Ingredient/Mask Highlight: Lotus! Kenzoki Belle de Jour and Sephora Sheet Mask

Lotus is one of my favorite flowers, but it wasn’t until recently that I start taking notice of it in skincare. Lotus takes root in muddy pond or river bottom with the leaves and flowers several centimeters above the surface. The plant normally grows up to a height of about 150cm (almost 5 feet!) with leaves that can be as large as 20 inches and flowers up to 8 inches in diameter. Untouched by any impurities, the lotus symbolizes purity of the heart and mind and represents long life, humility, honor and tranquility in China. Not only is the flower beautiful, the seeds are often used in Chinese desserts such as moon cake and the root is delicious pickled or stir-fried. The seeds help to cool and cleanse the body from inside while the roots are low in calories but full of fiber, vitamin C and other nutrients.

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But what about skincare benefits? Lotus is often listed in the ingredients list as nelumbo nucifera. It is moisturizing and high in antioxidants such as vitamin C, which helps to increase skin elasticity, erase fine lines and fade brown spots. Lotus also have a calming and soothing effect, so it helps to reduce inflammation as well. It’s not a popular ingredient in the west so there isn’t a lot of scientific researching studying the effect of topical application. However, it is slowly catching on with the expanding Fresh Lotus line (LOVE Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream) and Kenzoki’s White Lotus line, while many other brands slowly adding it into their lines (Sephora Lotus mask and Clarins Lotus oil).

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Skin Types: Appropriate for all skin types, especially dry, aging or sensitive skin.

Purpose: Moisturizing, softening, anti-inflammatory. It is a natural source of vitamin C, which makes it anti-aging and brightening as well.

Kenzoki Belle de Jour White Lotus Mask

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The mask is packaged in a sturdy plastic jar, with a plastic cover on the inside as well. Once opened, I was greeted with a lovely soft floral scent. The mask is an ivory creamy soufflé mask, the texture is similar to Fresh Black tea but this feels cool/wet/refreshing upon contact, as if my skin is just drinking it in. Because it is so expensive, I was hoping I can use it like a moisturizer (like Sisley Black Rose Mask) but it doesn’t dry or absorbs completely. Rather, it gets a little powdery and you do have to wipe the residue off. It left the skin feeling refreshed, soothed and hydrated. I don’t care much for fancy descriptions, but it is a pleasure to use, like drinking a tall glass of cooled water when you are feeling a bit too dry and warm. Using it in the morning makes my skin happier before having to venturing out into the cold harsh weather, so I’m loving it right now.

Sephora Lotus Sheet Mask
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The sheet mask is thick and embossed, a little wider than my face but otherwise adheres to the skin well. The essence is more of a gel serum than liquid and there were no leftovers in the packet after taking the mask out. It have a mild plastic scent, which goes away after a while so it’s not an issue. The mask feels nice on and leaves the skin moisturized after I take it off. I would recommend it for dry combination skin, but it might feel too stuffy/greasy for oily/combination skin.

Yes to Lotus? The Sephora sheet masks are ok, but after trying numerous $2-3 Korean masks, I prefer those more. I do love using Kenzoki Belle de Jour. It’s a treat for your skin, a mini-spa moment in the morning to enjoy before going about your day and I would recommend this. My only peeve was that when I was searching for reviews, most are from 2011 and stating it was $70, but now it’s $82 and that’s too big of a price increase for comfort.

If you are interested in trying a good lotus skincare, I would very much recommend the Fresh Lotus Face Cream (which also comes in a .5oz mini for $17, appropriate for all except oily skin, LOVE) and Clarins Lotus facial oil (appropriate for all except sensitive maybe due to the very strong herbal floral fragrance).

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