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Reviewed and recommended: Kose Seikisho Facial Cleansing Mousse

Is a Solution for:
Dull Skin, Oily Skin
October 5, 2008 Reviewed by Marta 11 Comments
Ever since Tracie Martyn launched her Amla cleanser and my rosacea miraculously disappeared, I have been a firm believer that the single most important beauty product is facial cleanser. A good one will keep you looking young and fresh, close pores and help control acne and breakouts. A bad one will cause inflammation, dry and flaky skin, and clog the pores. I have just made an exciting new find and it is a mere $25 for 5.2oz: Seikisho Facial Cleansing Mousse.

Japanese skincare products are typically (and I exclude the overpriced and unimpressive Sheisido from this generalization) extremely effective and even the fancy ones are priced at no higher than something you would expect to find on the 'posh shelf' in a drug store. The Japanese seem to set more more store by a healthy, bright complexion than anything else and I find that their products tend to focus more on delivering that kind of result than promising to rid you of every wrinkle.

Seikisho Facial Cleansing Mousse lives up to that tradition. This cleanser doesn't just make you clean, it makes you look as if you've never smoked or have ever staggered to bed later than 10.30pm in your entire life. When I first used this cleanser and looked in the mirror after drying my face, I actually said "wow!" outloud (I'm not at my most articulate at 7.30am). I had a similar (although slightly more subdued reaction) this morning - and that was after last night's Nick Cave concert at Madison Square Garden.

This cleanser is, as the name suggests, a mousse. You squirt some foam into your hand, massage over the face and neck and rinse off. After toweling dry, I also use Kose's Clear Cotton cleansing pads ($5 for 60) to wipe off any residue. These are the best cosmetic wipe-aways I have ever come across. They are double-faced with one side a little rougher for cleaning the T-zone.

I have to confess that I am taking Seikisho at face value. The first two ingredients, mineral oil and petroleum distillates, can be dodgy. On one level they are entirely innocent regulars in most bathrooms - Baby Oil is, in fact, mineral oil and petroleum jelly is everyday Vaseline. If properly distilled, they are entirely safe. Improperly manufactured and they can contain carcinogenic by-products.

The key ingredient for improving the complexion is rice bran oil - a centuries-old Japanese face saver and known to be a potent antioxidant. Natural lipids are provided by oil from the seed of a plant called job's tears. There is also the anti-inflammatory, licorice, and moisturizing squalane. Not quite perfect, but a very good product for the price and a worthy candidate for our next round up of the Five Best at under $30.

Ingredients in Seikisho Facial Cleansing Mousse

Mineral oil, petroleum distillates, rice bran oil, sorbeth-30 tetraoleate, cycopentasiloxane, acrylates dimethicone copolymer, safflower seed oil, job's tears seed oil, licorice, peach kernal extract, peach leaf extract, butylene glycol, glyceryl behenate/eicosadioate, squalane, phenoxyethanol, fragrance.
  • February 4, 2009

    by marta

    Since Jamia didn't collect - it now goes to Matina. Email with your address and Seikisho in the subject line.

  • January 25, 2009

    by marta


    The Sekkisei is all yours. Please email samples at with your address and Sekkisei in the subject line.

  • January 14, 2009

    by Natalie Sztern

    Please allow me to test run your new product....I have used many products to keep the wrinkles away some are great some are not so great and some are downright useless. As an example of a product I swear by and which I first heard about from your site is: Strivectin.

    yes, I swear by Strivectin for the following reasons: Strivectin used on a regular twice a day basis has cleared away all the small lines on my forhead and at the sides of my eyes. The compliments I get are truly impressive but the truth came about in an accident..I am very fair and had a bad fall in my house which left me a scar not bad enough for stitches but neverthless significantly seen on the forehead. I decided to use my Strivectin on it and within one week the cut had healed and there was no scar, no sign of ever having had any cut there whatsoever. That was the truth to me.

    In fact I am currently trying another product Hydropeptide Azure and find it not doing enough and I will not be re-ordering it.

