Harnessing the Power of Steam to create STEAMCREAM

Did you know that STEAMCREAM originated in Japan? In 2007 Andrew Tone, former President of Lush in Japan, jointly founded STEAMCREAM to provide Japanese consumers with Simple, Quality Skincare Products to support skin 365 days of the year. His mission to Make Skincare Simple has been a roaring success, and with over 1,100 tin designs, STEAMCREAM has moisturised over 10 million people around the world. 

All STEAMCREAM products are handmade in small batches in Japan using a unique steam manufacturing process, then sent to the UK for us to deliver to our customers. Rather than using mechanical emulsifiers to blend our products, we use a steam manufacturing process first noted as being used in France in the 1800s. The benefit? The texture of our cream is light and absorbent, yet the natural properties of the ingredients remain undegraded.

While researching a cream formula that would be lightly textured and balanced for the whole body, we realised that the manufacturing process affects the texture, quality and effectiveness just as much as the ingredients we use. The Steam Process means STEAMCREAM can only be produced in small batches by hand, but the loss of productivity is a cost worth the quality and effectiveness achieved.  

Sorry for bringing out the science, but the two images below show the different constitution of cream depending on the way it has been emulsified.

The image on the left shows mechanical emulsification. The ingredients are mechanically mixed using high velocity, and the image shows the relatively even size of the molecules of the end result. Mechanically processed creams are tight emulsifications, usually quite thick and dense, and their common characteristic is a heavier feeling and whiter appearance on application. They require longer to absorb, and this can lead to overloading the skin.

The image on the right is STEAMCREAM. Our Steam Process uses pure steam to gently emulsion our colloidal oatmeal water infusion with our cocoa butter and almond oil blend, producing a cream that is very light and fast absorbing on the skin. The loose emulsification allows the cream to be quickly harnessed by the skin to boost the skin barrier and retain moisture.

It’s STEAMCREAM’s firm belief that simple, high-quality ingredients need to be complemented by a delicate, mindful manufacturing process. Our ingredients are vegan and animal friendly, our tins are recyclable and have saved over 300,000kg of plastic being produced to date. We have never really talked about our manufacturing process before, but it’s just as important to us as the ingredients we use.