Melissa Juried Kriebel
August 12, 2022 | 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — I’m reapplying the TikTok-trending Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF50+ and my mother quips about admiring the brand’s Rainbow Color Face Powder on my late grandmother’s vanity as a little girl, first released in 1917 — and that’s not even their first cosmetic product. That would be Eudermine, a geisha-approved essence-like lotion released in 1897.
Today, at 150 years, Shiseido is the oldest and still one of the top beauty brands in the world. In that time, the Western-style pharmacy headquartered in Ginza has become a global conglomerate behind scientific innovations that have changed the notion of beauty as we understand it. Did you know that until Shiseido, hyaluronic acid had to be formulated from the red comb of a rooster? This year, they have also discovered magnesium ions that promote the skin’s own hyaluronic acid production.
Here in the Philippines, the brand has new leadership. Managing director Michael Goh comes from Nars, one of the brands under Shiseido, in Singapore. During the company’s recent celebration dinner at Hotel Okura, he spoke of the company’s inclusivity moves (Braille guides for serum and foundation application!) and sustainability efforts way before they became marketing buzzwords.
While partnering up with Lazada has put them at the forefront of e-commerce in the country, the physical stores get a boost from some technological advancements. Stores are as contactless as possible without taking away any of the sensorial pleasure of real-life experiences with upgrades like serum dispensers instead of the usual testers. Taking off from the skin defense-enhancing studies that went into their proprietary Lifeblood complex, a mirror detects things about your skin like its resting temperature, going beyond the look and feel of the skin in recommending the right formulation for you. A hand-held probe that examines your skin up-close allows you to detect visible signs of congestion and aging just as it’s about to happen. While Shiseido offers indulgent yet holistic facials and massages at select locations to better address them, 150 years of experience will tell you that even for skincare, prevention is better than treatment. It all feels futuristic, scientific, and techie — but that’s what Shiseido has always been about.
With this milestone is the launch of the “From Life Comes Beauty” campaign and limited-edition packaging in products that symbolize the brand’s “Heritage,” “Living Innovation” and “Future”: a reproduction glass bottle based on the original Eudermine (an instant collector’s item, for sure), the award-winning bestseller Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate, and the new Ultimune Power Shot, respectively.