First of all, a few words about Sensai, the line I use: Sensai means “delicacy” or “finess” in japanese, but it also expresses an ideal of beauty and grace. Perhaps it wouldn’t inspire too much confidence in some, but Kanebo actually begun as a textiles company and research into cosmetics was spurred by the fact that the women that worked with silk textiles at the factory had beautifully youthful hands, so the company begun researching the effects of silk on the skin. The first skincare products were launched in the 1930s and they have been featuring silk as an ingredient ever since.
My skincare regime begins with the Sensai Silky Purifying line to which I am absolutely devoted. Before I started using the three products I am about to present I had problems with clogged pores in areas in my t-zone, mainly on and around the nose as well as between the brows. Unfortunately I am averse to facials, which I find unnecessarily harsh. Not only do I find them unpleasant, but my sensitive skin actually reacts with long-lasting (more than normal at least) redness and once I’ve even had problems with a tiny broken capillary that vain as I am I had to remove with laser. However, after a couple of months of using Kanebo’s Sensai Silky Purifying products, my skin is not only radiant but also cleansed: No more clogged pores, no more little unsightly black dots that drive me mad every time I look in the mirror. Just pure, radiant, clear skin which I am actually really proud of!
· Sensai Silky Purifying Cleansing Oil (Step 1): As the name suggests, this product is an oil, used for cleansing the skin. It is not very thick, but it requires only a tiny amount per use, which makes it a great bargain in my opinion. Just a small amount in the palm is enough to clean the whole face of any trace of make-up. It melts away everything, from mascara to foundation without requiring excessive rubbing. A simple gentle massage is enough, which means that you avoid unnecessarily stressing the sensitive eye area, which is so susceptible to fine lines and wrinkles. I use this every night even when I have gone without make-up, just to cleanse my skin of any impurities at the end of each day. Despite its oily texture, it washes away immediately with water, leaving the skin feeling moisturized and clean.
· Sensai Silky Purifying Creamy Soap (Step 2): As I mentioned earlier, I have extremely dry skin. Every single soap I have ever used on my face –even foaming cleansers that contain no soap- have left my skin feeling dry, experiencing a ‘pulling’ sensation, as though my skin was two sizes too small for my face. Not so with this one. My skin actually feels moisturized after using this product. This is meant to be used after the cleansing oil, applied on moist skin. The amount needed is minute: you are only meant to use a pea-sized portion on the fingertips, with which you create a rich lather when rubbing them against the wet palm of the other hand. It feels beautifully rich and soft, a simple luxury I truly enjoy. Both the creamy soap and the oil have a delicate, not-quite-there scent that enhances the experience, since it actually smells really clean.
· Sensai Silky Purifying Silk Peeling Powder: My holy grail of peeling products, this is the softest, gentlest peeling there is. Having had problems with redness around my t-zone area in the past, I dislike using anything granular on my sensitive skin. This product is an enzyme powder that can be worked into a lather when it comes into contact with water. It thoroughly removes dead skin cells, old horny matter, dark pores and patches of rough skin, leaving one with a silky, retexturised surface, ready to soak up a mask or moisturizer of choice. The packaging is perfect, allowing one to obtain the right amount with precision just by turning the bottle upside down once. Those with oily skin can turn to the Sensai Pore Clarifying Essence for extra help with keeping the pores clean and sebum free, but those of us with dry skin should limit ourselves to the three products listed here.
The next two products belong to the Sensai Silk line as well and are my night-time staples. This line, meant for the younger skin, is created to prevent the early aging symptoms, as well as to correct existing early aging problems. These products promise to bolster the skin’s defenses against environmental aggressors, shielding, protecting and reinforcing the skin-cells, helping to preserve youthfulness and minimizing the need for corrective interventions later on.
· Sensai Silk Softening Lotion (Step 1): This product comes in either Light or Moist formula, the first one for normal, oily or combination skin, the second one for dry or very dry skin. As you’ll probably already have guessed, I use the Moist version. I was originally unconvinced that I needed to use a primer before my moisturizer, but I instantly changed my mind after being provided with a generous 30ml sample of the lotion by the amazing and helpful SA that always helps me choose my skincare products. The difference this makes is amazing. Using this before the emulsion means I wake up with ten times more moisturized skin that is absolutely, improbably radiant. This one is meant to enhance the effect of subsequent products used, and indeed, it does deliver as promised. You can apply this with a cotton pad, or simply gently pat the liquid with the palms of the hands, the method I personally prefer, as it is not only cost-effective (no product going to waste just soaked up by the pad), but it also seems to just work better, creating a better moisturized surface.
· Sensai Silk Emulsion (Step 2): This product comes in Light, Moist and Super Moist versions, depending on the needs of one’s skin. Having ultra dry skin I prefer the Super Moist formula, of course. The texture of this product is silky and feels rather more runny than other intensive, heavy-duty moisturizers I’ve used, something I am pleased about, since I do not have to work it into the skin, but can simply gently apply it. It comes with a pump applicator, meaning the product does not get exposed to the elements or contaminated with bacteria and foreign matter from the hands, keeping it good and fresh to the last drop. It is so very moisturizing, I have to actually remind myself to apply cream in the mornings when I wake up! My skin simply never feels dry ever since I’ve started using this, and my complexion is radiant and even. Thoroughly recommended!
What are your holy grail skincare products? Have you found anything that *really* works? Please let me know!