One of Japan's biggest names in skin care and makeup, Kose Corporation was founded in 1946 by Kozaburo Kobayashi. The cosmetics giant houses many well-known Japanese beauty brands including Sekkisei, Infinity, Decorte, Predia and One by Kose. It’s easy to mix up Kose Corporation with Kose Cosmeport Corporation, but the latter is actually a major subsidiary under the larger Kose Corporation. Specializing in “cosmetaries” (a portmanteau of “cosmetics” and “toiletries”), Kose Cosmeport markets a range of skin care, body care, hair care, cleansing and makeup collections such as Softymo, Suncut, Clear Turn, Grace One and Moisture Mild.
In 2009, Kose acquired global trademark rights for JILL STUART branded cosmetics and in 2014, it acquired Tarte Cosmetics to further expand overseas. Models who have advertised for the brand over the years include Kate Moss and Japanese actress and singer Yui Aragaki.
Kose’s cult-favorite products stem from its Sekkisei series, which stars Japanese herbal extracts that gently moisturize and protect skin while brightening the complexion. Some of the products from this series are branded as “Medicated Sekkisei,” quasi-drugs containing active ingredients to target skin concerns. The Sekkisei series consists of products for both your day and night routine. Its most popular include the Sekkisei Treatment Cleansing Oil, Sekkisei Lotion, Sekkisei Emulsion and Sekkisei Eye Cream. The Sekkisei Lotion is meant to be used as a toner with a cotton pad, ideally after cleansing during both morning and nighttime routines, while the Sekkisei Emulsion is to be used as a moisturizer after applying lotion.
Making the most of Sekkisei’s popularity, Kose cooperated with 7-11 Japan to create Sekkisui, a collection of products containing Japanese plant extracts to create clear, snow-like skin. This collaboration saw the launch of portable, trial-size and reasonably priced items for daily use, with its standout product being the Sekkisui White Washing Cream.
Another significant collection for Kose, Softymo offers a wide range of gentle face washes. The collection is best known for the Softymo Cleansing Oil, which comes in three types: Deep, Speedy and White. These cleansing oils remove makeup, dead skin cells and dirt without leaving an oily residue, and their gentle formulas brighten and moisturize skin.
Grace One is best known for its luxurious, moisturizing skin care for mature skin as offered through its Perfect Gel Cream and Perfect Gel Cream UV (firming and moisturizing all-in-one creams formulated with tomato, wine and rosehip extracts), as well as its Concentrate Gel Cream. Grace One also offers moisturizing benefits through its hair care and makeup products.
Like Grace One, the Coenrich Q10 collection targets mature skin, but with a unique focus on creating beautiful, youthful hands. Products are formulated with moisturizing Coenzyme Q10 Glycerin to improve skin tone and texture and reduce signs of aging. Among its most successful products are the Extra Guard Medicated Moist Shield Hand Cream, Vital Age Q10 Cream and Whitening Medicated Hand Cream, which comes in Moisture and Deep Moisture iterations.
The Infinity collection seeks to renew your beauty every day by drawing out the infinite innate possibilities of your skin, consistently improving skin tone, texture and elasticity. Signature items include the Infinity Serum Completion I, Infinity Serum Completion II and the Infinity Whitening Serum.
In 1981, Kose launched Sports Beauty, the industry’s first cosmetics collection designed specifically for use when exercising. Developed under the umbrella of Sports Beauty, Suncut products, like the Sun Protect Milk, Suncut UV Protect Gel and Suncut Sunscreen Spray, are designed to be resistant to sweat and oil for long-lasting wear while providing extra strong UV protection.
With Kose’s many sub-brands and collections, it can be hard to determine which products are suitable for you. Some collections are designed specifically for a unique skin type or concern, which is a good place to start.
For oily or acne-prone skin, products from Junkisui, which absorb excess sebum, refine pores and soothe inflammation, are a perfect fit. The range’s Refreshing Lotion, Refreshing Spots Serum and Foaming Wash are particularly recommended.
Carte Clinity is specifically formulated for delicate skin susceptive to environmental changes, making it an obvious pick for sensitive skin. Its products feature hypoallergenic formulas made with carefully selected ingredients.
Many of Sekkisei’s products are suggested for combination skin, including its Exfoliating Massage Gel, Clear Facial Soap, Herbal Gel and Emulsion. The former two gently remove excess sebum, pore impurities and dead skin cells while the latter two maintain skin’s moisture balance in both humid and dry weather with their light, non-sticky formulas.
For dry skin, Infinity’s Advanced Moisture Concentrate, Advanced Moisture Concentrate Serum, Advanced Moisture Concentrate Lotion and Prestigious Serum are fan favorites. Popular moisturizing items from the Sekkisei Supreme collection, which comforts and restores radiance to skin, include Supreme Washing Cream and Supreme Moisturizer.
Lastly, for acne scars and pigmentation, the Moisture Mild White collection offers medicated brightening skin care to suppress the formation of melanin and prevent dark spots. Incorporate key products Moisture Mild White Milky Lotion, Moisture Mild White Cream and all-in-one Moisture Mild White Perfect Gel into your regimen to create soft, supple and radiant skin. For more options, Infinity’s Perfective White XX also inhibits melanocytes from producing excessive melanin while Whitist’s AD Moisturizer lightens acne scars and dark spots with Vitamin C derivative and isopropyl metyl phenol.
With Kose’s extensive and well-developed range of skin care products, it’s no surprise that the brand’s most prominent cosmetic offering is base makeup that not only provides added skin care effects but also creates a brightened and even complexion. Sekkisei’s White BB Cream hydrates skin, protects from UV rays, creates a tone-up effect and blurs spots for a smooth finish, while its CC Cream creates a translucent “no-makeup” makeup look. Grace One’s BB Cream offers UV protection and leaves a silky soft finish, while its CC Cream blurs spots, fine lines and wrinkles and leaves a natural, glossy finish. Fasio’s BB cream is sebum-proof, highly adhesive and leaves a silky soft finish, and its CC Cream is waterproof and resistant against sweat and sebum.
Apart from base makeup, most of Kose’s other cosmetics come from Visee, a collection targeting young adults seeking a mature, glamorous look inspired by the latest trends. For eye makeup, Visee’s Soft & Slim Eyebrow Pencil comes with an ultra-fine 1.7 mm tip and a creamy, moisturizing formula, while its Glossy Rich Eyes is a compact shadow palette with four easy-to-match shades in pearly finishes. The dual-functioning Lip & Cheek Cream makes it easy to create monochrome makeup looks, and the creamy, semi-sheer Avant Lipstick leaves lips supple and wrinkle-free. It comes in 25 expressive shades including a bright lemon yellow, milky white and even pitch black!
Aside from Japan, Kose also has physical locations across Asia in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and India. In Europe, they have stores in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, and in the Americas, they have shops in Brazil and all across the USA. Visit YesStyle for a wide selection of skin care and beauty offerings from Kose, including many of the bestsellers mentioned above!