KIM KARDASHIAN, Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet, Chrissy Teigen, Kate Moss. All celebrities, all users of Clé De Peau Beauté (at least, according to social media accounts, makeup artists, magazine articles, and beauty blogs). The brand, owned by Japanese beauty giant Shiseido, opened its doors in the Philippines late last month in Greenbelt 5 in Makati.

Clé De Peau Beauté, roughly translated as “key to beautiful skin” in French, used a giant clear key to open its store in Greenbelt, and socialites walked to the store accompanied by a violinist and a ballerina.

Its flagship product, simply called La Crème (“The Cream”) claims to be able to fight skin aging, and smoothens and firms the skin. First launched in 1982, it has received many reformulations (a lucky eight as of this writing) for it to continuously improve. Its ingredients include a “skin-empowering illuminator” made with platinum golden silk (derived from a kind of silk cocoon), a renewing Ceraferment extract, Retinol ACE, an ingredient called 4MSK that prevents the appearance of dark spots, hyaluronic acid, and squalane (among others —  the ingredient list numbers to about 60). There’s even a special way to apply it at night: using a spatula (part of its chic crystalline packaging), one should get a pearl-sized amount, and smooth the product all over the face, and massage it gently from the chin to the temples.

The ingredients, the ritual, and the celebrities who swear by it puts the product at a premium: the website lists La Crème at $550 — that’s P30,553.05 at a P55.55 per dollar exchange rate for a 30 ml jar. The 50 ml jar sells on the website for $795 (P44,163.04 at the same exchange rate).

Michael Goh, Managing Director of Shiseido Philippines Corp., told BusinessWorld during the launch about its celebrity clientele. “They really love that level of sophistication. At the same time, I think the efficacy of the product does work. With all the science and technology, the product really delivers.”

Speaking about why the Japanese have such a scientific approach to beauty, he says, “We do have very good scientists, and I think that’s an enormous investment; getting into innovations, as well as research in terms of the products. That’s why we are able to come up with great products like this.”

For more information, visit or follow @cledepeaubeautephilippines on Facebook. — JLG