Kanebo and Nagasaki University decode ‘sunburn’ gene


Discovery of UVSS gene has potential for cosmetics industry

A research group from the Japanese cosmetics company Kanebo and the University of Nagasaki have announced the discovery of a gene responsible for ultraviolet (UV)-sensitive syndrome (UVSS). The syndrome, which is hereditary, causes a strong sunburn response when skin is exposed to sunlight, resulting in photosensitivity and redness. The discovery is hoped to lead to new formats for sun protection in cosmetic products within the next five years.

“The topical application of sunscreen on its own is not sufficient in protecting against sunburn but the discovery of the UVSS gene will enable us to look at developing a compound that works on a genetic level,” said Dr Yoshito Takahashi, senior research scientist, Innovative Beauty Science Laboratory, Kanebo Cosmetics. “The goal is to develop skin care ingredients for the cosmetics industry.”