Shiseido finds licorice extract and facial exercises stop skin sagging

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

Shiseido finds licorice extract and facial exercises stop skin sagging

Related tags: Skin

Having studied how the loss of dermal anchoring structures leads to skin sagging, Shiseido has discovered that exercises to contract and relax facial muscles can stimulate fibroblasts to prevent this, and a licorice extract can be used as the active ingredient in face creams to mimic this.

Last month, the Japanese manufacturer revealed it has been doing a lot of research into the causes of skin sagging​ and this is the basis for the company’s latest skin developments.

Having undertaken joint research with Kyoichi Matsuzaki, Associate Professor, at the St. Marianna University School of Medicine, and Takahiro Ochiya, Chief, Division of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Shiseido was able to clarify that facial skin shows signs of sagging due to age-related loss of dermal anchoring structures.

Licorice produces same effects

Based on this knowledge gained from the recent research, it was found that exercises utilizing muscles of facial expression are effective in improving facial skin sagging, and that licorice extract is expected to produce the same effects as such exercises.

In the study, Shiseido define four weeks of unique exercises to utilise muscles of facial expression and found that this improved skin-retaining force in women who complained of facial skin sagging.

The women also reported that they actually felt that the exercises improved facial skin sagging.

The researchers then searched for the ingredient that was expected to produce the same effects as the exercises and identified licorice extract as one of them.

“In the future, these results will be applied to the development of skin care cosmetics,” ​says the cosmetics maker.


Facial skin sagging is the primary reason why people look old and can be a source of a great deal of concern about their skin.

Shiseido claims that facial skin structure has not been fully understood, nor has the cause of sagging been fully clarified, and so the facial skin tissues of 89 subjects were investigated and the presence of convex matrix structures characteristic of facial skin was confirmed.

Assuming that these structures retain the dermis in subcutaneous tissue, the team named them ‘dermal anchoring structures’ and at the same time examined their relationships with facial skin sagging.

This found that while collagen fibres and elastic fibres, both of which contribute to skin elasticity and firmness, were arranged horizontally in the lower part of ordinary dermis; both fibres were arranged vertically in dermal anchoring structures.

Shiseido says it found that vertically arranged dermal anchoring structures function to prevent facial skin sagging and that they are vital to retain the facial skin morphology that are lost with age.

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