Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Press sample - KenzoKi Skincare - Energizing Bamboo Leaf!

I was fortunate enough to be given a chance to try out a new skin care line by KenzoKi. I have been using the line for over a month, as I wanted to make sure I could see any immediate and long term problems before posting about it. I’m happy to say I had no break out as a result of using any of the KenzoKi products, but I didn’t fall in love with the entire line either. Here is some background

As a brand that is French, it is owned by LVMH, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy; it has its start in Japan. Kenzo Takada created the first fragrance "Kenzo de Kenzo" in 1988, the brand has evolved since Kenzo Takada has left, and in 2001 it saw the creation of KenzoKi, skincare based in large part, on a sensory approach to cosmetics. Tagged as “skincare that makes you feel good,”, KenzoKi offers several face and body care items such as cleansers, moisturizers, anti-aging products, exfoliators, masks, lip treatments, and eye creams. According to KenzoKi, these items do not contain chemicals, (a-hem. Fail. Yes they do but they are not harsh chemicals that you may associate with some other skin care lines out there) but instead use natural ingredients such as lotus plant water, essential oils, and mineral salts. Skincare products by KenzoKi are based on inspiration from ancient Asian philosophies and are made from four plants: Bamboo Leaf: Energizing; Ginger Flower: Euphoric; White Lotus: Relaxing; and Rice Steam: Sensual. I tried the bamboo leaf or energizing line of the brand as it is formulated for oily skin.

While KenzoKi offers a wide range of day and night treatments I used only the day treatments. I kept my night routine the same as I knew it wasn’t causing my any problems and would be able to identify if the KenzoKi items were the culprit if new pimples or irritation formed. Thankfully it did not.

What I used:

image from kenzousa.com
KenzoKi Claims it will
- Cleanse
- Remove Makeup
PinkSith says it:
Effectively cleansed my skin but since I used it in the morning I have no idea on its ability to remove makeup. I use an oil based cleanser at night to remove my sunscreen and other waterproof makeup. I do not trust traditional cleansers to do this alone. Your Mileage may vary.
KenzoKi says this is:
“A vibrant, beautifully tinted gel to apply to damp skin. Make a clean sweep with this cleanser that foams upon contact with water to purify your skin.
PinkSith says this is:
A heavily scented gel cleanser that effectively cleans my skin in the morning, leaving it free of the night's yuk and evening moisturizers. It smells like….OK not many of you will understand this, but here hoes….It smells like the ice cream parlor in Bethany Beach, DE from the 1980’s. It’s Sweet and simple but definitely does not have a green type scent to it. It’s nice and pleasant but I do not recommend it for those that are sensitive to scented products. It’s a highly foaming cleanser and does seem to leave my face feeling a bit tight but not as tight as Philosophy Purity Made Simple cleanser. I much prefer it as I feel it does not overly strip my face of oils but does a good job at removing any unnecessary chemicals or moisturizers I used the night before.
The Verdict:
Do you NEED this cleanser? Yes. 5.1 oz will run you $28 USD. That’s pretty hefty for a cleanser, but after almost 50 days of use I am barely though half of the container. I expect this cleanser to last me another 50 days if not 2 more months. It’s a good value as a little goes a long way. The container is a bit odd. It’s in a plastic container with a flip top cap. It’s oblong and very sleek & modern looking. The plastic is a bit too rigid for a squeeze type cleanser as I think getting the last dregs out may prove a challenge to me. I like things like cleanser to some in a tube I can cut and ½ and scoop out every last drop (I’m cheap that way) or in a container which I can stand upside down so gravity can play a role in getting the entire product out. This design prohibits me from securely storing the item upside down.

The second item I used in this line was

image from kenzousa.com
KenzoKi Claims it will
- Complete cleansing
- Purify
PinkSith says it:
Left my skin soft and hydrated but seemed an unnecessary step in my cleansing routine
KenzoKi says this is:
An energy-charged lotion for clear, soft skin. Removes impurities and light makeup, gently purifies and softly moisturizes. Use morning and night to complete cleansing and moisturize skin.
PinkSith says this is:
A nice toner that seems to soften my skin but it’s ability to prevent oil or do anything other than add an extra 10 seconds to my cleansing routine has yet to be shown effective. It smells similar to the cleanser but has an earthy scent to it as well. It’s a liquid but somewhat viscous feel to it. It’s not runny but it’s not a gel either. It’s hard to describe. It left my skin feeling soft and primed for the next step but using too much leaves a sticky feeling to your face and you definitely want it to fully absorb before putting on the serum or moisturizer that follows.
The Verdict:
Do you NEED this toner? No. I don’t find it useful and I find it sort of delaying my whole routine. For starters, I wish it came in a different container. The toner comes in the same container as the cleanser. Pouring it out into a cotton pad is not as easy as I would like…perhaps a pump bottle would have been better. For $28 USD you will get 5.1 oz…after 50 days of use I am more than half way through my bottle. This is due to over pouring a few times and generally a bit more product is needed if you use a cotton pad. I guess you could pour a tiny amount into the palm of your hand and pay it gently on your face, but I really can’t be bothered so I say skip this.

