Archives containing the KAO and Curél history

Discover the history of Kao and Curél

1887

Kao is founded

Kao´s founder, Tomiro Nagase, starts Nagase Shoten, a Western sundry goods shop that later became Kao.

1890

Launch of Kao Sekken (Soap)

The soap available in Japan at the time was either poor-quality domestic soap or imported at a high price. Determined to create an affordable, high-quality facial soap made in Japan, Nagase began product development.

This led him and his team to acquire expertise in chemistry and mixing techniques for fragrances and colours.

1934

Kao creates the Housework Laboratory

Kao creates the Housework Science Laboratory with the idea of learning more about customers and offering quality lifestyle suggestions. The consumer feedback obtained through the direct interactions and meetings were incorporated into company activities. Kao’s approach of placing first priority on consumers and connecting their feedback to product development and improvements is still used today.

1950s / 1960s

Kao expands

Kao expands its business enterprise into beauty and health, launching many popular brands in the process.

1976

Start of full-scale skin care research

Kao establishes a dermatological research group in Tokyo.

1985

Kao discovers the role of Ceramides

The newly established research group discovers the crucial role of ceramides for storing moisture within the skin and restoring the skin´s moisture barrier.

1999

Launch of Curél in Japan

Curél was developed for people with dry, sensitive skin utilizing the pioneering and breakthrough findings of Kao´s ceramide research. It quickly becomes Japan´s No.1 skincare brand for sensitive skin.

2009 - 2018

Curél expands across Asia

Launch in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam

2019

Launch at Ulta in the US

Kao is bringing Japan´s leading skincare brand for sensitive skin to the US.

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