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Dept of Daft: Kanebo Sensai Premiere The Cream

Is a Solution for:
Sagging Skin
November 17, 2008 Reviewed by Marta 5 Comments
Having wasted precious time trying to find any kind of information about the so-called cult Sensai Premier line by Japanese potion-maker Kanebo, I am coming to the conclusion that the marketing department was trained by Carl Rove. Someone, somewhere at Kanebo HQ decreed that no one will ever know anything useful about its products, such as what exactly is in Sensai Premier The Cream for which I am expected to hand over $650. So far, it seems to have worked; this is as closely guarded as a state secret.

Consulting the Kanebo web site is utterly pointless. The FAQ section actually poses the question "what are the ingredients in Sensai products". But it is just a cruel tease that provides this answer: "Please refer to the complete ingredient list shown on the side of the product packaging". If I was going to give a prize for the least informative website, Kanebo would likely win. Just about the only thing it has to say about Sensai is that it was "inspired by the timeless beauty and mystique of the moon". Right...

Extensive foraging with Google search did throw up a few nuggets such as "it contains essential ingredients and innovative formulation". Kanebo seems to have used something called the Diamond Theory and Super Fibro Activator. I've given up trying to find out if there is anything remotely plausible behind the Diamond Theory, but I did discover that the Super Fibro thingy is a stable form of vitamin C.

Many searches later, I turned up seaweed. Seaweed! Now we're getting somewhere. And that's not all, the Sensai Premier eye cream has saffron, which supposedly "stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid". Apparently, the eye cream must be applied to the cheek bone, not the under-eye area because the solution moves upward. Well I never.

Oddly, there is slightly more information on the eye cream than there is on The Cream. Perhaps that's because it sells for a mere $320 and at such a snip warrants a thinner veil of secrecy. I have learned, for example, that it contains yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit that looks like a small and ugly grapefruit. Actually, yuzu is worth keeping an eye out for. Korean researchers claim it has more vitamin C than other citrus fruits and it also contains hesperidin, a flavonoid anti-inflammatory that appears to be able to tackle dark under-eye circles.

By now, I seemed to be on a bit of a roll and came up with two more components of Kanebo's most secret of secret sauces: "koishimaru, a rare silk extract" and kakyoku. Koishimaru is a breed of silk worm and there isn't much that's rare about it (apparently one moth lays 400 eggs). Kakyoku, a plant, is supposed to be a skin brightener. I found one study to back that up - yep, sponsored by Kanebo. Still, its a piece of solid information that somehow made it into the public domain; perhaps Kanebo is about to embrace glasnost.
  • July 23, 2014

    by minion

    Dear Glenn,

    maybe Kanebo should also start Perestroika concerning their websites and put on INCI declarations. Personally, if i cannot find the INCIs online I will not go through the hassle of hunting the product down in a shop just to look at them; I just go "ok then, let's find another brand"

  • September 28, 2009

    by Lesley Archer

    I just wanted to know why the sensai ex range was discontinued. I would like to add that I have purchased the la creme and la emulsion from the internet in the past but am aware it has been discontinued for approx 4 years so will not be resorting to this measure any longer.

  • September 28, 2009

    by Lesley Archer

    I was very upset when Kenebo sensai ex was discontinued and replaced with the premier range. Having used it for many years I can vouch for the fact that it really does work miracles and my skin is always admired by women of all ages. I have tried samples of the premier eye cream and face cream emulsion and lotion and am sorry to say it does not have the same effect as the sensai ex range. Please can you tell me why it was discontinued.

  • November 17, 2008

    by Niall

    I bought Sensai Premiere The Cream last year (when I had the money to afford it!). Sure, the price does invite skepticism. But you know what? It really does do a fantastic job. I don't have much problem with wrinkles. Firmness and evenness of tone are my issues. And The Cream made my face look like it had a shaft of light from heaven shining on it wherever I went. The only downside I could see was that it's not all that emollient, though, and I found myself wanting a slightly richer version.

    I was sent a very large sample size of the eye cream (easily $100's worth) from the store where I bought The Cream. And OMFG: This eye cream is the bomb. It's transformational. The. Best. Ever. And I say that not just because it was free for me. :) Skip The Cream if you're suspicious or penurious. But the Eye Cream will turn you into a believer.


    PS - And try their fantastic mud cleanser while you're at it.

  • November 17, 2008

    by Glenn

    Glasnost has arrived Marta...and in fact Kanebo trains each of their SENSAI advisors at counters around the globe to answer your queries so I'm surprised you didn't get better answers, I hope I can help! I work on the team in the US that represents them with the media (post The Cream launch, we handled The Eye Cream introduction) and hope this information is helpful for you and your readers.

    A few clarifications if I may, I hope they're not too technical:

    Kanebo began as a textile manufacturer over 70 years ago, and discovered their hands became soft from working with Silk, and research began into why this was so.

    Kanebo introduced its first product in 1936, a soap with silk in it, Savon di Soie...skincare came much later

    Kanebo's core approach to skincare is called Saho, a Japanese tradition to cleanse and moisturize the skin with a "double cleanse, double moisturize" series of products, it doesn't matter what "creams" you choose to use if your skin is not properly cleansed--there is no toner in their line, double cleansing with an oil-based then water based cleanser eliminates the need

    SENSAI Premier was the first skincare to introduce the finer, more delicate, Koishimaru Silk into skincare. Literally translated to "tiny treasure" the cocoons are smaller than others, the thread more fine and delicate...and were reserved exclusively for the Japanese Royal Family's use...and now, Kanebo's. They discovered the extract from this silk promotes Hyaloronic Acid synthesis in the dermis and adds moisture.

    The Japanese Seaweed Extract you mentioned briefly, is Gigartina Tenella a Kanebo breakthrough discovery that supports cellular DNA repair support--it DOES NOT change or touch your DNA, but supports the cell renewal to stimulate skin’s DNA repair function.

    Also in SENSAI Premier, Natural NAG, a marine polysaccharide and is sometimes referred to as “hyaluronic acid of the sea” and Beta-Carotene are combined here to add anti-oxidents to the cream.

    The Super-Fibro activator is indeed a stablized form of Vitamin C, which degrades quickly in most creams etc., and was indeed introduced when SENSAI Premier The Eye Cream.

    I think I'm safe to say the range of items in Kanebo's SENSAI line are for all skin conditions, and are meant to both delay the first signs of aging as well as to address the signs of aging. Their product price points begin with a $21 treatment mascara and go up from there...each with its own unique set of ingredients culled from the breakthrough research and technology behind the brand.

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