Review: uka lip and nail balm



Did you know that most women will consume 30 tubes of lipstick in their lifetime!

When I read this beauty fact in a press release from Tokyo brand, uka, it really made me stop and think.

Like most women, I wear at least a hydrating lip balm on my lips daily, reapplying throughout the day, but to be honest I never though about how much lipstick, lip gloss or blame I have been ingesting. In recent years, healthy and organic foods have become more mainstream, and most of us prefer to eat farm fresh produce. So in agreement with the well known adage “you are what you eat”- doesn’t it make sense to use a natural and organic lip balm as well.

With the shift towards more natural skin care and cosmetics in Japan heating up, uka is one Japanese beauty brand that is leading the way with innovative, creative and highly coveted, organic, plant-based beauty products.

uka’s latest creation, a certified organic lip and nail balm, a rich medley of intensely hydrating and nourishing oils.  Recently, I was very generously gifted one of the newly released uka lip and nail balm, and I was more than happy to give it a try!

uka Lip and Nail Balm (15 ml) ¥3,500

What is uka lip & nail balm?

uka lip and nail balm is “rich balm that glides on and absorbs quickly to provide lasting moisture without feeling heavy”

A rich mixture of hydrating oils, the balm contains a mixture of rich natural oils ( coconut oil, sesame oil, sweet almond oil, shea butter, jojoba oil, argan oil and sunflower oil).

Then, based on aromatherapy, each of the delicious flavours contains a blend of essential oils to suit different moods and preferences.


Sweet Talk: Vanilla. A sweet and happy taste on the lips, perfect if you have a sweet tooth, (or are trying to supress sugar cravings in the afternoon……it’s worth a try!)


Mint Talk: Fresh and revitalising, a blend of peppermint, lemon, grapefruit, ginger and pepper. This invigorating combination of ingredients creates a pleasant tingling sensation  on the lips, and leaves a fresh minty taste on your breath.


Mellow Talk:  Relaxing lavender, fresh citrus (bergamot, tangerine and bitter lemon) and geranium make this the perfect way to wind down and alleviate stress. Ideal for applying before bed, or when you get home from work.


Pillow Talk: A sensual, mature floral blend filled with notes of rose, ylang-ylang and jasmine. Apply before a date with you special someone for a perfectly smooth, plumped pout.

What did I think?

My lips are extremely dry, so I usually use quite standard lip balms lip Nivea Creme Care Lip Balm in unscented or honey, and at night a thin layer of Lansinoh (a rich lanolin formulation that I discovered when breastfeeding!).  I tend to skip heavily scented lip balms, as they are drying on the lips, and usually I can tell immediately upon application if the lip balm is actually going to moisturise or is more of a gloss, that will quickly dry out my lips leaving them worse than before I applied.

So when I kindly received a sample of the uka lip & nail balm to try, I was really curious to see how it performed, especially as now the cold weather has well and truly appeared here in Tokyo!

The scent and taste

The first challenge was to decide which of the delicious favours to try. All of the flavours are absolutely delicious, and after much deliberation I settled on Mint Talk. The fresh scent of mint and lemon is a great pick me up, but I really love the tingling sensation on the lips from the ginger and pepper.


uka lip and nail balm comes packaged in a simple glass jar with a silver screw cap. The minimal design of jar is easy to use and the packaging is hard-wearing, perfect for a high use product like lip balm.

Texture and feel on the lips and nails

Inside the jar, the lip and nail balm is quite solid. Using the fingertips, is a must for this product, as the body heat from the fingers softens the solid oils, and helps transfer to the skin on lips and then nails. The texture on the skin is silky smooth, and apply lightly to the lips.


On first application though that this balm would not be heavy enough for dry skin, as the formula is light and quickly absorbed by the skin, leaving only a light slip when you rub your lips together. However, the genius combination of richly hydrating oils ensure that your lips are indeed richly hydrated deep within the skin layers, not just leaving a thick barrier of balm on the lips and nail cuticle.

My Recommendation

uka lip and nail balm is the perfect multi use balm for your handbag this winter (and I don’t think you will want to let of it by summer time either). The richly hydrating formula is perfect for all skin types, and the light formula makes it perfect for use before applying lipstick, as the oils are quickly absorbed into the lip, perfectly priming and smoothing, but not making the lips too slippery that you lose your lip colour soon after you apply. The non-greasy formula makes it ideal for application on the nails too, as the oils quickly sink into the skin, and you don’t have to wait before getting on with what you need to do.

This lip and nail balm is at the higher end of the price range at ¥3,500, but for a number of reasons I believe that uka lip & nail balm is worth the splurge:

  1. It is certified organic (Ecocert and CosmeBio), and it you are eating so much lip products this is definitely something to take notice of!
  2. The formula is richly hydrating, but not to goopy and thick. The high quality and formulation of the ingredients in this balm really stand out from the crowd, and this is really something with thousands of lip balms available in the stores.
  3. It is the perfect multi-tasking product, love that it works at hydrating both lips and nails, gives a fast mood boost and is easy to stash in your handbag for use throughout the day.
  4. This pot of lip & nail balm is going to last a really long time. I have been using my balm for a few weeks now and it doesn’t even seem like I have used a quarter of the jar. Looks can be deceiving, you are getting a lot of product in this little glass jar!

Where can you buy uka nail & lip balm in Tokyo?

uka salons

Cosme Kitchen

Isetan Shinjuku- Beauty Apothecary

Where to buy uka outside of Japan?

List of overseas stores

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