A nippon story: What does “J-Beauty” mean?

After the success of playful, off-beat and colorful products from the K-Beauty wave, Japanese rituals and products are now entering the Western market(1). The expertise and quality of Japanese cosmetics – well known and famous in Asia for decades – gives an answer to a rising demand for natural, healthy products as well as integrity and simplicity in Western countries.

When tradition meets innovation 

Well known for its ancient traditional rituals, especially from Geishas and Kabuki theatre, the country of the rising sun allies the old with the new.

Technology-driven, Japanese brands use key natural ingredients such as green tea, camellia oil or rice, and enhance their potential using science. Their guidelines rely on few ingredients and R&D capacities to optimize cosmetic results.

Moreover, highly concerned by product composition, and aware of how their body and skin work, Japanese people look for high-quality and reliable offers rather than trends. To meet this level of requirement, the focus is set on science and a strict rule: “one claim, one research”, thus providing honesty and integrity to consumers.

A matter of patience

At a time where we constantly run and urge ourselves, there is a huge need for relaxation, and slowing down a little.
Inspired by three principles: Simplicity (Kanso), Elegance (Shibui), and Tranquility (Seijaku), J-Beauty is all about minimalist formulas, and light textures.
No more profusion: moderation and fewer products are at the chore of this new wave. The Japanese promote quality rather than quantity, by applying less products and executing methodic application techniques such as massages.

Japanese rituals

Focused on healthcare and prevention – unlike the Western correcting approach- J-Beauty is based on in depth results, patience and simplicity.
Skincare is at the heart of the Japanese routine, as beauty relies on a healthy complexion which means a clean, moisturized and protected skin. Japanese women especially preserve and take care of their skin by avoiding sun exposure, and using face masks or lotions for in depth hydration(2).
Cleansing is also a major concern for Japanese beauty consumers. At the center of the beauty ritual as it brings peacefulness, humility and self-awareness, bathing is a very important step in the Japanese culture, and can easily take hours. It is considered as a privileged moment, where people can focus on themselves, stimulate their senses (smell especially) and take care of their skin too. This bathing ritual is then followed by a cold shower to close the pores.

And what about you? Are you inspired by J-Beauty?


(1) J-Beauty: Why Japan is set to topple K-Beauty in 2018, Cosmetics Business, 7-Nov-2017 
(2) J-Beauty brands put the focus on hydration, Mintel, February 19th, 2018