Waphyto is turning one! This month, Japan’s first biomethodology beauty brand celebrates the company’s one year anniversary and is looking forward to a bright future. Launched in 2020 by award-winning scientist and phytotherapist, Atsuko Morita, Waphyto’s collection of holistic wellness products has enjoyed a warm reception and an exciting first year in business.
Although Waphyto officially launched late last year and expanded to the global market in early 2021, our story actually begins centuries ago. In honor of Waphyto’s first anniversary (and first blog!), we are celebrating the birth of a brand with a look back at its rich history.
Alchemical Agriculture: The Magic of Mikawa
Once upon a time in ancient Japan, the Mikawa region was ruled by the shogun Tokugawa leyasu. The shogun was an accomplished herbalist who first discovered the magical energy of Mikawa during the challenging Warring States period. Thanks to the precious Mikawa soil, the shogun is said to have lived a long and healthy life, sustained by the plants and herbs grown there.
Centuries later, this region is understood to be one of the most energetically charged and geologically unique places on earth. Located on the longest fault zone in Japan, the Median Tectonic Line, the soil of Mikawa has been found to be extraordinarily nutrient dense - perfect for growing some of the finest natural ingredients on earth.
Growing up in Mikawa, Morita would discover this magic for herself working alongside her mother, a geological specialist. Together, they spent nearly twenty years researching the potential of the soil to become sustainable farmland and promote the growth of superior quality botanicals.
Today, Morita has chosen her hometown as Waphyto’s headquarters, and continues to work with the Mikawa soil as a source for her high-performance, plant-powered ingredients. But before bringing Waphyto to life, her journey first took her on many adventures around the world, eventually landing in Paris to complete years of intense study.
The French Connection: Bringing Phytotherapy to Japan
The name Waphyto comes from the words “WA” representing the harmony and balance of Japanese Wa culture while “PHYTO” means plants. Morita first learned about phytotherapy as an international flight attendant in her twenties. Turning to natural ingredients to treat her asthma and skin problems, she progressively experienced healing results and became a passionate advocate for holistic wellness.
Inspired, Morita left her airline career to study phytotherapy and aromatherapy in Paris, where she stayed for many years, and came to develop her expertise around women’s wellness. She then decided to bring her findings home with her to Japan, where she started Le Bois - Japan’s first phytotherapy school. She also began to create her own products based on her many years of experience and personal methodology. A new vision was born.
Plant Powered Innovation: The Birth of Biomethodology Atsuko Morita’s formulation philosophy has come to be known as plant biomethodology and is the intersection of her many areas of expertise. Plant biomethodology is a combination of phytotherapy + biotechnology + herbology. Waphyto practices an innovative proprietary concept of phytotherapy utilizing a special patent-pending extraction method from plants grown without agricultural chemicals in Mikawa.
With plant biomethodology as a core philosophy, Morita has drawn from both ancient herbalism and modern cosmetic science to develop twenty-two different Waphyto products for everything from skin to body, hair and intimate care--all using plant-powered holistic ingredients and created with multigenerational wellness in mind. In September of 2020, the line was ready for launch!
The Waphyto Way: Elemental Inspiration In Every Detail An attention to detail is also a signature of Atsuko Morita’s work. Believing that true self care means taking care of the body’s individual parts with different specially-targeted formulas, Morita’s products were designed to provide consumers with a truly holistic range of options for wellness and beauty.
Ingredients for Waphyto’s products are meticulously researched and tested. They’re also backed by experts in geology, agriculture, and pharmacology. Many of our proprietary botanicals are even locally grown, including mulberry, mugwort, gotu kola, Japanese calendula and horsetail.
Striving to create a full sensory experience, Morita considers not only product efficacy, but also texture, how the products feel on the skin, and even how their fragrance has the power to impact our mood. Incorporating principles of aromatherapy, products are carefully crafted with their own unique essential oil scent. For the finishing touch, each piece of the collection comes packaged in stylish, colorful containers, inspired by Japanese culture and the natural beauty of Mikawa.
Defining A Future For Clean Beauty: The Four Es
Looking to the future, Waphyto takes its commitment to clean cosmetics and sustainable beauty very seriously. From the beginning, the brand has outlined its own set of standards for transparency in a marketplace that often lacks accountability. Waphyto’s promise includes what we call “The Four E’s” which stand for Elemental, Environmental, Ethical and Empowerment.
Elemental means choosing the most natural, local, and ethically sourced ingredients possible and keeping formulas free of toxins, including parabens, preservatives, synthetic chemicals or perfumes. Environmental defines our passion for preserving the purity of nature. In addition to minimizing our environmental impact with recyclable packaging and paperless marketing, we place special attention on sustainable practices that will protect the beauty of the Mikawa region and Mother Nature for many years to come.
Ethical further defines Waphyto’s set of standards for business and marketing. As a company, we have established fair trade relationships with producers of our ingredients and are committed to transparency in labeling, so that contents of our products are easily traceable.
Empowerment is the last of the four Es, but hardly the least. Empowerment is how Waphyto gives back to the community and our amazing customers. As a lifelong advocate for accessible self care and women’s health, Atsuko Morita has created not only a line of products but an entire beauty brand dedicated to improving the lives of men and women of all ages. Happy Birthday to Waphyto! We can’t wait to see what year two brings!