Product focus: Top 10 most-read stories on new product innovations in 2021

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Biggest stories on product developments in the Asia Pacific beauty and personal care market. [Shiseido]
Biggest stories on product developments in the Asia Pacific beauty and personal care market. [Shiseido]

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Here’s our 2021 biggest stories on product developments in the Asia Pacific beauty and personal care market, featuring global brands to beauty start-ups alike.

1 – The eyes have it: Shiseido promises to offer ‘new experiences’ with Second Skin tech launch in October

Shiseido has confirmed plans to launch Second Skin on October 1​ – a technology that can diminish undereye ageing signs without make-up, in a move the firm says will offer “new experiences” to consumers.

The SHISEIDO Bio Performance series will consist of the Second Skin and a trial kit that will be launched in Japan on October 1 and will retail from JPY3,850 (U$34.87) to JPY35,200 (U$318.82).

This technology was acquired in 2018 through the takeover of Olivo Laboratories, a US-based start-up that created the patented XPL Second Skin tech, a breathable, flexible, and nearly invisible artificial skin.

After its acquisition, the company spent three years to ready the technology for commercialisation, testing the product on around 4,000 people in the US and Japan.

2 – ‘The hero is the bug’: NZ biotech firm Blis Technology launches new brand with ‘skin-specific’ probiotic strain

New Zealand-based probiotics firm has made its debut in the cosmetics space with its new skin care brand, Unconditional Skincare Co., which utilises a probiotic strain​ that is naturally found in the skin.

Founded two decades ago, Blis Technologies Limited is a biotechnology company that manufactures advanced probiotics for the mouth and throat.

It has recently entered the skin care space with the development of BLIS Q24, a patented micrococcus luteus strain that features in the products as the key active ingredient.

BLIS Q24 acts as ‘crowd control’​ to reduce the number of bad bacteria in your microbiome. During its life cycle, it produces postbiotics, which combat bad bacteria while helping to modulate the skin’s immune system.

3 – Activated apples: Biotech firm Renovatio claims new APSKIN products have retinol-like effects ‘without the downsides’

Australian firm Renovatio Bioscience has launched two new cosmetic products​ with an enhanced formula that it believes can rival retinol products in terms of efficacy without the tricky side effects.

Renovatio was founded in 2016 and has a range of health, wellness and beauty cosmetic products that contain activated phenolics extracted from apples.

This ingredient is extracted using a technique developed by Renovatio founder and technical director Dr Vincent Candrawinata, which extracts the phenolic antioxidants with water. The result is an antioxidant that is water-based and not chemically synthesised.

The company offers cosmetic products under the APSKIN brand which previously consisted of a single skin cream. The latest products to join this August are the APSKIN Face Ultra Antioxidant Cream and Body Ultra Antioxidant Cream.

4 – Pandemic skin care: Shiseido's AQUALABEL launches range focusing on skin health and fermented ingredients

Japanese beauty giant Shiseido has launched a new range of skin care products under the AQUALABEL brand that was developed in response to skin care needs and concerns that have been influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aqua Wellness is the latest range from AQUALABEL, a skin care brand owned by Shiseido, that was designed to be a simple beauty solution to protect the skin barrier and keep skin healthy.

It was developed in response to a market research study conducted by Shiseido in July, which sought to find out how the perception of skin care has shifted considering the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shiseido reached out to 500 women and 55 men through an online questionnaire to find out that around half of the respondents currently identified as being health conscious.

5 – Tailored to you: Singapore start-up to launch customisable microbiome skin care product for sensitive skin

Singapore-based beauty start-up Sage & Ylang is set to launch its first customisable microbiome beauty essence​ developed especially for sensitive skin, which was developed alongside a government science and research agency.

Sage & Ylang was founded in 2018 by Irene Chong, a former registered nurse turned organic skin care formulator.

Recently, the brand debuted its first microbiome-friendly range with a moisturiser and will extend the line with a facial wash and a beauty essence shortly.

