Celebrating 100 Years - OMI Menturm 2020

OMI Menturm PH Team

On the 6th of December, 1920, the OMI Brotherhood was established in Omihachiman City by William Merrell Vories. Originally from Kansas, William Merrel Vories was an American missionary who had relocated to Japan in 1905 with the aim of contributing the Japanese society. 100 years on from its founding, the OMI Brotherhood continues to improve and contribute to the betterment of people all around the world through its OMI Menturm brand of skin care and pharmaceutical products. This article will introduce a few of these iconic products.

Lip Care Products

The original classic lip balm (Menturm Stick) of OMI Menturm was first released in 1964. This product was derived from the original OMI Menturm Skin Repair Ointment, which was reformulated for the lips. At the time of initial release, the packaging was not cardboard and plastic blister pack, which consumers may be more familiar with today -- It was sold individually without any seals. 

The blister pack packaging was introduced in 1976, this was said to be the first in the industry at the time. This was the precursor of the current visual design of the lip care product, which is popular with consumers all over the world. The Menturm Stick gradually became widely accepted by consumers and is now a classic lip balm product, which has been sold for almost half a century. In 1992, the OMI Brotherhood updated the packaging of the Menturm Stick to incorporate a redesigned logo and dark green colors, both of which were chosen due to their relationship with the medicinal properties of the Menturm Stick on the lips. 

For half a century, the OMI Brotherhood has continued with its research and development of medicines in the industry with the spirit of excellence. Building on the success of the classic Menturm Stick product, new variants and product lines were developed to cater to a wider range of consumers and lip ailments. Examples of these variants include:

  • Tinted lip balms,
  • Fragrance-free,
  • High moisturizing,
  • Extra high moisturizing,
  • Moisturizing through plant essence, etc. 

Sun Care

The OMI Brotherhood developed its first sunscreen product in 1988. This was the first time a Japanese pharmaceutical company successfully developed a sunscreen product, which was made in Japan. At first, it was not familiar to the Japanese consumers. The sunscreen had to be shaken before use and had an SPF of only 15 (at the time, this was already considered high). The sunscreen product gradually increased in popularity in Japan, with consumers giving it positive reviews. It came to a point where production could not keep up with demand and the OMI Brotherhood production facilities had to work day and night to keep up supply.

After laying the technical foundation for sunscreen products, the OMI Brotherhood continued to delve deeper into the needs of the consumer, which identified the following as desired features in sunscreen products:

  • Waterproofing
  • Whitening, and, 
  • After-sun repair.

The OMI Brotherhood developed the Sun Bears sunscreen series in 2005. After several improvements and evolutions, this sunscreen range has become the OMI Brotherhood's most popular basic sunscreen product on the market.

At its release, the Sun Bears sunscreen container was a rectangular one. The products featured SPF 50+ and PA+++, which at the time was the highest sunscreen rating available. In addition to the four basic formulas, the OMI Brotherhood also introduced Sun Bears sunscreens with medicinal whitening and skin beautification features, which were still very novel at the time. A total of 6 sunscreen products were launched at once.

Further improvements were made to the product in 2009, which included a more compact container.

In 2013, the Japanese regulations which oversaw the sunscreen rating system was amended to allow for PA++++ sunscreens to be sold in the market. This corresponded to increased photo-ageing protection. The R&D team of OMI Brotherhood quickly developed and launched new iterations of the sunscreen products which met the increased benchmark. 

In 2015, the Sun Bears product line was once again refreshed to include:

  • Strengthened refreshing and lightweight sensation
  • A re-designed appearance, which incorporated the basic colors of the range of red and blue
  • The addition of a Sun Bears sunscreen product suitable for kids, which incorporated mosquito repelling features

These are just some of the products developed by the OMI Brotherhood throughout its 100 year history. Constant research and development and an emphasis on excellence drives our company to improve existing products and to bring new ones to consumers. We hope you will be able to try our products, which are readily available through Lazada and Shopee Mall:



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