More than skin deep


Japanese brand EDOBIO melds ancient beauty traditions and classic ingredients with the latest biotechnology to deliver simple, sustainable skincare

“Natural skincare doesn’t have to exclude science,” says Kenichi Arakawa, who founded Japanese skincare brand EDOBIO in Kobe in 2018. EDOBIO combines Japanese beauty traditions and ingredients with cutting-edge biotech innovation to create a unique skincare range. “Using technology, we’ve been able to explore and develop beauty secrets from Japan’s Edo period from the 1600s,” says Kenichi, who worked in IT before crossing to the beauty sector.

“We found a strain of lactic acid bacteria and yeast in the soil, which we enhanced using special culturing processes. This boosted its immunity-activation properties, with other benefits that proved helpful to skin conditions, particularly acne, eczema and rosacea.” Even the EDOBIO scientists working with the bacteria noticed an improvement in the condition of the skin on their hands. With such evidence to support the research, the company patented its formulation, BiProGE, and incorporated it into skincare products, as well as its flagship Matsu soap.

EDOBIO further draws on Japanese natural ingredients, such as the nutrient-rich sake lees (a byproduct of sake fermentation), to create its effective, naturally derived formulas. “We use our own lactobacillus-fermented sake lees extract in some products, which also incorporate our BiProGE lactic acid bacteria in the fermenting process,” says Kenichi. “These are blended with other natural ingredients to create products ranging from Intensive Hydrating Serum and Fresh Balancing Toner to Glowing Night Gel Mask and Radiance Booster Mask – the latter also contains mineral-rich Kucha clay from Okinawa.”

Other naturally potent ingredients in the skincare range include extracts from the fragrant sakura flower (Japan’s cherry blossom), with its concentrated moisturising qualities; green tea seed, which contains the skin-conditioning and toning properties of vitamin E and amino acids; and blueberry leaf, packed with polyphenols and other antioxidants. Kenichi also takes a holistic approach to skincare by nurturing organisms within the body, as well as in the skin’s biome, through another Japanese tradition: tea. Expertly selected, the green tea blends aim to support the skin from within.

The supercharged power of the natural ingredients means that, from sourcing to packaging, the brand can keep things simple and sustainable – concepts that have resonated across the centuries in Japan. No wonder Kenichi describes EDOBIO’s bio-enhanced natural beauty as “bio-tiful inside and out”.