When Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui heads to the International Space Station (ISS) next year, he will have two new skincare items in his bag that are especially designed for the rigors of space travel.
The face wash and lotion are part of a “Cosmology” line unveiled on Monday by Japanese cosmetic company POLA and ANA Holdings, the parent company of All Nippon Airways.
The products were created after the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) called for skincare solutions that could be used in the resource-scarce, low-gravity and extremely dry conditions of outer space.
The two companies began working on the range in 2020, and JAXA gave them the green light to bring their designs to life last March.
To save water, the face wash is made to simply be wiped off, while the lotion was designed to remain in a semi-solid state so it won’t scatter in low gravity.
The products are not the first cosmetics to head to outer space. In 2021, former NASA astronaut Joan Higginbotham talked to InStyle about using Vaseline, Cetaphil, foundation, blush, mascara and lipstick during missions, while Estée Lauder has sent a skincare serum into outer space as part of a commercial partnership with the American space agency.
Astronauts in space — and even after they return to Earth — have reported experiencing burning, itchy, dry and sensitive skin.
The new products’ creators said they hope to improve astronauts’ quality of life in space, and said their range had been tested by flight attendants on ANA aircrafts, given the similarities between the conditions in flight and on the ISS.
The “Cosmology Space Crew Kit” — a set featuring smaller versions of the cleansing wash and lotion — will be made available to the public in October, while the regular-sized products will go on sale next January.
POLA President Miki Oikawa told reporters in Tokyo he hoped the products could also be of use in other resource-scarce situations like evacuation centers during natural disasters.
CNN’s Saki Toi contributed to this report.