I finally finished my 1 fl oz. bottle of Caudalie Beauty Elixir and happily moved on to this Hadanomy AquaPlacenta Concentrated Mist. Yes, you read that right, placenta as in placental protein.
There have been many debates on the benefits of placental protein and many companies have put them into cosmetics and skincare, especially in Asia. In Japan, there is no shortage of products touting placental protein as an ingredient. But this trend, so to speak, is actually not that recent. Even back in 2004 before I left home for Japan the first time, I had heard of placental protein in skin care.
Y. was a Japanese language partner I met during my last year of college (we still keep in touch and I had visited her a few times in Kyoto already). It was winter of 2004 and she was in between her home-stay program, so I invited her to spend a few nights at my house. As she was prepping her skin prior to bed, she pulled out a mysterious small bottle from her toiletry case. I asked, and she said it was a serum made out of placenta. I raised an eyebrow, and from my reaction she smirked a, "You don't know anything, do you?" smile. Then she proceeded to tell me that every 6 months, she and her aunt would spend an equivalent of $160 (almost 20,000yen at the time, which translates to roughly $255 with the current exchange, not counting 8 years' worth of inflation) for 2 small bottles, which with sparing nightly use would last them each 6 months. I nodded, astounded, and wondered why on Earth would anyone spend so much money on a tiny bottle of placenta "stuff." Eww was my exact thought, and after the ick factor wore off I started to question whether such an ingredient is properly tested for, well, anything really.
Hadanomy AquaPlacenta Concentrated Mist
And then here I am 8 years later trying, not the same serum per se, but placental protein as ingredient in my skincare. There are two known sources for placental proteins in Japanese cosmetics and skincare: mammals (horse, pig, hopefully not too many others but I'm afraid no one really knows for sure) and marine (salmon eggs, other marine life, of which I'm not nearly as wary as I should be). Despite claims from certain beauty blogs, I haven't been able to find any reputable resources in English that can ascertain what kind(s) of placental proteins are in these Hadanomy AquaPlacenta products. I even checked Sana's official page for the AquaPlacenta line, and no where does it say whether these placental proteins are from mammals or marine life, let alone getting as specific as Hokkaido Salmons. So there you have it, my disclaimer and word of caution. Proceed at your own risk.
As for myself, to my own surprise I quite like this Concentrated Mist! It's not completely watery like Caudalie Beauty Elixir, but it's not viscous either. So given the slightly thicker than water texture I thought it would be sticky but nope, I spray it on and my skin just slurps it all up like it's been thirsty for days. The mist is free of colorant and mineral oils, but it does contain oil ingredients (bergamot, lavender, and lemon peel oils) so it is a moisturizer. It is also scented with a "White Rose Bouquet" fragrance which to me is flowery with a top note of rose and an end note of citrus. Either way the fragrance is very light and dissipate quickly, leaving no discernible smell after spraying.
Given my positive experience with Caudalie, I expected this Concentrated Mist to help with absorption for whatever comes next. And boy does it help, and then some, much so that I could tell the difference between having sprayed this mist on or not, because then my serum and subsequent moisturizer would sit on my skin for a while before they dry, only to turn greasy if I accidentally over apply. With this mist on beforehand? Slurp slurp, and they disappear into my skin ^.^ Even when I over apply serum and moisturizer, the mist keeps my skin from getting oily and greasy. Love it, and love it enough to grab another bottle when I saw it on sale for 698yen at Don Quixote along with the Limited Edition 90mL Heart Bottle, which was going for 448yen. Who can resist such adorable and travel friendly packaging?
The limited edition 90mL heart bottle.
As a step in an increasingly lengthy skincare routine, a mister may sound redundant. However, I find myself missing this Concentrated Mist when I skip it every 2 nights (for Differin, no serum, emulsion, or moisturizer either). After my shower, I tone with Skilabo Aloe Extract Lotion using a cotton pad (it isn't viscous), then layer the mist onto freshly toned and damp skin with 4 sprays on the face (forehead, each cheek, and chin), 1 on the neck, and 2 the decolletage and upper chest. As my skin absorbs the mist, I walk around, towel dry my hair, etc., before following up with eye cream (The Body Shop Nutriganics Smoothing Eye Cream), a light serum/emulsion (from random samples I have a gazillion of), finally finishing up with a moisturizer on the face, neck, and chest. L'Occitane Honey & Lemon Delightful Cream used to be it, but it's getting too heavy for this humidity so now I apply a separate lighter gel cream on my face (again, from the random samples I have).
My morning routine is much simpler, spraying on the Concentrated Mist, let dry, then dab on Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner, follow by emulsion or moisturizer, and finally sunscreen, Allie Extra UV Protector Perfect Alpha - note this is 2011's formulation which has been discontinued and replaced with the newer 2012 formulation. I actually just finished my last bottle too and will be trying out several different brands! And then makeup when I'm not too lazy for it.
Suggested routine for nights (purple section):
1. AquaPlacenta Wash (follow up cleanser; if you wear a water resistant Japanese sunscreen, you will need an oil cleanser to remove that first), OR
2. AquaPlacenta Esthe Foam (3-in-1 makeup removal, cleansing, and massage foam; again, if you wear a water resistant Japanese sunscreen, you will need an oil cleanser to remove that first; I skipped this one and didn't buy it)
3. This AquaPlacenta Concentrated Mist
4. AquaPlacenta Lotion (haven't tried this yet)
5. AquaPlacenta Cream (haven't tried this yet)
Suggested routine for days (yellow section):
1. AquaPlacenta Wash, OR
2. AquaPlacenta Esthe Foam
3. This AquaPlacenta Concentrated Mist
4. AquaPlacenta Cream
***Picture from Sana Hadanomy.