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Making women and men around the world more beautiful through cosmetics

Updated May 2016

Samples of cosmetics formulated by Cosmotec

Formulators – Firms that Provide Ingredient Distribution and Formulation Services in the laboratory scale to the Cosmetics & Personal Care Market

In selecting lipsticks and foundations, women place importance on how smoothly the product can be applied and how it feels on the skin. In Japan, South Korea and other Asian countries, whitening and skincare products have become trendy while anti-aging products have captured more attention along with the aging society. Needs for cosmetics are thus diversifying.

Whether or not cosmetics companies are able to meet this diversification of customer needs depends on the formulation of cosmetics and thus on companies called “formulators.” These companies have the formulation expertise to develop formulas and make relevant proposals to cosmetics manufacturers as a means of promoting sales of cosmetic ingredients.

Traditionally, cosmetics manufacturers undertook both formulation development and manufacturing themselves. However, in recent years, cosmetics manufacturers have been transforming themselves into brand holders (marketing companies) focused on advertising their own brands and on the acquisition of other brands. In line with this change, the cosmetics industry has begun to need experts engaged in the development of formulas. As a result, the formulator business has been established.

Responding to diversified needs for cosmetics based on expertise as a formulator

Developing global business hand in hand with multi-national cosmetics manufacturers

Global cosmetics sales is approximately 56 trillion yen and this figure is expected to grow over coming years at the annual rate of 2 to 3%, mainly driven by emerging economies. Accordingly, cosmetics manufacturers across the world are focusing more on the global development of their businesses.

Sumitomo Corporation began full-scale operation of its cosmetic ingredient distribution business when it acquired 100% ownership of U.S. cosmetic ingredient formulator Presperse Corporation in 2010. Presperse is one of the leading cosmetics formulators in North America and deals with about 400 companies, including the world’s leading cosmetics manufacturers. In 2013, we also made an investment for full-scale entry into the remarkably growing Brazilian market in partnership with local formulator Cosmotec. Cosmotec has about 800 customers, including leading Brazilian cosmetics manufacturers. In the Americas, Sumitomo Corporation has enhanced its partnerships with the aforementioned two companies for the launch of business in the Central and South American markets and is pressing forward with the establishment of a robust business foundation for these markets.

Moreover, in 2015, Sumitomo Corporation acquired the cosmetic ingredient sales business from Kyowa Hakko Europe GmbH to conduct business in the European market. Specifically, the company obtained the right to market cosmetic ingredients, including vitamins and moisturizing agents for hair care and skin-care products, in Germany and other European countries as well as countries neighboring the region. The acquisition of this business has helped us expand its cosmetic ingredient trading business from its existing markets, such as Japan and China, to include other major international markets. As a global partner for cosmetics manufacturers across the world, Sumitomo Corporation will accelerate the development of this business with an eye to further expanding into Southeast Asia and other emerging markets.

Head office of Presperse, one of the leading cosmetics formulators in the United States

Head office of Cosmotec in Sao Paulo. Brazil is the world’s leading cosmetics market

Jointly developing next-generation ingredients and technologies with ingredient manufacturers

In response to the expanding needs for environment-friendly next-generation cosmetic ingredients, Sumitomo Corporation is partnering with ingredient manufacturers to jointly develop new ingredients and technologies. Based on its partnership with South Korean venture company Biogenics, in which we made an investment in 2012, as well as with Japanese ingredient manufacturers having advanced technologies, Sumitomo Corporation is aiming to develop ingredients targeting global market.

In the glamorous cosmetics industry, formulators toil away in the background, receiving no recognition from end users. Yet formulators, with their impressive technological capabilities, contribute a lot to helping both men and women become more beautiful and acquire a better self-image. To help people around the world reach their full potential in terms of health and beauty—this is the goal Sumitomo Corporation is seeking to achieve.

Contributing to the growth of cosmetics market by adding value through the development of next-generation ingredients and other activities

Related Tag

  • Mineral Resources, Energy, Chemical & Electronics Business Unit
  • U.S.A. / Brazil / Korea
  • Chemical & Electronics

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