Discovery by Kao Corporation (President: Michitaka Sawada) of the presence of human ribonucleic acid (RNA) in sebum led to development of a unique "RNA monitoring" technology for comprehensive analysis of RNA.*1 The company has been striving to establish a beauty counseling service for application of that technology in a collaborative project with Preferred Networks, Inc. (PFN).*2 On November 21st, 2020, some of the functions will be launched on a trial basis. At BEAUTY BASE by Kao (Ginza, Tokyo), the core center for providing its latest beauty information to consumers in Japan and visitors from abroad, users who attend a personal lesson are asked separately if they can cooperate and provide sebum samples. Those who give consent, undergo sebum RNA monitoring and the results are sent by correspondence to their home at a later date (Figure 1).*3
Using sebum samples collected with specialised oil blotting film, RNA expression results are obtained and analyzed. Four important factors known to be affected by aging and lifestyle habits, namely, protein glycation level in skin, UV-damage susceptibility, systemic oxidation level, and systemic stress level, are estimated with a prediction algorithm developed by PFN using machine learning and deep learning technologies. Those results are presented as in the Personal Data Sheet shown in Figure 2, which is sent to individual users by correspondence. Previously, procedures such as blood sampling or UV irradiation were necessary for determination of these four factors. However, the RNA monitoring technology developed by Kao enables estimation in a noninvasive manner using only sebum sampling with oil blotting film.
During the trial period, obtained data will be used for improving the accuracy of the prediction algorithm. In addition, Kao plans to upgrade the service based on user feedback.
Kao creates high-value-added products that enrich the lives of consumers around the world. Through its portfolio of over 20 leading brands such as Attack, Bioré, Goldwell, Jergens, John Frieda, Kanebo, Laurier, Merries and Molton Brown, Kao is part of the everyday lives of people in Asia, Oceania, North America and Europe. Combined with its chemical division, which contributes to a wide range of industries, Kao generates about 1,500 billion yen in annual sales. Kao employs about 33,000 people worldwide and has 130 years of history in innovation. Please visit the Kao Group website for updated information.