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Oct. 20, 2022

Publisher: Shiseido

R&D/Supply Network

Shiseido Discovers Skin’s Anti-gravity System ”Dynamic Belt”

—Elucidation of the cause of ”sagging,” which leads to aging of the appearance―

Shiseido Company, Limited (“Shiseido”) discovered a system in which the skin resists deformation due to gravity, and named it ”Dynamic Belt,” in collaboration with Dr. Kyoichi Matsuzaki, Chief of External Plastic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine at the International University of Health and Welfare, together with researchers at Jichi Medical University and the National Institute for Physiological Sciences. ”Dynamic Belt” is a mechanism by which the arrector pili muscles, which are present in high density in the face, resist gravitational force. The research team identified the cause of ”sagging,” or the drooping of the skin due to the force of gravity that results in an aged appearance, which has never been elucidated until now. Based on this research result, Shiseido will accelerate its research and development focused on ”sagging,” which leads to aging of the appearance due to the gravitational force causing the skin to droop. Part of this research was presented at “The 31st IFSCC* Congress 2020 in Yokohama (2020/10/21–30)” and won the top award.
This research is being conducted based on the Inside/Outside approach of Shiseido's unique R&D philosophy ”DYNAMIC HARMONY.” We will approach ”sagging,” the aging of the facial appearance (“outside”), with our state-of-the-art skin analysis technology, and clarify the causes from the “inside” of the skin.
* IFSCC: The International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists

Challenge to ”gravity,” a cause of aging in appearance

”Sagging,” or drooping of the skin due to ”gravity,” is a major cause of why a person may look older than their true age. However, the mechanism by which the skin resists gravity, and why it is lost and sagging occurs, have not been fully elucidated. This was related to the fact that no means were available to observe changes and movements inside the skin when it is subjected to gravitational deformation, or resists the gravitational force. Therefore, as a first step, the research team has developed ”4D-digital skin,” a four-dimensional analysis technology that captures skin movement. In the present research, they ventured to elucidate the system in which the skin resists gravity by capturing its movement using this technology.

”Arrector pili muscles” resist deformation of the skin

First, using 4D-digital skin, the research team analyzed the movement of the skin when it was subjected to deformation by applying uniform force. As a result, they found that the deformation of the skin does not occur uniformly but rather, there are areas that resist deformation (Figure 1). When they looked closely at the site that displayed resistance to deformation, they discovered that it was where the arrector pili muscles were present (Figure 2). The arrector pili muscle is a smooth muscle attached to the hair; it contracts in response to stimuli such as cold weather and emotion, and is the muscle that exerts a great power in causing the hairs to stand on end. The findings suggested that the arrector pili muscles connect the hairs and the superficial layer of the skin, and by restricting the movement of the skin when it is subjected to deformation, it causes the skin to resist deformation.

”Dynamic Belt,” an anti-gravity system created by a dense array of arrector pili muscle groups

The group proceeded with the analysis and confirmed that the arrector pili muscles are present in high density in the facial skin, and that they are aligned in the opposite direction to the direction of gravitational force (Figure 3). For this reason, the summation of forces that resist deformation, which are produced by this series of arrector pili muscle groups, was considered the mechanism underlying the skin's resistance to gravity. This system was termed ”Dynamic Belt.”
Meanwhile, it was confirmed that with age, the number of arrector pili muscles decreases, and the state of action of arrector pili muscles becomes worse (Figure 4). Accordingly, it was presumed that age-related changes in arrector pili muscles lead to loss of ”Dynamic Belt,” making it difficult for the skin to resist gravity; consequently, sagging occurs.

In the future, Shiseido will apply these findings to various beauty solutions with the aim of realizing the corporate mission, ”BEAUTY INNOVATIONS FOR A BETTER WORLD.”

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