French-Japanese Agreement

For both these brands, improving blood circulation = better skin.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
For both these brands, improving blood circulation = better skin.
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A Japanese skincare brand under Kao, it works on effective delivery of essential oxygen and nutrients to where they are most needed. “This way, our skin’s regenerative abilities are improved,” says Mami Murata, president of Consumer Products – Sofina Business. How it does that: Sofina’s IP Dodai Essence ($85) has highly concentrated carbonated foam that reportedly delivers approximately 20 million microcarbonated bubbles into skin with every application to stimulate blood flow.

Three new cleansers in the range have the line’s signature ingredient, Micro-reviving Rose Water, which is said to improve microcirculation. According to the French house, better blood flow equals improved skin metabolism. The cleansers come in different textures. Cleansing Balm’s a balmtooil; Sugar Scrub’s a gentle exfoliant with sugar microcrystals; and Micellar Mousse is a whipped foam enriched with rose-based micelles, gentle cleansing molecules that attract grime and oil. $123-$148 
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SOS for Sensitised Scalps

A sensitised scalp is different from one with dandruff, though both may experience itchiness and redness. What the first has more of: tightness, and sometimes, a burning sensation. The discomfort is brought on by pollution, unsuitable products, heat from hairdryers, repetitive styling, and stress, says French botanical brand Klorane. This is not a new problem. According to its 2008 survey, 45 per cent of 1,000 people said they had a sensitive scalp.

Most scalp treatments stop at shampoos, as conditioners are usually too rich and not encouraged for use on the scalp. Klorane addresses this by making its popular Soothing & Anti-irritating shampoo gentler, and by adding a conditioner gel and serum for scalp care from pre- to post-shampoo. Both the gel and serum have nozzles for easier direct application. $14.60-$29.90

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Three Angelic Synthesis Foundation Serum, in 10 shades, $85 each

What it is: A liquid foundation that gives you a natural finish. In line with the Japanese brand’s all-natural philosophy, it’s free of parabens, artificial fragrances, organic pigments, animal-derived ingredients, and mineral oils.

Its claim: Provides a longlasting, second-skin finish while imparting clarity, lustre and radiance.

Verdict: It feels a little greasy and makes skin look a tad shiny. It takes a good 5-10min to dry to a semi-matte finish – which doesn’t require loose powder. Our patience pays off with a very natural look and feel, like we’re not wearing foundation at all. We can’t help but bask in our-real skin but-better glow.