History of Major Initiatives

By focusing on accessibility, safety and usability, Kao strives to develop universally-appropriate products transcending limitations of age and disability. The following introduces our key universal design initiatives.

"Push-up" cap on shampoo bottles enables single-hand opening (1970)

Conventional shampoo bottles used screw tops requiring both hands to open. Kao's innovation allowed shampoo to be dispensed by flicking the nozzle up with one hand.

Making powder detergent more compact and lighter (1987)

By concentrating powder detergent, we promised just as many laundry loads while reducing bottle size to one-fourth. Shopping and storage became easier, while the spoon simplified detergent measurement.

Notches on bottles help distinguish shampoo and rinse by touch (1991)

Kao added notches to the sides of shampoo bottles to help the sighted and disabled alike differentiate between shampoo and rinse, since all consumers' eyes are closed when lathering up. After becoming a domestic industrial standard, this design was adopted as an international standard (ISO 11156: 2011) through a Japanese initiative.

Release of a convenient cleaning wiper (1994)

This light, new wiper mop enabled single-handed floor cleaning with less arm and lower back stress. Perfect for the elderly, children, pregnant women, and the disabled, and ideal for late night or early morning cleaning, as it generates no noise at all.

Development of easy-to-use foaming products (2004)

Reinventing liquid hand soap as foam promoted smoother spread of cleanser over the entire hand. The innovative pump dispenser is easier to use, especially for children.

Development of easy-to-open cosmetics (2005)

Adding a flap to the lid and a paired U-shaped perforation on the box allowed consumers leeway to insert a finger and easily open the box.

Foam hair color (2007)

Conventional cream-type hair color was liquefied to dispense easily as foam, spreading smoothly throughout the hair and coloring more evenly.

Easy-to-apply cosmetics (2009)

This revolutionary eye shadow is packaged in the shape of an eyelid, visually suggesting where to apply each color. A great tool for beginners, this innovation encourages the even use of all powders, reducing leftover makeup.

Making liquid laundry detergent more compact (2009)

By concentrating liquid detergent, we offered the same number of laundry loads while more than halving the bottle size and weight. The smaller and lighter bottle made for easier shopping, storing and handling.

Intelligible category display (2011)

Kao's consumer products are all labeled with intelligible category names based on the original guidelines. It makes it easier for consumers to buy what they really need without mistakenly purchasing the products they don't want. It also helps reduce the occurrence of incidents caused by the misuse of products as well as prevent refilling of wrong products.

User-friendly contrivance for cosmetics (2013)

A concave mirror is attached to this cosmetics case for making up easily to a fine portion. The cover film is fixed in the case for missing prevention. The mechanism for lifting the sponge when opening the case, helps the user pick up and use the sponge more easily.

Laundry powder detergent refill (2013)

This is a refill for using the carton box and the spoon repeatedly. Kao proposed a repack way considering anti-scattering where the user puts the entire refill bag into the carton box. Every user can easily open it by cutting it along the perforation line with bare hands.

Adoption of "Tactile Identification Labeling" for Body Soap Containers (2015)

In 2014, as a result of an industry organization led an initiative responding to visually impaired people's requests, the relevant Japan Industrial Standards (JIS) were revised to add a provision for attaching a "Line Type Tactile Symbol" on body soap containers. The Bioré U body soap range containers launched in April 2015 featured a line-type tactile symbol on the top of the dispenser pump and on the side of the container.

Raku-raku Eco Pack Refill for liquid with high viscosity (2016)

Even highly viscous products such as shampoo and conditioner can be refilled to a container in no time, leaving less remaining inside.
Easy-to-open caps have measures to distinguish between shampoo and conditioner.
Eco-friendly design.

Detergent which allows people to wash dishes only using one hand (2016)

This is a new type of dishwashing detergent with a foam spray that removes dish residue that is hard to wash off with a sponge. We received favorable feedback from people who have inconvenience caused by injuries or health conditions.

Facial cleanser which makes people enjoyable by using it (2016)

We developed a product which makes people's routine tasks enjoyable. We launched a rose scented facial cleanser which dispenses a foam in the shape of a rose by just pushing the levers down.

Rose shaped foam by one push

Foam shampoo easy to use even for seniors (2017)

Foam shampoo is not just for children but also good for seniors with thin hair who feel difficult to lather. We launched shampoo that allows people to wash easily and rinse quickly.

Fine foam comes out by pressing the pump lightly

Smart Holder that can be used until the last bit without refilling (2018)

Install a refill package in 3 steps. We launched a holder specially made for Raku-raku Eco Pack Refill that allows people to use the content until the last bit.
The package can be set easily and quickly to a container compared to refilling, leaving less remaining liquid.

Detergent which allows people to measure dosage in one hand (2019)

Newly developed container allows people to measure dosage in one hand effortlessly.
Measurement can be done easily by adjusting the number of pushes.

Improved hair spray bottle makes applying hair spray at ease(2019)

Improved spray container requires less power using principle of the lever. The dent on the side of a bottle helps people to grab firmly to prevent the bottle from slipping.
We changed the button shape so that people can easily find where to put his/her finger and where the content comes from.

Able to push using less power

Easy to find where to put the finger

Foaming hand soap with push dispenser which everyone can use easily with one hand (2019)

We launched a hand soap which makes it easier for young children or people with limited hand mobility to dispense an appropriate amount with one hand. Soap is dispensed in a flower shape which adds fun to washing your hands.
In 2021, the dispenser was improved to make it easier to push and less likely to tip over.

Bath cleaner with continuous spray which cleans without scrubbing (2021)

We launched a bath cleaner which cleans the bathtub in 30 seconds without scrubbing using the continuous spray mist nozzle that can spray an even and light coat of cleaner with quick-acting formula.
We received favorable feedback from users saying that they can clean their tubs without straining their backs.

Move the bottle from a constant distance and pull the trigger at a steady rhythm.

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