Since I have already tried (and like) Kose's facial cleanser, I thought I'd take a gamble with the body wash. It paid off. Its always a pleasant surprise to come across a body wash or shower gel that doesn't contain irritating sulfates. And when it does the job of a cleanser, gently and without drying out the skin, then its hard to go wrong. Kose Junkisui Pure Body Wash is $25, but for a long lasting (assuming the family doesn't get hold of it) 16.9fl oz.

As always with Kose (a Japanese company), the botanicals are few but extremely well-chosen. Kose's signature ingredient is job's tears extract (coix lacryma or Chinese pearl barley). It has an impressive track record for treating cancer (by isolating a neutral lipid from the plant), as well as being very helpful against acne. Houttuynia cordata (heartleaf) extract has been used in traditional Chinese medicine against allergies and it has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, as well as being anti-bacterial. Paeonia (peony) is also an anti-inflammatory. Typha angustiflora (cattail) extract is used to treat stings, cuts and bruises.


Junkisui has myristic acid, a fatty acid that is found in nutmeg and palm. It mostly functions as a lubricant with good absorption by the skin. Lauric acid is the main fatty acid in coconut oil. It has been found to have anti-microbial and anti-viral properties and is even being used to augment the treatment of AIDS patients. I am not wild about the inclusion of cocamide DEA. It is made by reacting fatty acids in coconut with diethanolamine.  It can lead to formation of nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic, according to a study on rats. The CIR Expert Panel (which represents cosmetic manufacturers) concluded that cocamide dEA was safe as used in rinse-off products and safe at concentrations of up to 10% in leave-on products.

Ingredients in Kose Junkisui Pure Body Wash:

Water, myristic acid, lauric acid, potassium hydroxide, palmitic acid, sorbitol, cocamide DEA, sodium cocoamphoacetate, glycol distearate, job's tears seed extract, houttuynia cordata extract, paeonia albliflora root extract, paeonia suffructicosa root extract, thyme, typha angustifolia extract, alcohol butylene glycol, disodium EDTA, lauryl betaine, menthol, propylene glycol, sodium chloride, methylparaben, fragrance.