promotes sweating to get rid of toxic waste in the body.  Mineral Osmo may be massaged onto the skin before bathing or simply dissolved in a hot tub (38-40C) and rinsed off after.
1 kg. pack     ¥4,515
To order online:
To order by fax:  (03) 5653-6338

Health Care

Aside from the therapeutic value of spa treatments, mums are also prone to some other irregularities in the body depending on the state of her health.  When for any reason you detect a sign that prevents you from enjoying a normal day, don’t hesitate to ring your family doctor for an appointment.  Haven’t got one?  Check out these highly-recommended medical practitioners who are happy to work with the foreign community.

Primary Care Tokyo    

Dr. Joe Kurosu, an American citizen and graduate of Yale Medical School, provides adult and pediatric primary care services at Primary Care Tokyo in Shimokitazawa. Treatment is available for acute and chronic illnesses, minor injuries, as well as preventative care including immunizations, pap smears, school as well as employment physicals. STD testing and treatment, digital X-rays, blood tests and electrocardiograms are also available. Consultations are in English or Japanese on an appointment or walk-in basis, in private examination rooms. National Health Insurance is accepted.     (03) 5432-7177

Tokyo British Clinic

The Tokyo British Clinic is founded by British General Medical Practitioner Dr. Gabriel Symonds, who has been looking after the health of the foreign expatriate community in Tokyo since 1984.  A graduate of the University of London, he has wide experience in general and family medicine and is one of the few foreign doctors licensed to practise in Japan.  He received post-graduate training in a broad medical field and is competent to treat a wide area of patients’ concerns including babies and children, and is able to detect more serious disorders necessitating specialist attention or hospital admission.  (03) 5458-6099

Reiko Dental Clinic

An ideal family dental clinic for foreigners, it has the latest x-ray facility, accommodating bilingual dentists, and is a one-stop shop for all dental concerns from regular tooth-filling to treatment of chronic conditions as well as teeth-bleaching.  Compared to fees asked by other long-term English-speaking dentists in Tokyo, their clinic by far offers better rates.  It’s maybe time to change and save a few yen.  National Health Insurance accepted.

About Daphne Weber