A First-Time Facial Experience at Mocci Beauty

For many people, getting a facial is a key part of their regular beauty routines, but for some of us, it’s not even on our radar. I would be one of those people. In my many years on the earth, I’ve never tried one—or ever thought I would, to be honest. I’ve just felt like it’s one of those things that “wasn’t for me.” That’s why, when I had the opportunity to try one for myself at Mocci Beauty in Azabu-Juban, I had to think for a moment. Would the experience convert me, or leave me unconvinced?

Things got off to a good start as soon as I walked into the salon, which is tastefully designed and filled with calming, tranquil music. Mocci Beauty’s owner, Miki Yamaguchi, welcomed me with a warm smile and perfect English. Having worked at beauty salons in London for seven years and run her own salons in London and Tokyo for 11 years, she has a wealth of experience helping clients from around the world meet their skincare needs—even newcomers to the experience like me.

After asking me a few questions, she was able to plan out a treatment that would tone, soothe and moisturize my skin. My treatment began with a steamer that would soften my skin and open my pores. As Miki explained, this would allow the cleaning steps that would follow to work more deeply, including what followed—an oil cleansing treatment that helped to remove blockages of pores caused by sebum, dirt and air pollution. 

Next was a clay and lactic acid cleansing, which also helped to draw impurities from my pores and gently remove dead skin. Then came the part of the treatment that I had been worried about—extracting blackheads and cleaning out blocked pores—because I’d heard it could be painful. But Miki took care to make this process as pain-free as possible, and it was done before I knew it.

Holistic and High-Tech

She followed up with a more high-tech treatment: electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) while using a solution of hyaluronic acid and placenta gel. As Miki explained, we only use about 30 percent of our facial muscles, our faces’ appearance begins to sag when these muscles aren’t used. EMS is ideal for this, as well as stimulating blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. At the same time, the hyaluronic acid and gel treatment hydrates and softens the skin.

Miki then applied an iontophoresis facial mask, which features a weak electrical current. She mixes a wide array of ingredients for these masks, including retinol, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and peptides, and chooses them to specifically address each client’s specific skin care needs. Keeping the mask on for a long stretch allows the electrical current to help the ingredients be more fully absorbed by the skin. And it was a nice opportunity to relax very quietly, and I almost drifted off in the tranquil environment.

After the mask was removed, Miki gently massaged my face, explaining that she was following the flow of the lymphatic system to help flush out toxins. This was followed by a pleasant scalp massage, which she said stimulates blood circulation and healthier hair growth.

The final step in the treatment was a hydrating toner and moisturizing cream. She said that this was a key part of Japanese skin care routines, pointing out that it is in keeping with natural processes. “When there is a lack of water, organisms wilt; when they have plenty of water, they glow.”

After my treatment, Miki revealed that her treatment approach is a cross between a classic European method and high-tech Japanese techniques. This means that on the European side, there is a focus on making the skin itself healthier, including treatments such as lymphatic drainage and EMS to stimulate blood circulation and make the skin glow from the inside out. On the other hand, Japanese facials feature technologies such as iontophoresis or ultrasound to introduce beauty-supporting ingredients deep into the skin. This combination brings together the best aspects of both worlds and creates a synergistic effect.

Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) combined with a solution of hyaluronic acid and placenta gel

But the question remained—did it convert a first timer like me? Even I could tell that my skin looked smoother. And my wife, who is no stranger to beauty treatments, could tell the difference, and was surprised at how moisturized my face looked. As an introduction to a world of self-care, Mocci Beauty made me more aware of how to take better care of my skin, and I had a feeling that I’d be back!


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