Dual functions: Kao launches FFC drink and tablet that claims to improve blood flow and skin moisture

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Kao is launching a drink shot and tablet supplement that claim to improve blood flow and skin moisture in women next month. © Kao
Kao is launching a drink shot and tablet supplement that claim to improve blood flow and skin moisture in women next month. © Kao

Related tags: kao, Japan, Skin, women's health

Japanese firm Kao is launching a drink shot and tablet supplement that claim to improve blood flow and skin moisture in women.

The 100ml drink shot and tablet will be launched under the brand Sofina iP on March 6.

The products – both recognised as Foods with Functional Claims (FFC) by the Consumer Affairs Agency – are said to improve blood flow and skin moisture via the active ingredient chlorogenic acid – a phytochemical found in coffee.

In fact, the drink shot formula was first launched in 2015 to improve skin moisture.

However, it was not officially recognised as an FFC until 2019, when it could make the claim “improving the moisture content of the skin.”

This time round, it will be newly released as a dual function FFC and can also make the claim “improving peripheral blood flow that has been reduced due to cold, such as when the temperature or room temperature is low”.

Aside from making dual functional claims, a tablet format is also added to provide ease of consumption.

In Japan, the symptom of feeling particularly cold in parts of the body such as hands, feet, and fingertips is called ‘chill’, and it is well known as one of the most common problems among women.

“It was originally known as one of the symptoms of menopausal disorders, but recently it has been reported that more than half of women of all ages, including young people, experience ‘chill’,”​ Akane Suma, group manager at Kao Corporation’s R&D skin care products research told NutraIngredients-Asia.

Usually, herbal medicines and foods such as ginger, chili pepper, glucosyl hesperidin – a polyphenol derived from citrus fruits, and rutin – a flavonoid, are consumed to address the problem.

The chlorogenic acid used in the products is said to be extracted via a patented method​, in which caffeine is removed.

Aside from chlorogenic acid, the products also contain collagen and vitamin B6.

Flavour wise, the drink shot comes in a fruit-blended taste while the tablet is of a citrus herb flavour.

The drink shot will be sold online, in general merchandise stores, drug stores and department stores, while the tablet product is only available via online sale.  

Pilot study

A pilot study conducted by Kao showed that chlorogenic acids supplementation could increase skin temperature and skin blood flow after a cold stress test.

A total of 21 healthy Japanese women aged 20 to 35 completed the double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, crossover intervention study conducted between November and December 2017.

Findings published in the Japanese Journal of Biometeorology. ​ 

During the study, the intervention group consumed 270mg of chlorogenic acid while the control group took in the placebo.

Fifty minutes later, their hands were immersed in cold water at 15 degree Celsius for one minute.

After which, their skin blood flow and skin temperature were measured at 2.5-minute intervals for 30 minutes after the hands were taken out of cold water.

One week later, the subjects underwent the same test, also consuming the chlorogenic acid supplement or placebo 50 minutes before the stress test.

The result showed that from the 10th​ minute onwards, the skin temperature of the intervention group was consistently higher than that of the placebo group.

“Significant improvement of the recovery of skin temperature and skin blood flow after the cold stress test were observed in the intervention group compared with placebo.

“These findings suggested that the ingestion of chlorogenic acid improves skin temperature and skin blood flow after a cold stress test,”​ the researchers said.

Health drink

On the other hand, the company has also incorporated chlorogenic acid in its powdered beverage.

The product, selling under the brand Healthya, is marketed as a health beverage that reduces body fat and lowers blood pressure, based on the understanding​ that chlorogenic acid could exert such effects, said Suma.

Related topics: Formulation & Science, Beauty From Within

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