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December 2, 2002

This week I am pleased to bring you my report on a new skin care line from the Japanese company Fancl, called boscia. Enjoy!

boscia skin care
One of my favorite things about this job is the exposure to new and interesting products that might never have crossed my path otherwise. I was contacted in early October by boscia, a new line from Japan that is preservative free and botanically based. Every boscia skincare product contains organically grown jojoba leaf, an antioxidant that helps fight against free radical damage caused by environmental irritants like pollution, radiation and cigarette smoke; and, willowherb, an anti-inflammatory. Boscia also has a line of vitamin and herb supplements as part of the whole look better, feel better package. To that end, boscia's philosophy is to offer the freshest products possible without preservatives. Instead, they use a patent-pending combination of botanicals to create a preservative-free formula with long-lasting anti-bacterial properties. The pump containers (even on the tubes) alleviate the chance/need for fingertips and airborne particles to come in contact with the product, and it ensures that you get every last bit of product. Because there are no preservatives, the product containers are smaller than many on the market because the idea is to use them up in a few months so you get the freshest product possible. All the products are also fragrance free and safe for acne-prone skin.

Soothing Cleansing Cream ($18 for 4.06oz)
Although this lotion cleanser is labeled for normal to dry skin, I think it would be a great fit for anyone. This lightweight lotion removes makeup with ease, even tough mascara, and rinses easily without leaving any kind of residue, unlike some lotion cleansers that are oily, greasy or filmy. For dry skin, I'd recommend skipping the toner to keep the soft, conditioned feeling that the lotion leaves on the skin. Just a note: when I reordered, the cleanser came with a package of cotton pads, which I assume are for "tissuing" it off. I don't see the need for removing it this way unless your skin reacts horribly to water. Considering how easily this splashes off, I think a warm washcloth would be more effective if you want some wiping action. This 4-ounce bottle lasted me about two months.

Purifying Cleansing Gel ($18 for 4.06oz)
With my dry skin, I typically avoid gel or foaming cleansers, but this one is different. The extremely gentle cleansing agents combined with plant extracts like jojoba leaf and green tea make this a lightly foaming gel cleanser that even I can use. My face doesn't feel dry or tight after using it. I use this one in the shower about three times a week, switching back and forth with the scrub.

Balancing Facial Tonic ($16 for 4.06oz)
I'm not a big toner fan, but if you feel it's a necessary step for you, this is a fine choice as part of the Boscia collection. It's alcohol free, made with soothing lavender water and plant extracts like jojoba leaf, willowherb, and rosemary. I enjoyed using the initial bottle I got, but it was gone quickly (just under a month), so I did not reorder.

Vital Daily Moisture SPF 15 ($25 for 1oz)
This is the first day cream with sun protection that I've used that works just as well for in warm weather as it does cold. Like most other boscia products, this lotion has jojoba leaf and willowherb, as well as rice bran oil, wine yeast and a marine complex for antioxidant benefits. The sun protection comes from octinoxate 5% and avobenzone 3%. I've been using this fairly small tube since the first week of October (two pumps once a day), and I still have a few days left before it runs out and I can start my next tube.

Oil-free Daily Hydration SPF 15 ($25 for 1oz)
I don't usually use oil-free lotions because they just don't suit my skin type, but I gave this one a try during some of our warmer autumn days. It's a terrific light lotion that would really suit normal, combination or slightly oily skin. Like the Vital Daily Moisture, this one also contains jojoba leaf, willowherb, wine yeast and a marine complex, as well as burdock root and silica powder to help with oiliness.

Recharging Night Moisture ($30 for 1oz)
This rich cream is probably best suited for normal to dry or dry skin. I like that it adapts to my skin's need for moisture without making me feel greasy - it works just as well on the nights when my skin feels fairly normal as it does after a cold, blistery day outside where I need some real comfort and relief. Two pumps is more than enough for your whole face, and with daily use one tube should last about two to two and a half months.

Willow Bark Breakout Treatment ($18 for .5oz)
My skin gets more and more sensitive over the years to topical breakout treatments like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and vitamin A derivatives, and I was almost at a loss for anything that would help until I found this. I don't typically get huge breakouts, but I do get a lot of redness and inflammation, which this gel addresses beautifully. It never dried out my skin, and it really does get rid of almost all the redness of an active breakout. Whenever I feel something coming on, I apply a thin layer of this before bed, and more often than not, it's gone or significantly smaller in the morning. For me, that's enough reason to spend a little more for something that works. This half-ounce bottle lasted me almost two months with about every-other-day use (for both active breakouts and preventive maintenance on acne-prone areas).

Enlivening Amino-AG Eye Treatment ($30 for .5oz)
I'm still at the point in my life where I haven't quite noticed if eye cream actually does anything for fines lines, other than just moisturizing the area. I like that this cream-gel is light and absorbs quickly with no greasiness, but I wouldn't necessarily buy it again, simply because I feel like the other products work just as well for the eye area. I apply the vitamin C serum and the day or night moisturizer to the eye area, so why do I need yet another cream? At this point I don't see the need for it for my face.

Antioxidant Recovery Treatment C ($38 for 1oz)
This is one of my favorite products of the line. It's a cream-gel that leaves a velvety finish on the skin. The big plus with this vitamin C treatment is that I've noticed that my skin bounces back more quickly since I've been using it. If I get a blemish, it heals within 2 days rather than five to seven. I also notice more even color and less blotchiness on my face since using it. This one-ounce bottle lasted about two months with twice daily use.

Smoothing Facial Polish ($20 for 2.8oz)
For once or twice a week exfoliation, this scrub is a nice mix of natural ingredients and gentle scrubbing. Rather than jagged bits of nuts and seeds, or perfectly round balls of wax, this scrub uses mannan granules, which provide nice scrubbing action but feel soft and gentle on the skin. I looked and looked online to learn what mannan granules are, and found nothing. I can tell you that they feel like a grain of some sort, like spongy, firm bits of rice or wheat. The base of the scrub is a lightly foaming gel that acts as your cleanser and scrub in one on the days you use it.

Daily Hand Revival Therapy SPF 15 ($12 for 2.8oz)
I hoped this hand cream would improve the condition of my hands as much as the skin care improved the condition of my skin, but no such luck. It's a nice cream that makes the skin feel soft and smooth, but I found the effects just don't last. I was constantly reaching for more cream to help my dry, cracked hands, but this never worked completely.

Clear Complexion Therapy Supplements ($14 for 180 tablets)
I've never taken a vitamin supplement from a cosmetic line before, so I was hesitant when I first saw them, and I didn't start taking them at the same time I started on the products. About three weeks into using the skin care, I started taking three tablets daily, according to the package instructions. This supplement, one of three that Boscia offers (clear complexion, moisture replenishing and antioxidant vegetable), contains B-complex vitamins as well as vitamin C and herbs like Coix Extract (Job’s Tears) and Vitex Extract (Chaste Tree Berry). My doctor actually recommended B-complex for me as a natural approach to my skin problems (hormone-induced acne) and I like that these don't have all the fillers that many cheaper vitamins have (fillers can prevent the absorption of the vitamins into your system, rendering them useless).

After two months of using these products, I am hooked. I love the simple packaging, lack of fragrance, clean delivery systems (no messy jars or crusty tubes), and how clear and healthy my skin looks. When several of the products ran out suddenly at the same time, I didn't think twice about reordering. I've been looking for a long time for the skin care routine that works for me that I can stick with, and I think I've found it! You can find out more about Boscia at Boscia.net.

I hope you enjoyed this issue of The Cosmetic Report!

Until next time,



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