Japan is known to have one of the largest beauty markets in Asia, only second to China. We want to provide a brief introduction to Japan's favorite cosmetics products.
Japan’s Cosmetic Market in Brief
For Japanese female consumers, there is a large focus on having beautiful skin. This is due to the preference for 'natural' looks and clean/clear skin. Because of this, products in makeup and skin care that focus on making the skin look and feel better are often favored in this market.
Though there is a climbing trend of consumers using the internet for where they get their information and where they buy, there is still a strong favor towards offline and brick and mortar establishments. For instance, Japanese drug stores still rank high while e-commerce and online shopping sites rank low. On the other hand, to gather the information before purchasing, many consumers rely on online sites like word-of-mouth or review sites and advertisements in the stores.
Japan’s Favorite Cosmetics Infographic
Makeup in Japan
Though many people will cite the aging population as an obstacle to the growth of the cosmetic industry in Japan, it is quite the contrary. According to the Pola Research Institute of Beauty & Culture, consumers are taking longer and using more products for their makeup routines. Both averages are growing slowly but show growth in the coming years going from 14.4 minutes and 8.11 products in 2015 to 15.1 minutes and 8.46 products in 2017.
Covering up over enhancing one's looks
For Japanese female consumers between the ages of 15 ~ 74, the average consensus was that foundation and base makeup (foundation, concealer, face powder, etc.) are incredibly important. Six percent fewer consumers said point makeup (makeup for eyes, cheeks, and lips) is less important to them as base makeup. This shows that consumers place more importance on the appearance of the quality of their skin rather than showing off their enhancements through makeup.
For Japanese female consumers, 84% ranked foundation as what they use the most with lipstick at second place (79%). Makeup for the eyes and cheeks followed: eyeshadow (76%), eyebrow (74%), and cheek color (71%).
Skincare in Japan
Similar to the growing usage of makeup products, skin care products are also seeing a rise in sales. On average the number of skincare items consumers owned went from 6.09 items in 2015 to 6.39 items in 2017.
Moisture, moisture, moisture!
When asked for the purpose of their skincare routines, female consumers ranked “Providing moisture [to the skin]” as the top reason. Many skincare brands in Japan, especially ones geared towards older consumers, focus on advertising the moisture function of their product. The reason for this is that many brands in Japan are now focusing on age-directed products (products to make you look younger) and with that a higher focus on moisturizing.
Due to this focus on youthful skin, many companies and key players like Shiseido and Kao are focusing heavily on consumer research to develop and release products more directed at specific problems like aging skin.
Among all the skincare products, face wash ranked as the most used at 94% with toner at a close second at 90%. Following were cleaners at 82% and sunscreen at 79%.
For brands looking to succeed in this highly competitive market, focusing on topical skin results will be best.
We hope this was an interesting read, for more Asian insights be sure to check out the rest of our articles on Eye on Asia!