By using fine fiber technology in combination with various Kao-developed products, it is now possible to go beyond traditional concepts in cosmetic fields such as skin care and makeup. With an eye on applications in the therapeutic field in the future, Kao is advancing related research. Arrangements are being made to present the results at academic conferences, such as those focusing on fiber engineering, dermatology, or cosmetics science, according to the company.
Fine fiber technology enables a layered, ultra-thin membrane made of superfine fiber to form on the surface of the skin. The membrane is created by spraying the skin directly with a polymer solution developed for cosmetics. The solution is loaded into a small, specialized applicator and discharged through a nozzle. With this technology, anyone can easily form a film that is molded to the three-dimensional shapes and areas of various parts of the body.
The newly developed fine fiber technology uses a superfine fiber-spinning technology called the electrospinning method (referred to below as the ES method). This is common in the non-woven fabric industry. The ES method is a technology for spraying a positively charged polymer solution onto the surface of a negatively charged target object. The stretched, string-like polymer solution, much like silk spun by a silkworm, is forcefully ejected from the nozzle of a specialized applicator. The many layers of the solution form a membrane on the surface of the target object. The resulting film becomes thinner toward its edges, allowing it to blend naturally with the skin and rendering its boundaries unnoticeable. Additionally, because there is only a small difference in level between the membrane and the skin, it will not come off easily.
In developing the fine fiber technology, efforts were made to create an ultra-thin membrane that is stable and fast forming in real-life conditions. Kao also succeeded in making a small applicator as well as establishing the optimum voltage and solution flow rate.