MORE THAN SKIN DEEP

El­iz­a­beth Soong trav­els to Amanemu in Nagoya, Ja­pan to dis­cover what Shi­seido has un­earthed to reawaken skin’s life-re­new­ing force, and the an­swer lies in its lat­est Fu­ture So­lu­tion LX

Malaysia Tatler - - SULWHASOO SPECIAL -

Shi­seido re­veals the liv­ing en­ergy that pow­ers up its skin­care

When it comes to phys­i­cal ap­pear­ance, there’s no deny­ing that look­ing good plays a big part in how we feel about our­selves. Yes, we feel more self-con­fi­dent and at­trac­tive, nat­u­rally, but can we only de­pend on outer beauty, for us to feel this way all the time? As the say­ing goes, beauty (even­tu­ally) fades, but for mo­ti­va­tional ex­pert Dr Carol Mor­gan, I pre­fer how she spun it pos­i­tively as, ‘beauty changes.’ Our skin un­der­goes change with each pass­ing decade—dur­ing our twen­ties, skin is firm, re­silient and smooth (pro­vided you use sun­block, eat right and take proper care of your­self ); when we hit the 30s, the first real signs of age­ing such as crow’s feet and frown lines start to show as the skin’s nat­u­ral process of ex­fo­li­a­tion slows down while col­la­gen and elastin fi­bres de­crease; by 40s, skin im­per­fec­tions such as freck­les, age spots and dis­coloura­tion be­gin to oc­cur; be­yond 50s, sig­nif­i­cant signs of age­ing oc­cur, as a re­sult of hor­monal changes and old age. Look­ing at the beauty time­line above, I’m sure we can all agree that skin­care is a con­stant bat­tle against time, the el­e­ments, and to some ex­tent, hered­ity. Renowned Ja­panese brand Shi­seido is a lit­tle more far-sighted than that—with its Fu­ture So­lu­tion LX range, it is not only about tak­ing care of the skin for now, but also stim­u­lates its in­nate abil­ity to im­prove it­self so that with time, skin gets bet­ter and bet­ter, mov­ing for­ward into the fu­ture. It was dur­ing the global me­dia launch at the serene, lux­u­ri­ous Amanemu re­sort in Nagoya that we dis­cov­ered the pow­er­ful, new in­gre­di­ent which gives re­newed life to Shi­seido’s most pre­mium line of skin­care. We were also in­tro­duced to Dr Eriko Kawai, the re­search sci­en­tist re­spon­si­ble for the dis­cov­ery of the anti-age­ing in­gre­di­ent— Skin­gene­cel­len­mei. Kawai re­vealed that it has taken them eight years to work on the for­mu­la­tion of this new in­gre­di­ent, and that her work on Skin­gene­cel­len­mei started even be­fore the Fu­ture So­lu­tion LX was launched in 2009. Their re­search on plant longevity has brought Kawai and her team’s at­ten­tion to the heal­ing pow­ers of the En­mei herb, which is drunk as tea and used in tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine; plus it has en­er­gis­ing prop­er­ties and is said to calm the body as well. Dur­ing the group in­ter­view with Kawai, a pot of this hum­ble-look­ing plant sat on the ta­ble for us to take a closer look, as we were served hot En­mei tea. “In old Chi­nese phar­ma­col­ogy books, this herb is men­tioned as hav­ing heal­ing prop­er­ties and was used as a drug,” says Kawai. “We re­searched thou­sands of plants but the En­mei has been shown to have the high­est ef­fi­cacy among them. Also, ac­cord­ing to Ja­panese leg­end, Kobo Daishi, a Bud­dhist monk who is also known as Kukai, of­fered a sick trav­eller the ex­tract of En­mei herb, which helped this per­son to re­cover. It is be­cause of this dis­cov­ery, that we have started to pay at­ten­tion to the ef­fi­cacy of this herb.”

