The export of Japanese cosmetics exceeded the import in 2016, having recorded two-digit growths since then. According to Japan Cosmetic Industry Association, currently the export stands nearly at 300 billion yen, which tells us that Japanese products are highly reputed among foreigners.
In what does the reason why Japanese products have been highly reputed like this lie?
Of course, this is firstly because of Japanese products being of high quality; it is also possible that Japan has had customs around beautification different from those of Europe / U.S., where products born from such difference may look innovative to people overseas.
This document will explain how attitudes toward cosmetics differ between Japan and other countries to better understand the strengths of Japanese cosmetics.
# How situations around cosmetics differ between Japan and other countries 1: the frequency of washing your face does.
We Japanese wash our face every morning and basically every night, while people in Europe and U.S won’t do that so frequently.
The difference in such custom may have stemmed from difference in the characteristics of water between Japan and Europe / U.S. Water in Europe is hard water, different from that of Japan. Hard water, such as oceanic one, contains a lot of minerals and won’t make as much bubble as soft water does. Since you cannot feel much of effect on washing your face with hard water, therefore, the frequency of doing so probably has been reduced in Europe.
Climates may have affected it, too. Most areas in Europe / U.S are drier than Japan with high humidity / temperature, where they don’t much care about such wetness in Europe; too many times of washing their face a day will rather make their skin too dry and thus have more of negative aspects, with the frequency of doing so naturally rendered less.
# How situations around cosmetics differ between Japan and other countries 2: the purpose of washing your face does.
The purpose of washing your face slightly differs between Japan and Europe / U.S. People in Europe / U.S wash their face for the purpose of wiping out the dirt on theirs, not that of keeping the beauty of their skin. For them, washing their face is literally to wash off the dirt on their face, done with a method of immersing milk cleansing to the whole of their face and wiping with toning lotion with a cold feeling.
In fact, few face-wash creams like ones able to not only wash off the dirt on your face but also minimize damages to your skin sold in Japan are being sold overseas.
# How situations around cosmetics differ between Japan and other countries 3: how to wear makeup does.
The way women in Europe / U.S wear makeup is centered around point makeups such as eyelines or lipsticks and there are not so many of customs to put makeup on the whole of your skin like Japanese; in fact, there are few who use foundation. Most of the foundations in Europe / U.S, if any, are of liquid type; ones of powder type seen in Japan are atypical.
The difference in ways to wear makeup has been there as people in Europe / U.S consider their countenance more important as opposed to Japanese who embrace the beauty of skin.
Moreover, their hair all over their body being blonde might be another reason. To make the only black hair of theirs, eyelashes, clearer, they tend to regard as important and wear point makeup; as the way eyelashes grow tend to be more upward for them than for Japanese, makeup won’t much wear off for them to be able to more handily apply mascara.
# How situations around cosmetics differ between Japan and other countries 4: how to cleanse does.
It has been mentioned that people in Europe / U.S won’t wash their face much; how to cleanse also differs from that in Japan. The way to cleanse in Europe / U.S mostly is a type to wipe out by immersing such liquid into cotton. As cotton produced in such countries is not of quality much, pasting part of itself onto their skin, they won’t rub their skin so assiduously, probably a custom that has stemmed from point makeups as their mainstream where the area to be given makeup is rather small.
Japanese cleansing oils that can thoroughly wash off makeup on the whole of your face and are soft to your skin are now getting much of attention. “The Cut”, a website that shows fashion / beautification in New York, also is explaining DHC Deep Cleansing Oil as an outstanding cosmetic of Japan.
# How situations around cosmetics differ between Japan and other countries 5: there are few ideas as making your skin beautiful.
They say there are no words in European countries equivalent to “whitening for beauty” in Japanese. The expression as “whitening” used would be taken as “bleaching your skin”. An expression that could be close to whitening for beauty in nuance is “brightening”. Anyways, that there have been few ideas over aiming at beauty / whiteness of skin in Europe / U.S should be a huge difference.
This document has explained the difference in customs around cosmetics between Japan and Europe / U.S.
It can be concluded that while European people mostly embrace “beauty at points”, Japanese do “beauty of the whole skin”, which has advanced technological developments of face washes, lotions and foundations. As it is possible to obtain such products without coming over to Japan now as internet has got widespread, people in Europe / U.S will probably pay more of attention to good texture, etc. of such products.
- Import / export of cosmetics | Japan Cosmetic Industry Association
- 7 Secret Japanese Drugstore Beauty Buys