NEW YORK — Boscia, a start-up skin care brand being launched in the U.S. by an established Japanese cosmetics company, is using preservative-free skin care in an attempt to make its mark on prestige beauty.

Boscia is the brainchild of Yokohama, Japan-based Fancl Group, and its founder Kenji Ikemori. In 1980, after a discussion with a dermatologist friend, Ikemori made it his mission to create awareness of the potentially troubling effects of cosmetics preservatives on sensitive skin. He located a manufacturer that agreed to produce one preservative-free cosmetics product, which he coupled with informational literature and began distributing to consumers via his bicycle. As Ikemori’s one-man operation grew, he merged it with his manufacturer to create Fancl, which is publicly traded today and had total sales of $700 million in 2002, an increase of 37 percent.

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