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J Beauty - Japanese Skincare & Cosmetic Trends and their Impacts

Japanese Beauty, also known as “J Beauty”, is one of the new important trends in the blobal market. Japan is one of the world’s largest cosmetics and toiletries markets, with an overall market size of US$35.2bn in 2018 according to a report from Global Data Research. With projected growth at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5% othrough 2023, and a per capital consumption over 57% above the global average, this market continues to be important on the global stage as do the trends and influences that “J Beauty” has.

J beauty is becoming the next big trend influencer in skincare and cosmetics, following the K beauty trend of recent years. Unlike the vivid and bold western look, nor the soft and glittery look of Korean beauty, J beauty is defined by a combination of minimalism and naturalism.

Here is what you need to know about J Beauty


Typical Japanese makeup trends consist of 3 pillars, combining a minimal approach to make-up, applying it as flawlessly as possible, and making use of natural and eco-friendly products. With very light coverage foundation and concealer, Japanese women have especially mastered the art of wearing barely-there makeup: a look that has been increasingly popular in Western culture as of late. Women like a very fresh, dewy, seamless finish when it comes to base facial products.

Unlike the heavy emphasis on contouring in western beauty trends, Japanese makeup fully skips contour and bronzer. They tend to move away from sharp lines and calls for blush over bronzer. They like to add a bit of blush to the apples of their cheeks, even putting some under their eye area to create that round cheek effect.

The main focus of their eye makeup also builds around the concept of being natural. Eyeliner is used to define the upper waterline, and maybe create a small, natural wing. In staying with the “soft” trend, a brown liner is often the color of choice, as opposed to harsh black-winged liners. Lashes are super important in all Japanese makeup styles. Japan is known for having some of the best eyelash curlers on the market: check out the one from Shu Uemura. Curling the lashes opens up the eyes, and Japanese eye makeup is intended to make the eyes appear bigger and rounder for a “cute” effect. Japanese mascaras are highly praised as well, due to them being smudge-proof, waterproof, and jet-black.

Japanese beauty lip trends also stay in the “natural lane.” Bold-colored lips, like bright reds and super-deep hues, are rarely seen in everyday looks. Lip colors tend to be shiny, but not overly glossy, and they include neutral-colored tones, such as rosy pink, taupe, tan, and translucent red. Lip colors have an effervescent sheen to make the lips look healthy and plump, but there is no exaggeration when it comes to lining the lips (no over-lining here!) to make them appear bigger, which is something we see in Western beauty trends. The neutral lip ties in with the rest of the face, giving a youthful, glowy finish.


Unlike K-Beauty, which proclaims the benefits of a 10-step skincare routines, Japanese beauty follows a ‘less is more’ philosophy. According to GlobalData, consumers use a relatively small number of products, made from fewer, more effective active ingredients. There is also a multi-functionality element, which appeals to busy consumers.

Mochi skin, the latest skin trend innovation from beauty destination du jour, Japan, is all about supple, plump and bouncy skin. Think the velvety, soft outside of a domed Mochi ball, but for your skin. Also known as 'Mochi Hada' or 'rice-cake skin', the super soft, poreless look is inspired by the traditional Japanese dessert. If glass skin was all about a high shine, dewy finish, then the key to attaining Mochi Skin is all about a bouncy texture. That plushy 3D roundness that seems to be all over Instagram? Yup, that's what we're aiming for here.

Consumers purchasing goods within the Japanese cosmetics market are becoming more selective and value conscious. Ideally, a product must be nicely designed, packaged and promoted. Their needs and tastes may change with occasional new trends and fads, and they may be eager to try something new and different from time to time as long as those products and value propositions are appealing.

The key products are aging-care, skin-lightening, and skin moisturising cosmetics and toiletries. The most popular items available on the cosmetics market in Japan are high performance, cost-effective, quick-acting skincare products, as well as crossover products with multi-appeal attributes. Quick-acting spot skincare products for specific parts of the body are also popular.

Furthermore, organic or natural products, luxury products, and unique or branded products are in growing demand. Mens’ skincare and grooming products in Japan are also drawing attention, culminating in a value of 21.6 billion yen in 2016. Leading companies operating in Japan’s cosmetics market include; Shiseido, KOSÉ, and Polar Orbis Holdings.

With a host of established local brands such as Shiseido, Pola Orbis, Kosé (Decorte), Shu Uemura, SK-II, DHC, Sekkisei, and Shiro, J-Beauty is now spreading beyond its domestic market.


Culturally, Japanese people value notions of luxury, minimalism, and simplicity. These are the values that get carried into the packaging and design of Japanese beauty products. Thus, no matter for skincare or cosmetics, the J beauty industry builds around these concepts, with the newest trend of having a mochi skin with a soft color makeup.

This Article was written by Zixuan (Alicia) Wang, Marketing Associate BioAktive Specialty Products. For any information or to contact BioAktive, please email

About BioAktive

BioAktive is a supplier of functional, plant-derived ingredients for use personal care and cosmetics. Our products are inspired by nature and designed to provide real value and functionality for our customers as they develop products in skin care, hair care, cosmetics, soaps and toiletries.​

Our portfolio includes natural-derived alternatives to common chemical products such as silicone oils and petroleum jelly as well as plant based functional ingredients such as our emulsion concentrates and other lipid based emollients.​

BioAktive is an agile supplier, putting emphasis on product selection, R&D, market knowledge, marketing and distribution. We are responsive to our customer and business partners needs, and work together with them to create solutions to real problems. We are strategic, pragmatic and solution oriented, working to ensure high quality, reliability of supply and cost effectiveness.

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