1. Home
  2. Innovation
  3. Research Areas
  4. Dermatological Solution Development


Dermatological Solution Development

Research against Wrinkles and Sagging Skin

Shiseido has long been a leading developer of cosmetics solutions for wrinkles and sagging skin that accompany aging. This page presents some of Shiseido’s important achievements in several fields, from research findings we have made over our long history, to research with cutting-edge instruments that has yielded exciting new discoveries.

Creating Solutions for Wrinkles and Sagging Skin

Wrinkles and sags are formed on our skin during aging. Shiseido has taken many different approaches to find out why. You probably know that hyaluronic acid helps the skin retain moisture. Shiseido discovered that vitamin A both promotes hyaluronic acid synthesis and reduces wrinkles. We intend to clarify why skin fibers such as collagen and elastic fibers are damaged by chronical exposure to ultraviolet light and other stressors. Our results help to create useful ingredients for age-related changes to the skin.

Depiction of skin structure

Researching Winged Bean Extract

Even though elastic fibers constitute only 2% of the skin, they give the skin its elasticity. Shiseido developed a technique to visualize elastic fibers in three dimensions with an electron microscope and found that aging also decrease synthesis of fibrin 5, a protein critical to elastic fiber formation. Shiseido developed an extract of the seeds of the winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus), a perennial legume, to promote synthesis of fibrin 5 and elastic fibers.

Researching Winged Bean Extract

Research for Even Skin Tone

Creating Solutions for Even Skin Tone

Skin tone concerns can be solved only through dedicated and continuous basic research on the skin pigmentation and development of safe and effective ingredients at a high standard.
Shiseido conducts consistent basic research at the molecular level with cutting-edge instruments to satisfy consumers with effective ingredients.
Our advanced high-throughput ingredient search system allows us to develop prominent ingredients. Shiseido is particularly skilled at developing beneficial plant extracts contributing to our new products.

Shiseido applies our cutting-edge instrumentsto the development of indredients

Using Cutting-edge Skin Science to Treat Dark Spots

Shiseido made several key findings about characteristic damage associated with dark spots to provide solutions for skin tone concerns.

Damage Seen in Dark Spots

  1. 1.Chronic slight inflammation
    We found that low-level inflammation is responsible for increased melanin production in dark spots.
  2. 2.Chronic abnormal keratinization
    We used gene expression profile analysis to show that dark spots feature abnormal expression of genes related to keratinization in addition to melanin production.
  3. 3.Reduced basal cell division
    We also found that basal cells containing melanin are unable to divide as rapidly as normal basal cells in dark spots’ skin, and due to reduced skin turnover, cause excessive melanin accumulation.
A dark spot at the corner of the eye Shiseido identified damage specific to dark spots

Developing Ingredients to Solve Skin Problems

Shiseido is a skilled developer of ingredients for solving skin problems. Arbutin and stable vitamin C derivatives are two examples of ingredients developed by Shiseido that are now used worldwide. Though it takes over 10 years for the development of a new ingredient, Shiseido consistently develops effective ingredients. We consider this a proof of Shiseido’s outstanding development skills. Some of the ingredients Shiseido has recently developed are as follows:

Tranexamic acid

Tranexamic acid suppresses melanocyte activity in areas of chronic slight inflammation in dark spots. The ingredient works differently from other ingredients that act directly on melanocytes.

Potassium 4-methoxysalicylate (4MSK)

The ingredient 4MSK inhibits the activity of the enzyme tyrosinase, which is needed for melanin production. Shiseido holds patents on 4MSK in countries and regions such as Japan, the United States, Europe, South Korea, and Taiwan, and formulates 4MSK for use in cosmetics as our most recently developed ingredient.

Shiseido’s high-throughput system for ingredient search
Molecular structure of 4MSK

Research for Beautiful Skin

Developing Sebraen to treat skin roughness

Research by Shiseido showed that activity of the enzyme UPA (or urokinase) in the stratum corneum causes skin roughness that is commonly seen in many people.
With this knowledge, we developed Sebraen (a methyl amide derivative of t-cycloaminoic acid), a highly effective inhibitor of UPA activity. Shiseido holds patents on Sebraen in countries and regions such as Japan, the United States, Europe, South Korea, and Taiwan, and formulates the ingredient for use in cosmetics for preventing rough skin.

Developing Sebraen to treat skin roughness

Development of 1-Piperidinepropionic acid (1PP)
that suppresses harmful proteins and enhances skin barrier function

Shiseido demonstrated for the first time that an increase in the “bad” protein, serpin b3, damages the skin barrier that protects the skin from the outside environment.
Shiseido developed the amino acid derivative 1-piperidinepropionic acid (1PP), serpin b3 inhibitor, and formulated this ingredient for use in cosmetics for women with skin problems around the world.

Molecular structure of 1PP Mechanism of skin barrier function disorder