Emerging trends: Cica creams, hair oils and eyebrow make-up among most popular products in Japan

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Cica creams, hair oils and eyebrow make-up among most popular products in Japan

Related tags: trends, Japan

Cica creams, hair oils and eyebrow make-up are among the most sought-after products among Japanese consumers today, according to new data.

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.

Its latest report looked at over 80,000 purchased item reviews posted on @cosme in the past three months to root out the emerging keywords and analysed their rate of appearance from 2015 onwards.

In the skin care category, the term ‘ancient Japanese’ increased 6.5 times in the past three months, alluding to a desire for safety and security among Japanese consumers, said the report.

As such, more users have been interested in centella asiatica, an herb that grows primarily in Asia and known for its medicinal uses. It also has a long history in Japan, where it is known as tsubokusa.

In skin care, it is best known as a hero ingredient in cica products usually developed for sensitive skin, as it is able to soothe dry, stressed and red skin.

Cica creams were made popular in recent years by K-beauty brands such as Dr. Jart+. However, the report highlighted the popularity of Cogit Cica Method Cream, which is made in Japan.

Additionally, @cosme observed that more users are having trouble finding a suitable toner. Hence, a new term ‘toner refugee’ has been coined to describe people who are still searching for the right toner.

The term has almost doubled in reviews over three months and @cosme attributed this to the increased usage of protective facial masks, which is causing skin problems for many individuals.

This is in turn causing more people to rethink their approach to skin care. According to the data, most users that identify as ‘toner refugees’ are in their 30s.

Hair oils and scalp brushes gain popularity

In hair care, the appearance of ‘dry hair’ and ‘shiny hair’ increased more than two-fold in three months, suggesting that users were paying more attention to products such as hair oil.

According to @cosme’s top 10 shopping rankings for hair care, hair oil dominated the list with six out of 10 hair care products falling under that category.

Moroccanoil, the hair care brand best known for its argan oil-infused products, was the most popular hair care brand, occupying four out of 10 spots in the ranking with its best-selling hair oils.

Another term that has been rising in popularity is ‘scalp brush’, a hair washing tool made to stimulate and exfoliate the scalp. The mention of scalp brushes has gone up 2.7 times in three months.

One of the most popular scalp brushes is from uka, a premium nail and hair care brand founded by Japanese star manicurist Kiho Watanabe. According to @cosme’s rankings, the uka Kenzan currently ranks third most popular in the hair care category.

The report suggested that it is possible that with the extended COVID-19 lockdowns, Japanese consumers are beginning to approach hair and scalp care like how they would skin care.

Make-up continues to be influenced heavily by pandemic

In the past few months, @cosem reviews have illustrated that Japanese consumers are becoming more minimalistic with their make-up routines, due to the frequent use of protective face masks.

It has become more common to omit foundation completely, as such, products like Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Powder, a colourless oil-absorbing powder has been gaining popularity. It is currently the second most popular powder product on the platform.

Eye products continue to be an important part of the make-up routine, with more consumers paying attention to products such as eyebrow make-up because of mask usage.

Additionally, mascaras that can maintain a long-lasting curl are also in demand, which has increased in mentions an average of 1.5 times in the past three months.

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