Potential herbal discoveries: POLA Chemicals signs deal with Yunnan Baiyao to develop TCM cosmetic ingredients

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

POLA Chemical Industries has inked a deal with Yunnan Baiyao Group to develop new ingredients. GettyImages
POLA Chemical Industries has inked a deal with Yunnan Baiyao Group to develop new ingredients. GettyImages

Related tags tcm Herb natural beauty botanicals

Japanese firm POLA Chemical Industries has inked a deal with Yunnan Baiyao Group to gain access to its research on Chinese herbs and collaborate on developing new cosmetic materials.

Both companies announced the collaboration with a virtual signing ceremony on September 16.

Yunnan Baiyao is a Chinese pharmaceutical company with centuries-old roots in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

The company is headquartered in Yunnan, China, where the climate is as varied as the terrain itself with a large diversity of botanicals.

With its years of research and development into Chinese herbs, the company has amassed over 100,000 plant-derived samples.

According to the statement by POLA Chemicals, Yunnan Baiyao will provide it with over 10,000 samples to study for this joint project.

In the next few months, the companies will begin by evaluating the samples from Yunnan Baiyao to determine the most promising ingredient candidates for cosmetic study.

“By collaborating with POLA Chemical Industries and utilising the latest intelligent and accurate technology, we would like to develop skin care ingredients derived from those plants and provide consumers with highly-functional, natural and safe products,” ​said Yong Tao, Executive vice president of Yunnan Baiyao Group Health Products.

Accelerating development

With these samples readily available for study and POLA Chemicals’ expertise in dermatological research in safety and efficacy, it will be able to accelerate development.

This would allow POLA Chemicals to “quickly create materials that have high effectiveness”, ​said Satoshi Hirakawa, manager, R&D Strategic management team Multiple Intelligence Research Center, Pola Orbis Holdings.

“POLA Chemicals has the advantage of not only evaluating techniques of efficacy and safety based on the knowledge of dermatological research but also developing products with high technology such as stabilisation technology for cosmetic preparations,” ​said Hirakawa.

He added: “By combining the strengths of both companies, we would like to quickly create safe and effective cosmetic materials.”

POLA Chemicals is the subsidiary of Japanese cosmetics firm Pola Orbis Holdings, the maker of J-beauty brand such as POLA, ORBIS and THREE.

The company sees a lot of potential in utilising China's abundant medicinal plant resources and TCM in cosmetic research.

“We have been paying attention to botanical sources in Chinese medicine for more than 40 years and have been applying them in our products. By advancing material development with Yunnan Baiyao, we would like to accelerate achieving the ultimate in value… and bring even more happiness to our customers,” ​said Kazuya Kugimaru, president of POLA Chemicals.

With this project, the company hopes to tap into the consumer demand for high-performing plant-derived ingredients.

“Many plant-derived materials have been used in cosmetics for a long time, and they are widely accepted by consumers,” ​said Hirakawa.

Herbs with links to TCM have an added advantage as they have been backed up by scientific research, said Hirakawa.

“Research on both their efficacy and mechanism of action has also been very active, earning the trust of consumers. We believe that its popularity in the market will continue in the future.”

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