Stash Debut 2012 (3): Sofina Jenne 2-Week Trial Set (Moist Type) (Lotion II, Jelly Moisturizer & Day Protector II SPF 24 PA+++)

by PJ on Monday, June 18, 2012

in _Japanese Brand Profile, _Stash Debut 2012, -Kao, -Sofina, all about Japanese cosmetics, skincare, skincare - cleansing/toning, skincare - moisturizing/others, stash focus

Kao Sofina Jenne Trial Set Moist Type 1


In my Japanese Brand Profile series, I have written about Kao Sofina‘s Beauté and (the now discontinued) Hada.ka skincare lines. Today, in my Stash Debut 2012 series, I will be talking about another skincare line from Sofina, Sofina Jenne, and I will be reviewing Sofina Jenne Trial Set (Moist Type), my first purchase from Sofina Jenne (mainly to try the popular Jelly Moisturizer, one of the best-selling products from Sofina).

Sofina Jenne was launched in Japan in September 2010. Its target consumers are those in their twenties. (I assume that the discontinued Sofina Hada.ka (which was targeted at those in their twenties as well) was replaced by Sofina Jenne.) The products are designed to deal with moisture loss due to unstable skin conditions and they are created to leave a non-greasy feel on the skin.

The key ingredients in Sofina Jenne are two forms of ceramides: cetyl-PG hydroxyethyl palmitamide and bis-methoxypropylamido isodocosane. They are claimed to have superior penetration into the skin to combat dryness and help the skin retain moisture.


Kao Sofina Jenne 5(image from


The Sofina Jenne skincare routine aims to be simple and straightforward. Currently, the line features:

– one makeup remover (Makeup Cleansing Liquid)
– one face wash (Milky Cleanser)
– two toners (Lotion I (for oilier skin) & II (for drier skin))
– one nighttime moisturizer (Jelly Moisturizer, the key product in the line)
– three daytime moisturizers (Day Protector I SPF 24 PA+++ (for oilier skin), Day Protector II SPF 24 PA+++ (for drier skin), and Day Protector SPF 50 PA+++)

The line’s packaging features lace motifs, which echo the delicate feel and the translucent look of the skin that the products are designed to achieve.

Two 2-Week Trial Sets (launched in fall 2011) are available. The Fresh Type (for oilier skin) includes Toner I (30ml), Jelly Moisturizer (10g), and Day Protector I SPF 24 PA+++ (8g). The Moist Type (for drier skin) includes Toner II (30ml), Jelly Moisturizer (10g), and Day Protector II SPF 24 PA+++ (8g). I decided to try the Moist Type mainly because Lotion I contains oil-absorbing powder, which tends not to work well for my skin.


Kao Sofina Jenne Lotion II 1


Lotion II is an alcohol-free toner designed for drier skin. It contains moisturizing agents such as glycerin, dipropylene glycol, diglycol guanidine succinate, betaine, butylene glycol, pullulan, and amidinoproline. Pullulan also functions as an antioxidant. It contains fragrance (parfum).

It has a slightly emollient feel on the skin. It does leave the skin moist and conditioned, but it feels slightly filmy on my skin and I think it could be absorbed a little better.

(For your reference, Lotion I is also alcohol-free.)


Kao Sofina Jenne Jelly Moisturizer 1


Jelly Moisturizer is the key product from Sofina Jenne. This alcohol-free moisturizer contains moisturizing ingredients such as glycerin, glyceryl behenate, cetyl alcohol, polyperfluoromethylisopropyl ether, butylene glycol, hydroxyethyl isostearyloxy isopropanolamine, glutamic acid, and cholesterol (which is part of the extracellular lipid matrix of the outermost layer of the skin). It contains fragrance (parfum).

It contains cetyl-PG hydroxyethyl palmitamide (the ceramide ingredient).

One ingredient that may cause concern is eucalyptus globulus leaf extract. It has antibacterial properties, but it can also cause irritation. It is second to last on the ingredient list and the small amount of it doesn’t seem to irritate my skin.

The product has a gel consistency and spreads very easily. It is absorbed well and doesn’t leave a filmy feel on the skin. Very often, moisturizers with a gel consistency are not moisturizing enough for my oily-dry skin and can leave my skin tight, but Jelly Moisturizer does a fairly good job at creating lasting moisture for my skin. I also enjoy the very light and soothing floral-fruity scent of the product.

(Even though it works fairly well for me, I still prefer Olay’s Essentials Complete Care Night Cream, which is more soothing for my skin.)


Kao Sofina Jenne Day Protector II 1


Day Protector II SPF 24 PA+++ contains ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate to protect against UVB rays and zinc oxide and diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate to protect against UVA rays. (Note that diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate is an approved sunscreen ingredient in the EU, Mexico, South America, Japan, and Taiwan.) Zinc oxide also functions as an anti-irritant.

It contains moisturizing agents such as butylene glycol, glycerin, isotridecyl isononanoate, and cholesterol/octyldodecyl lauroyl glutamate. It is paraben-free.

