A rebirth in skincare at Royal Hawaiian Center

Iki Sakakura wasn’t planning on starting a business. However, after listening to a friend’s complaints about the condition of her skin, he set about – out of love – trying to find a remedy for the common woes of aging, such as dryness, wrinkling and spotting.

After experimenting in his kitchen with vitamin and nutrient extracts of various foods, he created products which produced results that won raves. Love Renaissance was born, reawakening the entire business of skincare.

Love Renaissance’s boutique at Royal Hawaiian Center marked the company’s first store outside Japan, followed by Las Vegas, where the company’s skincare products have been incorporated into treatments at the Bellagio Spa. It’s just a matter of time before the rest of the world catches on to Sakakura’s work – Love Renaissance already has caught the attention of designer Karl Lagerfeld, who invited Sakakura to his home out of a mutual interest in beauty and skincare.

The Love Renaissance Hawaii boutique carries five product lines: Swan-ess, Sakuyahime, Noe, Verdi and Dolce, each marked by a different key ingredient comprising the products’ 80 percent serum content.

The key ingredient of the starter Swaness line – named after the tale of the ugly duckling who becomes a beautiful swan – is vitamin- and nutrient-rich brown rice.

Central to the Sakuyahime line is cherry blossom leaf extract, noted for its antioxidant and antiseptic properties. (In Japan, the leaf makes a perfect protective wrapper for otherwise quick-to-spoil mochi.)

The Noe line makes use of olive leaf, and Verdi combines olive leaf with royal jelly made by bees, which provide nutrients for the development of their queens.

Introduced just last month is the XTrue line, the name interpreted as “a kiss of truth.”

If you have room in your medicine cabinet for just one more product, consider the Dolce skincare concentrate serum that is a main component of both the Verdi and XTrue lines. It is literally food for the skin, comprising 50 percent honey, white or red wine yeast, royal jelly and other food-grade ingredients.

The rich, molasses-like serums are massaged onto the skin after cleansing until they reach a sticky, near-dry consistency. Casually dubbed a “facelift in a jar,” you’ll see and feel the results immediately after rinsing it off. The honey helps to trap moisture, resulting in skin that feels smoother to the touch and appears more radiant.

The cost of Verdi Dolce is $205, while A.M. (white wine content) and P.M. (red wine) versions of the XTrue Dolce are $162.50 each.

To demonstrate the uniqueness of Love Renaissance’s products, those who visit the store are pampered with hand massages utilizing the various products. It turns out to be a great sales technique, because naturally, patrons want their face looking as good as – or better than – their hands.

And with product names like Tomorrow Foam and Tomorrow Essence that suggest a person using the products overnight will look better the next day, Sakakura reminds women that a good half of beauty comes from within, as well as from living life with a sense of humor and lightness.