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A young, female, Black scientist looking through a microscope.

A young, female, Black scientist looking through a microscope.

A young, female, Black scientist looking through a microscope.

Bold Innovation for a Beautiful Life

Since our business was founded in 1887, we have always put our consumers at the heart of everything we do. Today, this remains the foundation of our corporate philosophy and underpinning all of our activities.

Every bold innovation, thoughtful new product and breakthrough action is in service of our consumers’ needs behaviors and desires to live sustainable lifestyles that contribute to a more sustainable world. This includes our focus on our Environmental, Social and Governance commitments and actions. We call this the Kirei Lifestyle and we are stepping up innovation at every level of our business to support our consumers in living a beautiful life, inside and out.

The KAO Americas Research laboratory building exterior.

Research & Development

Kao’s Research & Development division is made up of centers around the globe, all with different competencies, strengths and expertise. The centers collaborate to develop innovative products and services designed to transform the diverse industries we serve around the world and make life’s everyday moments more beautiful. You can learn more about Kao’s global R&D philosophies on their corporate site.

The Americas Research Laboratories (AmRL), was established in 1988 to develop body, face and hair care products for the Kao USA Inc. family of brands and has evolved to become Kao’s Global Innovation Center for Skin Care. Made up of more than 100 researchers, our team works on everything from package development to clinical testing and product safety to fragrance development. Their ongoing collaboration ensures that we make every product better and better.

A mother and son washing their hands at the kitchen sink.

A Deep Understanding

For us innovation starts with the consumer. This is what we mean by the Japanese word Genba: understanding the consumer’s world first-hand to truly discover their unmet needs and address them with our innovations. In order to do so, we challenge the status-quo and we’re always trying to do things better. With a deep understanding of our consumers, utilizing technology, expertise and pure inventiveness, we create products that have a positive impact on the lives of our customers and consumers.

Portrait of Mike, a Salon Division employee, with the words "innovation is at the heart of everything we do." 

In Kao Salon Division, our innovation is a clear point of difference. From the impactful products and sustainability initiatives our customers want, to the growth-oriented business and education concepts tailored to their needs, innovation is key in our mission of making life beautiful for salons, stylists and their clients.

Mike, Kao Salon Division

Recognition for Our Innovation

We proudly celebrate our accomplishments as a team. We have been:

  • Named a Top 100 Global Innovator by Thomson Reuters
  • Added to Allure’s Cosmetic Hall of Fame
  • Received CEW Beauty Insider and Beauty Launchpad Reader Choice Awards and a Glammy for Invention of the Year
  • Recognized as Best Men’s Grooming Product, Elle’s Green Beauty Stars and InStyle’s Product of the Decade
  • Granted Royal Warrant for the supply of toiletries to the royal household

Join Our Team

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