- LG H&H Co., Ltd. CEO :
- Lee Jung Ae
- Business License Registration No. :
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Innovation-centric activities conducted thus far have been often limited to existing frames or paradigms.
LG H&H, however, seeks to create new paradigms to achieve the best innovation.
Development of personalized skincare solution through large-scale genetic data analysis
At LG H&H, we analyze the skin features and genetic data of around 50,000 East Asians, including Koreans, to discover genes involved in various skin concerns such as facial wrinkles or pigmentation. Our goal is to find meaningful insights from genetic data collection, and categorize our customers’ skin types according to different genetic functions, and develop customized materials and formulas with powerful efficacy.
One of the most important outcomes of our genetic research is the development of anti-irritant formula technology against retinol-induced irritation. We have identified 10 genetic markers associated with retinol-induced irritation in the large population, and developed a novel formula for anti-irritation against retinol. We confirmed the effect of anti-irritant formula against retinol by conducting an experiment on damaged cells. The results showed that the combination of retinol with anti-irritant actives had a significant effect in reducing cell damage (blue spots) compared to the retinol-only conditions (Figure 1).
Another important achievement is the technology to reduce hyperpigmentation of skin. By using ingredients, which target seven genes associated with melanin production (two of which were identified for the first time in the world), to melanocytes abnormally changed due to UV exposure, the cells were recovered and the amount of melanin (black spots) was also reduced (Figure 2)
Expansion from natural fermentation technology to skin microbiome technology
Natural fermentation stands for a process that uses microbiome* from naturally derived plants. Refraining from artificial application of microorganisms, the technology uses the energy of natural ingredients to boost efficacy. Su:m37˚, a fermented skin care brand, offers products conceived from advanced fermentation research expertise at LG H&H. Based on long-accumulated knowledge for natural fermentation technology, we have conducted research on the relation between skin microbiome balance and skin health.
Our accumulated technology is applied in not only our skincare, but also hair and body products of various brands. Major products formulated with our microbiome technologies include O HUI’s Sym-Micro Essence, a product that contains 500,000 probiotics lysate per drop, and Dr. Groot Microbiome Shampoo, a product blended with seven free & probiotics lysate ingredients.
In 2021, we established a microbiome center in Hokkaido, which is endowed with a platform for the development and production of fermented materials, and is on track to be a global research base to develop microbiome ingredients tailored to customers' sensibility around the world. We will continue to research skin technologies for a healthy balance of even invisible skin elements to develop customized skincare solutions.
*Microbiome: An ecosystem of microbes
Digital technologies to respond to different customer needs
In our pursuit of digital innovation, LG H&H develops digital technologies that promptly provide products to satisfy different customer needs.
We have teamed up with the professional haircare company Farouk Systems to develop LG CHI COLOR MASTER, and installed it at hair salons across the U.S. The system, which is designed to provide differentiated customer experience, uses machine-learning technology that distinguishes the facial area and hair area, and an augmented reality technology that compares the look before and after hair dying. This allows customers to get the hair dye in the exact color they want.
We are currently researching devices that recommend products tailored to individual skin concerns or tones and blend various ingredients to immediately recommend and provide the optimal products tailored to the customer. Harnessing examinations, AI assessments, and live AR cameras, the devices are to recommend and offer skincare/ makeup formulas to meet customers’ needs. In this way, these devices are being researched for customers to select the optimal formula that meets their needs.
At LG H&H, we believe that the effectiveness of a cosmetics product is not only determined by the quality of its ingredients, but also by the ability of those ingredients to reach the skin and deliver their benefits.
This is why we invest heavily in research and development of technologies that can improve the delivery of active ingredients. We offer various solutions so that active ingredients effectively can pass through the stratum corneum that poses the main hurdle in their path.
One of the main challenges in delivering active ingredients to the skin is the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the epidermis. The stratum corneum is a tough barrier that can prevent ingredients from penetrating the skin. To overcome this challenge, we have developed a number of technologies, including:
1) Microneedle technology: This technology uses tiny needles to create microchannels in the stratum corneum, allowing active ingredients to penetrate more easily. 2) Microencapsulation technology: This technology encases active ingredients in tiny capsules that are smaller than the pores in the skin, allowing them to penetrate more deeply. 3) Ionic bond technology: This technology uses counterions to accelerate the skin penetration of active ingredients through ionic bonding.
In addition to the technologies mentioned above, we also use a variety of other methods to ensure the effective delivery of active ingredients, such as: a high concentration of active ingredients, a delivery system that is designed to enhance the absorption of active ingredients, and a formulation that is compatible with the skin. We believe that these technologies and methods are essential for creating effective cosmetics products that deliver results.
*Ionic bond technology: A technology that develops counterions to accelerate the skin penetration of active ingredients through ionic bonding
With keen customer interest in health and wellness, demand for aesthetics and home beauty products has been expanding. Our derma beauty technologies aim to provide highly effective beauty solutions for professional skin aesthetics services that involve cosmetic ingredients and beauty devices.
LG H&H has acquired derma beauty brands including CNP and Physiogel to secure a strong market presence in the derma cosmetics business, and engaged in internal R&D efforts and active partnerships with derma brands to develop new materials and devices for skin aesthetics care.
Our research accomplishments for skin aesthetics materials include 1) technology inspired by ‘Milk Peel’ treatment to help stabilize the skin’s pH level while reducing irritation during peeling procedures, 2) discovery of Transkin peptide, a highly-penetrative substance to boost skin regeneration from within, 3) technology to enhance the skin with exosome*-enriched Aureobasidium pullulans ferment; and 4) technology for stabilizing salicylic acid to create an optimal pH level for acne relief.
In addition, we have developed devices to effectively deliver active ingredients to the skin and hair, which work even better when used with our own ampoule and hair tonic products.
Foremost, we are engaging in research activities to develop more effective devices and materials for professional skincare treatment and advance further as a derma beauty brand highly trusted by customers.
*Exosome: Extracellular vesicles that encompass genetic substances, protein, and metabolites
In the face of increasing environmental regulations to tackle climate change in tandem with encompassing corporate ESG practices for sustainable growth, the concept of clean beauty has been increasingly attracting the keen interest of Gen-MZ customers. Moreover, with greater interest in health and safety from the pandemic onset, the concept represents an integral part of global beauty trends.
At LG H&H, in 2021, we established the clean beauty research center for the first time in S. Korea to solidify the foundation for more leading and systematic research in clean beauty. We are further improving our clean beauty policies through the ‘Clean Beauty Inside’ initiative that advocates our philosophies and standards for clean beauty.
Clean Beauty Inside seeks to develop products based on four core values of “Planet Beauty, Skin Health, Responsibility, and Clean Performance”. Based on these four core values divided into 14 sub-categories, the Clean Beauty Index, a quantitative index measured based on our own criteria and weightings, will help us upgrade the quality of our clean beauty products.
The clean beauty research center engages in the research of eco-friendly packaging materials, emission-reducing waterless formulas, and clean technologies to cut carbon emissions and energy consumption during product manufacturing. Clean beauty research that is aligned with sustainability and anti-greenwashing is also in progress to develop vegan formulas and discover fair trade ingredients and upcycled ingredients of natural resource wastes.
Clean beauty is a global movement that aims for the healthy and beauty of existing and future generations by forming partnerships for win-win prosperity alongside the planet and fellow communities. Clean beauty has become a necessity, not an option, spotlighting the importance of a firm commitment to clean beauty practices like never before. LG H&H will internalize the concept of clean beauty to fulfill the promise with our customers and further continue research to enhance customer experience.