Intergalactic makeover: Japan’s Pola Orbis and ANA aiming to develop and launch cosmetics for space by 2023

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Pola Orbis and ANA collaborating to make space cosmetics. ©GettyImages
Pola Orbis and ANA collaborating to make space cosmetics. ©GettyImages

Related tags Japan Research

Pola Orbis Holdings and All Nippon Airways (ANA) Holdings have announced a partnership to jointly develop cosmetic products that can be used for space travel by 2023.

The Japanese beauty conglomerate said that the new joint project, dubbed COSMO SKIN, aims to create cosmetic products that “make space life beautiful and comfortable” ​by focusing on both physiological and mental wellness.

For this project, Pola Orbis said it would contribute its skin knowledge and formulation expertise while ANA would assist with research by providing its scientists with a working environment that is similar to a spacecraft.

According to ANA, it will provide an aircraft, where the environment is extremely dry compared to climate on earth, for the researchers to conduct their experiments.

In 2018, the Japanese airline company announced plans to enter the space exploration business by developing technologies to place robots in outer space and to operate them from Earth.

It also has stakes in Japanese company PD AeroSpace, which aims to turn space flights into a business.

With these recent developments, Pola Orbis believes private space travel “will come true in near future,”​ said Chihiro Kondo, curation team manager of Pola Orbis’ Multiple Intelligence Research Centre.

New research frontier

However, this is not the company’s only motivation for taking on this intricate project.

Kondo told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that Pola Orbis hoped to use this experience and its findings to solve issues on earth such as physical aging, mental health and sustainability.

She said that the extreme environment of space would push the company to develop solutions that may, for instance, improve product usability and minimise waste.

“We believe the restrictions and limitations will make us find new ideas and solutions. For example, limited resources could give us an idea for a new formulation and zero gravity could give us an idea for new packaging.”

Pola Orbis declined to divulge more details about the project and the products but told us they had just started considering some hypotheses and conducting preliminary research.

“We have just started preliminary research, therefore have not yet decided the detail of products. Now we have some research hypothesis and claims that is important for both earth and space and we will choose the right claims after our research,” ​said Kondo.

Additionally, the team is also working on overcoming three main challenges.

Kondo elaborated: “First, we have to find a physical mechanism for wellness in space and on earth. The second is to create a new formulation that can achieve comfort in spite material restrictions. The last is to build eco-friendly and easy-to-use packaging.”

In 2019, Pola Orbis won the ANA Holdings Award at S-Booster, a space-based business competition with its skin wellness tourism concept, which proposed to utilise satellite data to assess skin condition and recommend tourist activities.

According to Pola Orbis, it is currently working with ANA to commercialise the concept in the Shimane Prefecture of Japan.

Related topics Formulation & Science East Asia

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