In this interview, Mie Sasaki, the granddaughter of Eau de Ki's founder, answers Keiko Suyama's questions about the creation and extraordinary benefits of this ancestral Japanese beauty elixir.
Please tell us more about EAU DE KI’s story, developed by the Sasaki’s family.
My grandfather, Umeji Sasaki, was born in Aizuwakamatsu into a century-old seafood wholesaler family. Back then, the whole family considered that throwing away unsold seafood wasteful. So even though it was not the most fresh, they would always eat them. Due to this, they then began to suffer from skin disorders. Especially my grandfather’s sister, Miyo, who developed severely atopic and scaly skin.
My grandfather started sourcing medicinal herbs and after many trials and errors he created a curing lotion for his sister. After applying this medicated solution on her, her skin once became beautiful and her itching stopped..
It was through the complete healing of Yomi's skin that Umeji Sasaki's concept of "not sick" was born. According to him "The constant flow of fluid carries fresh oxygen and nutrients around the cells, keeping them healthy" while "the stagnant flow of fluids in the body causes various fatigues in the body".
The impressive results of the lotion became first known among the neighbors, and the medicinal solution was given the name of”extraordinary water". Word spread and soon, people started coming from further regions than Aizuwakamatsu to buy this lotion. In Japan, the lotion was commercialized in 1926 under the name of "cosmetic concentrated OPAL". It was sold as a skincare rather than a medicinal product because it was not created to heal a disease but rather to prevent it. It thus comes directly from my grandfather’s concept of "not sick".
Recently, the concept of "fermentation" has attracted many people’s attention. What are the benefits of using fermentation and slow maturation technologies in the EAU DE KI manufacturing process?
A long fermentation process of a product allows the components to biologically blend together, thus unfolding a new molecular structure with a lower molecular weight. EAU DE KI is fermented in a special container called Nanbangame, which promotes maturation. The purpose is to improve the permeability of the lotion via a slow maturation process, thus achieving a higher beautifying effect on the skin. Moreover, this slow maturing process makes the product gentle and similar the skin’s PH.
Why is "Qi*,” blood and water" the foundation of Eau de Ki recipe essential for the skin’s health?
According to oriental medicine, the body’s health is linked to the harmonious circulation of "Qi, blood and water". When this balance is lost, the body’s internal health deteriorates which affects the skin. *vital energy
How do you select the Oriental Therapeutic plants that you are using?
EAU DE KI is based on the concept of HO SHA, which is said to lead to the rebalancing of oriental medicine’s "Qi, blood, water" flows. The plants of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and of the Traditional Japanese Medicine (Kampo) are classified and used according to their benefits on the body’s various symptoms. There is a traditional herbal remedy called "SHIMOTSUTO" which is said to have a "blood supplementation" and "blood movement" activating action. It is used for example to heal dermatitis, which is expressed by dry and rough skin. Sankodo’s EAU DE KI lotion combines "Shimotsuto" with other Asian medicinal plants carefully selected for their actions on the Qi and the water flow.
General phytotherapeutic function of the ingredients (the phytotherapeutic function for each ingredient is indicated in square brackets):
- Jujube extract: skin cells activation [Qi]
- Ginseng extract: promotes metabolism [Qi]
- Tangerine Peel Extract: promotes blood circulation [Riki]
- Peony root extract: promotes blood birculation [blood replenishment]
- Cnidium rhizome extract: promotes blood circulation [living Blood]
- Lily of the valley root extract: moisturizing [Yin]
- Reishi extract: moisturizing [Yin]
- Umbrella Polypore extract: moisturizing [Water]
The purifying properties of EAU DE KI are gentle yet quite powerful. Why?
Unlike ordinary cosmetics, EAU DE KI is bottled after a long period of maturation. This reduces the molecular weight and enables a synthesis of the ingredients, which enhances permeability and affinity for the skin’s natural PH. This is where its amazing ability to remove makeup and encrusted dirt comes from. Thanks to Mikadô’s many years of research on raw material composition and long-term maturation technology and development, EAU DE Ki is a soft lotion with excellent skin-beautifying power. .
EAU DE KI is known to reduce the appearance of fine lines. How?
The low the molecular weight of the ingredients, enables the lotion to deeply penetrate the skin, which increases the benefits of Japanese and Chinese herbal extracts. We believe that wrinkles visibility decreases when adjusting the skin’s texture, maintaining its barrier function and improving its hydration with moisturising ingredients.
EAU DE KI does not have an expiration date. I have heard that some people open it and use it many years after buying it, does it make it more effective?
EAU DE KI’s maturation process is carried out in a controlled environment in a special container called Nanbangame. Because it is a fermented product, it is a living process that continues to mature with time.
Can EAU DE KI be used by those sensitive skin?
Sometimes, after using Eau de Ki, redness can appear on people’s sensitive skin. There is no need to worry about it but for those who are worried about it we propose a three-step method of use:
There are 3 levels of use, according to the skin’s condition people with sensitive skin should use the product from level 3 :
- Level 3: Moisten your face and put one or two drops of EAU DE KI into the palms of your wet hands before gently patting your face with it.
- Level 2 : Soak a cotton pad with cold or lukewarm water and wring it out. Then add two or three drops of Eau de Ki and gently apply it over your skin.
- Level 1: For those familiar with level 2, apply a 500 yen coin-sized amount of EAU DE KI to a dry cotton before gently passing it on your skin.
* - If you are using corticosteroids, please refrain from using EAU DE KI. - Do not use it as a compress.
I have heard that every member of Sasaki's family uses EAU DE KI lotion (Called “Medicinal Opal” in Japan),