Japan's cosmetics firms meeting men's needs

Japanese cosmetics companies are rolling out new lines of skincare products aimed at men after wives and girlfriends got tired of sharing their moisturizers, toners and lotions.

Personal care companies have until recent years focused their male grooming products on the haircare sector - Japanese men pay just as much attention to their hair as women do - with styling products popular among younger generations and lines designed to stem hair loss and greying the key segment among older men.

But the demand for skincare products is a far more recent trend and in the first six month of 2010, total sales in terms of value were up 119.96 percent on the previous year, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

And with that sector worth a healthy Y9.8 billion (€85.44 million), cosmetics firms here are looking to expand their product ranges.

On September 11, the local venture between Germany's Nivea brand and Japanese cosmetics giant Kao Co. released new skincare products for men, including an extra moisturizer balm that is designed to reduce dry and rough skin and a moisturizing shaving foam.

"Men's skin is likely to be damaged due to abrasion from shaving, leading to reduced moisture content and higher sebum secretion," Nivea-Kao Co., Ltd. said in a statement. "This skin problem is different from problems experienced by women.

"Nivea for Men products have been specifically applied to these skin problems, helping men cultivate more sophisticated face care habits beyond simply using aftershave."

In a study, fully 60 percent of Japanese men who do not use skincare products say they are unhappy with the condition of their skin, with dry skin the top concern.

Unsurprisingly, Japanese men have turned to their partners for advice on the best way to protect their faces, with more than 90 percent of the companies with booths on the cosmetics floor of the Takashimaya department store in Tokyo's Shinjuku district reporting having male as well as female customers.

The majority are aged between 20 and 40 and, because they have not previously paid much attention to their skin, generally have more damage to repair. Toners and lotions are the most popular products among male customers, although they are also buying skin-whitening lotions.

"Men feel comfortable about themselves when their skin condition is good," Megumi Kinukawa, a spokeswoman for Shiseido Co., told Relaxnews. "They are aware of their own appearance, as well as the impression that makes on other people."

Shiseido Men was first launched in Japan in 2004 - one year after the lines were released in Germany and Italy to meet demand caused by the "metrosexual boom," according to Kinukawa. Today, the best-selling product on the domestic market is the hydrating lotion, which sells for Y3,000 (€26.16).

"Sales of Shiseido Men in Japan recorded double-digit growth every year until 2009," she said. "Nowadays, Japanese men have no hesitation to going to the cosmetics counter at a department store."

JR

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Designer - Award Winning Agency

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity for a t...

    Recruitment Genius: Project Manager

    £35000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global provider of call ce...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service and Business Support Assistant

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: By developing intimate relationships with inte...

    Recruitment Genius: Application Support Engineer - Software

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A small rapidly expanding IT So...

    Day In a Page

    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
    The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

    The ZX Spectrum is back

    The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
    Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

    Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

    The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

    If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
    The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

    The quirks of work perks

    From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
    Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

    Is bridge becoming hip?

    The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
    Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

    The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

    Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
    The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

    The rise of Lego Clubs

    How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
    5 best running glasses

    On your marks: 5 best running glasses

    Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
    Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
    Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

    Please save my husband

    As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada