Research Areas

To offer the best possible cosmetic products

Kozaburo Kobayashi, who founded KOSÉ in 1946, poured his limitless passion into making cosmetics that would let people dream and give them hope. He committed KOSÉ to making quality products that truly exceeded the expectations of each customer. This spirit lives on in all facets of our business today, from our persistent pursuit of quality to our unique brand marketing strategy. Research and development play a particularly important role as a driving force for the development of KOSÉ.

Skin care research

Reliable effect and satisfaction

The role of skin care cosmetics is to guide users to fresh and healthy beautiful skin. At Kose, we are working on formulation development focusing not only on skin effects for that purpose, but also on sensibility values such as security and comfort to keep using it with satisfaction.

The research area is based on colloidal surface chemistry, such as emulsification technology and dispersion technology, but we have also developed more effective formulations by combining dermatological knowledge.

The basic function of skin care cosmetics is moisturizing, but it also plays an important role in responding to various skin problems such as spots and wrinkles. Kose’s strength is in thetechnology for stably blending the active ingredients that fulfill those requirements and in the encapsulation technology for maximizing the effectiveness of the ingredients. Until now, we have been releasing long-selling products such as liposomes.

Hair care research

Pursuit of healthy and beautiful hair

Shampoos and rinses are typical products for hair care cosmetics, but we are developing various types of products to solve worries about the scalp and hair and make hair more beautiful. We have been working on original research and development, such as developingour own equipment for evaluating hair, and have released many hair care cosmetics that have been highly evaluated by customers.

In developing new conditioning ingredients, we use a unique evaluation method to clearly understand the efficacy and effect of the product, and realize a highly useful product. For example, we have developed a delivery system that supplies hair lipids that decrease due to aging and damage to the interior of hair using Kose’s specialty in encapsulation technology, and apply it to products.

Eye and lip makeup research

Creation of new beauty by pursuing functionality and sensuousness

Various kinds of makeup products for various purposes are available on the market. Due to a large number of formulas, research into makeup products involves a wide range of disciplines. In addition to cutting-edge organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry and physical chemistry, we integrate color science and cosmetic psychology to pursue better functionality and sensuousness.

To improve functionality, material development is important. We have produced an oil solution with high water-holding properties, which improves the moist feeling of lipsticks, and a film-forming agent that improves the curling effect of mascara. Eye and lip makeup products play an important role not only in terms of functionality but also in terms of coloring for enhancing individual attractiveness. In developing lipsticks and eye shadows as well as manicure products, we select the best colors from hundreds of different options, taking into account fashion trends and the impression created by each color.

Base makeup research

Ideal skin through cutting-edge technology

Base makeup products, such as makeup bases and foundations that are applied to the entire face, have two roles: one (cosmetic) is to make the skin look more beautiful and the other (skin care) is to protect the skin from ultraviolet rays and dryness. Particularly for foundations, in addition to a beautiful finish and long-lasting cosmetic effects, good feeling of use is also important. KOSÉ has developed many industry-first innovative foundations, ranging from powder and two-way types to a 70% water solid type that has a cooling sensation.

Even when the same raw materials are used, the finish of base makeup items can differ significantly according to the type of oil solution that is used to coat powder particles and the order in which the ingredients are mixed. Therefore, we use both cutting-edge technology and materials effectively and make the most of our detailed expertise accumulated over years.

Perfume research

Research on psychological effects of perfumes

Researching perfumes is a highly artistic and creative activity. KOSÉ places emphasis on combining such artistic approach with a scientific and objective approach in its research into perfumes. Our aim is not only to develop perfume products for commercialization but also to use perfumes to convey the concept of individual cosmetic products. This is because perfumes are one of the most important elements to make customers feel satisfied and comfortable.

Perfumes are created using some 2,000 kinds of perfume materials with the latest market trends taken into account. Regarding the psychological effects of perfumes as an important factor, we have recently been engaged in basic research to expand the potential of perfumes. For example, we have been conducting research into perfumes that promote relaxation and high-quality sleep as well as researching how to use perfumes to improve skin care effects.

Dermatology research

Elucidation of excellent functions of the skin

In the research and development of cosmetics, which are applied directly to the skin, it is necessary to understand the detailed structure of the skin by studying its functions. Results from research into the detailed structure and functions of the skin and on its behavior in response to external stimuli including UV rays have contributed not only to the development of cosmetics but also the advancement of dermatology. To achieve the beauty desired by customers, we will further promote dermatological research in such a way as to make use of the results obtained in the development of useful cosmetics.

We also conduct research to identify the causes of changes that occur on the skin by measuring skin’s water-retention properties and barrier function, mechanical properties such as elasticity, and minute contours of the skin’s surface from different aspects using a state-of-the-art skin measuring device. Based on the results of our research on the efficacies and effects of cosmetics to understand how they improve the skin, we develop cosmetics suitable for preventing and treating skin problems.

Pharmaceutical development research

To protect and act on the skin

Age spots and freckles, common concerns for many people, are caused by an overproduction of melanin resulting from an increase in pigment cells called melanocytes. KOSÉ has been engaged in research to elucidate various mechanisms that underlie the activation of melanocytes.

Another major concern is wrinkles. For more than 20 years, we have been researching and thinking that active oxygen is a major factor in aging, including wrinkles. Reactive oxygen is extremely reactive and is known to be generated in the skin, especially by ultraviolet rays. And this active oxygen damages collagen and elastin, which are the components of epidermal and dermal cells, causing wrinkles. Although we have found various drugs that suppress the generation of active oxygen, we are conducting research on more effective drugs and their application to cosmetics.

Data science

Challenge new value from data analysis

Our body including the skin contains a variety of information. These are huge amounts of data, including images, and require advanced information analysis techniques to properly analyze them. We are working on finding new insights by using them. It is also an importantmission to expand the scope of research based on such data, such as software development, to the creation of things that will lead to customer experiences.

While interacting with the various research fields described above, the entire research institute will strive to create new value, including manufacturing, in addition to conventional manufacturing.