Later this year, the brand will also be launching four beauty boosters which can be added to the beauty essence depending on skin type or concern. The first four boosters will target oily skin, acne-prone skin, wrinkles and uneven skin tone.

6 – Fasio’s facelift: Kosé rebrands mass make-up brand to meet emerging ‘multifaceted needs’ of younger consumers

Japanese cosmetics company Kosé Corporation has relaunched its mass make-up brand Fasio​ to meet the new needs of consumers that have accelerated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fasio first appeared on the market in 2000 as a ‘sports beauty’​ brand that ‘combined fashion and functionality’​. The brand was targeted at young consumers in their teens and twenties.

The impetus for the rebranding was to meet the new needs of make-up consumers today, which have shifted dramatically in the last two decades.

According to a report by Kosé in 2019 that surveyed over 1,200 women aged 15 to 49, women under the age of 29 were observed to favour different standards for make-up.

7 – Ultimate upgrade: Shiseido’s latest Ultimune serum taps into breakthrough research on blood circulation

The fourth iteration of Shiseido’s best-selling Ultimune serum showcases the company’s research into the co-relation between blood circulation and skin health.

The latest serum feature’s Shiseido’s The Lifeblood technology as well as new ingredients Houttuynia cordata and fermented hibiscus Extract.

Shiseido’s latest dermatological discovery, dubbed the Lifeblood Research, dove into the significance of blood circulation and its relation to skin health and its appearance.

“The latest ground-breaking Lifeblood Research involves fundamentally improving the skin by constantly enhancing blood flow. It is different from conventional skincare technology, which only deals with individual skin concerns temporarily and only on the surface level,” ​said Ryota Yukisada, chief brand officer of Shiseido.

8 – Scalp saver: Shampoo with Amorepacific’s patented green tea probiotic sees sales surpass a million units

LABO-H, a hair care brand specialising in scalp skin under Amorepacific that utilises the firm’s patented green tea probiotic, has seen sales of its scalp strengthening shampoo​ surpass a million units within 18 months of its launch.

The South Korean beauty and personal care company, which owns brands Sulwhasoo, Laneige and Innisfree, attributed the success of the brand to increasing scalp care and hair loss concerns, which it believes have been triggered by the changing climate.

The rapid change in weather and temperature can cause an imbalance in the scalp and ultimately lead to hair loss, said the firm.

The interest in scalp care has been on the rise in the past few years thanks to the ‘skinification’ of hair care According to Mintel, 47% of Chinese consumers believe a healthy scalp was key to healthy hair.

9 – Lather and save: Waterless brand Bhuman unveils powdered shampoo to ‘make bigger impact’ on sustainable mission

Zero-waste personal care brand Bhuman has launched a new water-activated powdered unisex hair wash​, a move the brand believes will enable it to make a bigger positive environmental impact given the high penetration of shampoo.

Bhuman is a waterless personal care brand by Yeeli Lee, former vice president of Amazon China and brand consultant that has worked with Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, Coty and The Estée Lauder Companies.

The brand, which launched in 2020, specialises in waterless products, allowing it to cut down on emissions from transport as well as packaging – especially single-use plastics.

Its first-ever product was the B Clean Waterless Facial Wash Powder, a 100% plant-based enzyme powder cleanser.

10 – One and done: ONLYSKIN launches cleanser-sunscreen hybrid to boost consumer convenience

A Singapore-based cosmetics company has developed a wash-on sunscreen​ that it claims can offer convenient 24-hour ‘wash-to-wash’ protection.

ONLYSKIN is a subsidiary of ONLY Group, a medical aesthetics company founded in 2005, operates four medical aesthetic clinic brands, a cryotherapy centre and develops a range of products including its own skin care line.

The firm recently launched Cleanse Protect Renew (CPR), a multifunctional sunscreen that protects against UV rays, blue light, and pollution – after washing it off.

“All you need to do is wash your face. And after that, on top of having clean skin, you’ll be protected from UV rays,”​ explained Eliza Yuen, head of marketing, ONLY Group.

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