Japan cosmetics maker develops tech for spray-on ‘artificial skin’

[While we usually focus on digital technologies that produce or supplement sensory inputs, glasses, hearing aids and even make-up are technologies designed to evoke presence illusions. Somehow that’s more clear with the “artificial skin” innovation described in this short story from The Asahi Shimbun. See the original for three more images, and see press releases from Kao here and here for more information including short videos. –Matthew]

[Image: An ultra-fine fiber membrane can be applied to the face or elsewhere to keep skin moist. Credit: Kao Corp.]

Japan cosmetics maker develops tech for spray-on ‘artificial skin’

By Toshihiko Katsuda / Staff Writer
November 25, 2019

Tokyo-based cosmetics maker Kao Corp. has developed technology to create spray-on “artificial skin” that could be used to conceal moles and other facial blemishes.

It said the Fine Fiber Technology involves a specially designed diffuser that sprays ultra-fine fibers to form a thin layered membrane on the skin.

As the first step to commercialize the technology, Kao plans to market skin-care products–beauty lotions and diffuser devices–under the Biomimesis Veil brand in December.

Capillaries in the membrane enable it to quickly absorb the beauty lotion treatment and retain it evenly. The ultra-thin, flexible sheet of film adheres to the skin for hours, keeping it moist.

A bottle of the beauty lotion will carry a price tag of 12,000 yen ($110) while the diffuser will cost 50,000 yen. A container of fibrous potion to be set in the diffuser will be available for an additional 8,000 yen. Prices do not include tax.

Kao is considering wider applications of the technology, such as for makeup products or medical use.

The translucent membrane renders bruises and scars invisible when combined with the liquid. It is also touted as helping to heal wounds.

“I expect sales might top 100 billion yen if the technology is expanded into medical markets,” Kao President Michitaka Sawada told a news conference.

The spray creates a film made of layers of fiber a thousandth of a millimeter thick.

It is dispensed through the diffuser Kao jointly developed with Panasonic Corp.

As part of Fine Fiber Technology development, Kao researched nonwoven fabric, which resulted in the artificial skin’s cocoon-like structure that is similar to the textile but much thinner.

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