Next big buzzword? Ichimaru Pharcos targets ‘skin thinning’ concerns in rapidly ageing Japan

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Ichimaru Pharcos has developed an organic anti-ageing ingredient to tackle skin thinning.
Ichimaru Pharcos has developed an organic anti-ageing ingredient to tackle skin thinning.
Ichimaru Pharcos has developed an organic anti-ageing ingredient, SpringMint, to tackle skin thinning, which it believes is set to be one of the new buzzwords in the anti-ageing category.

Hayato Kotani, international leader for Ichimaru Pharcos told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that the anti-ageing category was an important in Japan due to its rapidly ageing population.

According to statistics from the Japanese government, those aged 65 years and above made up 27.7% of the population in 2017, marking a record high.

At this rate, Japan would age progressively faster compared to the US and European countries.

This would drive the demand for anti-ageing products, however, Kotani said this posed a challenge for cosmetic companies which now have to innovate to stand out from the crowd.

“There are many people looking for anti-ageing products and a lot of anti-ageing products. So we had to develop a new keyword and develop new science. We found this keyword by reading many publications and papers,” ​he said.

Thickening skin from within

The main function of SpringMint, explained Kotani, was to suppress excess extracellular ATP.

“When skin is damaged or stressed, cells release extracellular  ATP and that extra extracellular ATP becomes a dangerous signal to the surrounding healthy cells and induces ageing. This would lead to wrinkles and broken collagen. SpringMint prohibits this pathway.”

The ingredient was tested on 14 men and women aged 30 to 60 years. A lotion with 1% of the ingredient was applied on one side of the face against a control on the other.

After four weeks, ultrasound images showed that the thickness of the dermis increased and skin elasticity was also found to be significantly improved.

Thickening the dermis would protect collagen from damage, said Kotani.

“With this, you can combine with a collagen promotion ingredient to make a very good combination.”

SpringMint is derived from organic peppermint, which contains the actives luteolin glucuronide and rosamrinic acid.

Kotani said the company studied different types of peppermint and found that organic peppermint contained a richer amount of the two actives compared to other varieties.

“Compared to the others, we found organic peppermint to be the best, so we looked all over the world and decided to use the organic peppermint from Egypt.”

Coming soon

SpringMint debuted in the Japanese market at CITE Japan in May and will launch globally after in-Cosmetics Asia, which is scheduled for November.

Not only is it permitted to be used as a quasi-drug in Japan, but it is also included in the Inventory of Existing Cosmetic Ingredients in China (IECIC).

Kotani said the company was very confident of SpringMint’s success in the market, adding that it was boosted by Japanese innovation and technology.

“Today, J-beauty is the trend. If you look at European market, they also want J-beauty products. There is a lot of requests for products made by Japanese companies because of our technology and the soft, light texture associated with Japanese products.”

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