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Meeting customers’ needs, ensuring product safety and creating hit products

Research and Development

Naoki Matsumoto Cosmetics and Quasi-drug Development Group Joined April 2010

What motivated you to join the company?

I decided to go into research and development because I wanted to pursue the unknown and unravel its secrets as well as create new things. I’ve also been interested in hair and fashion since I was a university student, so when I went to Noevir’s recruiting fair and research facility tour and saw that the employees were really fashionable and energetic, I made up my mind to work there.

What kind of work do you do?

The Cosmetics and Quasi-drug Development Group takes the product proposals that the Product Planning Group comes up with and makes them a reality. We scrutinize the proposal and consider the formulation (the method of combining raw materials used for developing cosmetics) and materials. Once the formula is decided, we conduct safety tests, collect data using a variety of machines and check the functionality. After the product is finished, we’re involved in the process up until the product manual is made because we explore how the merits of the product can be relayed to customers through taking the researchers’ perspective into account.

What do you find rewarding about your work?

At Noevir, we are insistent on providing usability and effectiveness in our products; however, it isn’t easy to make products that combine these features along with safety and stability. There are a lot difficulties we face in this line of work, but I feel rewarded and stimulated in the product development environment here because it requires a high level of effort to get the job done.

What do you think is important in your line of work?

Right now we’re developing makeup products with sunscreen as a base. I repeat the trial and error process while thinking, “How can I formulate this in a way that unstable materials combine in a stable form? How should I combine these materials to attain the desired functionality?”

Every day I am careful of not being distracted by assumptions and stereotypes. I don’t give up easily and I make sure to put what’s in my imagination into action right away.

When do you think, “I love my job!”?

Sometimes a cream that came together perfectly in a laboratory beaker does not do so when manufactured in the factory’s larger scale kettles. There are many problems besides ones like this that we come up against during product development, but one of the things I love about my job is when, as a result of persistence and painstaking endeavor, a formula that we designed meets high standards and is put out into the market.

When I see the positive comments about the finished product from satisfied customers, I’m so glad that I chose to do this work. I also love the environment I work in because we have to think not only about formulation, but also about pharmaceutical affairs and marketing so I get to study a broad spectrum of different areas.

What’s the best part about working at Noevir?

Even younger employees can take charge of a product’s development and we are never tied down to working with one form (form of cosmetic such as lotion or cream), so we can gain experience in many different fields. Also, in addition to bringing the proposals from the Product Planning Group to life, we also have the opportunity to do the same with cosmetics that we envision ourselves. Our responsibilities increase when we take on endeavors like this, but getting compassionate guidance from experienced senior coworkers always helps. Our work goes smoothly because have an open working environment where we can easily cross sectional barriers and get advice.

Shiga, the site of the factory, is also really great. I enjoy doing many different activities at Lake Biwa and the surrounding mountains and lead a content, active lifestyle here. We are also close to Kyoto so shopping and such is actually quite convenient.

What are your dreams and goals for the future?

I want to be an expert on formulation development and be able to make all kinds of cosmetics. In order to achieve my goals, I try to do more than just putting together the raw materials, adjusting the usability and ensuring the functionality of products in development. I also break down the pieces of complex formulas as well as research published literature and patent information and try to think of solutions from a theoretical standpoint.

My goal is to develop formulas that meet customers’ needs and create hit products that customers want to keep using.

Daily Schedule

6:30 Wake up
08:30 Arrive at work
I listen to music during my commute to help me wake up.
9:00 Team meeting
We confirm our development schedule.
10:00 Trial production and evaluation
I perform formulation checks.
16:00 Data Reduction
I record trial results and discuss them with my coworkers. I also think of formulas to evaluate the next day.
19:00 Leave work
After leaving work, I go and get some exercise with my coworkers.
23:00 Go to bed
I try to get to sleep early to get ready for the next day.

Free time

After work I break a sweat playing basketball or futsal with my coworkers and get energized. Players of all experience levels play together and have fun.

I also snowboard and surf. Looking down at the scenery from snowy mountaintops and gazing at the sea brings me peace of mind.

I love to move my body so I always exercise when I have the chance.