Second skin: Kao study shows fine fibre tech ability to enhance make-up pigmentation coverage

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Kao conducts research into fine fibre tech for colour cosmetics. [Kao Corp]
Kao conducts research into fine fibre tech for colour cosmetics. [Kao Corp]

Related tags pigmentation Colour cosmetics Science Research and development kao corp

Kao Corporation has conducted new research into fine fibre technology and its ability to tackle the ‘serious’ consumer concern for pigmentation spot coverage.

The Japanese firm’s Fine fibre technology is an ultra-thin membrane that is created by spraying the skin with a polymer solution of superfine fibres by using the electrospinning method.

Kao first announced the development of this technology in 2018​ and launched the first-ever Fine fibre-enabled skin care products in 2019​.

Previous research by Kao has shown that when applied, the membrane can help the skin to retain moisture while simultaneously allowing it to breathe.

In its latest research, Kao explored the application of fine fibre technology in colour cosmetics, specifically as a face base make-up product.

Yukihiro Miyazaki, R&D manager, make-up products research, told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that the firm saw that this technology could solve one of the biggest consumer concerns – pigmentation spot coverage.

“Spot is one of the serious concerns and a lot of consumers who concern about spots have never been satisfied with their makeup finish because there is a trade-off between having a natural [finish] and high-coverage.”

Layering technique

For this study, Kao researchers aimed to examine the structure of the coating film formed as well as it effects to conceal pigmentation spots.

In one experiment, the fine fibre membrane was applied on an artificial skin model with an uneven surface and a base make-up formulation was applied to it.

It was revealed that the fine fibre membrane had a three-dimensional structure consisting of ‘interfolded super-fine fibres’​ with a large number of small gaps between them.

When applied, the powder contained in the base make-up formulation was observed to applied evenly and densely.

This showed the team that the fine fibre membrane could enhance the coverage effect even with a small amount of base make-up formulation.

In another test, researchers dyed the fibres red before applying it on the skin of a subject. A base make-up formulation containing cosmetic powder emitting green fluorescence was applied over it and observed with fluorescent microscopy.

Researchers found that that the film covered depressions, such as skin grooves and pores, forming a ‘hammock’ that covers skin irregularities and keeps the powder from falling into skin grooves, providing a smooth appearance.

This layering technique was applied on a subject with strong pigmentation spots to confirm the fine fibre’s efficacy as a spot concealer.

Kao researchers concluded that a smooth skin appearance can be obtained by overlaying base make-up onto fine fibre membrane.

“This makes it possible to beautifully cover spots that conventional base makeup cosmetics do not conceal well,”​ said Kao.

The results of this study were presented at the 71st Divisional Meeting of the Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry held in September, where it received the Best Online Presentation Award.

The findings were also presented at the 25th JFACE (Japanese Academy of Facial Studies) Annual Conference, which was held in October.

Fine future for fine fibre

Based on this technology Kao will be introducing BIOMIMESIS Veil Fixer, a make-up base in the BIOMIMESIS series released from two brands – est and SENSAI.

The base can be applied over an ultra-thin veil of BIOMIMESIS Veil Potion (cosmetic liquid) sprayed on the skin with the Veil Diffuser device. The products will be available next March.

Miyazaki said the results of this research show that the fine fibre technology was “beyond any trends”.

“In terms of fine fibre technology, there will be a wide range of possibilities of applications including therapeutic field.”

For colour cosmetics, Miyazaki explained that this technology could be used to develop a wide range of make-up textures, from matte to natural finishes with high-coverage.

“Therefore, we think it might also fit the personalisation trend in beauty and lead in giving everyone their own ideal makeup finish. This ultra-thin skin has many undiscovered potentials for cosmetic applications. Kao intends to continue developing products that meet the needs of its customers.”

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