Amorepacific is discovering the diverse energies of soybean and letting the world know of its benefits through studying soybean with our unique and new perspective.
Value of the Soybean
Soybean, as one of the most common crops closely embedded in our lives, is a familiar crop to us. It has been at the center of Korea’s food culture for thousands of years. Especially, Korea’s ‘Jang’ (traditional soy fermented paste) culture, which perceives and uses soybeans in a perspective different from the West, is a unique part of Korean culture that embodies the creativity and excellence of the people of Korea. This ordinary and familiar soybean is the only crop that originated in Korea. And Amorepacific started its research into soybeans, realizing that the most familiar crop has the rarest value to us.
The indigenous Korean soybeans that Amorepacific focused on contain much higher levels of ingredients beneficial to skin compared to other soybean varieties. However, they are low-yielding and difficult to cultivate, which made them less-known and challenging to commercially mass produce despite their value. To discover the hidden value of indigenous Korean soybeans and let its excellence known to the world, Amorepacific successfully selected the most appropriate soybean species as ingredients for cosmetics by studying the specific characteristics of cultivation, ingredients, and skin benefits of some 140 indigenous Korean soybean varieties preserved at the National Agrobiodiversity Center.
The Heritage of Research
Continued for More Than 30 Years
Amorepacific continued its research from how to use isoflavone, the most well-known component of soybeans, to discovering ortho-dihydroxyisoflavone (ODI), a new ingredient found in fermented soybeans. Such research led to the publication of paper on the efficacy of isoflavone such as body fat improvement, skin anti-aging and whitening properties and the discovery of various skin benefits of the newly-identified ODI including moisturizing, antioxidant, whitening and anti-aging properties. Amorepacific especially achieved success in mass producing the ODI ingredient, which only exists in extreme low levels in fermented soybeans making it difficult to use, through bioconversion technology.
There were also rare ingredients hidden in soybean leaves, not just the soybeans themselves. However, no one had yet taken an interest in soybean leaves, and so Amorepacific had to take the new and untaken path from cultivation and harvesting to product manufacturing. It meticulously studied the cultivation environment and the time of harvest of soybean leaves that would maximize skin benefits. And through such research, Amorepacific developed a method of cultivation to produce soybean leaves and found that soybean leaves with the best skin benefits can be harvested when the leaves turn color. It successfully made yellow-colored soybean leaves concentrate into an ingredient with high levels of anti-aging properties by growing and harvesting leaves with excellent benefits.
In addition, Amorepacific developed ‘Beauty Bean’ to further its unique soybean research. Of the 140 Korean native soybean varieties, Amorepacific selected a species named ‘flat beans’ as AP Beauty Bean No. 1 and successfully extracted the antioxidant ingredient found in them. It will soon unveil AP Beauty Bean No. 2 – a variety more nutritious and easier to cultivate – by focusing on breeding research based on the results of Beauty Bean No. 1.
Benefits of Soybean
Delivered through Various Products
The outstanding ingredients of soybeans discovered through the efforts and dedication of Amorepacific can be found across its various brands including Innisfree and Hanyul. Main products include Innisfree’s Soybean Energy line, which contains ingredients extracted from fermented Jeju green soybeans that strengthen skin barrier, Hanyul’s Seoritae(a type of black bean) line that contains specialized ingredient of seoritae cultivated in the high reaches of the Gangwon mountains, Primera’s Wild Seed line containing the ingredients extracted from AP Beauty Bean No. 1 flat beans that increases skin firmness, and Primera’s Repair Bean Cica line, which contains the ingredients extracted from fermented soybeans. Amorepacific continues new attempts in using soybeans as ingredients such as Sulwhasoo’s Everefine Lifting line, which contains the world’s first cosmetics ingredient made from yellow-colored soybean leaves concentrate.
Having studied the health and beauty benefits of soybeans for 30 years, Amorepacific will continue its research, not settling on past achievements. It will continue its efforts in preserving native and rare species of Korea, while developing high-quality varieties and discovering the various benefits of soybean by cultivating soybean fields in Yeongwol in Gangwondo, Paju in Gyeonggido, and Jeju. And based on a deep understanding of soybean, including its growth and development, different parts of the plant, its ingredients, fermentation, germination and skin benefits, Amorepacific will dedicate to developing innovative and sustainable products.