From confectionery to cosmetics: Japan’s Shinkinedo chestnut-based hair care goes global via Amazon

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

Shinkinedo’s hair care line, which are made from upcycled chestnut skin, have recently began sales to 14 countries. ©Shinkinedo
Shinkinedo’s hair care line, which are made from upcycled chestnut skin, have recently began sales to 14 countries. ©Shinkinedo

Related tags Japan sustainable beauty upcycling

Japanese confectionery maker Shinkinedo’s hair care line, which are made from upcycled chestnut skin, have recently began sales to 14 countries around the world via Amazon.

Founded in 1945, Shinkinedo Group is actively diversifying its portfolio to include categories such as cosmetics, as part of its next stage of development into a “lifestyle company”.

This phase involves initiatives to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) mirroring current global trends, including the launch of Chetna, a hair care brand whose products are made from upcycled chestnut skin.

Shinkinedo’s hero product, Kurikinton, is a chestnut jelly snack made from organic, domestically sourced chestnuts.

Its production uses 180 tonnes of chestnuts annually, generating approximately 30 tonnes of chestnut skin as waste.

Based on data from the firm’s FY2023 report, the total chestnut skin byproducts resulting from the manufacturing process of all its chestnut products amounted to 200 tonnes in a year.

In an effort to fulfil its SDG, Shinkinedo has developed and commercialised 15 SKUs, mainly shampoos and conditioners under the Chetna brand.

“Chetna’s products are formulated with polyphenols extracted from chestnut skin. Apart from hair care, we have also used the raw material in other products such as collagen jelly and skin care.

“From March 2024, we have started selling Chetna’s shampoo and conditioner in 14 countries through the Amazon platform,” ​the firm said.

These markets are namely Japan, the US, Canada, Australia, UAE, Singapore, England, Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Sweden.

Besides brand marketing on domestic sales sites, Shinkinedo has also embarked on social media campaigns to further strengthen its brand presence across the globe.

“After starting our TikTok account, we have reached over 7,000 followers in a short period of time, which is a key milestone and the first step towards our next initiative. We will continue to disseminate content and informational videos about the company on social media.”

Natural benefits

According to Shinkinedo, chestnut skin contains high levels of tannins, a class of polyphenols known for their antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-ageing properties.

By focusing on these polyphenols, the company developed a “unique” chestnut extract, which is also its proprietary cosmetic raw material, to address various hair problems faced by adult women.

Chetna’s shampoo is formulated with seven types of cleansing ingredients, including non-irritant amino acid-based and betaine-based ones, that are gentle on hair and scalp, and that help increase the product’s functionality.

Ingredients such as green algae extract from hot spring algae, loquat leaf extract, and senburi ​(Swertia japonica) extract, are said to improve the texture of the scalp and maintain hair health starting from the skin.

Notably, these botanicals were particularly selected to regulate waste disposal and environmental issues in Japan.

In addition, the shampoo creates a rich lather, which suppresses frizz and dryness, leading to well-hydrated and glossy-looking hair.

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