However hard we try to embrace our inner zen, for many of us, stress is an ever-present feature of our lives. Whether it’s the daily pressures of work and raising a family, the non-stop scroll of social media, or the fact that the world feels like an increasingly uncertain place, modern life can sometimes feel overwhelming.
As a beauty brand dedicated to helping women feel as well as look good, Shiseido is at the forefront of the battle against stress – exploring how widespread the problem is, how it impacts the skin and the best ways to tackle this. Shiseido surveyed 200 women, finding that 70 per cent of them felt that daily stress is increasing, while 99 per cent* felt that factors like fatigue and anxiety can affect the condition of their skin. In the same way that we turn to exercise, healthy eating and meditation to improve our wellness, women are looking for proactive ways to prevent the effects of stress on their complexion.
Shiseido has made the impact of stress and anxiety on the skin a key part of its research in recent years. It is the first company to test skincare products on women experiencing chronic emotional stress and has used a holistic approach to develop products that combat the effects, from the active ingredients used through to the feel, fragrance and look of the product.
Shiseido has two ranges that help to combat the side effects of stress when incorporated into a daily skincare routine: Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate and Benefiance.
The Ultimune range is suitable for all skin types. Originally launched in 2014, Shiseido’s Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate is already a beauty hero, with 134 awards under its belt and a bottle being sold every 15 seconds. Its formula had been renewed in 2018 to further bolster skin’s resilience – especially against the effects of stress.
Formulated with ImuGeneration Technology, it uses potent natural extracts to help protect and enhance the function of the skin’s Langerhans cells. These cells create a vital network in the epidermis to help defend the skin against damage, so aggressors like stress can’t have such a big effect on the complexion. Think of it a bit like starting with an early morning massage or yoga class that gets you feeling all zen, so you float through the day’s tasks and interactions calmly. A preventative approach with real benefits.
The application and experience are all taken into consideration for de-stressing. Ultimune’s velvety smooth texture makes applying it a joy day and night post-cleansing. Even the packaging is carefully considered to have an uplifting effect. The Ultimune bottle has been designed to create a sense of inner power flowing outward, and features a symbolic silver line. “That represents the start of a bright future, with power that rises every day, like the sun,” says packaging designer Mao Komai.
Benefiance, Shiseido’s anti-ageing range, also works to beat the effects of stress with a clever two-in-one approach that first makes skin more ready to receive vital nutrients, then delivers these in via lovely, nurturing dose of natural extracts. This is down to the ReNeura Technology™, which acts as a primer for the skin, improving the way it picks up and transmits signals, and making it more able to repair and regenerate itself in the event of stress. It’s then ready to reap the benefits from the powerful KOMBU-Bounce Complex, which contains plant-based active ingredients that target moisture and resilience. So you feel even more protected, Benefiance products have a lightweight, supple consistency, designed to feel like a cocoon for your face.
For many women, spending time on their daily skincare ritual is a valuable part of self-care, and the right products can optimise the experience. Shiseido employs the principles of aromachology, in which scent can influence human behaviour. Both ranges aim to do just that.
Ultimune’s green floral fragrance provides both a sense of relaxation and a feeling of fresh, new energy. “It can give you a lift when you feel down, and help you relax when you feel stressed,” says Dr Tomonori Udea, Shiseido’s fragrance design researcher. While Benefiance has a green, floral fragrance and delicate sweet orange notes, which evoke a sense of relaxation.
We might not be able to control the amount of stress we’re under, but Shiseido products work to help fight the effects on our skin, from the moment you take them off the shelf to when the active ingredients get to work – helping you to look healthy and radiant, no matter what life throws at you.
The evolution of beauty
Attitudes to beauty are evolving and natural-looking, healthy complexions are taking centre stage.
To celebrate this shift, Shiseido has partnered with Telegraph Spark to bring you a series of interviews with high profile women sharing their life lessons and beauty journeys alongside expert deep-dives on the new aesthetic.
For more information on Shiseido’s intelligent skincare offering, visit Shiseido at johnlewis.com
*Based on a Shiseido web survey of 200 women aged 25-49 living in the United States, Japan, Italy, France and China in October 2016.