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The J-beauty comeback: What competition in today’s cosmetics marketplace looks like

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

The J-beauty comeback: What competition in today’s cosmetics marketplace looks like
As Japanese skin and hair trends have struck an appealing chord with cosmetics shoppers, we explore with Jorge Larranaga, Deputy Director, Manufacturing Department at Number Three what buyers are looking for and whether a competitive relationship exists between Japanese and Korean beauty brands.

1. How is skin care best described in Japan?

Skin care in Japan is about preventing, rather than repairing, and simple routines for cleaning and nourishing skin until it reaches a porcelain-like texture are common.

In fact, the term porcelain skin (touki-hada) is used as an acronym to introduce a five-step skin monitoring procedure.

2. How is hair care best described in Japan? 

On average, more than 90% of Japanese people wash their hair every day, usually using a shampoo and a conditioner.

Scalp care products are also commonly introduced in the hair washing routines, as well as head massages to stimulate the scalp. Since Asian hair covers three times the surface area as Caucasian hair, hair care products are very functional and have a high performance.

3. What does J-beauty look like today? 

Taking the term touki-hada, we can define the five parameters that Japanese consumers consider when checking their skin status: translucency, moisture, uniform colour, firmness and elasticity.

4. Is J-beauty seen as a rival of K-beauty?

In recent years, we have seen how Korean cosmetics have taken the global cosmetics industry by storm with for-everything-products, original packaging and use of unconventional ingredients.

This year, the media is talking about how Japanese beauty is competing and gaining share, but they forget that Japanese beauty has been there for decades, sitting very comfortably in the prestige market, during the Korean beauty craze.

I do not refer to S-beauty when I purchase a product in Spain, so I don’t think a country label is representative of all the different products and brands created in Korea and Japan. Each Korean and Japanese brand has its momentum, which is different in every country.

For example, when we analyse the Chinese market we find that young girls opt for Korean products because of their price point, social media presence and trending looks, but as they get older, they favour Japanese prestige brands for a more natural look and a less time demanding routine.

Jorge Larranaga, Deputy Director of the Manufacturing Department at Number Three, will be speaking about the Japanese beauty industry’s skin care and hair care trends at in-cosmetics Korea on 14 June 2018 from 16:00 - 16:45.

For more information visit https://korea.in-cosmetics.com

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