Men’s beauty habits: Age a key differentiator in cosmetic use among Japanese men - survey

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Age appears to be a key differentiator for the use of cosmetics among Japanese men. [Getty Images]
Age appears to be a key differentiator for the use of cosmetics among Japanese men. [Getty Images]

Related tags: Japan, men's skin care, men's make-up

Age appears to be a key differentiator for the use of cosmetics among Japanese men, with colour products finding favour with those in their 20s or below, while eye creams are looking strong for those in their 30s, according to a new survey.

Owned by Japanese beauty retail and media firm istyle Inc, @cosme is a cosmetic portal that has amassed over 15 million product reviews from around 16 million monthly visitors.

Since launching in 1999, it has spun off into a retail business which has an offline and online presence in markets such as Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Thailand.

In recent years, the firm has observed more brand and product launches focusing on men’s cosmetics, or gender-neutral cosmetics.

Additionally, sales of Japanese skin care brand Orbis’s men’s range, MR., as well as Kanebo’s Lissage Men, range continued to be strong at @cosme even during the pandemic.

This could be attributed to the expanding range of cosmetics available for men, as well as increasing male representation in the media, such as Dior’s appointment of Ryo Yoshizawa as the face of its Rouge Dior Lip Balm.

“Men's cosmetics can be said to be one of the categories that are expected to grow further in the future,” ​said the report.

Skin care and make-up use

In January, 172 Japanese male @cosme members aged 15 to 59 years old were surveyed on their cosmetic habits.

The results showed that more than 40% of respondents had an increased interest in skin care and almost 20% of them said their interest in make-up increased recently due to COVID-19.

Some users reported an increasing need to take care of their skin because of new skin care concerns like acne, while others said more time at home spurred their interest in cosmetics.

Although there are differences depending on the age group, the usage rate of skin care is high, even among consumers in their 50s, who have the lowest usage rate of cosmetics.

Users in their 20s were noted to have a high usage rate of moisturising skin care items.

Usage of items such as essence, pore packs, eye creams and supplements were highest among consumers in their 30s.

When it comes to colour cosmetics, the survey showed that usage was higher among the younger demographic below their 30s.

About 30% of respondents in their 20s and below reported using BB creams as well as highlighting and shading products.

Eyebrow cosmetics were noted to have the highest usage. Consumers in their 20s or younger there was generally higher use of eye products like liner and shadow compared to lip products.

Purchasing behaviours

Purchase of cosmetics was more frequent with younger consumers. Overall, about 30% of respondents said they purchased cosmetic products roughly once a month.

About 70% of consumers in their 20s said it was ‘fun to shop for cosmetics’. The remainder reported being unsure of their choices, leading the firm to conclude that there was a need for improvement in terms of in-store information.

Unsurprisingly, the biggest concern for men is product efficacy. Those in their 30s and younger noted that efficacy was more important than the distinction between men’s and women’s cosmetics.

The company highlighted that the ratio of male users on @cosme is considered low and the findings cannot be regarded as a general user image.

“However, understanding the awareness and behaviour of male @cosme members who are likely to drive the market and have a strong interest in beauty may be a hint for future policies and directions for the men's cosmetics market.”

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