Japan focus: Top stories on the Japanese cosmetics industry

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Round-up of our top stories on J-beauty. ©GettyImages
Round-up of our top stories on J-beauty. ©GettyImages

Related tags: Japan, Market, COVID-19

We round-up our most-read stories on the Japanese beauty market featuring a new study on lip care, COVID-19 woes, Molinard’s second attempt at Japan and more.

1 – Japan study suggests that DHA could play vital role in developing ‘superior’ lip products

A new study from the Hamamatsu University School of Medicine has discovered that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)​ could potentially be an important component in creating more efficient lip care products.

The university collaborated with Kose Corporation’s research laboratories in order to better understand the molecular profile of the lip area.

The study highlighted it was especially important to study the lip in closer detail as it was one of the ‘major targets of cosmetics.’

“It’s important to under the molecular profile specific to human lips to discover the intrinsic ingredients for lip cosmetics.”

To gain a better understanding, the team aimed to map out the human lip using imaging mass spectrometry to gather insight into its lipid distribution.

The team obtained human lip tissue samples and subjected them to desorption electrospray ionisation-imaging mass spectrometry (DESI-IMS) analysis in negative ion mode.

2 – Coronavirus woes: Kosé slashes profit forecasts as it braces for the impact of the epidemic

Japanese cosmetics firm Kosé Corp has decreased​ its sales and earnings outlook in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which originated from China’s Hubei province, has affected some of the biggest global brands such as Apple, Starbucks and McDonald’s.

In light of this, Kosé has cut its net sales projection to JPY336bn and operating profit to JPY45bn. Net income projection was decreased to JPY30bn.

The original forecast, posted on April 29 last year, predicted net sales, operating product and net income of JPY352bn, JPY54bn and JPY37bn respectively.

Additionally, the firm noted it would decrease the sales forecast of its cosmetics business by 5.8%, which consists of brands such as Decorté, Sekkisei, Jill Stuart and Tarte.

The forecast for its cosmetaries business, which oversees brands like Fasio, Je I’aime and Visée, was cut by 0.3%.

3 – A fresh start: Molinard attempts win over Japan again with a lighter touch

French perfume house Molinard is approaching the Japanese market​ for the second time with a range of fresh fragrances it believes will appeal more to local consumers.

Founded in Grasse in 1849, Molinard is considered one of the oldest family-run businesses in perfumery.

It is credited for creating iconic perfumes such as Habanita and pioneering the use of solid perfumes.

The company first entered the Japanese market 10 years ago but could not solidify its position in the market because it could not cater to the specific needs of Japanese consumers.

“At that time, we weren’t even present in the women’s category because our fragrances were too strong for the Japanese,” ​Laila Moumen, export development manager, Molinard.

In recent years, the company has been expanding its business into Asian counties such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

As one of the most important markets in Asia, the company did not want to leave Japan out of the equation.

4 – Challenge accepted: Canadian fragrance brand eyes untapped opportunities in Japan’s fragrance segment

Canada-based brand My Daughter Fragrance is gunning for expansion into Japan​, a market which has typically been a weak spot for perfumes.

My Daughter Fragrance was founded six years ago by Janey Ganson, who launched the brand with one fragrance – Joyful.

The brand launched a new fragrance every year for the next three years. The four fragrances are now part of the Love Notes collection, a range perfumes dedicated to Ganson’s daughter.

“It's called My Daughter Fragrances because it's a universal phrase that transcends religion, race, culture. When women see it, they can identify with it and understand exactly what it means. It's very emotional and powerful,” ​explained Ganson.

The brand manufactures in Grasse, France with locally sourced raw materials and packages the products in Canada.

“The concentrate is manufactured in Grasse. All the raw materials come from Grasse. We have a lab there to make sure we are compliant with the IFRA Standards and meeting all the regulations. Then we do all the blending, curing, filtering and bottling in Canada,” ​said Ganson.

5 – Shiseido reports ‘resilient’ FY19 performance despite challenges and uncertainties in the market

The Shiseido Company saw net sales and operating profit increase by 5.7% and 5.1% respectively due to the strong momentum in Travel Retail, China and EMEA, its full-year 2019 figures reveal​.

The Japanese firm noted that it had been a challenging year due to the consumption tax hike in Japan, the tough market environment in Hong Kong and the weak performance in Europe and the Americas.

Despite the obstacles the company said its growth remained firm overall and managed to hit record-high sales, operating profit and net profit.

Shiseido’s travel retail segment was the top performer, growing 19.4%.

The company credited the growth to its expansions into new markets, the introduction of brands and its vigorous promotion and advertising activities in airports around the world.

This resulted in growth in sales of SHISEIDO, Clé de Peau Beauté, NARS, and ANESSA, mainly in South Korea, China, Thailand.

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