Col­lected from Mount Koya where the Kukai leg­end orig­i­nated, Shi­seido care­fully cul­ti­vated and nur­tured the En­mei herb in the lab, which is then later ex­tracted and paired with its pro­pri­etary Skin­gene­cell 1P and vi­ta­min C Ethyl II to cre­ate the Skin­gene­cel­len­mei, the key in­gre­di­ent in the re­for­mu­lated Fu­ture So­lu­tion LX range. Mar­keted to women aged 35 and above, Kawai says, “Skin­gene­cel­len­mei pro­motes the pres­ence of the longevity gene Sir­tuin 1, which brings out the skin’s own heal­ing power and en­hances re­gen­er­a­tion, while also sup­press­ing the pro­duc­tion of Ser­pin b3, a ski­nage­ing pro­tein. As a re­sult, your skin’s longevity gene and im­mune sys­tem is en­hanced; sub­der­mal dam­age to the skin is less­ened; and it be­comes firmer and more ra­di­ant from within.” Shi­seido also in­cor­po­rated three other Ja­panese botan­i­cal in­gre­di­ents to fur­ther re­in­force the re­gen­er­a­tive power of Skin­gene­cel­len­mei: Uji green tea ex­tract pre­vents cel­lu­lar dam­age from UV rays by pro­vid­ing an­tiox­i­da­tion ef­fects; Hokkaido an­gel­ica root ex­tract re­in­forces the epi­der­mis by pro­mot­ing ATP pro­duc­tion—atp is a source of en­ergy in epi­der­mal cells; while sakura leaf ex­tract taken from the leaves of Oshima cherry blos­soms, re­in­forces the der­mis by sup­press­ing elastin break­down. De­signed to pro­vide a holis­tic, sen­so­rial ex­pe­ri­ence, the Fu­ture So­lu­tion LX fully en­gages the senses of the user, even be­fore the skin­care ex­pe­ri­ence be­gins. From the mo­ment of un­wrap­ping the pack­ag­ing that un­folds like a furoshiki, a Ja­panese tra­di­tion of wrap­ping an im­por­tant gift with fab­ric, you are greeted

Their re­search on plant longevity has brought the team’s at­ten­tion to the heal­ing pow­ers of the En­mei herb

Shi­seido’s con­cept of liv­ing, en­er­getic beauty is where it har­nesses na­ture’s vi­tal forces and merges it with tech­nol­ogy

with Shi­seido’s camel­li­ael­lia logo and the ap­peal­ing shim­mer and deluxe feel of the black-and-gold con­tainer. Then, lux­u­ri­ate in the smooth silky tex­ture and fra­grance of the prod­uct, which is in­fused with the del­i­cate notes of cherry blos­som, plum blos­som and Ja­panese rose. These mo­ments of open­ing, hold­ing, even clos­ing which uses the senses of touch, smell and sight, all ac­cen­tu­ates the sen­sual rich­ness of the Fu­ture So­lu­tion LX ex­pe­ri­ence. Of course, any beauty rit­ual must be­gin with a clean slate, so to speak. Saeko Suzuki, Shi­seido’s direc­tor of skin­care prod­uct devel­op­ment em­pha­sises that skin must be cleansed be­fore ap­ply­ing the skin­care. “The first thing Ja­panese women do is to thor­oughly cleanse their face with wa­ter, be­fore ap­ply­ing the essence or cream. Oth­er­wise, the mois­turiser won’t be as ef­fec­tive as it’s sup­posed to. This is one of the car­di­nal rules of beauty.”

THETH YU­TAKA RIT­UAL

Ta Tak­ing it a step fur­ther, t the skin­care rit­ual is com­ple­mented with a sig­na­ture fa­cial called the Fu­ture So­lu­tion LX Yu­taka treat­ment. It’s a com­plete sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ence with a new di­men­sion added to th the treat­ment—sound. The aur au­ral reper­toire of the Yu­taka Omot Omote­nashi Sound, which in­cludes nat­u­ral s sounds recorded at Mount Koya Koya, flflows­flows w with the rhythm of the mas­sage ther­a­pist’s arm move­ments. New tools have also been added to the treat­ment: the Yu­taka Mas­sager and Yu­taka Stone, which are made of Imari Nabeshima porce­lain. Both con­trap­tions are heated and the former is mas­saged over the face, neck, dé­col­leté and up­per arms dur­ing the fa­cial while the stone is placed on top of the belly but­ton to warm the body. What I loved about the fa­cial, apart from the light flo­ral fra­grance of the prod­ucts and how they fa­cil­i­tated the smooth, deft strokes of the ther­a­pist, was the firm fin­ger­point touches on the pres­sure points which re­laxed me com­pletely. I es­pe­cially en­joyed the mas­sage us­ing the Yu­taka tools; the ther­a­pist glided the two porce­lain mas­sagers over my skin in firm, cir­cling strokes, lulling me to sleep. If you ask me, one hour is not enough for this deca­dent treat. And my skin af­ter­wards? It was ra­di­ant and touch­ably smooth. The Yu­taka fa­cial is avail­able at se­lected Shi­seido coun­ters.

Dr Eriko Kawai

SO SOOTHES THE SOUL From left: The Yu­taka Mas­sager and Yu­taka Stone en­able the feel­ing of well­be­ing dur­ing the fa­cial treat­ment; we vis­ited the Ise Shrine to bet­ter un­der­stand and ap­pre­ci­ate the source of in­spi­ra­tion for Shi­seido Fu­ture So­lu­tion LX

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