Next generation tech: Delivery system innovation key to Dr Ci:Labo’s latest ‘breakthrough’ retinol launches

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Dr Ci:Labo’s “breakthrough” retinol products have been underpinned by innovations in delivery system technology. [Dr Ci:Labo]
Dr Ci:Labo’s “breakthrough” retinol products have been underpinned by innovations in delivery system technology. [Dr Ci:Labo]

Related tags retinol skin ageing Johnson & johnson J&J Japan anti-ageing

Japanese derma brand Dr Ci:Labo’s “breakthrough” retinol products have been underpinned by innovations in delivery system technology.

The brand recently showcased three retinol products at the 25th​ World Congress of Dermatology in July.

Retinol is one of the best-known skin care ingredients. However, the market has recently seen a surge of renewed interest in this tried-and-tested ingredient.

On TikTok, the retinol hashtag has pulled 4.3 billion views. This renewed interest has been driven by the consumer demand for efficacy, said Keshan Gunasinghe, vice president of R&D, Asia Pacific, Kenvue.

This drive for efficacy has really pushed the demand.

“What’s interesting is that retinol is not a new ingredient. It’s been around since the 60s and has stood the test of time. It’s the gold standard when it comes to ageing, but it’s also a versatile ingredient and can be used in tone and acne,”​ said Gunasinghe.

Gunasinghe added that Kenvue has helped to widen the adoption of retinol, especially with launches under one of its most ubiquitous brands, Neutrogena.

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One of the products debuted was the Enrich Microneedle Serum. The product contains microneedles made of hyaluronic acid and can enhance retinol absorption by 1.5 times while the hyaluronic acid dissolves to form a moisture barrier on the skin.

The brand also debuted the upcoming Advanced Skin Science Retinol Cream, which makes use of a liposome encapsulation technology to improve retinol penetration and deliver it to the target area. Additionally, it enables retinol to be slowly released over time.

“This technology controls the dose of retinol, it ensures that the concentration of retinol is not too high, which could cause [negative effects],”​ explained Cecilia Li, Head of Clinical, Translational Science APAC R&D, Kenvue.

The company’s delivery system innovations have been key to its retinol “breakthroughs”.

“I love retinol. I’ve worked with it for many years in the lab formulating with it, but it’s a terrible ingredient to work with. It’s very unstable. Light degrades it, heat degrades it, air degrades it. So, in order to deliver fantastic efficacy, you need to get it into the skin,” ​said Gunasinghe

In addition to the aforementioned products, Dr. Ci:Labo also spotlighted Retin 169, a serum with its new patented technology Retin 169, which combines retinol and hexinol.

Hexinol works to slow down the skin’s ageing process by reactivating collagen and elastin synthesis. When combined with retinol, it can amplify its efficacy on stimulating collagen and elastin production 1.69 times, the brand claims.

“Hexinol is antioxidant, it works on minor inflammation that might cause further degradation of collagen. Hexinol itself does not have retinol bioactivity, but by combining with retinol, it boosts the bioactivity 1.69 times. They have similar pathways in terms of boosting collagen, preventing cell degradation, as well as skin cell proliferation,”​ said Li.

Founded in 1999, Dr Ci:Labo is a Japanese dermocosmetics brand owned by Kenvue, a subsidiary of American multinational Johnson & Johnson (J&J).

J&J completed the acquisition of the brand at the start of 2019. It is currently available primarily in Japan, China as well as the travel retail market.

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