Melanin Control Technology and the Search for New Materials

Skin Science

Pigmentation and dark spots on the skin have been identified, along with wrinkles and sagging, as major skin concerns by people throughout the world. Although we don’t yet fully understand the mechanism by which pigmentation occurs in the skin, it is generally understood that one cause is hyper-pigmentation from exposure to ultraviolet light.

Our skin research began with a basic clarification of physiological mechanisms. In order to develop whitening products, we first ascertained that endothelin (a physiologically active protein containing 21 amino acids, secreted from the epidermis) contributes to hyper-pigmentation when exposed to ultraviolet light. Further study revealed that stem cell factor (SCF) also plays a major role in pigmentation. When skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays, first SCF and then endothelin stimulate the melanocytes, which in turn promote the production of melanin. Based on this research, we developed Chamomile ET, which suppresses the action of endothelin, and other agents that suppress the action of SCF.

In living organisms, various factors interact in complex ways that are exquisitely integrated and controlled. To resolve problems that arise in a living body, Kao has always strived to understand the basic mechanisms underlying life-related phenomena. We pursue development on the basis of scientific knowledge that is geared toward helping the body do what it is designed to do. This provides the foundation for our products that have true value in the quest to achieve healthy and beautiful skin and hair.

Decreased pigmentation with SCF suppression on human skin 3D model

Related Actions and Goals

Kao’s ESG Strategy Kirei Lifestyle Plan


Sustainable Development Goals

SDGs GOAL 3:Good Health and Well-being

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