R&D Strategy

our re-defined DNA,
into Shiseido’s future research

Senior Executive Officer
Chief Brand Innovation Officer
Chief Technology Officer

Yoshiaki Okabe

Beauty Innovation

Message from an Executive Officer

Value Creation Strategy

New Directions for Our Brand Innovation

Research and development (R&D) is at the foundation of Shiseido’s innovation and an essential value creation driver. For more than 100 years of our R&D history, we have pursued beauty care that keeps skin healthy and youthful and enhances its beauty while prioritizing safety and quality. Since 2014, we have further expanded our investment in R&D, and we believe that this has contributed to the early success of our previous medium-to-long-term strategy, VISION 2020. Even so, Shiseido has struggled to sufficiently connect R&D results to brand growth. Under these circumstances, in my role as Chief Brand Innovation Officer (CBIO), which I assumed in January 2021, I am tasked with providing consumers with excitement and surprise, continuing to share our innovations with the world, and creating R&D that contributes to our brands from the consumer’s perspective. This means integrating Shiseido's excellent research findings into our products and delivering them to consumers, and also creating an organization that would allow our research centers to continuously generate innovation. Those are my two key priorities.

To promote brand innovation, I began by visualizing the strength and uniqueness of Shiseido’s R&D, and then created a common language for all of our researchers to point our R&D efforts into one direction. We then thoroughly studied the history and interviewed not only researchers but also sales teams, beauty consultants, and external stakeholders. From this analysis and validation, we derived the concept of DYNAMIC HARMONY. Shiseido’s unique approach to R&D cannot be defined by a single value alone. East and West. Holistic therapy and symptomatic treatment. Chinese medicine and surgical operation. Body and mind. Only Shiseido and its unique approach to beauty could skillfully integrate these seemingly conflicting or incompatible values to create such a concept of dynamic harmony.

Based on this concept, our future R&D will focus on five approaches to accelerate innovation by concentrating management resources while visualizing our strengths and sharing them externally. There is endless potential to the philosophy of DYNAMIC HARMONY, built upon Shiseido’s years of experience in these five approaches, which we consider our assets. We will weave this philosophy into our research DNA to create a brighter future for Shiseido.

R&D Strategy and WIN 2023 and Beyond

Under WIN 2023 and Beyond, we will accelerate our research activities to become a skin beauty company. While maintaining a strong skincare-related category with a focus on cosmetics, we aim for multifaceted value creation in the inner beauty category, including ingestible products such as supplements.

To create such value, R&D has established six research concepts, including “pursuit of eternal skin consciousness,” “game changers,” and “venturing into new categories,” as well as basic research, which serves as the foundation for all of these concepts. We believe that further bolstering basic research, which underpins all of our research activities, will be a lifeline for Shiseido.

Furthermore, we believe that by defining DYNAMIC HARMONY, we can accelerate external integration and collaboration. In November 2021, we signed advisory agreements with Professor Masaru Tomita of Keio University and neuroscientist, Professor Nobuko Nakano. We will also strengthen joint research with research institutions in Japan and overseas, including current projects such as the open innovation program “fibona” and our research alliance with US dermatological laboratory CBRC, which spans over 30 years.

Masaru Tomita
Professor, Keio University
Nobuko Nakano
Professor, neuroscientist

Major Progress in Innovation: Three Case Studies

Shiseido is moving forward with a stream of research projects based on our R&D philosophy of DYNAMIC HARMONY. Below I would like to present case studies where we are creating beauty for the future. They approach innovation from three perspectives: coexistence with the environment, new categories, and new technologies.

Sun Dual Care Technology: Reverse Thinking for Vibrant Coexistence

This first case study highlights a technology that allows us to better coexist with our environment, an example of our Premium/Sustainability research approach. As the natural environment changes, dramatic changes are also happening in the environment to which our skin is exposed. Shiseido is committed to developing technologies that allow for coexistence with the environment. These technologies not only protect the skin from various environmental factors such as ultraviolet (UV) rays, temperature, and humidity but also harness these elements in positive, harmonious, and symbiotic ways and transform them into beauty.

Based on this concept, we have developed a new technology called Sun Dual Care which goes beyond blocking UV rays, which have the negative connotation of being a threat to beauty due to the damage they can cause to the skin. Sun Dual Care converts these rays into light that is beneficial to the skin. Inspired by photosynthesis, this particular research project revealed that, by using spirulina platensis extract derived from algae and fluorescent zinc oxide derived from natural minerals, we could efficiently convert ultraviolet light into visible light that is good for the skin. This helps to maintain healthy skin and increases its radiance. We aim to leverage this technology to create a future where consumers can stay active and enjoy more time out in the sun.

