Brand profile

Chlitina Profile part I: Exploring the age of medical beauty

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Chlitina  medical beauty

Related tags: Skin care, Stem cell, Medicine

Chemist Dr. Chen Wugang is the founder of Taiwanese skin care and beauty salon franchise, with Joanna Chen now at the helm of Chlitina as the CEO. Ryan Chao, Chlitina’s Chief Operating Officer for the Greater China area, talks about the latest developments in the beauty industry in China.

How did Chlitina and Dr. Chen Wugang first connect beauty and medicine? 

Back in 1989, Dr. Chen Wugang’s chemistry background enabled him to create skin care products that were better formulated, with a pH of 5,5 only – which at the time was a small revolution.

Dr. Chen likes to recall that he was at first criticised for this choice but that later, dermatologists agreed with him that a 5,5 pH was the correct level for a skin care product.

Thirty years ago, numerous products in Taiwan were quite aggressive with very high pH levels, and as a result, many Taiwanese women complained of skin and hair scalp problems.

That is what prompted Dr. Chen to create products that would help women regain healthy skin with a fresh, rosy glow. This philosophy has been at the heart of the brand ever since.

How has this connection evolved since 1989?

Today, Chlitina’s core business is as a skin care and beauty salon franchise. Customers are usually active women who seek luxurious cosmetics and who aspire to have a light complexion and well hydrated healthy skin.

In China, these two elements are absolute priorities. Most Chlitina products have a whitening effect as well as moisturising properties. Women above 40 also worry about wrinkles and skin sagginess, so a big portion of Chlitina’s portfolio is devoted to attenuating the signs of ageing.

Recently, Chlitina has started looking into medical beauty by opening its first plastic surgery clinic in collaboration with Chinese surgeons, specialising in light procedures. Chlitina is very careful to abide by China’s stringent regulations in every aspect of its development and this is especially true for its medical venture.

What prompted Chlitina's push towards creating a regenerative medicine platform with Tongii University?

Chlitina has actually long entertained a close relationship with Tongji University as our chairwoman Joanna Chen serves as a board director. 

It is in this context that the idea of teaming up on regenerative medicine with researchers from Tongji University came up. The obvious priority is to have solid scientific backing and get an early start in a very promising field of medical research.

What are today's consumers seeking from skin care and how does this partnership help to serve this?

The notion of regenerative medicine is getting more and more appealing as science advances towards efficient and precise treatments using less controversial techniques than in the early years. For instance, the source of stem cells now is increasingly fat tissue collected directly from the patient. 

On June 25th 2017, on the occasion of Chlitina’s 20th anniversary in China, a researcher from Tongji University gave a brief lecture on the team’s work and how it is going to change the way we think about ageing.

Their goal is to use mesenchymal stem cells (MST) — MST can differentiate into many different kinds of cells, according to where they are transplanted — to wipe out wrinkles and treat inflammatory skin diseases, by transplanting them into the patient’s body where needed.

Chlitina believes that regenerative medicine has enormous potential for growth and that in the long run, the company will be able to tap into this market by using its already well-established network of beauty salons to identify potential customers.

Even without talking about complex medical procedures involving cell transplants, which might take some time to put in place, the hope is that the research being done now may soon help formulate more efficient skin care products.

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