This is how new Tokyu Hands skincare brand, muqna, came to be!
Tokyu Hands' first skincare band, muqna, has hit the market. This time, we interviewed Mr. Nagamatsu, who was involved with the development of the product, and Ms. Ito, a buyer of health and beauty products, about muqna's appeals and features they focused on.
Left: Developer of muqna, Mr. Nagamatsu Right: Buyer of health and beauty products, Ms. Ito
― Hands' first original skincare brand, "muqna", is being released.
Nagamatsu: Yes! It was released on Saturday, December 1st.
― What kind of a skincare brand is muqna?
Nagamatsu: muqna's concept is "to return to your pure self". It is a simple skincare series that removes excess and supplies only what is necessary.
Ito: Most customers shopping at Hands' beauty section prefer skincare and makeup products made from natural ingredients. Gentle skincare items that do not have too strong effect and can properly moisturize your skin were developed based on their feedback.
― What are their special features?
Nagamatsu: It is important to moisturize your skin to keep it healthy. So, we went to great lengths in selecting ingredients that provide moisture.
Three main ingredients, "ceramide", "hyaluronic acid", and "soluble proteoglycan", are contained in all of muqna items.
― Why were these ingredients selected?
Nagamatsu: Actually, these three naturally exist in the skin. However, they decrease with aging. They also decrease in between seasons when your skin isn't at its best, and when your skin is damaged by UV rays and makeup. The idea is to replenish naturally existing ingredients.
― Just as the concept goes, that is a simple idea.
Nagamatsu: Each of these three ingredients has a role: "provide moisture", "strengthen the skin barrier", and "increase moisture sustainability". This is a great combination for products focused on moisturization.
― I see they work great as a team!
So muqna products are focused on moisturization. Does this mean they are recommended for dry skin?
Ito: muqna does not contain artificial coloring, mineral oil, paraben, alcohol, or fragrance. This skincare is recommended for both dry and sensitive skins.
Introducing the Exclusive Lineup
From left: Cleansing Water (160 ml) ¥1,180 + tax, Face Wash (120 g) ¥880 + tax, Moisturizing Lotion (160 ml) ¥980 + tax, All-in-One Gel (100 g) ¥1,280 + tax, Moisturizing Milk (160 ml) ¥980 + tax In the Front: Moisturizing Cream (50 g) ¥1,380 + tax
― Can you tell us about each product?
Ito: We have developed a line of products that (1) cleanses (cleansing products), (2) washes (face wash), (3) moisturizes (lotion) * 2 types, (4) protects (milk & cream), and (3 + 4) moisturizes + protects (all-in-one gel) the skin. Packages are numbered in order of use, making them easy to choose! Let me explain their features.
Ito: Cleansing products come in water, milk, and gel types. Water type needs to be wiped off, milk type reduces friction on the skin, and gel type removes makeup clearly.
― How do we choose which type to get?
Ito: I recommend the water type for those who want to remove makeup with a quick wipe, milk type for those who want to cleanse gently without straining the skin, and gel type for those who want to remove makeup clearly but also moisturize the skin. We also have silky cotton made entirely of domestic cotton. Please try using it with the water type.
― Okay. By the way, why is it that you don't have cleansing oil?
Ito: Oil types are strong cleansers and are more damaging on the skin. So, we didn't include the oil type.
― So these cleansing products are for those with natural makeup.
Ito: Yes. We developed the items for customers who are natural-oriented.
The face wash foams up well and is easy to use. It includes moisturizing ingredients, needless to say, and retains moisture after washing.
Lotion Left: Refreshing type Right: Moisturizing type
Ito: Lotion comes in two types: refreshing and moisturizing. The moisturizing type retains more moisture and has a thick texture. Both types moisturize well, so you can choose the one that feels better on your skin or alternate depending on the seasons.
The lotion also comes in a larger pump container (400 ml, ¥1,280 + tax) and is recommended for those who value cost-effectiveness!
― Can I try the moisturizing type?
Ito: Yes, by all means.
―It's incredibly moisturizing.
I feel like I'm applying light milk lotion even though this is just lotion.
Ito: It's perfect for dry seasons.
Ito: Moisturizing milk spreads well, so take just a small amount, and it sufficiently retains the moisture applied with lotion.
Ito: All-in-one gel is a quick and easy way that combines steps 3 and 4.
― Does "3 + 4" mean it fulfills the roles of both lotion and milk?
Ito: Exactly. It saves time by playing both roles and is perfect for travel.
Ito: I recommend adding cream to skincare for those who want to moisturize their skins even more.
―It's great how you can change the items that you use depending on the season and the condition of your skin. Can they be used by men as well?
Nagamatsu: Of course. We developed these products for both men and women. I think face wash + lotion or face wash + all-in-one gel should be enough for men.
― They won't feel awkward purchasing them because the design is simple.
Hands' uncompromised manufacturing standards also apply to muqna.
― Did you have any struggles in the development process?
Ito: muqna is made based on the feedback of buyers and store clerks.
We had them use test samples and asked for feedback and repeated that process many times.
― What were some of the feedback?
Nagamatsu: There were opinions such as "I didn't like the smell of ingredients" or "my skin feels sticky after using cleanser". We applied these feedback to come up with products that we can recommend to our customers with confidence. We didn't want to make compromises when responding to their feedback.
Being meticulous required a lot of work, but it was worth it.
― It seems like you've spent a good amount of time developing the products. Are there any other features that required effort?
Nagamatsu: We are also meticulous about safety and security. The products are manufactured in a pharmaceutical factory that has strict sanitary standards.
And the final check is done manually, one by one.
The products are affordable despite the effort made for ingredients and the amount of time involved. How is that achieved?
Nagamatsu: The advertising fees are reduced to make muqna high-quality yet affordable. We hope our customers continue to use muqna's simple skincare for a long time and come to love their skin.
It's a challenge to find the one that works for you out of all the skincare products. muqna was developed to create simple and affordable skincare items that will be loved and used for a long time.
muqna is a must-try for those struggling to find the right skincare products.
* Please note that these products may not be available at some of the stores. Please contact each store for availability.
* At some of the stores, featured items may need to be back ordered.
* Please note that prices and specifications are subject to change and that availability may be limited.
* Featured photos may include items that are only for display purposes.
* Information such as product pricing is as of the time of posting.