Microbiome-friendly clothes: COSMAX set to commercialise ‘wearable cosmetics’ with anti-ageing ingredient

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

COSMAX has plans to develop and commercialise fabric that is imbued with Strain CX. [Getty Images]
COSMAX has plans to develop and commercialise fabric that is imbued with Strain CX. [Getty Images]

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Cosmetics ODM major COSMAX has plans to develop and commercialise fabric that is imbued with Strain CX, an anti-ageing microbiome ingredient it developed in 2019.

The South Korean cosmetics firm partnered up with Korea Dyeing and Finishing Technology Institute (DYETEC) to develop this cosmetics textile.

According to the European Cosmetic Directive, cosmetotextiles are “any textile product containing a substance or preparation that is released over time on different superficial parts of the human body, notably on human skin, and containing special functionalities such as cleansing, perfuming, changing appearance, protection, keeping in good condition or the correction of body odours”.

Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Asia​, senior researcher Lee Juhyun explained that it had capsulised active ingredients that were “deliberately mixed”​ with the fibres before the manufacturing process.

This would allow users to “get the desirable skin benefits not by applying the cosmetics… but by wearing the active ingredients [to let] the efficacious components to run through the skin –all day and night.”

Senior researcher Paik Chaeyoon pointed out that this technology has been around since the 2000s and has been explored mainly in Europe.

In early days, the capsule technology applied in the cosmetics textile product feebly fell away and disappeared whenever the external force happened. It’s because the capsule was so fragile that most of the significant components went away just with small friction like from doing the laundry.

However, recent developments in technology have made the capsules more robust, and the capsules can now withstand even high temperatures between 250 and 270 degrees Celsius.

Microbiome-friendly fashion?

Lee told us that it has managed to combine the cosmetic textile with Strain CX, its patented anti-ageing microbiome ingredient.

This microbiome ingredient plays such an important role in anti-ageing that we are planning to develop products such as leggings that touches and covers a wider area of the body.”

Moving forward, Paik said it plans to develop this technology more with its “thousands of efficacious ingredients” and will explore various areas, including, moisturising, wrinkle care, and hair loss prevention.

“We are going to make full use of the technology and resources we have and continue the study of applying them to cosmetics textiles.”

In addition, the company will explore how to enhance the eco-consciousness of the product, for instance, by making it biodegradable.

Potential for cosmetic fabrics

While many beauty consumers are diligent about facial care, COSMAX said there was a lack of attention paid to body care among consumers.

“It’s such a hassle and bother to care about the whole body and traditional cosmetics leave feelings of stickiness all over the body. This is the point where we see the potential for cosmetic fabrics because then people won’t have to waste time,” said Lee.

“They can just put it on and go about their daily lives while having this skin care function that fulfils the soaring demand for high function and sensitive skin products. This is a chance to attract the attention of the consumers towards fabric products with beauty and skin care performance,” said Paik.

Furthermore, she added that with “voices rising so badly”​ for new skin care concepts as well as textile and fashion goods, COSMAX believes cosmetic textile had a promising future ahead.

However, Lee also noted that price could potentially be an issue. To balance this weak point, we are going to strategically employ a post-processing manufacturing method that’s relatively cheap and we are about to apply them to the products such as leggings and sportswear that are accessible to the customers.”

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