After trying and falling in love with their makeup line, I was really excited to be offered the opportunity to experience Koh Gen Do’s skincare too. Koh Gen Do uses specially selected botanicals to soften and calm over-sensitized skin, with the ultimate aim of reawakening the skin’s ability to bring itself back into its natural balance. It all sounds very zen and holistic, and I was intrigued.
Currently, Koh Gen Do has 3 skincare ranges:
The lovely folks behind Koh Gen Do in Singapore sent me the sweet package pictured above, and I was able to try out a variety of products across all 3 ranges. And I’d love to introduce them to you today.
Koh Gen Do Oriental Plants Collection
The Oriental Plants Cleansing Cream works as a gentle makeup remover and deep cleanser. It contains Koh Gen Do’s proprietary Botanical Blend of 36 botanical extracts, and consists of 85% moisturizing ingredients to soften skin while removing daily grime.
It has a light whipped cream texture that melts into the skin once applied, and dissolves makeup and grime effectively without leaving any tightening sensation. I have used many cleansing creams and oils, and would always double cleanse with a foaming wash afterwards to remove the oily residue. However, Koh Gen Do Oriental Plants Cleansing Cream is so lightweight and does not leave an oily residue, and for the first time, I did not feel like I needed to double cleanse! This is a real welcome change as double cleansing has the potential to strip skin of its natural oils, not to mention takes up precious minutes that can be spent cuddling my lil snuggle bunny!
But if I were to double cleanse, then the Oriental Plants Soap is a facial bar soap is just the perfect complement! Just prior to using this, I was testing a luxury bar soap from another Japanese company, and Koh Gen Do’s felt so much more superior. To use, I rub the soap around a few times between my damp hands to create sufficient lather, then I spread it all over my face like a mask to help dissolve oil and grime. Thereafter I rinse it off with water. My skin feels soft and perfectly comfortable, and even with continued use, did not start to dry me out unlike other facial bar soaps that I’ve tried. In fact, this is suitable for normal to dry skin.
The Oriental Plants Essence is an anti-aging serum that contains 40% of Botanical Blend and ceramides to soften and relief dry skin. It is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin, and can be used on the eye area as well.
This is very unlike other essences and serums that I’ve tried so far, as it has a gel-like consistency. I found that it spreads easily, and a small amount is sufficient to cover my entire face and neck. Whilst it doesn’t feel sticky at all, it does stay on the skin awhile before being fully absorbed. To maximize absorption, you have to gently press it into the skin.
The Oriental Plants Night Moisture Mask is a gel mask that is meant to be left on overnight. When dispensed, it is a clear gel filled with lots of tiny white Emollient Capsules in suspension. The Emollient Capsules contain jojoba ester, and vitamins A, C & E to support the protective functions of the skin while sleeping.
To apply, I squeeze out a small dollop and massage it over my face with my fingers in circular motions until the capsules melt and are absorbed. I found this to absorb faster than the Essence, and does not leave any sticky or comfortable feeling. In fact, it is so lightweight, I’ve taken to using it in place of a moisturizer at night after cleansing these hot humid nights.
Koh Gen Do Macro Vintage Collection
The Macro Vintage Essence Mask is formulated with the idea that every skin type needs adequate moisture to look great and resist the breakdown that leads to wrinkles and dullness. To prevent that, Koh Gen Do has packed this sheet mask with ß-glucan to increase immunity, Bifidus Extract for skin regeneration, and Fullerene which is an antioxidant and moisturizes. My initial reaction when I took it out of the packaging was that this mask was simply packed with essence! And when I put it on my face, I breathed a happy sigh at how soothing it felt. The mask fit my face well and stayed put even though I was walking around alternately trying to scare/entertain my lil bub and get some blogging done. As a consequence, I left it on for much longer than the prescribed 10 minutes, and I could tell the essence was well absorbed into my skin and I looked visibly plumper afterwards!
Koh Gen Do Spa Collection
The Soft Gommage Spa Gel is an exfoliating peel which does not use harsh granules but botanically-enriched chemicals. It contains moisturizing Yumura Hot Springs water and white birch sap juice, as well as a host of nutrient-rich botanicals and emollient olive oil.
It is a clear gel that is to be applied to dry face, avoiding eyes. Massage in light circular motions, and right away, dead skin and impurities start to ball up and can be rinsed away. The result is clear and baby-smooth skin that does not feel sensitized nor dried out.
The All-in-One Moisture Gel is a very lightweight, gel moisturizer. Formulated with mineral-rich onsen water and natural botanicals, it penetrates the skin easily and is perfect for hot, humid climates. It contains moisturizing ingredients such as jojoba seed oil, olive squalane, shea butter, and perilla ocymoides seed oil.
Even though it is described as a gel moisturizer, it actually feels more like a whipped cream texture, and is much less gel-like than the Oriental Plants Essence and Oriental Plants Night Moisture Mask. It is suitable for all skin types, but personally I feel it is most suited for oily combination skin. On my normal combination skin (which is sadly maturing), it is insufficient especially since I spend the bulk of my time in air-conditioned climes.
I was taken away by the extensive variety of skincare products Koh Gen Do has to offer. Unfortunately, as the samples that were provided to me are rather small, and my skin has just recently recovered from a bad bout of irritation, I can only provide you with my initial reactions to each of the products I’ve tried. I really enjoyed the Oriental Plants Cleansing Cream for its non-oily feel after rinsing which allows me to skip double cleansing. The Oriental Plants Soap is also the best facial cleansing soap I have ever tried. I also loved the Macro Vintage Essence Mask, which is as good as the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask which used to be my staple weekly necessity. The Soft Gommage Spa Gel is wonderfully gentle and effective.
On the other hand, as my skin is maturing, I find myself requiring more intensive moisturizers and anti-aging help. The Oriental Plants Essence and Night Moisture Masks did not seem to do much for me. Similarly, the All-in-One Moisture Gel was not sufficient for all-day hydration. Notwithstanding, depending on your skin’s needs, these may prove to be perfect for you.
All of Koh Gen Do’s skincare products are formulated without artificial colors, fragrance, mineral oils and paraben. And on a final parting note, I should let you know that the organic cotton pads the lushest, softest, most luxurious cotton pads I have ever tried! I have tried quite a number of luxury Japanese cotton pads of every brand you can name, and Koh Gen Do’s blow all competition out of the water. Koh Gen Do is available at Level 3 Takashimaya Department Store in Singapore, and online via http://www.kohgendocosmetics.com/.