For those of you who are planning a trip to Japan, you might have come across Oshima Tsubaki Oil. It’s often listed as a Japan Must-buy beauty product and has garnered pretty good online reviews. That really sets me wondering why!
I bought one in Japan after doing the same online research. And guess what, this is definitely a miss for me, and there aren’t many misses among my haul in Japan.
Truth be told, I’m about to throw Oshima Tsubaki Oil away, probably after this review is published.
There’s still 60% of the oil sitting in the glass bottle. No, I’m not being wasteful. Read on and you’ll know why I have no other choice.
About Oshima Tsubaki Oil
Oshima Tsubaki Oil is said to be multi-purpose and can be used on skin and hair. It is made of Camellia flower and comes in two sizes. The one I bought was a 40ml bottle that cost ¥820 (SGD10). It has a larger size at 60ml – check out the latest price on Amazon and Ebay.
When I bought this, I couldn’t understand the product description and instruction as they were in Japanese. With some help from the pictorial illustrations and some characters that are similar to Chinese, I could make out the following:
- 100% vegetable oil
- Free of fragrance and colour
- For Hair Treatment, use 1-3 drops on damp hair, then blow dry (see illustrations on website)
- Other uses: It can also be used as scalp care, oil pack and skin moisturizer (check out its website for more information). I’m guessing from some illustrations that it can also be used as a makeup remover.
Cure for Cold Itch?
My initial motivation for getting Oshima Tsubaki Oil was due to cold rashes. It was so cold and dry in Japan that I was itching all over since the third day. I guess the daily onsen (hot spring) session might have aggravated or worsened the itch.
A good solution I thought was to get the richest moisturizer I could find. And OIL it shall be.
After applying Oshima Tsubaki Oil religiously and generously for two whole weeks, my itch did not get any better. I won’t penalize Oshima Tsubaki Oil for this since it is not marketed as a cold itch reliever. But in case you want a cure for cold itch, this is NOT the one.
Why Oshima Tsubaki Hair Oil is a Huge Miss for me
In this session, I’ll be reviewing Oshima Tsubaki Oil as a hair treatment because it’s not possible for me to use this oil as a skin moisturizer in hot and humid Singapore.
1. Too Oily
The texture is viscous. It’s very oily even for the dry, thick and coarse hair that I have. I used only 3 drops for my chest-length hair and could see oily streaks on it that last for hours.
This is definitely the oiliest hair oil I’ve tried. Among the two that currently sit on my dresser (Asience Leave-on Treatment Oil and Kae Nutri-Radiance Hair Serum), Oshima Tsubaki Hair Oil is the least preferred.
2. Inconvenient Application
The application instruction of ‘using on damp hair, and then blow-drying it’ is not exactly in line with my regular routine. For the health of my hair, I try to avoid blow-drying it unless absolutely necessary. I also don’t have the habit of using oily hair product on freshly-cleansed hair.
Is it only me who would reach out for hair serum/oil only when the hair is frizzy and not damp? Cause damp hair won’t look frizzy, right?
This explains why I didn’t get much chance of using Oshima Tsubaki Oil.
3. Smells Bad after a While
This is the deal-breaker. Within less than 6 months, Oshima Tsubaki Oil started smelling funny. It has turned rancid and will make your hair smell bad too. Mind you, the smell will stay with you for the entire day….ouch!
There’s no way I can empty the bottle within 6 months. In fact, if it wasn’t for the intensive use of this oil as a body moisturizer in Japan, there might be more of this going to waste.
Based on industry average, a more reasonable shelf life should be 2-3 years from manufacturing date.
4. Not Easy to Spread
Due to the viscosity, it wasn’t easy spreading the oil. That’s probably why the first few contact points appeared streaky.
5. Prefer Pump Dispenser
This may be a personal preference. I do find pump dispenser more appealing and convenient for daily usage than twist-open-pour bottle.
6. Not Travel-Friendly
Now, this is not a major miss for most of us. For frequent travelers, do note that this oil comes in a heavy glass bottle.
This is not recommended for those who are:
- Looking for an anti-frizz serum that can be used on-the-go (or on dry hair)
- Living in a hot and humid environment
- Scrambling last minute, looking for a cold rash treatment *smile*
Oshima Tsubaki Oil is recommended if you are:
- A minimalist and are looking for multi-purpose moisturizer for your hair, face and body
- Fine with having oil on cleansed hair and have the habit of blow-drying it
- Confident that you’ll be a fervent user of Oshima Tsubaki Oil and would finish it before it turns rancid.
To round this off nicely, my hair did feel softer with Oshima Tsubaki Oil. It just doesn’t suit my routine and hence my craving for this is not high. Rating: 2/5
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