Special Supplements

Cosmetics maker focuses on expanding product efficacy

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DHC Corp. is a manufacturer of cosmetics and supplements headquartered in Tokyo. Having originally started out as a translation firm when it was established in 1972, Chairman and CEO Yoshiaki Yoshida later ventured into the field of health and beauty related consumer products. DHC developed into one of the leading companies in the industry.

The cosmetics company had 209 directly-owned stores across Japan as of May this year. The number of retailers, including drug stores and convenience stores that sold DHC products, totaled over 66,000 throughout the country. However, it is not just accessibility that DHC has to offer.

The company’s endeavor as a cosmetics maker began when Yoshida came across extremely high-quality olive oils produced by the Nunez de Prado in southern Spain’s Andalusia. The company boasts over 200 years of history in producing organic olive oil.
Spain enforces extremely strict organic certification standards for olive oil and only 2 percent of all olive production in Spain is awarded organic certification.

DHC uses certified organic olive oil in its skincare products and in Olive Virgin Oil, the No. 1 longest-selling product in the company’s history.

Traditional processing methods are used to extract the rare oil for this bestselling product. Young olives are carefully handpicked before they become completely ripe. Within two hours after being picked, they are brought to the refinery facility where they are crushed in stone mills. DHC only uses premium olive oil made of a very small amount of naturally dripped Flor de Aceite (Flower of the Oil). Many other manufacturers steam or squeeze the fruit to maximize the production volume.

Olive Virgin Oil is DHC’s signature product. The product contains antioxidant components such as polyphenol and vitamins A and E, and 38 million bottles have been sold since its launch. According to an online survey conducted by DHC in 2010, 99.4 percent of the customers who bought Olive Virgin Oil were satisfied with the item.

Thanks to Olive Virgin Oil, DHC has sold a cumulative total of 180 million Olive Sube-Sube series items so far, with approximately 14,000 products having been sold daily for 35 years.

Sustained Release Vitamin C (30-Day Supply) | DHC CORP.
Sustained Release Vitamin C (30-Day Supply) | DHC CORP.

While DHC is said to be gaining cult status for its cosmetics line, DHC is also offering supplements. The company offers more than 530 items in the health food category. Because of the vast range of supplements already offered, DHC’s current challenge is finding ways to maximize the effectiveness of each of its products.

DHC Corp. General Manager of Supplements and Food Department Masakatsu Kageyama. | YOSHIAKI MIURA
DHC Corp. General Manager of Supplements and Food Department Masakatsu Kageyama. | YOSHIAKI MIURA

“For about three years now we have been selling about 10 items developed with a focus on the way each ingredient is absorbed in the body,” said General Manager of the Supplements and Food Department Masakatsu Kageyama.

He explained that some ingredients such as water-soluble vitamins are suitable for slower dissolution, whereas components like anthocyanin found in blueberries are better absorbed rapidly because they lose stability once inside the intestines.

DHC’s blueberry supplement | DHC CORP.
DHC’s blueberry supplement | DHC CORP.

According to DHC, whether a product adhered to the methods of controlling the amount of ingredients absorbed by the body was dependent on consumers’ purposes, whether they were looking for a quick and localized solution, or a gradual improvement of general health.

“Our research department develops ways for ingredients to be continuously absorbed by the body; for example, by adjusting the thickness of capsules,” Kageyama said. “We also combine multiple components with different absorption peaks.”

The company also partners with municipalities and other organizations to develop supplements using local ingredients. The products contribute to regional revitalization through ingredient procurement, product development and distribution and are distributed to local residents via health-related events. “It is also inspiring for us to learn about local, indigenous substances that can be used to improve the health of the general public,” said the general manager.

DHC products are currently sold in 21 countries around the world. DHC has recently launched an online store in English so the company can better reach the international community, including any customers living in Japan, as well as to provide detailed explanation about its products to eliminate any concerns over ingredients or safety.

URL / Online store: www.dhc.co.jp/en