Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Koh Gen Do Skincare


This review has been long overdue. I've been using a number of things from Koh Gen Do, Le Métier de Beauté and Clé de Peau and my skin has never looked better in my adult life. I first discovered Koh Gen Do at Barneys in Beverly Hills this past April. Upon researching the brand at home I learned more about their skincare and foundation via Into The Gloss. Since April I have fallen in love with their Macro Vintage Essence Mask (makes your skin feel like a baby's), their lipsticks, foundation and Cleansing Water (which I have also neglected to review). When I tried their foundation back in September, the artist at Barney's prepped my skin with the Macro Vintage Royal Massage Milk. I was impressed by how it made my skin feel renewed, moisturized, and seemed to help the foundation & powder last all day. Being a bit skeptical of skincare in general I wanted to test it out more before buying. I received a tiny sample that lasted a week and fell in love with the full intention of buying it on my next trip to LA. Before I had a chance to go back, Koh Gen Do kindly sent me a sample to review along with the Gommage Spa Gel. I'll be reviewing three items today: the Cleansing Water, the Macro Vintage Essence Mask and Macro Vintage Royal Massage Milk. Note that ingredients are listed on Koh Gen Do's website.

The Cleansing Water comes in two sizes: 300 ml for $39 and 480 ml for $52. At the counter I was also told the Cleansing Water Cloths are the same as the liquid just soaked into an organic cotton cloth. I purchased the 300 ml size and use it on a regular basis. It is rich in minerals, Yumura Hot Springs water and contains 6 extract herbs (Rosemary Leaf Extract, Sage Leaf Extract, Lavender Extract, Artemisia Princeps Leaf Extract, Perilla Ocymoides Leaf Extract, Ginger Root Extract) all of which help freshen the skin while cleansing. It's gentle yet effective. I use it in a number of ways. In the mornings when I am pressed for time, I will use this in lieu of washing my face with soap and water (very rarely though). At night, I will sometimes I will use it to remove my makeup before taking a shower. Other times I will use it after a bath or shower to remove any excess makeup that might not have been fully removed. It's designed to remove waterproof makeup, but for mascara and waterproof liners, I prefer to use something stronger, even though the Koh Gen Do water does the trick. In the few months that I've been using this I've been very impressed. I'm not sure I can tell the difference between the Koh Gen Do and Lancome Eau Fraîche Douceur in terms of performance. I do prefer the Koh Gen Do for the feel on the skin, but I like Lancome's packaging more.

The Soft Gommage Gel is one of the most intriguing products I've ever tried. It retails for $45 for 2.12 oz/60 g. For those who don't know what gommage is, it usually comes in a cream, gel or paste formula. It's applied in a thin layer to the skin and then is removed gently by rubbing. The gommage rolls (almost beads up) off the skin as you rub gently to exfoliate. I'm not one who has ever found a scrub I really love because I find using a washcloth to scrub is more effective while still being gentle. The Soft Gommage Gel is gentle enough for my sensitive skin and left the face feeling significantly smoother. The recommended use is to wash the face and dry with your regular cleanser. Then use a small amount and apply to a dry face and massage in a light circular motion (key note, be gentle when rubbing). After you rub, the product starts to feel like it rolls off with a slightly scrubby texture. Rinse with warm water. Recommended use is once to twice per week. I've been using this once every other week. I highly recommend.

The Macro Vintage Royal Massage Milk is a miracle in a bottle. I was sent the sample size for review which is currently not available for sale. The product in-store and online is $180 for 4.06 fl oz / 120 ml and it is worth every penny. This is a milky cream moisturizer with anti-aging micro-collagens that help plump and smooth the skin. At Barneys, the artist used 2 pumps to moisturize the skin. At first I thought it odd that he used this as a base moisturizer. I normally associate the word "milk" in skincare as a cleanser. After reading more about this on Koh Gen Do, I found there are a number of uses:
  • 10 Pumps As a massage cream (evening)
    • Give skin softness with the “Macro Beauty Massage,” Argireline which increases tone and improves texture with results similar to professional skin care treatments.
  • 5 Pumps Remove dead skin cells with milk (morning / evening)
    • After washing your face, use the Royal Massage Milk with cotton pads. Ingredients like lactic and malic acid gently clean off accumulated layers of dead skin cells and melanin.
  • 2-3 Pumps As a Moisturizer (morning / evening)
    • Use after Skin Lotion, massaging it lightly into the skin for moisture and protection.
I've only been using this as a day-time moisturizer alternating with Le Metier's Peau Vierge Day Cream. My skin feels more refreshed, less tight, and mid-day I don't get as oily in the T-zone (meaning less touch ups).

Overall I've been thoroughly impressed. I can't emphasize enough how much my skin has improved in texture, feel and general radiance. The cleansing water helps me in the mornings when I'm rushed and at night helps make sure that every trace of foundation and concealer has been removed. The soft gommage gel is a great exfoliator for the woman who hates most facial scrubs. The macro vintage royal massage milk helps hydrate the skin in the most luxurious-feeling way without feeling too heavy. None of the products have a detectable scent to me (a huge plus for me as I typically find Chanel and Shiseido skincare items too strong in scent).

Where to buy? I've purchased my items instore from Barneys in Beverly Hills. The brand is also available on Barneys.com, KohGenDoCosmetics.com and Sephora.com. I would of course recommend that you see if your local Barneys has this line. If you cannot try in person, I highly recommend you order directly from Koh Gen Do. If you browsing through their website you will find they offer samples, gift with purchases and sometimes promotional discounts (their masks were 30% off earlier this year for a short period of time). They have some great trial sets.

The Royal Massage Milk and Soft Gommage Gel were provided for review without charge.

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for the detailed reviews. I'm a big fan of the cleansing cloths, which remove makeup easily and leave my skin feeling moisturized afterward. Now you've got me tempted to try the royal massage milk.

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  2. Thanks for your thorough review!I bought the cleansing cloths from Sephora and was surprised by how thoroughly they clean. They are stiffer than most, but more saturated with cleansing water, which as you say, does an excellent job. I just bought one of their makeup trial sets from the site that I can't wait to try. I'll have to give the gommage gel a try too. It sounds intriguing.

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  3. Great review as I've been really curious about that cleansing water. I'd love to try the cloths. I was a traditional cleanser/water kind of girl but now I love just using a cleansing cloth to clean my face. My face feels refreshed and moisturized instead of dry from all the rinsing.

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  4. Is the cleansing water similar or based on micellar technology that you get with French brands? E.g. Bioderma Sensibio.

    From the sounds of it, it seems very similar. Micellar waters are capable of taking off everything (short of waterproof mascara) and is meant to be a replacement cleanser for skins intolerant of water cleansing.

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  5. The products sound very interesting (the cleansing water in particular.. I read the info several times over) BUT I must say the packaging I loathe!! I know its a superficial observation but ugh! All that red my blood pressure just shot up!

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  6. I've been interested in this line, it sounds nice!

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  7. Thank you for the review. I think the line is great. Cleansing water performs beautifully. But, in the list of the ingredients paraben is too close to the top for my liking. Just wanted to point this out. Their skin care products are very good (based on my experience with a trial kit sold on their web site). Japanese approach to skin care fascinates me: cleanser, cleaning foam, emulsion, lotion, followed by cream, the whole ritual. I also like their moister foundation. Natalia

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  8. I just ordered the Spa Water, my first KGD product. I can't wait to try it. Especially when I travel, I think my face will greatly appreciate not being subjected to often harsh water. Thanks for the great review!

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