It features cetyl-PG hydroxyethyl palmitamide and bis-methoxypropylamido isodocosane (the ceramide ingredients).

It contains alcohol (in the first half of the ingredient list) and fragrance (parfum).

Apart from alcohol, two ingredients that can cause concern are eucalyptus globulus leaf extract (second to last on the ingredient list) and rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract (fifth to last). Rosemary leaf extract can have antioxidant efficacy, but its fragrant components can cause skin irritation.

It has a sightly thick consistency and it takes a little time to spread. It leaves a bit of whiteness on the skin but it doesn’t look unnatural on my light-to-medium skin tone. What doesn’t appeal to me is the shiny finish.

Among the three products in the Trial Set, Lotion II has the best formulation and it should work fairly well for those with drier skin types. Relatively decently formulated, Jelly Moisturizer suits me the most and it should appeal to many skin types, including normal, slightly dry, slightly oily, and oily skin. (But beware of the small amount of eucalyptus globulus leaf extract.) Even though the consistency of Day Protector II should suit those with drier skin, I wouldn’t recommend it due to its slightly large amount of alcohol.

(Some ingredient information is based on Paula Begoun’s Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary.)


Related posts:

Japanese vs. Western…Who’s Winning?

Review: SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, Facial Treatment Repair C & Skin Signature

Genre Focus: Whitening Skincare Products

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

kuri Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Your thorough review is really useful for me; I see this line around a lot and it seems quite popular so I was thinking about trying it out. I’ll think I’ll pass on this for now, but keep the Lotion II in mind if I can’t find a better lotion.


PJ Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hi Kuri,

I am glad the review is useful for you! :) If you have drier skin, Lotion II could certainly be a possible option for you.

Thank you for stopping by again! :)


Maria Tuesday, June 19, 2012

can you tell me please where i can buy this trial set? I’m curious about this line, but surely i prefer to start from small bottles :)


PJ Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hi Maria,

Please refer to my FAQ page:

Thank you very much.


eri Saturday, June 23, 2012

Thanks for this wonderful review! I saw all the different Sofina skincare lines during my last trip to Tokyo and I have to admit, even though I’m not in 20s anymore, I was drawn to Jenne because its packaging looked so pretty. ^^

I got the Sofina Beaute sampler instead (it’s the one specifically for 30s), and while I loved its subtle fragrance and packaging, I was a bit underwhelmed. Maybe my expectations were too high but it didn’t feel moisturizing enough for me, especially the UV emulsion. If/when I go again, I think I will give them another try in a more moisturizing type (I got the regular Moist Type). And the Jenne Jelly Moisturizer :) I wonder if that’d be a good idea for a thirty-something? ^^

This may be a dumb question but are UV protectors in Japan usually used on top of moisturizers or as substitutions? I’m still getting used to the Japanese skincare routine and am often confused as to what should be used after what, etc.


PJ Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hi Eri,

You are very welcome! :)

First of all, personally, I don’t think skincare products should be categorized by age. We all have different needs and our skin conditions can often change for different reasons, so products that are not targeted at your age may certainly still work for you. :)

(I think some Sofina Beauté items contain alcohol, so do beware.)

It’s not dumb at all! In many cases, UV-protecting products in Japanese cosmetics (unless they are from ranges that are entirely for suncare, like Shiseido’s Anessa) are used as daytime moisturizers (straight after toners). (It is the case with both Sofina Beauté and Sofina Jenne.)

Of course, this varies from one skincare range to another. With some ranges (such as Kanebo’s Freeplus), a moisturizing emulsion is used after a toner, then a day UV protector is used for daytime and a night cream is used for nighttime. But, again, do experiment and find the best routine for yourself (as long as you are wearing sun protection daily…of course). :)

Thank you very much for your comment again! :)


eri Saturday, January 12, 2013

Oh goodness, I’m so late in replying but thank you for your help on the skin care routine! When I look at those charts illustrating the order you should use the products, I think, why can’t they combine them? It seems like there are more and more products for specific purposes. But I suppose everyone has different needs.. And this way they sell more products? Heh. Anyway, thanks and happy new year!


PJ Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hi Eri,

You are very welcome, and happy New Year to you too! :)

I certainly agree with you. I do think that the recommended routines of some Japanese skincare lines are too elaborated. (Apart from the cleanse-tone-moisturize basics, there are pre-toners (used between cleansing and toning (they are often called accelerators or penetrators)), serums (for all kinds of purposes), massage creams and several others…not to mention that many lines separate moisturizers into milks (to hydrate) and creams (to seal in the hydration).) I do feel that this is a way for the companies to sell more products, but, if we know exactly what we need, we can choose among the products and put together simple routines that really work.

(In the case of Sofina Jenne, I think the lineup of products looks relatively reasonable. As for Sofina Beauté, it seems that there are many options for each step of the routine. Plus there are products marketed for those who look for brightening or anti-aging products.)

Thank you very much for stopping by again, and I wish you a great 2013! :)


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