My lips have never fared better. Indeed, in a quest lasting several years to find a balm or salve for my dry lips, the answer manifested in a most uncanny way. Maybe you’ve heard of the British beauty journalist, Sali Hughes. I’ve consistently read her column in the Guardian Newspapers for several years now, and some of the best performing cosmetics in my cabinet have come as a result of her recommendations. In her In The Bathroom Series, where she does video interviews with the megastars of the beauty industry, her interview with the esteemed makeup artist Mary Greenwell, handed me the product recommendation I had been in search of. That recommendation is Sensai Cellular Performance Total Lip Treatment.
Sensai is part of the Kanebo company which emerged in 1887 as the Tokyo Cotton Trading Company. Beginning as a purveyor of cotton and silk fibres and later adding flax and woollen yarns, their first cosmetic, a soap, emerged in 1936 from the silk production arm of the business. This soap was formulated with the oils of the silkworm and so, silk became the nucleus of the company’s cosmetics. A visit to Sensai’s website touts the benefits of Koishimaru silk, which is included in the ingredient charter of all Sensai products.
After watching the interview, I proceeded to scour the internet with the intention to buy the item and was left aghast at the price. I spent the better part of last year thinking about the product, staring at it on various websites and then talking myself out of buying it. Once the major year-end sales began, I wincingly took the leap. You know what follows. Since using Sensai Cellular Performance Total Lip Treatment, there is a marked decrease in dryness and chapping. I use the product in the morning after cleansing and maybe once during the day, then as the last step in my skincare routine at night. Thus, I awake to lips that feel comfortable and hydrated and I also see a reduction in the presence of dead skin. May I say that lipsticks, glosses, red wine, turmeric teas and other foods and beverages leave quite a bit of residue on the lips. Admittedly, I’m not a fan of scrubbing the lips, especially with granular mixtures. So, to remove dead skin and residues, I prefer to apply a tiny amount of toner to a cotton square and use that to thoroughly clean my lips. If you think about it, the mouth and the area around it carry out innumerable actions such as smiling, chewing and speaking. So, one is advised to put the product around the contours of the lips as well, known as the O Zone, in order to reduce lines and improve skin texture.
Unlike most lip products, Sensai Cellular Performance Total Lip Treatment is housed in a pump container, happily avoiding the need to squeeze or directly dip your fingers into the product. It also exceeds the direct application model, thereby drastically reducing contamination between the product, fingers and lips. Formulated with extracts of the mandarin tree, yuzu and apricot pulp, the formula is meant to stimulate collagen in the lips and to also get to work on vertical and horizontal lines. With consistent use, expect to see more defined lip contours, a better canvas for lipsticks and glosses, and a reduction in how much you reach for other lip products. Depending on the size of your handbag, this product may have to spend more time on your vanity than with you if you’re out and about, because of the packaging. Although there is 15 ml of product, the container is about 4.5 inches tall. The pump dispenses the right amount needed for applying and the remainder of the O Zone, thereby reducing waste. Sensai is not currently stocked in North American department stores or the other beauty chains. You may easily purchase it online and it is also carried at Harrods, a major UK department store that ships to the US, albeit with very high shipping costs.
The price is wince-inducing, but in the same way we spend astronomical amounts on some eye creams, lips require just as much lavish attention. The skin on the lips is the thinnest on the entire body, lacking sebaceous glands to offer built-in hydration. Therefore, Sensai can thank nature with helping their bottom line.
- This post was originally published on January 27th, 2017