Weirdly, I first heard about the Japanese menthol eyedrop craze in France. I was there to see the place where Oxy collect the seaweed for their spot products (it’s fascinating – a gel on the weed actually kills the p.acnes bacteria, but that’s another blog post), Oxy’s parent company is Japanese company Rohto and one of the company reps was telling me about the Cooling Eyedrops they sell there. ‘They’re ranked from 1-7 as to how much their make your eyes water,’ she told me. ‘It’s like a test to see how high you can go.’
Immediately, I was interested, then I read an interview with Madonna where she said she uses ‘special Japanese eye drops that burn a lot’ to wake herself up. That’s it, I was in…..
I found myself a chemist and, using the international language of mime, found the eyedrops section. There were a lot of options, but not being able to read Japanese, I went for the Rohto ones as at least I knew they were reputable. I picked a pack of C3 (ranked 5 out of 7 for burning), then some Rohto Z! which are 6 out 7. I couldn’t find any with a seven – either I was in a big fat wussy drugstore or, they’d all sold out.
I decided that because my Japanese didn’t extend to ‘oops, I seem to have gone blind’ or ‘quick get me to the nearest eyebath I’m in agony’ I decided to wait until I got home to try them. So, here’s what happened…..
C3: Yep, they sting and they make your eyes water, but to be honest – they aren’t so bad. Resultswise – my eyes looked a bit whiter, but there was still a lot of red veins in them. The worst bit was the taste of something nasty that appears in the back of your throat – I could live without that.
Z!: The next day I tried these – I wasn’t expecting much of a different effect as let’s face it, it’s only one up on the scale. The experience went something like this…drop; wait a millisecond, suffer extreme stinging…. think ****, what did I just do?…. suffer involuntary stamping of the foot and head swinging while giggling manically. Water starts flooding from your eyes and you can’t open them and your nose runs, then that nasty taste appears again. But yes, I do have a sudden feeling of waking up and clarity. My eyes also look lovely and white – but that might be because the rest of my face is bright red. Still I likeeeeeee, that Madge woman knows what she’s talking about.
Should you wish to try the drops for yourself, google is your friend – they’re widely available online.
Main image: freedigitalphotos.net