The Japanese Cosmetic Market

Japanese cosmetics market, J-beauty, strict regulations, international reputation, emerging trends, SME opportunities, Beauty and Cosmetics

The cosmetics and skin care subsegments have been major contributors to the success and rapid expansion of the beauty and personal care industry. The entry of young consumers into the market is the primary driver of this rapid expansion. Additionally, this shift is reinforced by the long-lasting impact of social media, globalization, and e-commerce on beauty product purchasing decisions. Global beauty and hygiene trends are permeating the industry and altering traditional practices.

The Japanese cosmetics industry serves a dynamic consumer base shaped by global skincare trends and domestic innovations. Multinational cosmetics corporations with international operations have access to the latest findings in cosmetics science and industry trends worldwide. Skincare and makeup are particularly popular in Japan, but many cosmetics support the beauty industry. The market is complemented by the health and beauty sector, which provides a range of treatments and products for hair, skin, nails, and the whole body.

Japan’s cosmetics and personal care products market was USD$35 billion in 2019, making it the world’s third largest after the U.S. and China, according to METI. (2023-2027).

Japanese Cosmetics

The Japanese cosmetics industry is highly governed. Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (MHLW) has strict regulations regarding the cosmetics industry, classifying products as either “general cosmetics” or “quasi-drugs.” Functional claims on the packaging of general cosmetics are prohibited, but these products otherwise benefit from fewer restrictions. Medicated cosmetics, which claim to have effects like anti-aging, skin-lightening, and protective skincare, fall under the category of “quasi-drugs” and must go through a strict approval process.

As a result of the stringent regulations, J-beauty products are admired for their superior quality and safety on the international market despite their natural aesthetic. J-beauty has a strong international presence thanks to major cosmetics producers like Shiseido, Kao Corporation, and Kosé Corporation, all of which target the affluent consumer market. The companies’ extensive brand portfolios allow them to compete in the mass and prestige segments of the domestic market. Brand manufacturers compete with retailers that hire contract manufacturers to produce cosmetics for their private labels in the highly competitive mass market segment.

Trends in the Beauty Industry

In both professional and social settings, good manners and a well-groomed appearance are valued in Japan. In addition to pre-departure priming, the health and functional foods market has benefited from the desire of consumers to take care of their bodies by eating well and exercising regularly. Japanese cosmetics and beauty products are marketed as cutting-edge technology that will revolutionize beauty routines by performing multiple steps simultaneously, such as cleansing, hydrating, and sealing.

Foreign beauty routines are stirring up domestic market trends with the help of social media and influencer marketing to spread among young people. During the coronavirus pandemic, media coverage of K-Pop and Korean influencers skyrocketed in popularity among young Japanese women. This new trend, which TikTok and online tutorials drive, is makeup influenced by Chinese aesthetics to create a more mature and translucent appearance.

An Opportunity for SMEs in the Japanese Beauty and Cosmetics Industry

The Japanese cosmetic industry presents a lucrative opportunity for SMEs. With a strong emphasis on quality, innovative products, and a sophisticated retail landscape, SMEs can tap into high consumer demand and establish a successful presence in this thriving market. Japan’s beauty-conscious population and preference for safe and effective beauty products create a receptive market for SMEs to introduce their unique offerings. By leveraging the Japanese market’s appreciation for quality and delivering innovative products, businesses can position themselves for growth and success in the competitive Japanese cosmetic industry.

"Otsumami" - a bite size snack:

SMEs can capitalize on high consumer demand in this dynamic and competitive industry thanks to strict product quality and safety regulations, J-beauty’s international reputation, and social media-driven trends.

What do you think?

apanese franchising, SMEs in Japan, franchise expansion opportunities, small and medium-sized businesses in Japan, franchise business model, consistency in franchise locations, benefits of Japanese franchising, established brand leverage, comprehensive training and support, faster market entry, key considerations for franchising in Japan, market research in Japan, legal and regulatory requirements for franchising, building relationships with local partners, effective communication and adaptation in Japan

Japanese Franchising: A Pathway for SMEs

Business-related Japanese vocabulary, Japanese language for foreign professionals, Effective communication in Japan, Business etiquette in Japan, Japanese business vocabulary, Language barriers in Japan, Language proficiency in Japan, English education in Japan, Business communication skills, Building relationships in Japan, Navigating meetings and negotiations in Japan, Business correspondence in Japanese, Business meetings and presentations in Japan, Networking in Japan, Negotiating and reaching agreements in Japan

Essential Business-Related Japanese Vocabulary for Foreign Professionals