In 2019, U.S. skincare sales rose about 15 percent, led by Japanese and Korean-inspired products. The Wall Street Journal reported that in 2019, Japanese beauty sales grew by 19 percent in the U.S. market, with established companies Shiseido and Tatcha ranking first and second in sales. Shiseido’s American business makes up roughly 12 percent of its total sales, representing the fastest-growing region outside of Asia. Among American companies, Estee Lauder has been launching and upgrading products under its Clinique line in an effort to corner more of the American market than Japanese companies.
Two Japanese Beauty Companies Continue to Rank Highest in Sales
Japanese beauty company, Shiseido, moved into the American market in 1962 when it established the company’s first overseas investment in Hawaii. That being said, across the globe, it is the oldest beauty company and currently, the fourth-largest cosmetics company in the world.
Another Japanese beauty brand sold in the U.S. is Tatcha, established more than a decade ago. Today, its cleansing oils and moisturizing creams are among the most popular skin-care brands in the U.S, with sales rising more than 80 percent in 2018, reaching $125 million. The brand’s founder, however, stated the company is purposeful about not looking at the competition. “When things suddenly become trendy and we’re in the party, we’re delighted, but that’s never been the strategy.”
Japanese Beauty Imports are Typically Either High End or Lower End
Regarding imported brands, retail channels in Japan are usually split into two segments with very little in between. These segments include:
- High-end brands (expensive, luxurious, and usually found at beauty counters in popular department stores). These higher-end brands usually lean toward simplicity—fewer ingredients, more natural ingredients, and fewer products in a skincare line.
- Lower-end brands (less-expensive, targeted to mass consumers). These brands are usually found in drugstores, cosmetic stores, and supermarkets.
The JBeauty Collection is particularly valuable at this time in history. In addition to the iconic brands we have already seen here in the states, there are many other J-Beauty brands you will find to be both unique and high-quality—and we are hoping to share them with you through The JBeauty Collection.
The Japanese Beauty Market Holds All Brands to High-Quality Standards
The beauty market in Japan remains one of the most competitive in the world. Even the inexpensive brands are held to high standards of quality, resulting in price wars and fierce competition with U.S. brands. Because of the high standards required in the Japanese beauty market, the U.S. market has also begun focusing on higher-end beauty products in order to gain a competitive advantage.
How is Japanese Beauty Different from Other Beauty Products?
The primary difference between Japanese beauty and other beauty routines is the simplicity in Japanese beauty routines and the natural ingredients in Japanese beauty products. Despite its simplicity, every step in Japanese beauty routines is done with precision and care.
First, you remove your makeup with a cleanser, gently massaging the cleanser on your face in small circular motions, using lukewarm water. As you add small amounts of water on top of the cleanser, you will notice a milky texture, called “Nyu-ka,” or emulsification. The process thoroughly removes all the makeup from your facial pores, and once you have rinsed, you are ready to wash.
Next, you will gently wash your face with bubbles or “Awa.” It is important to remember that friction is the enemy of your skin. Friction can cause wrinkles, dark spots, and many other signs of aging. Because of this, the Japanese beauty routine uses the creamiest of foams, acting as a virtual cushion between your facial skin and your hands. This removes unwanted dirt and debris from your face—gently!
After washing your face, you will apply an essence toner—believed to be the essence of beautiful skin in Japan. Take a generous amount into your hands and warm it up. Then envelop your face with your hands and gently press for your skin to absorb the essence toner.
Then you’ll add on an emulsion, which is a lighter form of a moisturizer. This is applied in the same way as the previous step. The emulsion is a crucial step in locking in all the moisture from the essence toner. You have reached “Mochi Hada,” status at this point, and your skin is ready and able to absorb the nutrients to come.
Finally, you will nourish your skin with serums tailored specifically to your skin condition and lock it all in with a cream. After all, all the love you have lavished on your skin means nothing if you don’t finish with a protecting layer.
If there is a rivalry between the Japanese personal beauty industry and the American personal beauty industry, the JBeauty Collection invites you to see what the rivalry is all about!