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Healthy Skin Post: It’s A Love Story

Posted Feb 10 2011 9:36am

I’ve been planning this healthy skin post for a while now because it’s almost Valentines day :)  Lucky for me it still fits into our Vegan Week.

Early in 2010, at my old job, I won a sales contest that was sponsored by Boscia cosmetics.  Boscia is a North American brand under the parent company FANCL, a huge cosmetic company in Japan.  The prize was an all expense paid trip to Tokyo for sightseeing and a visit to the Boscia / FANCL processing plant.  (I should take this opportunity to mention that I have no affiliation whatsoever with Boscia or FANCL.)

When telling the story about the origin of FANCL and therefore Boscia, company employees often call it “The Boscia Love Story.”

Let’s set the mood . . .

On my trip I was lucky enough to meet the founder of FANCL, Mr Ikemori.  I got to listen to the story of how this huge brand started with a few ampules of product and a bicycle.

In the seventies, Mr Ikemori’s wife was faced with a sudden reaction to cosmetic and skin products and was suffering from blotches and rashes.  He couldn’t understand why something that was supposed to make you feel and look beautiful was causing distress to his wife’s skin.  In an effort to find a new product for his wife to use, he began researching cosmetic brands.  Mr Ikemori was unable to find a single product that met his expectations.  Determined to find his wife the perfect product, he began meeting with friends and experts about formulating his own facial serum.

He eventually found a concoction that worked for his wife, and his friends started asking to try it.  The product was so natural and fresh that he had to package it in tiny ampules with only enough for a two week supply.  Word got out and Mr Ikemori started selling the product, and delivering it himself, every two weeks to his clients.  In 1981 FANCL corporation was founded, and the rest is history as they say.

FANCL is sold everywhere in Japan and other Asian countries.  Recently FANCL started the brand Boscia to bring Mr Ikemori’s vision of natural skincare to the North American market.  Boscia is manufactured in the same FANCL plant in Japan.  His commitment to the needs of sensitive skin does not stop with the ingredients, it flows right into the production process.

Mr Ikemori is very proud of the production process, taking pride in the extreme level of cleanliness of his plants.  The plant that we got to visit was built specifically to act like a museum.  There are windows through the entire plant so that visitors are able to look at every single step in the production process.  What is really important in producing a product is the cleanliness of air.  Polluted air particles can easily enter the product during the process.  Every detail of hygiene and cleanliness has been accounted for.

It was such a delight to be able to hear Mr Ikemori talk about his “love” product.  He also talked about interests in nature and in health.  While visiting his head office building I was able to walk through his rose garden, located on the top floor.

And in the basement cafe . . . I couldn’t believe it . . .

a KALE SMOOTHIE!!!!  Oh Mr Ikemori -- will you marry me ;)

Guess what -- Boscia is a VEGAN brand as approved by PETA.  PETA lists cosmetic brands on their “don’t” list if they do not test on animals.  Brands must be completely free of all animal products to get PETA’s Vegan seal of approval.  Just like we’ve been reading ingredients on food all week, it’s important to arm yourself with ingredient knowledge for cosmetics.  Check out this page for a list of PETA’s animal ingredients to look out for.

Do you use any vegan brands or products?

*** Don’t forget to join the #7dayvegan TWITTER PARTY on Sunday February 13th at 9pm ET.  We’re going to be recapping what we learned, talking about the experience, and thinking about what behaviors are going to stick around after the challenge.  AND -- we’re going to have a couple of vegan friendly prizes :)

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