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Developing Sustainable Products
(Formula and Packaging)

Utilizing our extensive dermatological research and formulation technologies, developed over more than 100 years, we have been cultivating formulas that comply with high standards of quality and safety.

Our approach to the development of these cutting-edge technologies has always been informed by a sustainable mindset, reflecting our wish to protect and respect people, societies, and environments touched by our activities.

Complying with 5Rs (Respect, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Replace), we aim to make the packaging* of our products 100% sustainable by 2025. Going forward, we also want all our products to be developed according to 5Rs, minimizing the environmental impact throughout the product life cycle.

  • *For selling products with plastics packaging

Sustainable Formula

We are committed to developing and offering products and services that are safe and meet high quality standards by leveraging over 100 years of our extensive research and results on dermatological and material science.

Reflecting our wish to protect the health of the human body as well as the environment, we have published our corporate policies on product development. In terms of ingredients, we have screened and assessed key ingredients (e.g. microplastic beads, oxybenzone, parabens), and stated our actions such as not-using/ stop-using/ continuously using to our products*.

UV Care

As a result of climate change*1, the total UV radiation that our consumers are exposed to is likely to increase during this century, and people living in certain regions will be more exposed than others*2.

Based on the results of our dermatological research and development activities, we have initiated new research that explores the relationship between environment and the skin (including UV rays). We will use these results to develop innovative products and services (e.g., UV care, anti-aging care) that protect the skin.

  1. *1:The fact that climate change influences on atmospheric circulation (Hadley circulation) and the total amount of UV ray exposure increase in the middle latitudes was indicated by the research result of JAMSTEC (Japan Agency for marine-earth science and technology).
  2. *2:Most affected are the densely populated regions in the earth’s middle latitudes where economic activity is booming.

Animal Testing

Shiseido’s mission is to provide safe and effective products to consumers, and to comply with the cosmetics regulations in force, while understanding and respecting the principles behind animal protection.

For all our products, we have established a safety assurance system based on methods that do not involve animal testing. We continue to develop effective alternative methods for testing products safety, and work with administrative agencies in various countries to get these methods certified as official, according to laws and regulations of the given countries/regions*.

  • *We do not test our cosmetic products or ingredients on animals except when mandated by law.

Actions Towards Consumer Needs

Shiseido responds to the increasing number of consumers that put social responsibility and environmental impact at the top of their purchasing decisions by promoting brands that focus on sustainability such as bareMinerals, and BAUM, a new brand that was launched in Japan in 2020.

bareMinerals, the original pioneers of natural mineral-based makeup since 1995, was acquired by the Shiseido Group in 2010. Since then,it has been our flagship natural brand, and today, it is positioned as a clean brand with a significant level of natural ingredients and free of controversial ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, chemical sunscreen, and microbeads. Our last addition to our clean brand portfolio is Drunk Elephant. Acquired in 2019, it is free of essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrances/dyes and SLS (the Suspicious 6™), and it is committed to use only ingredients that either directly benefit the health of the skin or support the integrity of its formulations.

Sustainable Packaging

Respecting and protecting the planet and its resources lies at the heart of our culture; it is also the premise for the circular economy, which is why we support this concept.

Within packaging, we have set our mid-term target with 5Rs. Based on it, the packaging guidelines were developed.

The guidelines on packaging based on this policy were issued globally various kinds of environment-friendly packaging such as refills, mono material containers, recyclable PET packaging.

Shiseido’s 5Rs

In order to reduce our environmental footprint and support the concept of a circular economy, Shiseido defined 5Rs as follows:

・Respect : Respect people, society, and the environment. Based on this, we aim to achieve 100% sustainable packaging*.

・Reduce : Reduce the amount of plastics by optimizing packaging weight, and the usage of plastic promotion materials.

・Reuse : Reuse regular packaging by launching refills. Implement recharging systems that guarantee product integrity.

・Recycle : Recycle by designing easy-to-be-taken-apart packaging and by using materials suitable for each country’s recycling streams. Use PE/ PP/ PET mono materials.

