Hey guys, let’s talk about one popular beauty product from Japan – DHC Lip Cream. I first reviewed this product in 2014. Since then, some things have changed. For instance, they now have tinted ones known as DHC Color Lip Cream, and “extra moisturising” ones among others.
I also found out a few cons of this product. Instead of updating the earlier post, I thought I would give DHC Lip Cream a major overhaul. You may want to read the 2014 review first to know how my perception of DHC Lip Cream has changed.
Done? Okay, let’s see what are some of the new developments of DHC Lip Cream.
DHC Lip Cream Has Become A Traveler’s Must-Buy in Japan
I didn’t remember DHC Lip Cream being a prominent must-buy item back in 2014 when I visited Hokkaido. However, things seem to have changed. In my visit to Okinawa and Osaka in 2018 and 2019 respectively, DHC Lip Cream had clearly become one of the top beauty products to buy in Japan.
The lip cream was often placed alongside Perfect Whip and other popular items at prominent spots outside drugstores to lure customers into the store. If that’s not conclusive of how popular DHC Lip Cream was, I also saw it being sold as a bundle set in Osaka Kansai Airport. And no, we are not talking about a bundle of three or five pieces. We are talking about 10 pieces in a pack.
Hello! That’s a lot of cream for the lips, man! If this product isn’t travelers’ favorite, there’s no reason why it would be bundled this way, right? Because, otherwise, how can anyone consume 10 lip creams before its expiry?
Now, there’s one question in my mind. Did I play a part in boosting its popularity?
Random Thoughts: Large Followers vs Ranking High on Google Search
Sorry about the self-promotion. Need to do a bit of marketing to help those (myself included) who are skilled in SEO and can provide long-term visibility to good products/services. Because I think many companies often just look at follower counts.
I think having a large follower count is good in making a quick and wide-reaching blast. But since this is often a short-lived exercise, combining a blast with a top-ranking blog post can extend the longevity of the marketing outreach.
I’m glad to see more companies noticing the value of bloggers who have consistent track records of gaining top spots on Google Search. Ok. Sorry to digress. Let’s return to DHC Lip Cream and learn more about what it does. :)
Tell Me More about DHC Lip Cream
DHC Lip Cream is a Japan-made lip treatment that contains moisturizing ingredients such as lanolin, olive virgin oil and vitamin E. Here’s the full ingredient list:
Ingredients: lanolin oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax/candelilla cera/cire de candelilla, beeswax/cera alba/cire d’abeille, lanolin, stearic acid, squalane, paraffin, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, pentylene glycol, tocopherol, phenoxyethanol, stearyl glycyrrhetinate, panax ginseng root extract, aloe barbadensis leaf extract
Lanolin is the main ingredient of DHC Lip Cream
If you notice, lanolin appears earlier in the ingredient list which means it has the highest content as compared to other ingredients.
What is Lanolin? It is a wax derived from wool-bearing animals such as sheep. That’s why you often see Lanolin cream being sold in countries like New Zealand (lots of sheep). And in case you wonder, there’s no animal cruelty involved as lanolin is extracted by washing the wool in hot water.
However, one thing you may need to know – Lanolin is a common allergen, though I’ve been fine using it despite having a long history of dry and sensitive lips.
What DHC Lip Cream Promises
DHC Lip Cream promises to nourish, hydrate and protect the lips from environmental stresses and defend against dryness. Specifically, here’s what each of the ingredients is supposed to achieve:
- Olive fruit oil: Nourishes, hydrates and protects lips from environmental stresses
- Squalane: Derived from olives; moisturizes and prevents irritation
- Ginseng root extract: Boosts hydration
- Lanolin oil: Moisturizes
- Aloe barbadensis leaf juice: Strengthens and conditions
I see “moisturizing” being mentioned all the time. So, let’s see how effective this lip cream is in combating dry lips.
What’s Great about DHC Lip Cream?
1. Soothes & Protects Lips against Dryness
I’m very confident in DHC Lip Cream’s moisturizing capability because it has never disappointed me.
Whether the climate is cold or dry, as long as I have my DHC Lip Cream with me, my lips would never give me any problem. In fact, this is the only lip product that I would bother climbing out of bed to apply (on days when I forget to take care of my lips) before resuming my sleep.
I also carry DHC Lip Cream with me when I travel because the climate and aircraft cabin/hotel air can be drying.
2. Provides Long-Lasting Moisture
Being nourishing is one thing. Having the hydration lasts a long time is another. I’m glad to report that DHC Lip cream is able to achieve both. I don’t normally need to reapply DHC Lip Cream unless I’ve gone through a meal or shower.
3. A Comfortable After-feel
DHC Lip Cream leaves a non-sticky layer over the lips that has the feel of a hydrating lipstick. Because of its light greasiness, my dry lips feel well-lubricated and comfortable.
