Snob Essentials

Japanese Brand Yu-Be Comes to the U.S.

I learned a lot of things when, in the spring, I went to Japan for two weeks, like…the women have amazing skin and take their regimens very seriously and I’m not just talking about the geisha. Unfortunately even in the major department stores most people don’t speak a lick of English so discovering new products wasn’t as easy as I hoped. More and more Japanese brands are making their way Stateside however and one of the ones generating the most buzz is Yu-Be. It has been around for half a century, but just recently launched at Sephora with a handful of products (it’s also at other retailers like Space NK and Whole Foods). While the brand’s packaging leaves something to be desired, the prices are relatively mild and the products deliver. The brand was started by a pharmacist and they’ve since continued to use his patented glycerin-based formulations – and when you try something from the brand you’ll understand why. Everything I tested was moisturizing, but unlike what glycerin may leave you thinking, non-greasy and fast absorbing. The real clincher however is that the hydration is long lasting (something I noticed most in the lip balm)…whatever this patented glycerin processing method is, it’s clearly working! Here’s to hoping they spice up their packaging though…

Has anyone been using a Japanese beauty brand they love?


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  1. Yu-Be has been in the States for quite some time. I’m able to buy (their truly amazing) skin creme from Sephora and a few other retailers. I do hope they get to be a bit more prominent here because if they have more products we can’t get here, then I’ll be so happy b/c their quality is stunning!

  2. The products are wonderful. i lived in japan for five years, and was able to buy Yu-Be when I returned in 09. Too bad you didn’t find an english speaker, the most fun place to go to get Japanese skin care and such is Tokyo hands. It is a treasure chest of things you have never seen or heard of but are such fun to try. I never had a hard time finding someone to help me with translation, and taking a cell phone pic with a quick description helped a lot when I got home

  3. Recently discovered Koh Gen Do. I am amazed at how the skincare has improved my skin. Also trying the makeup products and loving them.