how are you doing? Life has been crazy the past few months. There's around one million things I'm trying to deal with at the same time, resulting in me having hardly any time for anything and being very stressed. This also means that his blog has (sadly) dropped very low in my list of priorities. I'll hopefully be able to post from time to time but please have mercy with me if I'll vanish for another few months again.
Nevertheless, let's jump into today's review which I have been wanting to write for ages. I have a lot of love for this product and I need to get it out somewhere!
What they say:
The Beauty serum featuring kikumasamune's Kojic Acid rich dry sake to hydrate, soothe, smooth and brighten the skin.
An additional blend of 12 amino acids, 3 ceramides, 2 vitamin C derivatives, arbutin, and placenta extract further nourishes and protects the skin while helping to fade discolourations.
Lightweight, slightly acidic formula absorbs quickly, leaving skin looking plump, supple and luminous. Ideal for use on the face and neck.
(Taken from kirei station, corrections made by me)
Now, if you are part of the online AB community, especially on reddit, you have probably heard of the name Kikumasamune before. In fact, their name is hard to ignore and people rave about the lotion like it's no tomorrow.
With all this buzz created I was very curious to try out their products as well. After all, I do live in Japan and this is the perfect opportunity to try out local beauty products. But I need to make a confession: I am not a fan of hydrating toners. Now, before you break out the pitch forks and stones and get ready to murder me, hear me out. My skin is normal with a slightly oily T-zone. And while I do absolutely hate heavy textures I just never could get behind hydrating toners. It feels like I'm just splashing water on my face without any real benefits for my skin. I can understand why hydrating toners are attractive to people, they just don't seem that interesting to me (we will see how I'll feel once the crazy humidity of Japanese summer attacks me again...).
This slightly predisposition towards hydrating toners and the facts that it was getting colder when I purchased this and I was looking for a good essence anyways, made me probably immediately grab the pink bottle when spotted in my local drugstore whereas I always passed by the toners before.
Kikumasamune is a sake brewery based in Kobe so it comes as no surprise that their products are all based on sake. Interestingly, their English website only lists liquor as available products while the Japanese website has quite the range of different types of sake as well as some food items (anyone up for Sake Curry?) and also beauty products.
While the toner is probably the most popular and known of their beauty products it is by far not the only one, Kikumasamune also carries face masks, cleansing products, milky lotions, a moisture gel, bath salts and the essence I will talk about today.
Let's first take a look at the ingredients:
Water,Glycerin,Glycosyl Trehalose, Hydrogenated starch hydrolysate,Rice Ferment Filtrate,Glutamic Acid, Arginine, Glycine, Aspartic acid, Serine, Valine, Proline, Isoleucine, Threonine, Histidine, Alanine, Phenylalanine, Ceramide EOP, Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Placenta Extract, Arbutin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizinate Betaine, Squalane, Triethylhexanoin, Isostearic Acid, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Cholesterol, Phytosphingosine, Sodium Lactate, PCA, PCA-Na, Sodium lauroyl lactylate, Polysorbate 20, Polysorbate 60, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, EDTA-2Na, Potassium Hydroxide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glyceryl caprylate, Phenoxyethanol, fragrance
The cosdna analysis looks like this.
Squalane has an acne trigger warning and Carbomer an irritant warning. A few ingredients towards the end have a yellow mark for the safety ranking. All in all it does look pretty good to me. As always, ingredients really depend on your skin so make sure to check the product for ingredients you know you react to or any ingredient you are worried about.
Just like claimed in the product description, this essence really does have 3 types of ceramides (Cermiade EOP, Ceramide NP and Ceramice AP) as well as 2 types of Vitamin C (Ascorbyl Glucoside and Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate), fermented rice and on top of that 12 types of Amino acids (from Glutamic Acid to Phenylalanine in the ingredients list).
When I bought the product there was a plastic sticker on the top, listing all these ingredients in detail.
With these awesome claims and a really good looking ingredients list, my expectations for this product were quite high. But before I talk about the effects on my skin, let's get the stats for this products.
The bottle is made of sturdy, opaque plastic and is a hot pink color. Now, I admit, the design and color doesn't necessarily scream high quality or classic chic. I'd definitely prefer a more elegant looking design but it's not too bad and does have it's own charme so I don't mind too much. After all, it's the inside what counts, right?
The pump bottle holds 150ml of product and priced at 1,944 Yen at the official Kikumasamune online shop.
The pump mechanism works well and dispenses a decent amount of product at once. I know that quite a lot of people have some problems with the pump of the lotion but this one works perfectly fine.
The instruction on the bottle says to use 2-3 pushes for the whole face. I'm not sure if I just have a dwarf face or they tested it on people with extremely large faces but I'm completely fine with one push.
The essence itself is a milky white liquid with the typics essence consistency, not too liquid but also not too thick. When spreading it becomes very watery and easy to spread. Absorption takes a few seconds and the skin does feel a teeny tiny bit sticky but this goes away after a while/after applying other products on top.
It feels incredibly lightweight on the skin. Pretty much like you applied nothing at all but still makes the skin feel smooth. I personally prefer products that feel very light on the skin so this is perfect for me. If you are into heavier textures and have dry skin you definitely need to layer thicker products on top.
One thing to note is the smell. Anyone using the lotion or having read reviews about it already knows the story: it smells like sake. Rather strongly. I'm not a big fan of sake as liquor nor a fan of the smell so I needed a few uses to get used to the smell. Now I do not mind at all and it does fade quite quickly but it is something to keep in mind about this essence.
Now onto what it did for my skin:
|before using it|
|after 2 weeks|
|after 4 weeks|
The main claims of this product are nourishment/plumping of the skin and fading discolouration. There is also the discussion whether fermented ingredients in skincare can help with breakouts or not.
As you can see in the pictures I started with more or less clear skin. I had some tiny pimples, some marks and general redness (thanks, rosacea -.-).
After two weeks, not much to see. Pimples have seemed to calm down.
After four weeks there are no more active pimples and the marks are fading. There is still a general redness on my face but with rosacea this is a daily battle and can be caused by literally anything...
I'd say that this essence has definitely helped with fading discolouration, provided some basic hydration for my skin and made it feel smoother. The effects are not dramatic or overnight but the fact that ever since using this product (with the help of some other products) I haven't battled any larger pimples, almost all my marks are gone, it's lightweight enough for me to layer with other products and my skin feels smooth makes it a much liked product for me.
You can find it online on kirei-station, amazon Japan, Rakuten (no affiliate links)
Pros: lightweight, hydrating, helps fading acne marks
Cons: strong sake scent, no dramatic effects