・Replace : Replace virgin materials with bio-degradable, bio-based or postconsumer recycled (PCR) materials.

  • *For selling products with plastics packaging


● Refill

Since the launch of our first refill products in 1926, Shiseido has led the refill innovation in cosmetics. Currently, we offer refill solutions for more than 1,200 SKU globally.

By providing refill products and by making containers lighter and easier to separate after use, we are reducing the resources used for containers across a wide range of categories, such as skincare, makeup, and personal care.

Reuse also helps to stop single-use plastic usage and accelerate the move towards refill containers as primary packaging.

We have been offering refill containers for HAKU Melano Focus V, since 2011. By using a refill container, we reduced the amount of plastics used by 60% compared with the amount used for the original product container.

In order to make it easy to recycle the used containers, we are working to provide packaging that can be easily separated for products that combine different materials such as plastic and metal (e.g. brand SHISEIDO).

We also work on innovations that help to reduce the use of plastics. In 2019, we partnered with the Loop program to develop non-plastic packaging products.

Original product container and refill

Original product container and refill

Providing easy-to-separate packages


Since 2015, we have been using mechanically recycled PET* resin which has been reproduced from post-consumer packaging waste for the bottle material of SEA BREEZE Super Cool Body Shampoo.

Most of the glass we use for packaging skincare products contains recycled glass cullet. Recycled cullet contributes to decreasing the glass melting temperature. It also cuts down on the amount of silica sand needed for the process. As a result, energy consumption as well as CO₂ emissions are reduced. In addition, we have standardized the glass material to colorless and transparent soda-lime glass for its high recyclability.

  • * Mechanical recycling: A technology for efficiently producing high-quality recycled PET resin from PET bottles for beverages. Compared to using petroleum-derived PET resin, CO₂ emissions could be reduced by 39 tons in 2018.


Since 2009, we have been switching the material of the cartons for our skincare products (single-unit cases), such as lotion and emulsion, from plastic to paper.

With regard to paper materials, we actively promote the use of FSC-certified paper*1 and recycled paper.
Since 2011, sugarcane-derived polyethylene*2 has been adopted as the packaging material for the domestic hair care brand, SUPER MiLD. This has reduced CO₂ generated from the packaging by more than 70% throughout the product life cycle.

In April 2019, we started a collaboration with Kaneka Corporation, with a view to utilizing Kaneka Biodegradable Polymer® PHBH® – a proprietary material with high biodegradability in seawater – for our cosmetics containers, tools, fixtures, etc. By combining Kaneka's proprietary technology on material development with our knowledge in container development for cosmetics, which we have accumulated over many years, we will further minimize the environmental impact of our products.

  1. *1:FSC-certified paper: Certified to the international standard of Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) as materials used in this product are responsibly sourced and have low risk of environmental and social problems such as deforestation and illegal logging.
  2. *2:Sugarcane-derived polyethylene: The CO₂ generated when sugarcane-derived polyethylene is incinerated is equivalent to the CO₂ absorbed as the sugarcane grow. In addition, the energy consumption in the manufacturing process is less than that of petroleum-derived polyethylene due to the lower temperature in the process and the electricity consumed by the raw material production being generated from the incineration of sugarcane fiber. Sugarcane-derived polyethylene can reduce the CO₂ emissions by over 70% throughout the life cycle compared to petroleum-derived polyethylene.

Product Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

The development of sustainable products is carried out by applying Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), which helps to confirm whether the environmental footprint will be reduced or not.

For example, 40% of the environmental footprint of skincare lotion comes from the processes and materials related to the packaging of these products. In order to reduce the environmental footprint of cosmetic packaging, Shiseido has provided more than 1,200 SKU of refillable products. In the case of Elixir lotion, LCA indicates that using refillable product can reduce over 50% of its carbon footprint.

Fig.1 Carbon footprint of Elixir Lifting Moisture Lotion packaging

Fig.1 Carbon footprint of Elixir Lifting Moisture Lotion packaging