2 Japanese Companies That You’d Never Expect to Produce Skincare Products!

  • Japanese people are well known for their fair and near-perfect skin. This is mostly attributed to the Japanese dietary habits and quality skincare products. Tourists in particular love to flock to drug stores in Japan just to buy Japanese cosmetics and skincare products. Nowadays, more and more skincare products from Japan are making their name internationally, with the newer ones including Rohto Hada Labo by Rohto-Mentholatum, Sekkisei by Kose, and Curel by Kao.

    However, there are 2 famous Japanese companies that you would never expect to produce skincare products. Let’s check out this article to find out which companies they are and the stories behind them.

    1. Astalift by Fujifilm

    Oh yes, you definitely read it right! Fujifilm, the company that famously produces photography and imaging related materials, also produces skincare products! In addition to that, this sister company with the tagline “Expert anti-aging skincare and supplements” also produces health supplements and make-up! Many people must be wondering, what would a company that produces photo films have anything to do with skincare & beauty? If you think that they are not related at all, you are definitely wrong!

    When Shigetaka Komori was appointed as the CEO of Fujifilm in 2003, he foresaw that in around ten years time there will be hardly any sales left from their films which contributed to about 70 % their revenue before the year 2000. Predicting the rise of the digital age, he figured that they would have to venture into something new.

    Nakamura Yoshisada, the senior research manager in Fujifilm’s Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Research Laboratories, took a role in this. For most of his career at Fujifilm, he was only involved in film-related development with no experience in cosmetics or anything related. Initially, he was at a loss when assigned to work on cosmetics. In the end, though, he was able to draw on his previous research for the new job. He then led the development of Astalift which debuted in 2007.

    Over the years since Fujifilm was founded in 1934, over 20,000 chemical compounds have been produced. These are proven to be useful as it has been found that the same processes and chemicals that are used to prevent colors from fading in photographs can prevent the skin from sagging and fading when applied on it. Today, Astalift contributes US$3.4 billion to the revenue of Fujifilm.

    Nevertheless, it was a brave leap taken by Fujifilm as 2012 saw Fujifilm’s strongest rival Kodak going bankrupt. Fujifilm still produces their film which now contributes to less than 1 % of their profit. Their reason is to keep the culture of photo film alive and protect it.

    For a deeper understanding of how the chemicals are used, you can read more here. Currently, Astalift is only available in a couple of countries in East and South East Asia. You can check out their website to view the different products.

    Website*Japanese Only

    2. Yakult Beautiens by Yakult Japan

    It wouldn’t be strange if you hadn’t heard of this product line since it is mostly available only in Japan. The lines of skincare products and cosmetics that Yakult Japan produces include Revecy, Parabio, Grantia, and many more.

    Yakult is known worldwide for its probiotic dairy drinks made by fermenting a mixture of skimmed milk with a special strain of the bacterium ‘Lactobacillus Casei Shirota’, created by Dr. Shirota Minoru, which offers a range of health benefits. So, it may make sense that the same bacterium is being used to produce skincare products and cosmetics.

    Yakult’s original skin care theory is based on the microbe research that was formed by Dr. Shirota’s idea that “lactic acid bacteria function to protect the gut mucosa and the skin”. This lead to Yakult utilizing a lactic acid bacteria fermentation extract (S.E.: Shirota Essence), on their beauty product as it comprises of similar moisturizing agents as those found in the skin.

    The Yakult Cosmetic research department constantly searches for physiologically active substances produced by microbes that have moisturizing, whitening, antioxidizing, and anti-glycation effects on the skin. Their beauty products are produced by employing lactic acid bacteria fermentation technologies.

    Website*Japanese Only

    Are you interested? You can visit the product websites or you can visit online shopping websites like Rakuten to purchase them.

    I believe that these products will probably spark your interest. Has anyone ever tried the products mentioned in this article? If yes, please give us an informative review of the products. Who knows, perhaps you will be able to convert other people into using them!

    *Featured Image:jp.fotolia.com/