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Personal products in Japan vs US

Have you ever thought about how the personal products are different around the world? I think if you’ve ever lived abroad you have! But if not, I’m not sure it is something that would ever cross your mind.

The products that differ the most between the US and Japan are toothpaste and deodorant. I don’t believe this is just my opinion – I hear about this a lot form other foreigners from other countries, too (not only the US).

The deodorant here is very weak and there is not a lot of variety or choices. I’ve heard things like eating seaweed keeps your from smelling, so since Japanese people tend to eat a lot of different types of seaweed, they don’t have such strong body odor! I’m not sure if this has something to do with it or if it’s even true that the body odor is less… you should try a crowded train in the summer time and let me know what you think!

The toothpaste is also not so flavorful or effective. In the US there are all kinds of flavors and even different kinds of mint flavors, whitening toothpastes, etc. Again… I can’t say for certain about the effectiveness but it is something I hear discussed over and over again with expats in Japan.

Maybe the biggest thing is that people like to use products they are familiar with. What do you think? Have you experienced this in Japan or another country?