Ultimate upgrade: Shiseido’s latest Ultimune serum taps into breakthrough research on blood circulation

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Shiseido’s best-selling Ultimune serum showcases the company’s research into the co-relation between blood circulation and skin health. [Shiseido]
Shiseido’s best-selling Ultimune serum showcases the company’s research into the co-relation between blood circulation and skin health. [Shiseido]

Related tags Shiseido Skin care anti-ageing Science

The fourth iteration of Shiseido’s best-selling Ultimune serum showcases the company’s research into the co-relation between blood circulation and skin health.

The latest serum feature’s Shiseido’s The Lifeblood technology as well as new ingredients Houttuynia cordata and fermented hibiscus Extract.

Shiseido’s latest dermatological discovery, dubbed the Lifeblood Research, dove into the significance of blood circulation and its relation to skin health and its appearance.

“The latest ground-breaking Lifeblood Research involves fundamentally improving the skin by constantly enhancing blood flow. It is different from conventional skincare technology, which only deals with individual skin concerns temporarily and only on the surface level,” ​said Ryota Yukisada, chief brand officer of Shiseido.

This concept centres around the notion that good blood circulation ensures that important nutrients like oxygen and immunity cells throughout the body.

“Capillaries thoroughly extend to the upper layer of the dermis, so the immunity cells are delivered throughout the skin to maintain its inner defences constantly,” ​said Dr Kentaro Kajiya of Shiseido’s Global Research Centre.

“In fact, a Shiseido study simulating the skin after a bath found that increased blood flow in the skin resulted in not only a higher moisture in the stratum corneum but also an improvement in skin elasticity,” ​he added.

In one experiment into blood circulation, Shiseido revealed that people who had consistently good blood circulation had high levels of moisture in their stratum corneum, a fine surface texture and s 'look of clarity'​.

In another experiment, researchers improved blood circulation temporarily and found that the skin became firmer, indicating the key to beautiful skin was constantly good blood circulation.

The pathway to beautiful skin

To improve the blood flow, Shiseido targeted the capillaries.

Its research had illustrated that the capillaries in younger skin are shown to be well-organised and extend throughout the skin. As we age, however, the capillaries sustain damage and become disorganised, thinner and decrease in volume.

To strengthen the capillaries, the company utilised the extract of Houttuynia cordata, also known as the Chameleon plant, which “thickens and lengthens capillaries, so they can transport immunity cells all over the entire body”.

The extract works by promoting the expression of the resilience sensor APJ in blood capillaries.

According to Shiseido, when the dermal area surrounding the capillaries is optimally resilient, there are many APJs, and the capillaries are strengthened, thickened and in stable condition.

Immunity booster

Kajiya noted that in light of the pandemic, improving skin immunity has become an important factor for beauty consumers today.

“With more time spent without make-up, an increasing number of consumers are placing importance on skin care and wanting to maintain optimal skin condition. Many consumers believe that improving blood circulation will enhance their skin’s overall contributing to increasing interest in skin care focused on blood circulation across the global market,” ​said Kajiya.

Yukisada added that this could be attributed to the change in consumer behaviour as of late.

“Today, consumers are seeing beauty, not as just an outer layer or something you put on, they start to see it as something that comes from within themselves. They acknowledge that inner beauty is real, and they know that’s the most important aspect of their beauty. This is leading to changes in the way consumers search for new beauty solutions.”

Through a joint research project with the Harvard-affiliated Cutaneous Biology Research Centre (CBRC), the firm discovered that aged fibroblasts increase in mature skin and can be eliminated by a type of immune cell called NK cells. However, the active number of NK cells decreases with age.

They discovered that fermented hibiscus extract with lactic acid bacteria could enhance the ability of NK cells to eliminate the aged fibroblasts cells.

History of Ultimune

Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate was first introduced in 2014 and improved over the years with new dermatological research and developments in skin immunity.

The last update was in 2018 when the company renewed the formula with its ImuGeneration Technology and featured new ingredients including reishi mushroom and iris extract.

According to the Japanese cosmetics maker, Shiseido Ultimune has won over 200 beauty awards and one bottle is sold every 6.8 seconds around the world.

“Ultimune has the unique ability to strengthen the skin’s multi-defence power against ageing, making it a well-liked product for people across different age groups, skin types and ethnicities. The serum has won many awards worldwide and gain many loyal users globally,”​ said Nicole Tan, president and CEO of Shiseido APAC.

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