Why Don't We Pay More Homage to Japanese Skincare?

Photo: Imaxtree

Just as I'm writing this story, an email pops into my inbox with the subject line "Is J-beauty the new K-beauty?" The email details that according to the Japanese Cosmetic Industry Association, Japanese beauty exports are expected to surpass Korean beauty exports in 2018. Locally, Japan spends the most on skincare and makeup per capita and maintains the highest sales figures in the world.

And with Japanese-rooted brands already so heavily cemented in Western culture like Tatcha, Shiseido, and SK-II, it's no wonder the J-beauty craze is on track to spread its mainstream reach. Of course, all of this is not to say that Japanese beauty is "better" than Korean beauty, but in the rise of the western fascination with Asian skincare and makeup, it's interesting to see the K-beauty craze be eclipsed by a neighboring country that hasn't been shown nearly as big of a spotlight.

So what can we expect from the growth of Japan-centric brands? Think less eccentric novelty and bright, comic packaging like its Korean beauty counterpart (which, to be fair, maintains a large focus in its formulations), and more of a focus on "understated luxury" seated in time-old ingredients and practices, which are outlined below.