4. Contains Anti-Oxidants
DHC Lip Cream contains olive oil and vitamin E which are anti-oxidants that are often touted as key anti-aging ingredients. So, if you are looking for a product that can delay the cruelty of time, then DHC Lip Cream is worth a consideration.
5. Sturdy Packaging that looks like a Lipstick
I’ve never ever emptied a drug-store lip balm (yah, those plasticky tube). Most of the time, I either forget about them or lose them.
Not with DHC Lip Cream and I think the reason is partially attributable to its lovely packaging. It opens and applies like a lipstick. Would you lose your lipstick? Ah…not me! :) I enjoy and look forward to using it.
6. It’s Cheap
DHC Lip Cream is priced affordably if you get it in Japan. I used to be able to get it at ¥400+, but in my most recent solo trip to Tokyo in May 2023, I could only find one at ¥600. Maybe I didn’t shop hard enough as I was busy sorting out my itineraries and exploring places. :)
Be it ¥400 or ¥600, it’s still good value for money considering how effective DHC lip cream is. Unlike a chapped stick, it very likely that I’ll be able to finish the whole tube without losing or forgetting about it. So, this makes the lip protectant great bang for the buck!
What’s Not Great?
1. Low Quantity
DHC Lip cream contains only 1.5g of product as compared to industry average of 3.5g. For info, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Lip Protectant Stick – another lip cream that I love – comes in 3.7g.
No wonder I was able to empty DHC Lip Cream easily. This, however, doesn’t stop me from repurchasing it because I think coming in a smaller quantity has its advantages.
Firstly, it’s always good to finish a used and opened product quickly. And by the term “quickly”, it’s actually quite a long period because I took 10 months to finish an earlier tube. Still, that’s “quicker” than my other beauty products which I often take a few years to empty or trash.
> RELATED: Read all about my beauty empties!
Secondly, although DHC Lip Cream comes in a smaller amount, it is priced at a reasonable price. I could get 2 or 3 tubes of DHC Lip Cream for the price of one Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Lip Protectant Stick.
2. Not Everyone Loves a Glossy Effect
DHC Lip Cream leaves a soft gloss over the lips. Ladies may not mind this, but I’m not so sure if most men can accept having glossy lips.
If you are a man reading this, please let me know your thoughts. :)
DHC Color Lip Cream for those who love sheer colours!
DHC Lip Cream comes in tinted forms too. I first noticed the colored lip cream in 2018 when I was holidaying in Okinawa. There, tinted or normal lip cream were priced the same. I still remember how mildly-disgusted I was when I came back to Singapore and saw the colored ones being sold at a steep premium.
During my Osaka visit in 2019, tinted ones were also priced at a higher price, but not by much. And I bought two – in red and orange – at ¥500 from Don Quijote.
Sheer & Barely Noticeable Color
Here’s a swatch of the tinted DHC Lip Cream. Actually, I only applied the orange color lip cream on my lower lip, leaving the upper lip bare. I want to show you how sheer and translucent the color is.
As you can tell, the color is hardly noticeable as compared to other tinted balms I’ve used.
Swatch: Red tint on top and orange below (DHC Color Lip Cream)
Swatch of DHC Color Lip Cream (Orange Tint)
Let me show you how the orange DHC Color Lip Cream looks on both lips.
Isn’t this sheer as compared to the color you see on the tube? Will the red color one be more obvious? Scroll down and take a look.
Swatch of DHC Color Lip Cream (Red Tint)
Yes, it seems like the red one is slightly more obvious than the orange tint. However, do note that the color doesn’t last long. Therefore, if you are paying a steep premium just for color, you may like to rethink.
Personally, I lean towards the original colourless DHC Lip Cream. Somehow, I’ve had the impression that they work better, i.e. more moisturising.
If you love colours, you may consider Elizabeth Arden’s tinted Lip Protectant Stick as it has a better colour pay-off than DHC Color Lip Cream.
I’ve repurchased DHC Lip Cream every time I visit Japan. I replenished 2 tubes in Okinawa in 2018 and 5 in Osaka in 2019. In 2023, I repurchased DHC lip cream again in Tokyo. Does this show how much I still love DHC Lip Cream after close to a decade?
Beauty lovers would know how rare it is to repurchase products for such an extensive period. In the beauty industry, new products come and go as they are often rebranded or repackaged to tempt us into trying/buying new things. Therefore, DHC Lip Cream is really an exception (in my instance) and it’s solely due to how effective it is in protecting the lips. This is no doubt one of my super beauty holy grails.
As such, I highly recommend you to include this in your Japan Must-Buy list, provided the price remains as affordable as it is today. Rating: 5/5.
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(This post was first published in Jun 2019 and last updated in May 2023 to include latest opinion.)
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