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Panning for the Golden Complexion
By Brad Frischkorn

If diamonds are a girl's best friend, then perhaps gold is the stuff of ladies' skin care.

Such luxury is behind the thinking of chemists at health product maker Phiten, who have created a make-up removal product literally spun from gold.

Phiten's new Kyo no Oshiroi Otoshi makeup remover, set for April 2016 launch in Japan, contains a plurality of the elements gold, and also platinum and palladium at the nano-level in its base formula. The resulting liquid cleanser is similar to a traditional concoction long-preferred by professional maiko and geiko, elite, highly trained groups of performers of ancient Japanese song and dance.

The teenaged maiko, and their elder geiko counterparts, wear a thick, delicately applied mixture of oshiroi--white makeup and paste-- before going out to perform before well-heeled audiences. The time-consuming makeup application routine covers the entire face as well as the ears, upper chest, and nape of the neck.

Of course, the material must also be removed after the performance is over.

"The demands of such performing artists create a very high bar in terms of the quality of skin care products they will accept for regular use," says Michiyasu Hamada, senior manager at Phiten's cosmetics division. "We believe that their approval offers credible testimony for the average makeup-buying consumer. Our product also cuts the time required for makeup removal from an hour to just 15 minutes, which the performers really appreciate."

Elderly ladies in their 70s and 80s, as well as those with particularly sensitive skin, have also shown warm acceptance for the product in trial tests, he notes.

Kyo no Oshiroi Otoshi is available in three thicknesses ranging from foamy to a rich creamlike application. A one-month supply of the cleanser ranges from ¥2,000 for a 120 gram tube to ¥3,500 for a 150 milliliter bottle.

Phiten is confident that once the product launches, ready adoption by high-end cosmetics retailers should see Kyo no Oshiroi Otoshi on the shelves of more than 100 shops nationwide as early as end-July.

While it is not inordinately expensive compared to its competitors, Mr. Hamada says that even high-priced cosmetic products can contain alcohol and great deal of cheap, even harmful ingredients. As such, he likens Phiten's latest creation to U. S. cosmetics maker Estee Lauder's lineup of goods.

"Estee Lauder keeps the bar high for its products, and will not hesitate to recall anything that comes under legitimate scrutiny for side-effects or quality control," he says. "We respect that as a good standard to keep."

Traditional maiko dancer

"Estee Lauder keeps the bar high for its products. We respect that as a good standard to keep." -- Michiyasu Hamada

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