The Sun Dual Care technology is featured in new ANESSA products released in February 2022 and brand SHISEIDO products scheduled for launch in May 2022.

Latest Developments in Research into Skin Sagging and Wrinkles

The second case study showcases the evolution of our research into skin sagging and wrinkles, an example of our Inside/Outside research approach, which looks at the skin both inside and out.

Shiseido has established a definition and evaluation method for sagging to reveal the mechanism of facial aging. In addition, we have made a series of discoveries, including the development of our Digital-3D Skin technology that analyzes skin in ultra-high definition, anchor, the structure responsible for holding skin in place, and insights into the skin aging mechanism of dermal cavitation as well as cell networks. These discoveries have garnered international acclaim, as seen in the numerous IFSCC awards that Shiseido has received. They have also led to the creation of a new sagging category in cosmetics and established Shiseido’s position as a leader in this research field. In 2021, to further explore the true nature of sagging, we developed 4D-Digital Skin, a skin analysis technology that uses computers to reproduce the process of skin deformation, including its internal structure, in ultra-high definition. Shiseido will use this technology to elucidate the underlying causes of skin sagging and wrinkles and accelerate the development of solutions and new skincare cosmetics.

4D-Digital Skin
Digital Skin is a computer program that digitally reconstructs the structure and movement of the skin.
Here, color-coding shows the degree of deformation to skin structures.

Latest Developments in Second Skin Technology

The third case study looks at Second Skin, an example of our Functionality/Japan Quality research approach. With this technology, we want to realize our dream of creating a world where everyone can live happily by expanding the potential of their skin and beauty. Since the acquisition of Olivo Laboratories' Second Skin technology in 2018, we have continued to improve the undeniable effectiveness of the product while focusing on ease and comfort of use.

While plotting out our future roadmap, which includes treatments for nasolabial lines and bags under the eyes, holistic solutions for the entire face, and applications for the whole body, we started by launching a product for treating bags under the eyes in October 2021. First launched in Japan, the product has been exceptionally well received, with many consumers reporting high perceived product efficacy. In addition to the effect of immediate remodeling of sagging cheeks (nasolabial lines/marionette lines), this new product has also created value that goes beyond makeup effects such as improving skin sagging and wrinkles with repeated application and enhancing ingredient penetration. Going forward, we aim not only to improve efficacy on the skin—which includes immediate coverage of skin concerns, UV protection, and expansion of application areas—but also everyday ease of use, making application as easy as putting in contact lenses.

Future Prospects

In order to accomplish WIN 2023, we have set out R&D actions in three areas: strategy, human capital, and business processes.

In terms of strategic actions, we will continue to drive innovation by accelerating the generation of new research findings, pioneering new areas, and developing innovative products under our DYNAMIC HARMONY philosophy. We will also actively promote our technologies to utilize Shiseido's excellent research findings in our products and deliver them to consumers. To this end, we will reinforce the basic research that underpins all of our research, bolster external alliances that deepen our understanding of the relationship between the body and skin, strengthen initiatives to understand market and consumer trends, and enhance activities to realize circular manufacturing, something that has become increasingly important in recent years.

Under our human capital action plan, we will further develop researcher training and awareness toward innovation. It is the power of people that drives innovation and brings about change. Based on Shiseido’s concept of PEOPLE FIRST, we are committed to creating an environment where our people, each from different backgrounds, can demonstrate their individual strengths. Since the renewal of our R&D structure in January 2021, we have created opportunities for direct dialogue between researchers and other professionals and conducted regular surveys to promote the DYNAMIC HARMONY concept. As a result, we have begun to see an increased researcher awareness toward innovation. We will continue to regularly assess researcher awareness and foster an organizational culture that is fun, positive, and rewards hard work while valuing opportunities for direct dialogue.

As for our business process action plan, we are rebuilding our business processes based on collaborations with our brands, factories, logistics, and external partners. As we re-assess our operations and select and focus on priority areas, we have set a KPI of reducing operations by a total of approximately 7,000 hours per year through the use of AI in sustainable formula development. We are also reviewing our workflows and meeting systems and promoting initiatives to reduce redundancies and improve remote work efficiency. Currently, we are focused on improving efficiency and productivity, but in the future, it will be necessary to redirect that time to drive innovation and generate new value. We plan to increase the speed of all operations and improve the efficiency of R&D activities and their contribution to our brands.

As society becomes more diverse and complex, we must continue to provide value-added products that will excite consumers and exceed their expectations. Shiseido's R&D can create innovations that will do just that. We will continue our brand innovation reform from a medium-to-long-term perspective and build a team that will continue to “wow the world” through the power of science and innovation.

April 2022

Nov. 17, 2021 Shiseido R&D Strategy Presentation

Message from an Executive Officer

Value Creation Strategy