    Understand that since the age of sixteen I have been an avid believer in keeping my skin youthful and healthy - it was the way I was I would love to test out any Seikisho creams you would like to let me do.l

  • January 14, 2009

    by Babypiglet

    I hope I am posting at the right place. This is for Sekkeisei Cream Excellent. I am so excited that you have this up for Dare to Try. Past year, I have been more and more interested in good skincare and particularly curious about Japanese products. However, they don’t carry this at Dept. store and I don’t want to shell out big bucks without having trying a sample yet. Would love to give it a try and promise a review.

  • January 14, 2009

    by Jamia

    Dear Marta,

    Your review has introduced me to, and piqued my interest in, the Kose product line. I have never had a "wow" response to a facial cleanser but would certainly love a boost like that to my mornings.

    I’m interested in trying the Kose Sekkisei Cream for a couple of reasons. First is my Japanese-American ancestry and (knowing that historically a ladies complexion was of extreme importance) a curiosity about modern Japanese skincare products. Other than an underwhelming experience with a couple of Shiseido eye creams though, I’ve limited my temptation to try their products so far. My second reason is more specific. Sekkisei Cream is said to suppress melanin production and THAT would be of great interest to me. I seem to have inherited skin that is prone to hyper-pigmentation. Nearly every breakout (luckily fairly infrequent), scratch, mosquito bite. . . results in a remaining mark no matter how careful I try to be. At least for my face, I would love to be able to suppress that inclination. Who knows, if it works I might even venture beyond my face!

    Thanks so much for your Truth in Aging reviews. Since finding you I’ve become a regular reader. So many “review sites” appear connected to selling a few specific products that they are too suspect for me to trust.

  • January 14, 2009

    by Matina

    Hi Marta,

    Interesting...a cleanser that can make you look refreshed as well? There are so many products that I'd like to try and only so much I can budget for! I've been reading your newsletter for about 2 months now and have already tried some of your recomendations. I'm saving for ReLuma right now actually. I would love to try a sample of the Sekkesei Cream and would definitely leave a review on it. I'm 44 and fighting all the little lines and wrinkles with a passion! Love your newsletter!

  • January 14, 2009

    by Dana Pond

    I have used Seikisho white mask (which is actually black). it's fun to put on and wait to dry--you get to pull it off your face. You can see the dry skin that has attached to the mask--and sometimes even a whitehead.
    I'd love to try the Sekkesei Cream Excellent and post a review once tested.

  • October 6, 2008

    by marta

    <p>Yes I will. I used to use Shiseido (for years) and then it just stopped working.</p>

  • October 6, 2008

    by Zsuzsa

    <p>Thank you very much for the answer! I am a big fan of Shiseido, but I am really not an expert on skin care - yet :) <br />
    It would be nice if you could write a post about the better Japanese brands ;)</p>

  • October 6, 2008

    by marta

    <p>Well, take the Bio-Performance Advanced Super Revitalizer Cream ($88). It has some good things: arginine (an amino acid that helps divide cells), squalane (moisturizer), mortieralla oil is really good (fatty acid similar to that found in breast milk)and Phytosteryl Macadamiate is good for retaining moisture. But that's about it. The rest are mostly silicones and chemicals of which a coulple are irritants. <br />
    Water, Glycerin, Cyclomethicone, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Cetyl Octanoate, Squalane, Dimethicone Copolyol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Hydrogenated C6-14 Olefin Polymers, PEG-150, Mortierella Oil, Phytosteryl Macadamiate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Arginine HCI, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Glutamate, Disodium Adenosine Triphosphate, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Rosa Roxburghii Extract, Octyl Methoxycinnamate, Agar, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Trisodium EDTA, Tocopherol, BHT, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Methylparaben, Fragrance, Iron Oxides.<br />
    And, unlike a lot of pretty good Japanese products, it is on the pricy side.</p>

  • October 6, 2008

    by Zsuzsa

    <p>Hi Marta, I am very curious, what is the deal with Shiseido? </p>

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