CONTACT / Q&A
Q.I would like to interview.
A.Please fill in the following information and send through our online form "Contacts" (Program name/media name, topics, publication/broadcast schedule, etc.)
Q.Do you sell ICHIKA® in stores?
A.We do not currently sell in stores. Please purchase through our online store or by phone.
Q. I'm interested in becoming a distributor.
A.Please contact us through "Contacts".
Q.I would like to import/export the purchased cosmetics overseas. Is it possible to import/export iPS?
A.Like other stem cell cosmetics, there are import and export restrictions depending on the country. Laws and regulations are subject to change at any time, so please check the latest information when considering import/export.
Q.Where is ICHIKA® made? Is it made in Japan?
A.ICHIKA® is a high-quality Made In Japan cosmetics, which the entire manufacturing process takes place in our factory in Ashibetsu City, Hokkaido. Forests occupy more than 90% of the land in Ashibetsu. The factory manufactures not only cosmetics but also quasi-drugs and disinfectant products.
Q.The spray does not work no matter how many times I press it.
A.When you start using the spray, keep the spray vertical and press it 3 to 5 times until the content starts coming out. In rare cases, the button may feel hard, but if you push the spray all the way down several times, discharge will start. If you still have a problem, please contact us.
Q.Do these cosmetics contain iPS cells? If human-derived cells are present in the cosmetics, I am concerned about safety such as the risk of getting infectious diseases.
A.These cosmetics do not contain iPS cells themselves. It is formulated with the cell culture supernatant, which is created when iPS cells are cultured. The safety of the supernatant has been thoroughly tested. All virus checks such as HIV (NAAT test for pathogens) are negative, so there is no need to worry about getting infectious diseases.
Q.I heard that the booster contains essential oils, but I don't really feel the scent of essential oils. Is this normal?
A.We wanted to reduce the amount of fragrance used as much as possible, so essential oils are added just enough to mask the odor of raw materials. Furthermore, we wanted you to experience the luxury of the supernatant that is generously blended, so we have not completely eliminated its odor. There is no problem regarding quality.
Q.What are iPS cells? Please tell me about its source.
A.It is a type of an artificially created stem cell. It is made from "somatic cells" such as skin, liver, and blood. Somatic cells that are the source of the supernatant used in cosmetics are of human origin. Unlike general stem cells, iPS cells have the ability to change (differentiate) into various tissues and proliferate indefinitely. There are no such stem cells other than iPS cells with such potential, except for ES cells that are derived from fertilized eggs.
Q.What is the difference between iPS cells and ES cells?
A.Both are types of stem cells that have the ability to differentiate into various cells, but ES cells are made from fertilized eggs, and iPS cells are artificially created stem cells. ES cells cannot be used for medical treatment or for beauty applications from a bioethics point of view. iPS cells are artificial cells made from breakthrough-technology that is practical, but has a similar ability to ES cells.
Q.What is the difference between stem cells that are the source of the supernatant used in general cosmetics and iPS cells?
A.The former uses stem cells that are made only in specific organs such as fat and bone marrow. These stem cells are called "somatic stem cells." Somatic stem cells are limited in the types of cells that they can differentiate into, and they neither have infinite proliferative capacity. iPS cells and ES cells are the "source" of these somatic stem cells, and can differentiate into a much wider variety of cells, while being able to proliferate indefinitely.
Q.I thought iPS cells are used only in the field of regenerative medicine, but why can they be applied to cosmetics?
A.The supernatant of iPS cells is not currently widely sold as a raw material. I'rom Group, which created ICHIKA®, is a medical company listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange that is engaged in cutting-edge medical business, involving clinical application of iPS cells. The patented manufacturing technology for iPS cells, skincare manufacturing technology, and the favorable environment for handling cell culture supernatant in Hokkaido was brought together to make iPS cell culture supernatant possible to be used as a cosmetics ingredient. The iPS supernatant manufactured in-house acquired the INCI code in 2020, and can now be used as the world's first genuine cosmetic ingredient.
Q.In recent years, many cosmetic products related to the field of aesthetic medicine have emerged. What are the features of ICHIKA®'s cosmetic products?
A.The iPS cells from which the ICHIKA® supernatant is derived is not a research material, but they are cells that are actually used in clinical applications of regenerative medicine (under clinical trials). In addition, iPS cells for making the supernatant are cultured by a manufacturing method called high-density three-dimensional culture, which is almost aseptic and creates a highly concentrated and uniform supernatant. It is a versatile product that can be used by all generations, for the scalp and entire body. It can be used before and after your cosmetics products that you are currently using too.
Q.What are the advantages of using iPS supernatant in cosmetics?
A. The supernatant derived from iPS cells, which has a strong ability to stimulate cell devision unlike other stem cells, contains a large amount of growth factors and cytokines. It strongly supports the turnover power of the iPS cell supernatant-applied skin. In addition, there is evidence for hair growth. Product monitors who had atopic dermatitis and acne experienced anti-inflammatory effects. (There will be individual differences regarding outcomes after using the cosmetics.)
Q.How does iPS cell culture supernatant improve skin?
A.The supernatant of iPS cells contains a large amount of growth factors and cytokines. Cytokines act as "signals" to the skin. Generation of new cells, repairing wounds, controlling inflammation, creating new blood vessels etc. are all the effects of cytokines. As a result, skin turnover is normalized and new skin cells are created. Normalizing turnover with this strong signal will improve rough skin and lead to improvement of spots and wrinkles.
Q.I hear that iPS cells are also used in medical treatment. Are there any differences between those used in medical treatment and those contained in cosmetics?
