First launched in Japan in October 2019, KINS’ personalised nutrition service - KINS Box - begins with a simple skin test which offers insights into individual’s bacterial skin flora and recommends dietary supplements suitable for their skin condition.
The firm is planning to launch in Taiwan this December, and Singapore next year.
Currently, the firm focuses on the skin microbiome and intends to expand to the gut and vaginal microbiome. The former will require the testing of stool samples.
This is in line with a growing interest around gut health among Japanese consumers, according to Mina Hakamata, PR manager at KINS.
The results of these test kit will eventually provide users with supplement and cream products to help maintain a healthy microbiota,
Currently, its skin microbiome test kit examines three main bacteria on the skin specifically acne bacteria, staphylococcus, and Corynebacterium.
Hakamata explained the process: “Right after waking up in the morning, consumers place a small Band-Aid-like sticker on their cheek. They then mail the sticker back to KIN’S laboratory and the results will be generated in a few weeks.”
The results will be analysed against 1,000 sample data, and a score will be generated representing the health status of the skin.
These scores are then matched against KINS’ pre-determined six skin types such as dry or oily skin, and users are then provided with supplements (60 tablets for a month) accordingly.
Since the launch in 2019, the firm said the most common skin problems faced by its users were acne, dryness, and skin irritation.
The supplements provided by KINS contains varying probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics such as lactic acid bacteria, yeast and water-soluble dietary fibre (non-digestible dextrin) to address different skin types.
Users are also assigned a concierge on the messaging app LINE, who will give advice on the type of supplements and cosmetics suitable for the individual through the results of the microbiome test.
The online concierge service is not limited to KINS products, but also include advice on dietary habits, products from other companies, and lifestyle recommendations to help maintain a healthy microbiota.
In Japan, KINS Box is available for JPY 5,980 (US$52) per month.
The firm also sells skin care products including shampoo, scalp essence and face mask.
KINS products are mostly sold online, although they are sometimes available at pop-up shops and events.
As of November 2021, sales were up 500% year-on-year, reaching monthly sales of JPY 160 million (US$1.4 million).
The firm also recently raised JPY 700 million (US$6 million) in funding.
According to Hakamata, personalised products and services are very popular in Japan.
“Perhaps the biggest difference is that KINS aims not to sell products but to change everyone’s perspectives by spreading the concept of caring for the bacteria throughout the entire body.
“We are also working to further raise brand recognition, as there are not many people who are aware of healthcare and skincare products that focus on improving gut health and bacterial balance of the entire body.”