This packaging is the most interesting I’ve seen in a long while; the whole bottle has been designed to look exactly like a sake bottle — from the frosted, long-necked heavy glass bottle down to the simple label. I love the whole thing. It’s all very appropriate considering this is produced by a renowned traditional sake brewery! (It looks and feels so much like a sake bottle on hand that it carries not one but two red warning labels on the back, alerting you not to drink the content inside — just in case you missed the third one printed on the box!)
If you really don’t like sake then Kuramoto Bijin Hakumai Ferment Milk isn’t for you as it not only resembles, but it smells exactly like one too (albeit subtly). Actually this should come as absolutely no surprise to most of you, as sake has a very distinctive smell that can be overpowering — beauty products that are high in sake will always smell like one. For me, smelling like a drunkard for a few seconds very much adds to its appeal.
Packaging and scent aside, I do very much like this. Colour-wise, it looks exactly like nigorizake (sake that is coarsely filtered). Its texture is so light that it’s just like applying a refreshing Japanese lotion, yet it is so, so hydrating and nourishing! It does contain a high amount of rice bran oil, but it’s not at all heavy or greasy. In fact, Kuramoto Bijin suggest that this is a post-cleansing, all-in-one skin care step that can take the place of a lotion (a.k.a. softener), serum, and moisturiser. Personally, I use the Hakumai Ferment Milk as a regular moisturiser over my serum, or occasionally just on its own. It gives just enough moisture to make my normal- slightly combination skin generally plumper and livelier without leaving any sticky or greasy residue.
How you choose to use it very much depends on your skin type and how many products you like to layer. It’s lightweight and quite universally suitable (unless your skin is sensitive or problem-prone!). If your skin is oily/combination but on the dehydrated side, this does the trick completely as a supercharged all-in-one. It’s packed full of organic rice-derived antioxidants and ingredients that help to retexturise the skin, reduce dark spots, repair UV damage, protect the skin, and improve the skin’s barrier function — all without added alcohol, fragrance, or silicones! If your skin is very dry then you may find that it isn’t hefty enough to cut the mustard, though this works fantastically well as a pre-moisturiser boost. I like to add a drop of the Kuramoto Bijin Komeyu (Rice Oil) to it as a nourishing booster if I have dry patches.
Kuramoto Bijin Hakumai Ferment Milk is beautifully put-together, and a great choice if you want a nourishing, all-round powerhouse that is very light in texture. Apply it as a moisturiser, a “post-cleansing, pre-moisturiser” step, or completely on its own. Just see you go! You can find it, 120ml, online for ¥1,728 (approx. US$15.35) from Rakuten Global Market HERE — Airmail and SAL shipping available. It’s also available from eBay HERE for US$24.14+.