Yakult For The Skin? The Luxe And Elusive Yakult Beautiens Is The Stuff of Dreams

TikTok beauty girls have shown all the ways you can use Yakult for your face. But you can skip the sticky mess (and get the maximum effect) with this beauty brand.
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Probiotics in the beauty industry are hardly a secret. Many brands, from the 114-year-old Elizabeth Arden to local upstarts like Habitude, are employing the concept of microbiome maintenance in skin care. In 2024, bacteria have become in, especially if your goal is a healthy complexion. What’s unsurprising is that Yakult, a global leader in probiotic products, has long capitalized on this knowledge. 

Yakult Beautiens (or fermented lotion), established by Yakult Honsha in Japan in 2006, features a vast range of skincare, makeup, and personal products that leverage the benefits of probiotics. Outside Japan, it’s known to either the most hardcore fans of the fermented milk brand or those lucky enough to have a friend of a friend of a friend who told them. However, even the most earnest of beauty lovers are in the dark. Yakult Beautiens feels as mythical as those one-liter Yakult bottles, but both are very, very real.

Legend has it that when these empty, single-serving Yakult bottles were returned to headquarters, those assigned to wash them noticed that the skin on their hands was looking healthier despite long hours in the water.

Yakult Beautiens isn’t a secret in Japan. However, even in the drink’s birthplace, where people consume 10 million bottles daily, it’s not so unfamiliar as it is difficult to acquire. The Beauty Edit was able to tour the Yakult Beautiens factory in Shonan, Kanagawa, to give you an insider perspective on this luxury beauty subsidiary. Here, we’ll map out its history—and where you can probably find it.

 

The Yakult Beauty Philosophy

If you’re unfamiliar with the history of Yakult, then it’s worth knowing that founder Dr. Minoru Shirota first succeeded in culturing a fortified strain of lactic acid bacteria in 1930. By 1965, his company, Yakult Honsha, launched the first version of the drink we all love in single-serving glass bottles. 

Legend has it that when these bottles were returned to headquarters, those assigned to wash them noticed that the skin on their hands was looking healthier despite long hours in the water. This discovery allegedly led to the development of lactic acid-based beauty products.

However, the official party line is that Dr. Shirota, who had dabbled in cosmetics early in his career, developed the Shirota Essence (SE), a fermented lactic acid bacteria extract, in 1955. He fermented milk with lactic acid bacteria to create components akin to the natural moisturizing factors of your skin. 

The main Yakult Beautiens collections are on full display. Here, you can have your skin’s moisture levels checked.

The ingredients of Yakult Beautiens aren’t exactly probiotics—and the company avoids marketing them as such. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines probiotics as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” But keeping these bacteria alive and stable on the cosmetic aisles is impractical.

According to a study in the journal Molecules, many probiotics-labeled products on the market fail to comply with WHO’s criteria. However, taking the idea of using good bacteria in your gut to combat harmful bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract, Yakult Beautiens understands that the microbiomes in your skin can help keep it healthy, too.

While the SE is the basis of the Yakult Beautiens line, the company has since formulated other original ingredients, like a high molecular weight hyaluronic acid, a soy-based bifidobacteria extract, and lamellar particles. 

While a beauty division seems out of left field for a beverage company, it actually falls under one of Dr. Shirota’s original beliefs that “internal beauty prompts external beauty.”

The Yakult Beautiens plant where the day’s batch of Revecy is being produced. This room is pressurized to prevent dirt from getting into the product. 

The Yakult Beautiens Collection

Yakult Beautiens has several lines in its portfolio, the most accessible of which is Lactdew, a skincare series that utilizes lactic acid to improve skin texture. It includes an oil-based cleanser and cleansing foam each for ¥3,080 (P1,146), two different types of face lotions each for ¥4,400 (P1,637.15), and face milk for ¥4,950 (P1841.79). The whole regimen involves using the oil-based cleanser first to remove makeup and residue, then the foam to wash off environmental pollutants, like dust, and finally, the milk and lotion to lock in moisture. 

Revecy is, perhaps, the most popular series from Beautiens. Its eye-catching blue emerald-green bottles feature SE in a way that hydrates. It has cleansers and moisturizers in oil, cream, and milk formats, as well as massage creams and sheet masks. The prices range between ¥4,400 and ¥6,600 (P1,637.15 and P2,455.72), but a sampler pack with facial water, cleanser, foam, milk, and lotion fetches for ¥1,320 (P491.14).

