We care about our animals

We care about our animals

We use two parallel approaches to avoid animal testing: The first is to reduce the number of safety tests required  by taking advantage of previously developed knowledge  as the foundation of our safety evaluation. We avoid  repetitive testing when there is already enough historical  data to know the answer without the test.

If the existing knowledge is not sufficient, we believe in utilization of alternative non-animal methods. In our opinion, alternative methods should be official test methods that can be used globally. Since the 1980’s our parent company Kao has been actively working with industry associations and relevant  third  parties  to find  robust alternatives to animal testing,  which have been  successfully adopted as international guidelines. To reduce safety testing overall,  we utilize targeted application of existing data and industry knowledge to the evaluation of the safety of new products.  We regularly present and publish our work and continually collaborate with others to share our knowledge and apply exciting new science to assure product safety.

Since the 1980's Kao Corporation has been actively working together with industry associations and relevant third parties to find robust alternatives to animal testing, which have been successfully adopted as international guidelines. Key milestones on our journey to truly make animal testing a thing of the past:

Development and Globalization of Alternative Test  Methods

  • The  "h-CLAT'' alternative  test method,  which  focuses  on the skin  immune  cell  function,  was  developed  by a collaboration  of Kao and Shiseido  Company Limited –the joint research on alternative  methods  for  skin sensitization  started in January  2003 and successfully established the elaborate  test method which was  adopted as a global standard  guideline  in 2015 (OECD Test  Guideline  No.442E). And  because  we  believe  in sharing  what’s good for society,  the procedure can be performed by any company.
  • To further improve the usefulness of skin sensitization measurements, we developed a system to evaluate the “potency categorization” – how strong or weak is the potential that a material may cause sensitization  with repeated exposure.  The "Integrated Testing Strategy” (ITS) was adopted  as a global  standard guideline  in 2021 (OECD Guideline  No.497) as the first global  standard  approach to evaluate potency  categorization.
  • Kao newly  developed  "EpiSensA",  a next-generation alternative test method that uses  an artificial skin model. This model has a structure  similar to that of human skin. "EpiSensA'' has great applicability  and predictability,  thus we are currently conducting international collaboration research targeting  the acceptance as a global standard.
  • Kao has developed a new alternative test method for eye irritations based on "Short Time Exposure” (STE) tests that utilizes cultivated cells.  In July 2016, this test was adopted as a global standard  guideline (OECD Test  Guideline No.491).

The  safety of our products is one of our highest priorities.   We use  state  of the art evaluation methodologies to ensure the highest level of safety of our raw materials  and  products. An advantage of these methods is that the overall number of safety tests can be reduced.

  • In the last century,  non-animal  alternatives  were  not available.  To ensure safety,  there were times  that animal testing  was the only alternative.  While  it would have been better if the testing could have  been avoided,  it would be irresponsible  to discount the results.  The historical data from across the cosmetics and other industries is still  valid and can be applied to understand the safety of new materials without the need to conduct new  testing,  including those using alternative methods.
  • Computer modeling is a powerful tool for safety  evaluation. Using a chemical’s atomic structure and the decades of toxicological data, we can conduct an in silico assessment that will provide  alerts to possible hazards like allergy or carcinogenic activity. Computer models are relatively inexpensive and easy for our  toxicologists to use and provide another layer of information regarding the safety of all our product  ingredients.
  • We also use the threshold of toxicological concern  method, or TTC. This method  is especially useful  when evaluating the safety of fragrances and other botanical type  ingredients. TTC establishes a level  of exposure,  or threshold,  where there is no appreciable risk to human health. A typical  threshold  level  is the equivalent of one drop of a chemical in an entire swimming  pool. You can read  more  here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31415786/

Our scientists continue to pioneer new non-animal  methods and technologies and to work hard towards the  global abolition of animal testing.

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