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Kao Announces First Products to Employ Its Fine Fiber Technology

The products, released under the Est and Sensai brands, will hit Japan first, before being rolled out to Europe and Asia.

TOKYO — Kao Corp. said it will be launching the first products utilizing its “fine fiber” technology, starting from Dec. 4 in Japan. The technology creates a thin, invisible layer on top of the skin that acts as a moisture barrier to keep skin hydrated even over several hours.

The products will be released under two different brands: Est in Asia and Sensai in Europe. The Japanese market will get both series of products, which include a liquid essence, a high-performance diffuser, and a liquid that is sprayed by the diffuser onto the skin. The three products are recommended by the company as the last step in a nighttime skin-care routine, and act to seal in the moisture from lotions and creams, increasing their efficacy. By creating a lightweight barrier on the surface of the skin, the product prevents moisturizers from evaporating or transferring onto bedding.

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At a press presentation Friday, Michitaka Sawada, president of Kao Corp., explained that the dispenser uses a technology called “electrospinning” to spray a single, micro-thin fiber over the skin until it creates a veil-like layer. The dispenser was developed in conjunction with Panasonic, which is a leader in beauty device development in Japan.

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The Est and Sensai products are the first to apply the fine fiber technology, but they will not be the last. Sawada said the company is also developing a base makeup that will incorporate the technology, and it is looking into applications for body care and art, such as temporary tattoos or an alternative to body painting. Eventually, Kao hopes there will be medical applications for fine fiber as well.

Sawada said the company is targeting 10 billion yen in sales from the soon-to-launch products, which he said he thinks is very reachable. In the future, he said he is aiming for 100 billion yen in sales from all fine fiber products, including ones that have yet to be unveiled.

The Est and Sensai products will first hit the Japanese market on Dec. 4, the same day a new store called Beauty Base by Kao opens in Tokyo’s Ginza district. Customers to the store will be able to try the products before committing to a purchase. The items will roll out to other markets starting early next year. The Sensai items will be released in Europe from February, beginning with Harrods in London and Le Bon Marche in Paris. Prices range from 8,000 yen, or about $74 at current exchange, for the spray-on liquid to 50,000 yen, or $462, for the dispenser. The essence is priced at 12,000 yen.