Revecy White offers the same benefits with an added layer of brightening. It’s also slightly more upscale, costing somewhere between ¥4,950 (P1,841.79)—for a cleansing foam—and ¥7,700 (P2,865.01), for the medicated moisturizing cream. Revecy White also includes a clay pack and a daytime emulsion with SPF.

The Beauty Edit was able to sample the Parabio cleansing range, comprising the milk, cream, and lotion.

The most premium line from the Yakult Beautiens catalog is Parabio, which integrates anti-aging into the formula. Its trial set is ¥3,300 (P1,227.86), which includes pint-sized facial water, cleansing cream, foam, lotion, and milk. However, one highlight is the Parabio AC (Aging Care) Cream Rhino, a ¥33,000 (P12,278.61) moisturizing cream that boosts your skin’s natural hydration properties, prevents blemishes, reduces signs of skin aging, and promotes firmness. The 40-ml Parabio AC Serum Rhino, ¥27,500 (P10,232.18), tackles major skin problems and helps suppress melanin production to ward off blemishes and discoloration. 

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And the crème dela crème? The aptly named “The Cream” is described as “the best cream in Yakult Beauty’s history.” It’s a moisturizing cream for which those patented lamellar particles were developed. These particles supplement the function of intercellular lipids that decrease with age, targeting your skin’s issues at a molecular level. 

The Cream is also the first product to successfully incorporate lamellar particles with vitamins C and E. Apart from ingredients derived from that signature lactic acid bacteria, it also includes 25 natural extracts and high-quality vegetable oils. Reversing your skin age at this level will set you back ¥110,000 (¥40,928.70).

Yakult Beautiens Lactdew

Lactdew (and the equally accessible Lactiful) are usually available from your friendly Japan-based Yakult Lady. They’re a perfect stepping stone to the Yakult beauty line.

Yakult Beautiens Lactdew

¥8,800, Cosme

Yakult Beautiens Revecy Set

The Revecy set covers your essential skincare needs. It can last a week with regular use.

Yakult Beautiens Revecy

¥1,320, Cosme

Yakult Beautiens Revecy White

Revecy White is one step up from Revecy. It offers brightening benefits to trigger your skin’s natural glow.

Yakult Beautiens Revecy White

¥7,700, Cosme

Yakult Beautiens Parabio AC Cream SAJ

The Parabio AC Cream Rhino is a high-performance cream that improves moisture, texture, luster, and firmness. It comes in a beautiful copper-crystal case with a small spatula for more sanitary handling.

Yakult Beautiens Parabio AC Cream SAJ

¥33,000, Cosme

Yakult Beautiens The Yakult Beauty Brilliant

The Yakult Beauty Brilliant “The Cream” is Beautiens flagship product. It has everything you would need in a skincare item, from fighting off blemishes to reversing skin aging.

Yakult Beautiens The Yakult Beauty Brilliant

¥110,000, Cosme

Where to Find Yakult Beautiens

You won’t be able to locate Yakult Beautiens from your neighborhood Sephora. The products are currently only available in Japan with no plans to expand to other countries. 

The first thing you can try is to tap into your friendly Yakult Lady. In Japan, Yakult Ladies are assigned to different areas and expected to have formed relationships with customers in their respective communities. They mingle with everyone, from random passersby looking for a quick prebiotic refreshment to CEOs with a prepaid Yakult subscription. Sometimes, these Yakult Ladies also pack Beautiens, usually Lactdew, in their carts—or better yet, inform them ahead so they can bring it during their next rounds. 

Beautiens is also available online, via the Yakult cosmetics website or on Amazon. You can also drop by the in-house store in Yakult Beautiens Shvonan Factory where you can avail yourself not just the basic skincare series, but also personal care items, like sunscreen, toothpaste, and calamine, as well as special cosmetic products, like Agetics (for facial lines), Treatment Repair Mask (for a youthful glow), makeup, and more.

If you didn’t already love the fermented yogurt drink, then you might love it more when your skin milks its benefits—via the unique and elusive Beautiens.

Collage by Dannah Valdezco. Mt.fujin by © kokoroyuki. Cherry blossoms by © kurosuke. Milk splash by © BlackJack3D via canva.com

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