KOTOSHINA is an organic skin care brand from Kyoto, Japan.
We partnered with an organic green tea plantation in the Uji region of Kyoto and an organic cosmetic maker in France, a country that is advanced in organic products, to create a new organic skin care line in 2012.
The Japanese characters for “koto” hold meanings such as “the ancient capital”, and “shina” can mean “articles” or “dignity”.
The name KOTOSHINA represents the dignity and merchandise from the ancient capital of Kyoto and our aspiration to create merchandise that holds meaning.
KOTOSHINA products are orthodox organic cosmetics, with ingredients and manufacturing processes certified by the French organic certification organization Qualité France and the Cosmébio label*. (*some exceptions)
The formula ratio of naturally derived ingredients and organic farming-derived ingredients are indicated on the packaging; our formulas are substantiated and not just concepts.
An orthodox organic cosmetics brand
We partnered with an organic green tea plantation in the Uji region of Kyoto, which is a venerable production region of quality green tea. Organic green tea components are added to all product. French spa water is also added to several of our products.
The integration of excellent ingredients from Japan and France is one factor that triggered the birth of the KOTOSHINA brand.
KOTOSHINA products are orthodox organic cosmetics, with ingredients and manufacturing processes certified by the French organic certification organization Qualité France and the Cosmébio label*. The products are planned in Japan and manufactured in France. (*some exceptions)
Green tea from Uji
All KOTOSHINA products are formulated with organic green tea components from the Uji region of Kyoto.
Uji is a venerable growing district for exceptionally high-grade green tea, blessed with a natural environment including climate and soil with the backdrop of the ancient capital of Kyoto, which has cultivated Japan’s tea culture for over a thousand years.
KOTOSHINA partnered with an organic-certified tea plantation in Uji to secure organic tea ingredients.
Green tea leaves are rich with catechins and vitamin C and other beneficial elements for beautiful skin. KOTOSHINA products are made not only with these green leaf elements, but also with oil extracted from the tea seeds.
Tea seed oil
Like camellia oil, tea seed oil is exquisite oil that has been used for generations in Japan for skin and hair care. However, as the tea-drinking culture developed, focus shifted to growing tea leaves because of their value and seeds are now rarely harvested. Consequently, this oil is quite scarce. Indeed, our partnering organic green tea farmers harvested and pressed oil from tea seeds for the first time for KOTOSHINA products. The main element is oleic acid, and content rate is very high among botanical oils. It has excellent moisture-retaining properties and will provide gentle care for dry skin.
In October, white flowers bloom amid the dark green foliage in the tea fields, and a year later, they become seed pods. These pods consist of three sections, with round brown seeds inside.
The KOTOSHINA mark was inspired by a family crest derived from this seed pod, along with the image of spring water and the flow of water.
Tea and camellias are sisters, of the same family Theaceae.
Like camellia oil, tea seed oil is a clear, light yellow oil, and can be extracted from the seed of the fruit. It is also rich with oleic acid and has excellent oxidation stability for products.
Oleic acid is a type of non-drying oil and retains moisture well. This fatty acid is smooth and resistant to evaporation, so it nicely bonds with skin. It will supplement the moisture in the horny layer of the skin to retain dewy moistness.
Most KOTOSHINA products are formulated with Gamarde les Bains spa water.
Spa water from Gamarde les Bains, located in southwest France, has a long history. It has been discovered it in the 16th century, and after being certified by the Academy of Medicine, a spa treatment facility was established in 1841.
Because the benefits of this spring water have been recognized through skin and metabolism studies, it has spread as a mineral water. During World War I, the facility also served as retreat for injured soldiers.
After some later twists and turns, a new water source was secured. An organic cosmetics maker recognized the excellent properties of this spa water for skin and started developing products after acquiring exclusive rights to this water source. This development brought the spa water into the spotlight once more.
KOTOSHINA has partnered with the maker that holds exclusive rights to this scarce spa water that is recognized to be skin-beautifying by the Academy of Medicine in France, and uses it as an ingredient. A distinction of this spa water is its high content of sulfurous elements, and its properties are excellent for soothing skin that is starting to become sensitive, protecting skin from becoming rough, and caring for aging skin.
KOTOSHINA products are produced in a factory located in southwest France, surrounded by Malbec grape vineyards and venerable wineries.
The environment is rich with nature and blessed with a mild climate. The factory is a valuable partner of the KOTOSHINA brand, which cherishes the philosophy of phytotherapy in its artisanship.