Japanese Luxury Skincare at Koh Gen Do

By Alisa Kerr
November 12, 2014
Health & Beauty

Born 28 years ago in the heart of Tokyo’s AzabuJuban district, Koh Gen Do is a truly unique Japanese brand. If you are interested in experiencing all-natural Japanese skincare and cosmetics firsthand, make sure you visit the brand's flagship spa for a signature facial, one that is guaranteed to deliver both relaxation and impressive skin results.

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The Koh Gen Do esthetic spa is at the heart of this Japanese luxury skincare brand. The impressive modern building in the busy Azabujuban district houses the impressive luxury retail space, as well as the brand’s head office. The sleek, white, minimalist interior is boldly highlighted by the brand’s signature glossy red and black. Downstairs, the retail floor is spacious, with expert skincare consultants on hand to help with buying products, and can also help expertly apply makeup- perfect when you have a special occasion.

Upstairs, there are two luxury facial treatment rooms. Each of these is beautifully furnished and fitted with an extremely comfortable treatment bed, as well as a gorgeous dressing table with absolutely everything you may need before and after your treatment. The salon specializes in facials, but there are also some skin treatments for the body as well.

The Koh Gen Do brand is the creation of Japanese actress Ai Saotome, who found her sensitive skin was suffering from long hours of wearing heavy makeup while filming movies and TV shows. Saotome searched for alternative makeup and skincare that protected and treated her skin for the dryness and stress the current products created. Finally, her search inspired her to create her own products and Koh Gen Do was born. The products’ popularity grew quickly among actresses and makeup artists, first in Japan and Korea and now in the United States, where today the brand is a favorite with celebrities such as Jessica Alba (who featured Koh Gen Do in her book: The Honest Life) and loved by makeup artists on top TV shows like Glee, Entourage and One Tree Hill.

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All of the Koh Gen Do products are created using only natural ingredients derived from Japanese and Chinese herbs, and are free of petroleum-based ingredients, synthetic fragrances and colors. The brand’s philosophy is of integrated skincare and cosmetics- skincare that is gentle on the skin. Each of the Koh Gen Do therapists is trained to use their hands to create a more beautiful complexion. It’s commonly perceived that to fix troubled skin areas, you need to concentrate on treating the outside, or only the problems that are apparent on the skin’s surface. However, many of the causes of troubled skin lie underneath. The Koh Gen Do technique is a unique massage method that relaxes the stiffness of your head, neck, nerves, muscles, meridians, and lymph nodes which all contributes to beautiful skin. Your therapist will ask which areas you feel need to be concentrated on, for example the eye area, and then they will tailor your treatment to your specific needs.

Built-up tension in muscles in the forehead and around the eyes form wrinkles, fine lines and contribute to a more tired appearance. So the Koh Gen Do massage technique manually relaxes the muscles giving a visibly refreshed appearance. The next areas to concentrate on are the cheeks, which tend to retain fluid leading to puffiness or sagging as we age. This intensive type of facial massage is not something that I had experienced in a facial before, as usually facial treatments concentrate more on application of products. Before my first treatment, I wondered if the facial massage would be uncomfortable or make the treatment less relaxing, but it was neither of these things.

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The standard Koh Gen Do “basic course” facial is 60 minutes long (¥10,800), but on both occasions I have opted for the “order made treatment care” facial (70 minutes, ¥16,200), which has added anti-ageing massage and serum. I found the “order made treatment care” facial to be extremely relaxing and indulgent, as well as delivering immediately visible results. When I looked at my skin after the facial, it was glowing, but more interestingly I could actually see a difference in my forehead- the ‘scrunch’ between my eyebrows had definitely relaxed and my cheeks were plumper and lifted. Perhaps it was the post-facial bliss, but I could definitely see a positive change in my overall facial appearance. There was a tangible difference in my skin condition, my usually dry skin was amazingly soft.

The reception staff member who made my appointments spoke English very well, and helped enormously on the day to explain the differences in the facials, and about the Koh Gen Do products and brand. My facial therapist spoke a small amount of English, but this did not matter at all, as the other staff members were on hand before and after the facial to answer any questions.

The Deets

Address: 3-1-6 Azabujuban, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0045

Phone: 0120-700-710

Open: Monday-Saturday 11am-8pm; closed Sunday and Public Holidays


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