Founded in 1872, Shiseido, one of the world’s oldest cosmetics companies and the fourth largest, announced on Feb. 28 that from April onward it would put an end to all testing on animals in the development of raw materials for its cosmetic and quasi-pharmaceutical products.

Though the company abolished in-house animal testing in March 2011, the new initiative furthers that commitment to include outsourced private testing facilities as well.

In March 2010, the company declared its intentions to stop testing on animals provided it could ensure product safety. Since then, it has held round table discussions with various experts, academic institutions and animal welfare organizations, as it worked toward becoming cruelty-free. In order to achieve this latest milestone, Shiseido has introduced a new safety evaluation structure. Rather than animals, the mechanism’s methodology utilizes artificial skin and a raw materials safety data base when testing skin-related factors such as absorbency and irritation. The company said it can now deliver a highly accurate human safety assessment even without conducting experiments on animals.

Source: Yahoo! Japan