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Shiseido Leverages the Power of Trees for New Sustainable Skin-care Brand

Baum uses recycled wood in its packaging, 90 percent natural formulas, and tree-derived fragrances.

TOKYO — Shiseido is jumping on the sustainable beauty bandwagon with a new brand that focuses on “the power of trees” in both its packaging and its ingredients. Called Baum, the line consists of 27 products, which will hit stores from May 30.

Baum is classified as a prestige beauty brand, putting it on par with the Shiseido brand, as well as Cle de Peau Beauté, Ipsa, Nars, BareMinerals and Laura Mercier, among others. The brand’s concept is “coexistence with nature,” which has been a key Japanese value for centuries. According to a statement, its aim is to “realize a sustainable society that fully embraces the blessings of trees and preserves them for the future.”

More than 90 percent of the formulas used in Baum’s products are of natural origin, and they are free of parabens, silicones and synthetic colorants. The products support healthy skin regardless of age or gender by focusing on three characteristics of trees: water storage, growth and environmental defense. Fragrances are mainly natural and tree-derived to soothe, relax and calm, inspired by the Japanese custom of forest bathing.

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Baum’s packaging also comes from trees. Shiseido has teamed with Japanese wooden furniture manufacturer Karimoku Furniture in order to recycle wood offcuts from furniture, making them into the brand’s bottles and caps. Other environmental initiatives include forest restoration activities in Japan, refillable packaging, recycled glass containers and selling reusable shopping bags to customers instead of offering free disposable ones. Shiseido will also plant and grow mainly oaks used in packaging in Baum Forest, a project undertaken in cooperation with Sumitomo Forestry. Seedlings will be grown in Baum stores, and the first planting is scheduled for sometime next year.

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The sustainable wooden packaging is, in a sense, a return to Shiseido’s roots. During the World War II when there was a shortage of metals, the company became the first to develop a wooden lipstick tube.

Among the 27 initial products are cleansers, makeup removers, face, hand and body creams and lotions, and room and body fragrances. Shiseido has not yet released prices for the range, but it is expected to be in line with the company’s other prestige brands.

Baum’s first dedicated retail store will open May 30 in the city of Yokohama, to Tokyo’s south. With natural wood paneling and neutral tones, it aims to provide customers with a moment of peace amid the hustle of city life.