Japanese confectionery maker Ezaki Glico has announced it has developed its first skin care line for the cosmetics market featuring glycogen, a carbohydrate said to be beneficial in retaining skin moisture.
The company named after glycogen - which it uses in its caramel candies, is said to have developed the line in an effort to provide purer glycogen to the area of skin care.
Glycogen is said to be found on the skin's surface and helps keep the outer layer moist. Using a proprietary enzyme, Ezaki Glico found a way to synthesize it from plant starch, whereas previously the substance had to be extracted from oysters and other natural sources.
“This new method creates purer, higher-quality glycogen, and we are considering supplying to other cosmetics makers, depending on the success of this skincare line.”
A third-party survey, according to the Japanese company, is also said to have showed that the skincare line could contribute to increased moisture retention and firmer skin.
The lotion and cream line is to go to market under Ezaki’s "gg" brand, to which the company is aiming for sales of 1 billion yen within five years.
History of supplying to the cosmetics industry
Although this is the company's first skin care product line, Ezaki Glico began supplying cosmetics additives like Alpha-Arbutin, an agent effective in skin-whitening applications to global industry players like DSM back in 2001, and has in recent years expanded into China and North America.
Ezaki Glico and DSM Nutritional Products are said to have jointly discovered that α-Arbutin contained a strong inhibiting effect on human tyrosinase, (the enzyme is involved in synthesis of melanin which causes freckles and suntan) and DSM has been commercially distributing the substance worldwide as a skin-lightening ingredient since collaborating.
Japanese manufacturers rising up the ranks
"Western cosmetic manufacturers are becoming increasingly threatened by up-and-coming Japanese players - who are slowly but surely rising in popularity," a recent Euromonitor report revealed.
In it's report 'Could Western beauty firms be under threat?' the market researcher explains that the global cosmetics and toiletries market is getting progressively more competitive as companies battle to remain in the top ten ranking and that "many Japanese players have managed to successfully tap into this trend, particularly by targeting the China market, to which it is more closely connected to, both culturally and geographically."