Gender neutral: New Japan survey reveals potential for cosmetic products that can be used by both men and women

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

More than 60% of Japanese women would be willing to share their cosmetic products with men. [Getty Images]
More than 60% of Japanese women would be willing to share their cosmetic products with men. [Getty Images]

Related tags Japan genderless beauty

More than 60% of Japanese women would be willing to share their cosmetic products with men, indicating opportunities for brands to develop genderless products, 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.

It has also spun off into retail, with cosmetic stores in markets such as Japan, Thailand and Taiwan.

Its latest report surveyed over 5,800 women ages 18 to 69 on their attitudes towards men’s grooming habits.

Ladies ready to share

More than 60% of women have said they would be happy to share their cosmetic products with men like their boyfriends and husbands. This figure increased by 11% since the previous 2019 survey.

This indicates opportunities for brands to develop beauty products that are genderless in the future, said @cosme.

Furthermore, approximately 80% responded favourably to cosmetic brands that choose to use male models in their advertising campaigns.

Roughly 20% of respondents added that advertising campaigns with male models would increase their willingness to make the purchase.

Overall, these results showed that there is now greater positivity towards gender inclusivity, said the firm.

This survey follows the firm’s February survey on men’s cosmetics habits among 172 Japanese male @cosme members aged 15 to 59 years old.

The results showed that more men have taken up an interest in skin care and make-up, indicating that the men's beauty market was expanding even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey also highlighted that 30% of male respondents in their 20s or younger felt self-conscious about purchasing cosmetics.

As such, @cosme believes women's understanding and acceptance of men's beauty will a major impact on the further expansion of the men's beauty market.

Acceptance for men’s beauty increases

According to the survey, a majority of women – roughly 60% – reported not being bothered by seeing men shopping for beauty products.

When it came to cosmetic use, 95% of @cosme female members responded positively to men’s skin care.

This figure increased slightly by 4% in the last two years, according to a similar survey conducted in 2019.

The acceptance for men’s make-up, however, increased significantly by 25% over the past two years, hitting a high of 68%.

A deeper dive into the results showed that 90% of those that responded positively were aged 18 to 24 years old, while 50% were 45 years old and older.

@cosme believes that these changes in attitude are the consequence of the gender inclusivity movement as well as pop culture influence such as K-Pop male idols.

According to those aged 18 to 24 years old, 75% of them have noticed more men around them using skin care while 43% have observed more men around them using make-up.

Compared to the 2019 survey results, skin care increased by 4% and make-up increased by 7%.

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