Posted by Matina

I was very curious to try this skin cream.  I’ve been familiar with some Japanese products, Shesheido mostly. And, of course, being American trying some exotic cream from another country is always intriguing.

That said when I opened the jar the first scent brought back memories of my aunt who was always on the frontline of new skin regimes.  It has a light scent that just smells old fashioned to me, not a bad thing really.  It’s very unobtrusive and light.  The cream itself is definitely a night cream, it sits on your skin and doesn’t absorb easily.  This may be a good thing since there are lots of natural ingredients in it which may do some good and take a while to do their thing. But it’s not anything you’d want to wear during the day.

After a few days I did notice that my skin seemed softer.  We’ve had a crazy winter around here, first snow, rain, wind, sun followed by more snow!  Through all of this my skin has not felt dry or chapped in the least. I’m not very technical with ingredient lists but there’s lots of root and seed extracts, plus squalane which I’ve heard a bit about but again not knowing much about their benefits I won’t comment. Depending on the price  this would be something I would use again.

Marta adds

Since this sample was offered exclusively to our newsletter subscribers, the rest of you may be curious as to what we said about it. By the way it's $85.

The 'root and seed extracts' that Matina refers to includes is angelica acutiloba, known in Japan as don quai it has been used for centuries to ameliorate what is euphemistically referred to as "women's complaints". The thing about dong quai is that it contains coumarin, which serves as an anti-inflammatory, and one of my all-time favorites, ferulic acid. This is an antioxidant that can seek and destroy several different types of free radical - 'superoxide', 'hydroxyl radical', and 'nitric oxide' - according to a 2002 Japanese study.

Cnidium officinale is a Korean plant that also seems to be pretty powerful. Several studies show that it can stop tumors from spreading and it is an anti-inflammatory. It is also an antibacterial, so this potion might be helpful for the acne-prone.

Even more exciting is gynostemma pentaphyllum. This is consumed in East Asia as a herbal tea and is an antioxidant that is supposed to increase superoxide dismutase while lowering levels of oxidized lipids, thereby decreasing free radical damage and proliferation. It also inhibits the effects of UV radiation damage. This is backed up by 1993 study from Loma Linda University found that gynostemma's saponins decreased the production of free radicals in immune cells, protected biomembranes from oxidative injury, and improved the functioning of vascular cells.

Ingredients in Sekkesei Cream Excellent

Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Limnanthes Alba Seed Oil (Meadowfoam), Glycerin, Squalane, Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cholesteryl Hydroxystearate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Cetyl Palmitate, Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract, Cnidium Officinale Root Extract, Coix Lacryma Jobi Seed Extract (Job's Tears), Cordyceps Sinensis Extract, Gynostemma Pentaphyllum Leaf Extract, Melothria Heterophylla Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Citric Acid, Dimethicone, Disodium Phosphate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Menthol, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Methyl Stearoyl Taurate, Xanthan Gum, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance (Parfum).