The Scoop: Yu-Be makes innovative skincare products without petroleum jelly, alcohol, or animal testing. Its creams, which are available in the U.S. and Canada, allow those with dry skin to enjoy the same soft, supple feel that people in Japan have enjoyed for generations. Hypoallergenic, non-scented products from Yu-Be feature glycerin that makes the most sensitive skin feel luxurious and smooth. Yu-Be products also make great gifts for that skincare-loving special someone to celebrate relationship milestones.

In 1955, a customer visited a pharmacist in Japan searching for a skin cream that didn’t contain petroleum jelly, which can make skin feel greasy. She left without a product for her dry skin, but her visit gave the pharmacist, Yoshikiyo Nowatari, an idea to create a grease-free product that absorbs quickly into the skin.

Yoshikiyo and Masuji Wataya, a researcher who studied at Tokyo University, worked to develop a cream that didn’t make the skin feel greasy. Two years later, they introduced an innovative, moisturizing skincare product.

That product, and many more, are now available to customers in the U.S. and Canada through Yu-Be. Today, Shari Azama runs the business with her father and mother, who both grew up in Japan.

The Yu-Be logo

Yu-Be makes skincare products without petroleum so skin doesn’t feel greasy.

“Even before I was born, my dad was always a businessman, and he’d go back and forth to Japan to visit family and do business. My mom was also from Japan,” Shari said. “Growing up in Japan, she was introduced to Yu-Be skin cream, and she was using it as a little kid. Years later, she meets my dad in the United States, and she’s still using the cream.”

Since they could only find the cream in Japan, they decided to become a distributor to introduce it to the United States and Canada. Ten years later, they’ve added new products and solidified Yu-Be as a significant player in the North American skincare market.

Customers often rave about the original cream and the different packages Yu-Be offers, which make great gifts to celebrate relationship milestones. One loyal customer even used the cream when she climbed Mount Everest, so it’s been tested in the harshest conditions and holds its own.

A Formula Known for Its Deep Hydration

The original skin cream formula is still Yu-Be’s best-seller, in part because it hasn’t changed in decades. It contains a high amount of glycerin — almost 50% of the product itself — which gives it a unique, refreshing feel.

“When customers use it, it actually hydrates their skin,” Shari said. “Other products feel like water going on, or the moisture goes away quickly, but Yu-Be doesn’t do that.”

Yu-Be creams also include camphor, an ingredient that helps reduce redness and inflammation. That can be especially good for people who have eczema or skin that’s severely dry to the point of cracking or bleeding. Those skin conditions can also impact the confidence of singles when they’re looking for a relationship.

Customer Sharon Willen said she relies on it during the coldest months of the year.

Photo of Yu-Be skincare product

Yu-Be products help people who suffer from skin conditions, including eczema.

“I tried Chapstick, Vaseline, and prescription lotions to keep my lips from cracking in the winter. Yu-Be does the trick!” she said. “I apply it to my whole face after washing, twice a day. It seems to protect me from the elements — outside wind, inside dry heat — through the whole day.”

Most Yu-Be customers are women between the ages of 40 and 50, although its products are really for everyone. Couples can purchase a set and share it, or singles can use it before a date. The company sells throughout the United States, and some products are also available in Canada.

“The most important thing, more than getting customers, is knowing that we’re helping people and making people feel really good,” Shari said. “Our mission statement is that we want you to heal and love your skin. when you feel a lack confidence because of skin flaws and discomfort in your own skin, it affects you. Your skin should make you feel good and healthy.”

Deluxe Gift Sets Make Great Surprises for a Special Someone

Along with the original cream, the company offers a wide range of other popular products. Many are available in gift packs that are ideal for celebrating a relationship with a special someone.

“Our most popular is the Skin Treatment Set because it’s the catch-all and has the foaming skin polish, which is a great exfoliator,” Shari said. “If you want to show the person you love how you feel, get the Deluxe Gift Set.”

Photo of the Yu-Be Deluxe Gift Set

The Yu-Be Deluxe Gift Set makes a thoughtful gift for that special someone.

The set also includes a jar of skin cream and a bottle of body lotion. Together, the three products can help reduce wrinkles, brighten skin, and even provide relief from itchiness and sunburn.

The body lotion is similar to the original formula but lighter and easier to spread on the entire body.

Yu-Be’s newest product is its face wash, which is especially popular with young customers. It contains Irish sea moss, bergamot, and other effective skincare ingredients. Another popular product — and a great gift idea — are its antimicrobial socks for dry elbows and heels. They can help cure dry skin quickly when used overnight along with the lotion.

“I was skeptical that this would work but decided to try them. I have always had to moisturize my heels; they get very dry and crack quickly,” wrote customer Roberta Miller in an online testimonial. “I felt a big difference after one night, and it is easy to do. After using the cream elsewhere, I just put it on my feet, put on the socks, and the next morning I am very happy with the results.”

She added that the best part is she only needs to use a small amount to see a big difference.

Yu-Be: High-Quality Ingredients Soothe Many Types of Skin

Shari said the company has launched the Yuzu Pure Hydration Cream that is designed for very sensitive skin and comes in a refreshing citrus floral scent and a non-scented variety.

The main difference is the product doesn’t have camphor (anti-inflammatory ingredient). It’s still made delicately and is hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, and free from alcohol and petroleum products.

“It’s great for people who have sensitive skin but want to feel luxurious and good when they use their moisturizer,” she said.

All of its products are perfect for intimate body massages, which can be a gift for both people in a relationship.

Customers can also feel like they’re giving back to the community as well. A percentage of every sale from Yu-Be goes to support Feeding America, a hunger relief fund. Shari said they began providing the donations in response to the economic hardships caused when the COVID-19 pandemic began. They donated 2,000 meals in 2020 and hope to contribute 3,000 or more in 2021.

Shari and the rest of the Yu-Be team said they love to help their customers and their communities.