Cosmetics Market In Japan – Market Overview and Opportunities

Posted on June 9, 2020

Japan is the world’s third largest cosmetics market. The Japan cosmetics industry is much older & sophisticated, but it has remained stagnant over the past few years. Recently in 2017 cosmetics market in Japan is witnessed to recover and give competition to rest of the world. Japan is called as sleeping giant of cosmetics industry which has now awaken. The cosmetic market of Japan has maintained an image of authentic, sustainable & eternal due to its rich culture, beauty rituals and their obsession for beauty. Across Japan the consumers are estimated to have highest per capita expenditure on cosmetics & skin care products. The domestic beauty industry generated a revenue of over 36 billion U.S. dollars in 2017. Within the Japanese cosmetics market, skin care products are dominating, accounting for a market share of almost 50 percent.

With a growing mature domestic market, products that promote mainly skincare, anti-aging and skin moisturizing properties are expected to continue to be popular. This market segment is showing a preference for low maintenance beauty regimes which in turn translates to high functionality. Skin care has traditionally been more popular in Japan (in comparison to make up in Western countries) and consumers of all demographics are well versed in brands and quality. Expectations of packaging design and quality amongst consumers are exceptionally high.

There is increasing competition in the cosmetics markets from domestic manufacturers from other industries such as pharmaceutical, food, beverage and photographic film industry. Major Japanese companies have in-house R&D capability and utilize technical expertise from their product offerings in their traditional business sectors. Many retailers, including supermarkets, convenience stores and catalogue/ e-commerce companies have launched private label brands, and the contract manufacturers are also creating their own brands and entering the market.


Japan Cosmetics Market Segmentation

By Product Type 1. Fragrances
2. Skin Care Products
3. Make-up products
4. Hair Care Products
5. Hygiene Products
6. Oral Cosmetics
By Pricing 1. Low and Medium Priced Cosmetics
2. Premium Priced Cosmetics
By Gender 1. Male Cosmetics
2. Female Cosmetics
By Distribution Channel 1. Online Distribution Channel
2. Offline Distribution Channel
Departmental stores
Drug stores
Brand outlets





The Japanese market is always looking for innovative new cosmetics brands that attract new consumers. Brands must demonstrate a strong concept and unique ingredients to gain buyers’ attention. Consumers tend to be influenced by the whole product (functionality, packaging, appeal) so maintaining brand awareness and education is extremely important. Use of celebrity endorsement is still effective in this market.

Tariffs, regulations and customs

Under the Japanese Pharmaceuticals Affairs Law, companies that import, wholesale, retail and market cosmetics for business purposes require a manufacturer/importer and distributor of cosmetics license from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

It is mandatory for a complete list of ingredients, together with details of the manufacturing process to be submitted to the regulatory authorities, via an importer. A complete list of ingredients must be printed directly on either the product container or external packaging. All information must be written in Japanese.


Market entry

Bringing your cosmetic products to Japan can be challenging in regulatory compliance. To successfully market your beauty and other cosmetic products to Japan, you should conside partnering with COVUE makes the process for market entry a smooth and pleasant experience. We make it fast, simple and cost effective.


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