Cracking collagen: Kewpie’s new egg-based cosmetic ingredient promises to turn back time

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Japanese company Kewpie has launched a brand new collagen-boosting ingredient extracted from eggshell membranes. ©GettyImages
Japanese company Kewpie has launched a brand new collagen-boosting ingredient extracted from eggshell membranes. ©GettyImages
Japanese company Kewpie has launched a brand new collagen-boosting ingredient extracted from eggshell membranes.

Its fine chemicals division launched EMlastic at CITE Japan in May and is optimistic about its prospects locally and in overseas markets.

The ingredient acts to increase fibroblasts that produce hyaluronic acid and the collagen necessary to maintain skin firmness.

Multi-purpose membrane

Yayoi Matsushita, marketing, fine chemicals division of Kewpie explained that EMlastic’s main purpose was to promote the production of type-III collagen, also known as ‘baby collagen’, as it is most abundant in skin during babyhood.

“It’s what makes baby skin so plump and supple. Then as we age, type-III collagen decreases,”​ explained Matsushita.

However, clinical tests have shown it to have other properties as well.

According to Matsushita, the product was found to increase skin moisturisation significantly after only four weeks.

The in-vivo test also found that EMlastic could inhibit melanin production by impeding tyrosinase activity by 8%.

Matsushita said the company planned to research more into the whitening effects of EMlastic.

“We see potential in continuing more tests, especially because of the importance that Japanese, and other Asians in the region place on whitening.”

She added: “EMlastic does not irritate skin or eyes, making it safe for sensitive skin and good for the Japanese market.”

Leveraging on its eggs-pertise

Eggs are an integral part of the Kewpie group, said Yayoi.

It is a crucial ingredient of its famous mayonnaise, which has become synonymous with the company.

The company also manufactures and supplies frozen eggs, liquid eggs and processed eggs under the Kewpie Egg Corporation.

Its research and efforts to expand the ways eggs can be used have resulted in a range of cosmetic ingredients based on different components of the egg, including egg yolk and egg white.

Matsushita explained that eggshell membrane was characterised by the high content of cystine and that its components are very similar to human skin, making them an excellent as a cosmetic ingredient.

Using its proprietary technology, Kewpie is able to extract and hydrolyse the eggshell membrane.

Being in the food business, Kewpie is especially concerned about food waste, said Yayoi.

“The process of making our food products, like mayonnaise, leaves us with 25,000 tonnes of eggshell every year. It’s important for our company not to waste, so we want to utilise all components of the egg.”

She added that this message resonated with consumers globally.

“There are more people paying attention to it now, not only in Japan but all over the world. We are seeing this demand from consumers and our customers too.”

Boost of collagen

Aside from egg-inspired cosmetic ingredients, Kewpie also has a long history of developing and producing hyaluronic acid.

At CITE Japan, Kewpie also showcased HABooster, an Hyaluronic acid with super low molecular weight

Matsushita explained that the product has a two pronged approach to encouraging the collagen cycle.

The ingredient works to increase the production of pro-collagen while decomposing old collagen fibres at the same time.

Clinical studies found that HAbooster was effective in increasing type-I collagen in as little as four weeks.

Using 3D imaging technology, the study found that the ingredient was successful in improving the appearance of crow’s feet, nasolabial lines and sagging skin.

Previously, HAbooster was marketed in the US and Europe and its success has prompted the company to bring it back to Japan.

“We wanted to see how the market would respond to it. It has been great so we decide to bring back to Japan where there is a demand for anti-aging products and it will only keep increasing,” ​said Matsushita.

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