'Holistic beauty': Shiseido’s Ultimune makes beauty-from-within debut with probiotic powder

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Shiseido's Ultimune probiotic powder contains the strain Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12.  ©Shiseido
Shiseido's Ultimune probiotic powder contains the strain Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12. ©Shiseido

Related tags shiseido Nutricosmetics Beauty from within

Ultimune, a flagship sub-brand of the Japanese skincare conglomerate Shiseido, is debuting in the beauty-from-within space with a probiotic powder set for launch on July 1.

Ultimune Probiotic Powder contains Christian Hansen’s trademarked probiotic strain Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis​ BB-12, amla fruit, and a blueberry ingredient developed in-house.

Ultimune is one of the bestselling skincare brands under Shiseido. Sold across 88 markets, Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate is its signature serum product.

The powder sachet, which could be consumed directly, dissolved in water or mixed with yogurt, contains 1bn CFU of BB-12 for improving intestinal environment.

Existing studies showed that the probiotic is associated with more regular bowel movements in adults, as well as supporting immune system function, and oral health.

Ultimune’s entry into beauty-from-within signals Shiseido’s move towards holistic beauty.

“Shiseido will evolve into a brand that provides holistic beauty. The first step is through `Ultimune™ Probiotics Powder'. This is the brand's first inner beauty care product, and the first inner beauty care product for Shiseido to be sold globally in stores,” ​the company said.

On July 1, Ultimune Probiotic Powder will be sold at Shiseido’s global flagship store located in Ginza, Japan.

It will also be available across 380 retail stores, mostly departmental stores, and Shiseido’s watashi e-commerce store. A box of 30 sachets, equivalent to a month’s usage, costs JPY6,480 (US$41.50) including tax.

Core in skincare while expanding to new areas 

In its FY23 annual results released in February, Shiseido said it would strengthen its core in skincare while expanding into new beauty frontiers.

This would see the company innovate through skincare, makeup, sun care, devices, to lifestyle products where beauty-from-within is a part of.

Before Ultimune, Shiseido’s other brand, INRYU, was introduced into the market as an ingestible beauty brand.

Its first set of products, spanning across anti-ageing, improving skin radiance and skin moisture, were first launched in Japan​ during January 2022.

Of which, the anti-ageing product Night Ritual + is the more popular choice with consumers. Said to improve sleep quality, collagen formation, and improving skin elasticity, the product is formulated with Siberian ginseng extract, GABA, elastin peptide, and green tea extract.

In April, INRYU also introduced an ampoule drink version of its existing tablets products.

This was based on the understanding that consumers, especially Chinese users, prefer drinks over other formats​ when buying beauty-from-within supplements. The range, made using Shiseido’s nutri-vessel network technology, has since been available in Japan and China.

Shiseido also partnered Kagome and pharma company Tsumura & Co in conducting R&D for Rootina beauty drink shots and Tune Beaute tablets respectively. 

COVID-19 is one of the key reasons for speeding up its beauty-from-within business.

“Since the pandemic, consumers’ pursuit of beauty is no longer simply about how they look, they also consider their diet and sleep quality etc. ‘Beauty-from-within’ is garnering attention, with the purpose of adjusting the body’s inner workings to adjust external health and beauty,” ​the company said, on the new launches from INRYU.

In Japan, skin health, alongside fat reduction, blood glucose regulation, eye health, and intestinal health, are some of the common health claims made by Foods with Function Claims, data retrieved​ from the Consumers Affairs Agency (CAA) showed.

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