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Gentle Yet Effective Cleansing Technology

Skin Care

At Kao, we believe that thorough but gentle cleansing is one of the keys to healthy skin, and we have been developing various cleansing technologies with that goal in mind.

We know that cleansing agents containing a certain blend of anionic surfactants as their main ingredient are less likely to damage the skin because they leave less skin residue via adsorption and they limit swelling of the stratum corneum(Figure1). It has also been shown that these cleansing agents interact with sebum, thereby exhibiting excellent cleansing power.

We also found that the fine foam generated when one vigorously lathers fatty acid soap aqueous solution helps gentle skin cleansing because the cleansing agent adheres to the surface of the bubbles. Such fine foam also demonstrates strong cleansing properties because the film of the bubbles actively incorporates the liquid oil that is the main constituent of sebum(Figure2).

To thoroughly cleanse the skin of hard-to-remove makeup, one must also utilize the cleansing power of oil. We decided to focus our development efforts on a special solution structure, called bicontinuous phase, consisting of water, oil, and surfactants. By applying this bicontinuous phase structure, we were able to develop a cleansing agent that uses the power of oil to lift makeup off the skin without rubbing yet rinses off easily with water(Figure3).

At Kao, we have applied these advanced technologies to a variety of facial cleansers, makeup removers, and other skin cleansing products.


Figure 1 : The OCT image of stratum corneum swelling caused by the cleansing agent


Figure 2 : The microscope observation of the dynamic motion oil (methyl laurate) after contact with form


Figure 3 : Makeup cleansing mechanism through forming special structure

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