Japan focus: Top stories on the Japanese cosmetics industry

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Japan focus: Top stories on the Japanese cosmetics industry

Related tags: Japan, Skin care

We round-up our most-read stories on the Japanese beauty market, featuring e’quipe’s new active wellness brand, Kanebo’s rebrand and our podcast episode on Singaporean-Japanese skin care brand Re:erth.

1 – e’quipe to strengthen global business with launch of active wellness beauty brand

Cosmetic firm e’quipe Ltd. has announced the launch of athletia, a skin care and lifestyle brand that taps into the rising active beauty and wellness trends in the market.

athletia joins RMK and SUQQU as the third cosmetics brand from e’quipe, which is a subsidiary under Japanese cosmetics firm Kao Corporation.

The brand was launched to tap into the rising trend for wellness-focused beauty in the region.

“People are living longer, and more people wish to stay healthy and maintain beauty both physically and mentally. It has become more ordinary to see people exercising regularly, whether it be yoga or working out, amid their busy lifestyles,” ​said the company.

The brand will officially launch in February next year via its official website and at two department stores in Japan.

2 – Hope and beauty: Kao to kick off Kanebo rebrand with launch of 44 new make-up items in 2020

Japanese cosmetics conglomerate Kao Corporation is set to release 44 new colour cosmetic products in February 2020 to mark the official rebrand of cosmetics brand Kanebo.

Kanebo is one of the eleven strategic brands (G11) the Kao group has positioned at the core of the group’s global cosmetics businesses. The company’s aim is to grow the presence and status of Kanebo on the global cosmetics stage as a leading brand.

The brand first appeared on the global stage in 2016 with a premium skin care line. This coming spring, Kanebo will officially roll out a new marketing campaign based on the concept of ‘hope’.

The company explained that the new message would serve the aspirations of consumers all around the world who value individuality, diversity, and personal qualities that distinguish themselves from others.

It said the ‘Birth of Hope’ campaign was aimed at consumers that are ‘proud of their individuality and believe that they can create their own future.’

3 – ‘Good products take time’​: Re:erth founder debunks fast fashion culture in beauty

On this episode of Indie Pioneers, we speak to Shinji Yamasaki, the founder of skin care brand re:erth about his philosophy to skin care, the influence of fast fashion in beauty and the unique ingredients that sparked his epiphany.

If left to his own devices, Yamasaki would probably be contented with his minimalist range of eight skin care products. Fortunately for fans of re:erth, he has a relentless team which “forces” ​him to launch at least one product annually.

His hesitation stems from his measured approach to skin care and the philosophy of taking time to heal the skin from the inside out.

“Our products take time because we work with the skin. We're not doing anything artificial to your skin, so you're not going to get immediate results. When we come out with a product, we know it works… but when it comes to good results, it's not a short-term thing,”​ said Yamasaki.

What makes re:erth products so unique is its proprietary ingredients derived from the Japanese Spring Turmeric and Japanese White Turmeric, which the company has spent almost two decades researching.

4 – Kao Corp develops beauty consultation service based on RNA monitoring technology

Japanese cosmetics company Kao Corporation has collaborated with tech start-up Preferred Networks Inc. to launch a new beauty consultation service​ that monitors RNA in sebum.

The firm worked with Preferred Networks (PFN) to apply Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, such as machine learning and deep learning, with the data obtained from the sebum RNA.

PFN’s AI tech will then utilise the informing gathered by Kao’s sebum RNA monitoring technology to develop a “highly sophisticated prediction algorithm”.

This will enable Kao to gain a better understanding of the skin’s internal condition and will allow it to assess future risks of skin damage.

Kao believes this will eventually allow them to personalise skin care product and beauty advice based on genetic information.

5 – Autophagy and ageing: Kao’s new research reveals decline of body’s ‘recycling’ process

The latest research from Kao Corporation has revealed a link between autophagy activity decline and signs of intrinsic ageing and photoaging.

Autophagy is a process which allows the body to clear out damage cells in order to generate new, healthy cells. This process essentially recycles contents in the body to create new proteins.

According to Kao, the human body is in a constant state of self-renewal, with a recycling rate of 1% to 2% of total proteins.

Previous research has determined that its activity decreases with ageing it is also thought to be involved in various age-related diseases. In skin, autophagy is known to have some important roles, such as keratinisation, immunity and pigmentation.

Under the guidance of Professor Tamotsu Yoshimori from Osaka University, Kao’s Biological Science Research Division successfully measured autophagy activity and found a link between its decrease and the ageing process.

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