A strong foundation in the Japanese Beauty and Cosmetics Market
By Marco Lobregat, International Trade Director, ex.portal January 14, 2021
In Japan, traditional practices define the country’s culture. Dating back hundreds of years, Japanese beauty rituals continue to focus on clear and fair skin.
Japan’s beauty culture, known for its exquisite ceremonies and a reverence for quality is today complemented by advanced science and technology.
Japan is one of the world’s most coveted markets for cosmetic products and there are huge marketing opportunities for foreign companies.
Cosmetic consumers in Japan are sophisticated and are becoming more selective and value-conscious.
Dermatological cosmetics, brands backed by clinical research and development and products recommended at medical facilities are in huge demand.
High-performance products for age-care, skin-whitening and skin-moisturizing are gaining market share and well-designed products with focused packaging are gaining traction in the market.
Growing awareness of health and sustainability amongst Japanese consumers has spurred the growth of natural and organic beauty products. The shipment value of the natural and organic markets was forecasted to reach 129 billion Japanese yen in 2020.
Japan has organic equivalency agreements with countries like USA, Australia, Canada, and member states of the European Union. Organic products from these countries can be marked with the organic Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) logo and can be sold in Japan.
While international brands from Paris and New York are big in Japan, South Korea and Australia cosmetic products are gaining popularity.
Australian beauty (A-Beauty) sits well within the global trend for natural beauty and wellness products and industry players are targeting the Japan.
A-Beauty products are described as natural and fuss-free, using minimal ingredients to create a fresh and sun-kissed look. Australia’s stringent regulations ensure the transparency of its products, a fact welcomed by Japanese consumers looking more closely at products ingredients and benefits.
Beauty Insider: Rimi Ogawa
Beauty Advisor, Japan
What are your beauty routines and practices?
At night, I use a steamer to cleanse my face with steam.
What do you look for in a beauty product?
Basic cosmetics with elements of aging care such as moisturization and firmness (skin tightening).
For make-up, depending on the item, I prefer something that can be made more naturally and that is familiar to the skin (skin gets used to it easily).
Where do you buy beauty products?
Department stores or ecommerce sites such as Rakuten, AMAZON, Qoo10 (for Korean cosmetics) etc.
What are the three trends you can see in the Japanese beauty and cosmetics market?
- Recently, I often wear masks (covering my nose and mouth) due to the influence of COVID, so the trends are foundations that don’t stick to masks and tint lipstick that don’t come off easily.
- From the younger generation (20s, 30s) to the older (around 40-50 year olds) generation, making glossy skin is still a trend.
- The present age is an era in which you can easily ask questions and obtain information on social media such as Instagram by asking professional make-up artists who have never appeared before, due to behind-the-scenes work.
- For Japanese women who are originally highly conscious of beauty, professional skills such as making three-dimensional makeup with contouring on a flat face are also popular.
List some Japanese beauty icons you admire and some Japanese beauty Instagrammers to follow.
The most popular beauty icon in the book today is Minami Tanaka. Megumi Kanzaki and Miho Ishii are also popular.
List some Japanese and international beauty and cosmetics brands that you really like.
There are many, but…
- Clé de Peau Beauté
- LAURA MERCIER
- COVER MARK
For more on beauty and cosmetics, fashion and lifestyle in Japan follow @rimi.ogawa on Instagram.