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Mission: Collagen exploration

This scientific movie vividly portrays the collagens – made daily in the body - and their roles.

[Research report 1]
Collagens unlock
the beautiful skin in you

20% of the human body is made of proteins. Collagens make up 30% of all proteins - 40% of which is in the skin.

There are 29 types of collagen in a body. Nine of them are found in the skin, each with significant functions.

Shiseido focuses on three types - type I, IV, and VII. These are essential for keeping the skin firm and plump, and their correct arrangement near the basement membrane※ makes skin so beautiful.

※The membrane at the epidermis – dermis interface.

  • the basement membrane

    Illustration of
    the basement membrane

  • A transmission electron microscopy image of the cross-sectional skin

    A transmission electron
    microscopy image of
    the cross-sectional skin

●How much collagen do we have in our body?

It might be hard to imagine how much collagen is in your body.
Let familiar examples help you visualize…

How much collagen do we have in our body?

●Are we losing collagen as we speak!?

Of all collagens in our body, the collagen in the skin is the most essential to maintain your beautiful skin.
However, its amount and quality could decline gradually before you know it.

Are we losing collagen as we speak!?

Shiseido is building on numerous studies to protect the precious collagen.

[Research report 2]
Collagen is made within!

Fibroblasts in our body have the ability to produce collagen. However, aging tones down its functions. Less vigor in the collagen production eventually eclipses the firmness of the skin.

Studies tracking the changes in the skin led to the dermal stem cells, the source of the fibroblasts. We found that a productive approach on the dermal stem cells revitalizes the fibroblasts, allowing a continued production of high-quality collagen.

Fibroblasts proliferation capacity

Collagen generation capacity of
"fibroblasts" decreases with age

How collagen is produced

Function of dermal stem cells in a movie

Dermal stem cells “101”

Revitalization of collagen-generating cells at their source, the dermal stem cells; An innovative approach evolves Shiseido’s collagen research.


Collagen research spanning more than three decades

Before the role of collagen as the basis of healthy skin became widely known, Shiseido had recognized its importance to the skin, and focused on its gradual loss with age. The collagen research culminated to the creation of Elixir in 1983. The research adopted a multi-faceted approach, which led to numerous achievements.


Development of a technology focused on the loss of skin collagen with age


Publication of the results of type I collagen research
(IFSCC Award 2000 (top award, oral presentation))


Development of a non-invasive, skin collagen-specific detailed imaging technique
(IFSCC Award 2012 (top award, oral presentation))


Successful regeneration of type VII collagen (outstanding presentation award
in the Japanese Society for Matrix Biology and Medicine, 2013)


Development of a technique to enhance collagen production,
focusing on the role of dermal stem cells