ALBION as Told by Employees: I
Origin of the Dream, Which Has Unfolded into the Present
Tomoko Tasato, Advisor, Sales Division
Thank you for your love and support of ALBION.
In 1956, a time when Japan was yet to become an affluent country, ALBION was born with a grand dream of becoming the No. 1 luxury cosmetics manufacturer in Japan and the world. Today, many customers both in and outside Japan purchase Milk Lotion, Skin Conditioner and other ALBION products. Like a dream come true, the founding aspiration has gradually been achieved.
Five firsts that paved the way for today’s ALBION
The first products ALBION launched following its foundation were a milk lotion, lotion, nourishing cream, facial pack and massage cream. Driven by the strong determination of the founder to provide products that represented the very best in both content and design, ALBION developed each of these products with meticulous care. Each item was priced at 1,000 yen. For comparison, the starting salary for a newly hired university graduate at the time was 10,000 yen. The lineup was luxurious beyond the imagination of people of today.
Over its 60-year history ALBION has built up a series of traditions around meticulous product development with the aim of creating products that are not just upscale but also authentic and able to provide customers with the value they long for. These traditions continue to be passed on.
PRIAN (Milk lotion)
laying the foundation for the “milk-lotion-first” system
PRIAN was the product that helped establish ALBION as a brand renowned for its milk lotion. The most distinctive characteristic of PRIAN is that it established an innovative value for milk lotion that defied the conventional wisdom.
Back in the day, most people first removed their makeup with a cleanser, and then wiped with toner and supplied nourishment with milk lotion and cream. ALBION thoroughly reviewed these conventional steps and, drawing on its experience, conducted a series of tests on skin to come up with an original beauty system of applying milk lotion after washing the face. ALBION discovered that using milk lotion right after washing makes the skin translucent and rehydrated as well as leaving it soft and supple, like velvet.
The discovery was later supported by ALBION beauty method. This theory said that applying ALBION Milk Lotion, the moisture balance of which is close to that of the stratum corneum, to a clean, freshly washed face helps the skin achieve an ideal balance. ALBION’s original skincare system was thus established.
Over the course of its 60-year history, ALBION has produced many milk lotion items, each of which is unique. Today, ALBION offers milk lotion in each of its series. Milk lotion can help you achieve the skin you want, so you are encouraged to choose one that is the most suitable for your skin condition.
triggering the birth of SkiCon
ORDLIN, meaning “rich nutrients,” was a feminine violet-colored lotion that was gentle on both the eye and the skin. Users of all skin types felt comfortable using this product.
Then, in 1974, as Japan was prospering and women were starting to play active roles in society, Skin Conditioner (SkiCon) made its striking debut. Featuring active skin benefits, SkiCon provided a contrast to the gentle ORDLIN.
Back then, SkiCon’s refreshing feel and sensation were quite novel and took many by surprise. However, the more people use it, the more they find the sensation pleasurable and want to continue using the item. The surprise and the experience it offered helped the item win a large following. ALBION’s long-selling signature lotion, SkiCon continues to provide opportunities even today to approach new customers.
PANACIAN PACK (Peeling facial pack)
a product of the latest technologies of the time
The name “PANACIAN,” meaning “demonstrating the best benefits,” was chosen for a product that seals the skin to soften its corneum cells and helps maintain a normal metabolic rhythm.
Cells grow every day and the normal daily skincare regimen is not sufficient to supply their needs. This peeling facial pack covers the face with a thin layer to seal in moisture. Then the layer is peeled off, helping the skin to regenerate. The creation of this epoch-making thin layer akin to plastic wrap was technically very difficult.
ALBION, however, overcame all difficulties to develop the peeling pack. The visible benefits of the item were well received at stores, where customers lined up to try it. The PANACIAN PACK marked the start of ALBION’s value creation, that is, bringing into being things that have never existed before. With the evolution of products since then, there is a wide variety of facial masks available today, including serum masks, cream packs and rinse-off masks.
Highly feminine cream
PLANCE was launched as a general nourishing cream containing abundant amounts of luxury ingredients for what is now called “aging care.”* PLANCE was a pioneering luxury cream designed to help attain the ideal feminine skin by solving all types of skin concerns.
Cream as an important skincare item later developed and diversified, with products ranging from those dedicated to whitening care to those focusing on wrinkles. To mark its 60th anniversary, ALBION launched the EX-VIE GINZA cream incorporating the most sophisticated science in the brand’s history. EX-VIE GINZA was designed to awaken female skin through the best technology, best texture and best fragrance, not to mention the active ingredients. You can dreamily massage EX-VIE GINZA into your skin at the end of the day and the next morning your skin will be in its best condition. The blissful happiness you then feel will have you looking forward to experiencing it again and again.
* Aging care: skin care according to age
massage indispensable for skin beautification
ALBION proposes massage as a facial shaping exercise. SKIN FATT, named to imply it has the “closest affinity to skin fat,” is a massage cream with a luxurious texture that melts into the skin at body temperature. To realize even higher benefits from the cream, ALBION developed a unique massage method that loosens stiff muscles to improve blood circulation and the skin’s metabolism and presses acupressure points on the face for relaxation. This is a key method for skin beautification.
Massaging offered according to the skin condition of individual customers in order to produce both glowing skin and smiling faces is one of ALBION’s “OMOTENASHI” practices.
The first products were not just epoch-making. They have been the source of many unfolding stories that each hold a special place in the 60-year history of ALBION and have led to creative product development. Thorough training of the beauty advisors who introduce luxury products and the OMOTENASHI spirit will continue to be passed on to future generations to deliver “beautiful impressions.”
Tomoko Tasato, Advisor, Sales Division
After serving as a beauty director, a general manager of the Training Department, Tomoko Tasato became an executive officer active in many areas, including being involved in product development for the launch of many hit products and in media relations as a “skin beauty preacher.” Her supple and translucent “miracle beauty skin” eloquently illuminates the effects of skin care.