The next product in my morning routine

image from kenzousa.com

KenzoKi Claims it will
- Deeply hydrate
- Stimulate
PinkSith says it:
Hydrated my skin well and absorbed quickly so no waiting.
KenzoKi says this is:
A potent serum that deeply hydrates from morning to night. Bamboo plant water carries the active ingredients directly into skin cells. Smooth on before your day or night cream for maximum effect.
PinkSith says this is:
A nice serum to use pre moisturizer. One of the great mistakes people with oily skin do is under moisturize it. Drying out oily skin only makes it oilier. You skin tries to over compensate for the dryness and starts to push oil production in overdrive. The end result? An oil slick by 10AM starts to form on your face! I felt that this serum really was an integral part in moisturizing my skin. I know a lot of beauty experts out there that claim “Serums” are bunk, that a good moisturizer will do its job without a serum. Well, This may be the case but I found that my skin felt and looked better on the days I used this versus the days I didn’t.
The Verdict:
DO you NEED this Serum? Yes. While it’s on the very pricey side, $65 USD for 1 oz, it comes in one of those Air tight pumps that pushes up the product from the bottom s you get all of the product out and your fingers never touch the actual product to contaminate it.. It’s a nice light gel consistency that is also scented with the Bamboo Leaf water, but this is the one product I tried whose scent is the least offensive or strong. The serum absorbs quickly into my skin and one little pump is the perfect amount for my whole face. I gently pat this on and my face feels soft and moisturized but not greasy. After 50 days of use I have more than ½ of the product left. Granted, the product carries a hefty price tag, but I loved the results I had when I wore this serum. My face felt moisturized and fresh, it didn’t feel or act overly oily and seems to do a very good job at reducing the amount of oil I produced on my face in a given day. This was the real gem out of the 4 products I tried.

The last item I used was

image from kenzousa.com

KenzoKi Claims it will
- Fortify
- Stimulate
PinkSith says it:
Hydrated my skin, kept is soft throughout the day and smelled lovely!
KenzoKi says this is:
Small yet power packed: this day cream tones, stimulates, regenerates and moisturizes all at once. Can be used morning and night.
PinkSith says this is:
A nice moisturizer. It’s very thick. Heavy, like La Mer cream, but not greasy like La Mer. It has a gel like texture to it, but it still feels really emollient…almost too emollient, if over applied. My face seemed sticky for a while if I used too much. It did not leave me feeling oily during the day but didn’t make my face feel time like some moisturizers for oily skin tend to do.
The Verdict
Do you NEED this moisturizer? Maybe. I wish they packaged it differently. The open faced jar really turns me off. I don’t like dipping my fingers into the product and the jar does not come with a spatula, however there is enough room under the lid for one to fit. (I had a small one from Sephora that I clipped the end off & it fit well. But still I shouldn’t have to improvise like that. The packaging would do so much better in a squeeze tube or the pump dispense like the serum has. That way I would know the perfect amount to put on my face. $58 buys you 1.7 oz. After 50 days of use I have barely made a dent in this cream. There is a ton left. I’m quite sure it will last me a good 4 months or more. When you break it down to cost per use, the cream is a great deal. You notice I said Maybe. The cream is great, it leaves my skin moisturized and does not break me out. It seems to moisturize enough that I’m not as oily during the day. My main gripe is the container. So if you are one of those people that aren’t bothered by my OCD ranting then go for the cream. If you are like me, and start thinking about germs, then skip it. Or buy a spatula and use it with the cream.

In summary, (heh. I sound like a douche lawyer don’t I?) I found the KenzoKi items to be quite nice. They seemed to slow down the oil production over time and didn’t break me out. The fragrances were a bit strong but nothing offensive or chemically for what it’s worth. It’s a rather pricey line of skincare but compared to some other high end brands it’s not out of line. When I run out will I buy replacements? Yes on the serum and moisturizer, maybe on the cleanser, and no on the toner.

KenzoKi can only be purchased on line in the US http://www.kenzousa.com/
and in Australia http://www.kenzostore.com.au/
I’m not sure where you can get it anywhere else.

Shipping is free for orders over $75 USD and $100 AUD, Free samples are included (well I should hope so) and the website (US) seems fairly easy to navigate. KenzoKi will accept returns but only on unused items. Sadly this does not give anyone a chance to get their money back if they have a bad reaction to the product and with a lack of retail outlets to try before you buy (via samples) I don’t see this stuff “flying off the shelves” in the near future.

For the future I would love to try the
- Rehydrates
- Softens
This high-energy mask brings freshness and vitality to skin, while a cocktail of hydrating agents softens and improves firmness.

- Mattifies
- Moisturizes
This gel glides over and into the skin to moisturize, making it soft to the touch in no time at all. A long-lasting matifying agent completes the formulation. Particularly suited to oily skin.

- Purifies
- Rebalances
A clever detoxifying serum to moisturize and refresh your skin. While you rest, it purifies and rebalances your skin so you can wake up to a bright, clear complexion and a refined skin texture.

- Smoothes
- Illuminates
Say goodbye to puffiness and dark circles and wake up even the sleepiest eyes every morning. Keep in the fridge to maximize its decongesting and firming properties.

Anything from KenzoKi sound interesting to you?


  1. Yah I'd like to try something if they are available in the so-called fictional country of Canada.

  2. Ooh - that melts on contact gel sounds interesting...and maybe the serum. Great review!

  3. Thanks for a great review. I think i want to try the serum.

  4. thanks for the reviews!

    The serum and moisturizer sound great, but open jars annoy me too. It takes more time to apply cream also.

    There's a Kenzoki outlet pretty convenient to work so I will definitely check them out.

    I really like the scent of KenzoKi's existing products (rice in particular), so I'm curious about this new line.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Nice review =)
    But my skin is so temperamental, I'm scared of trying new products, since my weird routine is ok right now, I'm not gonna shake it up.
    You're so right about the oily people under-moisturizing!!! I have to remind myself to moisturize more and more, but I'm still an oily mess. The earliest I've had to blot at work is 7:30, and I go in at 7 =(

  7. I know the exact ice cream parlor in Bethany you are speaking of :)

  8. i've never seen this! hopping over to the website :P


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