In spring 2022, Kao Corp. and istyle, which operates Japan's @cosme beauty website, announced a joint collaboration to build a database leveraging Kao's sebum RNA monitoring technology to collect data about users' skin (with consent) while also tracking their related product choices. The goal is to build a database of 10,000 individuals' skin types and cosmetic selections to improve matching between them, in turn enhancing customer satisfaction while helping to reduce waste from discarded products.
According to Kao, while cosmetics are mass produced for a wide range of consumers, the technology for personalizing them has been evolving; although flooding the market with information and making it more difficult to find the right products. With Kao’s sebum RNA monitoring technology, an oil-blotting paper is used to collect sebum from the face, then the RNA in the sebum is extracted and comprehensively analyzed. Using the data of thousands of types of RNA obtained from this process, Kao has been studying how to group skin types with similar RNA expression (skin RNA type).
Kao, together with istyle, will then combine the data and research knowledge to improve the efficiency of product selection and customer satisfaction by better matching products to individual skin types. In the future, both companies plan to utilize the database for the development of services and products that enable users to search for cosmetics from a more objective perspective.