Kanebo Cosmetics Global Corporate Site

Silk technology

Silk Heritage

The history of Kanebo is rooted in silk. Founded as a textile company, Kanebo began to produce silk fabric and raw silk in the early 20th century. Its work with silk significantly contributed to the worldwide fame of silk from Japan.

In 1936, Kanebo developed its first soap product, SAVON DE SOIE, a luxury soap formulated with silk oil. The application of silk to cosmetics sparked great interest not just in Japan, but throughout the world.

In the months and years to follow, Kanebo Cosmetics developed and applied a host of innovative silk technologies and silk ingredients, establishing the foundations for Kanebo as we know today.

Kanebo silk technology

Silk is a high-quality protein and a high polymer compound made up from more than twenty types of amino acid. Ancient Oriental remedies already used it to beautify the skin. Today silk is applied in many different fields, from clothing and cosmetics to medical devices, industrial equipment, and foods.

Among the properties of silk are an exceptional ability to absorb and release moisture, excellent air transmissivity, a distinctive luster, a capacity to absorb ultraviolet rays, a strong resistance to water, and an acid-neutralization effect. Especially worthy of mention are its natural affinity with the skin and high biocompatibility, two properties that explain why silk has been used for so long as a material for surgical thread. Newer applications for silk have been developed for artificial skin, contact lenses, and medical sensors.

The latest applications of silk derive from a silk-fibroin-water solution technology pioneered internationally by Kanebo. Silk can be changed into a powder, film, or gel, but only after its fibroin component can be made water-soluble. When our researchers found a way to dissolve fibroin in water back in 1977, they created a silk powder from fibroin aqueous solution and developed the world's first powder foundation applied with a sponge. The invention stirred great interest at the time.

Kanebo Cosmetics has discovered that certain silk peptides increase the collagen metabolism and promote the production of hyaluronic acid in dermal cells. One of these peptides is found only in Koishimaru Silk, an extremely rare and precious Japanese silk. As the signature ingredient of the SENSAI brand, Koishimaru Silk helps to counter the natural decline of hyaluronic acid and retain a natural reservoir of moisture inside the skin.

Silk is one of the most amazing materials in the natural world.

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