Photo by Momi Crouzet

Hello. My name is Yoko Obata. I am the founder of KOTOHA Cosmetics London.

I am from Nara, the original capital of Japan.

Ever since I was a teenager, I wanted to understand cosmetic ingredients and explore beauty methods. I suffered with severe acne until I was about 30 and my skin always had problems. I tried many things but my skin did not get any better.

I worked for a pharmaceutical company after my first degree (Fine Art) in Japan. This experience increased my interest in learning about cosmetic ingredients. However this time, despite understanding it better, I found the pressure of the work, caused ‘stress related’ acne.

I was extremely lucky though. Despite having the condition being severe, I did not scar.. I am so grateful to my mother who passed in 2006. She always advised me to ‘never squeeze the acnes… if you do, you will regret it…!’ She too had sufferered acne when she was younger …

I left the pharmaceutical company and came to England to pursue my dream of a Master’s degree in Fine Art. I have been a resident in the UK since then. After the MA, I moved into the airline industry.

Although my career with the airline company was attractive and had many benefits, I felt it was important to specialise in something I cared about. So, I went to become a beauty therapist. This gave me the opportunities I needed to really learn about people’s skin and I developed my interests of cosmetic ingredients further. Then I discovered a course titled ‘making cosmetics’. From there nobody could stop me! I started making my own skincare products and my skin started looking great. When my friends and family noticed it … that was the starting point of KOTOHA. I aspired to share the joy of having beautiful skin with many people.

My philosophy has always been that it has to be you that makes yourself beautiful. It is your determination that keeps you youthful. Beside continuing to update my knowledge and keep myself in tip-top condition, my aim is to help you understand how to keep looking naturally beautiful.