A.In medical treatment, research and clinical trials are progressing on the use of iPS cells themselves, not the supernatant. Cells themselves are not used in the field of beauty. Cosmetics contain the culture supernatant that is created when iPS cells are cultured.
Q.In the field of regenerative medicine, I heard that you can make iPS cells from your own body cells, which then can be turned into other tissues. Can you make iPS cell culture supernatant from your own cells?
A.It is possible. Please contact us for options for custom-made cosmetics. First, iPS cells are manufactured from your own blood cells. The iPS cells are cultured and the iPS supernatant derived from your own cells is collected for completely customized cosmetics. High compatibility and safety can be expected.
Q.What kind of safety tests are being conducted?
A.Safety tests for the iPS cell culture supernatant has been conducted in a research institute engaged in regenerative medicine. The results of the irritation test (3D model eye/skin irritation test), closed patch test, and allergy test (RIPT) were all negative/non-irritating. Negative/non-irritating results were also obtained in the product closure patch test.
Q.Are there any concerns for allergies?
A.iPS cell culture supernatant has been allergy tested. There are currently no reports of allergies. ICHIKA® does not contain ingredients that can easily cause allergies, so it is also suitable for people with sensitive or dry skin. However, it does not guarantee that allergies won’t occur in every users, so discontinue use if it does not suit your skin.
Q.There is a description that iPS cell culture supernatant is high in concentration, but does it have any side-effects on the skin?
A.There is no problem because the safety of the undiluted iPS supernatant has been confirmed. As described above, there are individual differences.
Q.Are there any issues such as immune rejection regarding cosmetics, which are of concern in the medical field?
A.You don’t have to worry about immune rejection, as cosmetics are not meant to be drunk, transplanted or injected into the body. Even if you drink it, iPS cosmetics do not contain cells, so reactions such as immune rejection cannot occur.
Q.Is ICHIKA® organic?
A.ICHIKA® is a natural product that is only made of ingredients whose safety has been confirmed.
Q.Are animal-derived ingredients used in ICHIKA®?
A.iPS cell supernatant is of human origin. It is a highly safe cosmetic ingredient that meets the "Biological Ingredient Standards" set by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
Q.When is the most effective time to use this product?
A.We recommend using it in the morning and evening. Since skin cells are regenerated during sleep, it is especially recommended to be used with a gentle massage after bathing and before going to bed.
Q.When should I use the booster serum?
A.If you use it after washing your face and before applying lotion, the ingredients will permeate the most.
Q.Can people who are prescribed medicine by dermatologists use the cosmetics?
A.Yes, you can use it. If you are worried about your skin condition, please consult with your dermatologist before use.
Q.Can it be used in combination with other cosmetics that I normally use?
A.Yes. It also has the power to help penetration and enhance the effects of the cosmetics you usually use, so please use them together.
Q.Is it ineffective unless the booster serum and cream are used at the same time?
A.Of course, you can use it alone, but you can feel the effect more if you use them together. The cream is highly moisturizing but not sticky or too oily, so you can use it comfortably in the morning and evening.
Q.Is it okay to store at room temperature?
A.No problem. However, the effect will be maintained for a longer time if it is stored in the refrigerator. Do not store in a place exposed to high temperature, high humidity and direct sunlight as the ingredients will deteriorate in quality.
Q.How long is the expiration date? How quickly should it be used up after opening?
A.If the storage condition and environment are appropriate, it will last for 3 years or more when unopened, but since it contains a lot of delicate cell-derived components, please use it as soon as possible even if it is unopened after purchase. Please use it up within about one month after opening.
Q.How long should I use it for to feel the effect?
A. Some people can feel smoothness within a few days at the earliest. Generally, skin turnover is said to be 28 days, so it is recommended that you continue to use it for a minimum of 28 days to begin with. For those who aim for ageless skin, continue multiple 28-day cycles. (There are individual differences in the timing at which the effect can be felt.)
Q.Why are Hokkaido cosmetics good for your skin?
A.The base of cosmetics is "water". ICHIKA® uses pure water from Mt. Ashibetsu, Hokkaido. Water coming from an environment with clean air is extremely low in impurities and rich in minerals. Hokkaido water is soft water that is said to be the most suitable for making cosmetics and skin care. The cold environment is also an important factor for the development and manufacturing of iPS cell culture supernatant.
Q.Do you manufacture cosmetics other than those that use iPS supernatant? Is it possible to request an OEM?
A. ICHIKA®'s manufacturer and distributor, ICELLEAP Co., Ltd.'s Hokkaido factory, manufactures various types of skin care products. We have been operating the factory for nearly 40 years and have received orders for more than 1 million items in total, and we also accept OEM contracts. We also manufacture lotions, serums, creams, facial cleansers, bath salts and aroma products. Please contact us if you are interested. (In principle, our trade will be domestic based, but you may make export/import arrangements.)
Q.What is the minimum lot and delivery time for OEM?
A.It depends on the product, but in general, the economic lot starts from 3000 pieces. As a guideline for delivery, it is about 2 to 4 months from the timing when the design, package and formulation are fixed (about 1 to 3 months from the start of consultation), after order is received.
Q.Can it be used on the scalp and hair?
A.Yes. There is evidence that cytokines activate the dermal papilla cells, which are the cells that make hair. Apply the booster serum after washing the scalp and drying hair.
Q.Can the booster be used even when the skin feels sensitive?
A.It is a mild formula, so it is ideal for use on the scalp after coloring, perming, or after sunburn. When used on the face, it can be gently applied to dry/rough skin, when there are acne breakouts, after shaving, after laser, after hair removal or peeling at a beauty clinic or beauty treatment salon. There are individual differences in how you may react to the ingredients, so discontinue use temporarily if you feel discomfort.