Natural and Organic Cosmetics in Japan – Part II

The overall cosmetics market in Japan is the second-largest in the world. Natural and organic cosmetics are still a niche but on the rise due to increasing concern about safety, environment-conscious lifestyles (LOHAS) and ethical consumption by consumers. The natural and organic cosmetics market in Japan is worth about 200 billion Yen (around 8% of the total market). Skin-care represents around 60% of the market while the demand for body and hair care products is growing. Most products are imported from Europe (which is leading in value due to higher prices) and Asia (which is leading in volume of about 70% due to much lower prices).
The market share of Japanese companies is still small but growing.

Many imported and some Japanese products available at department stores, supermarkets, drugstores and specialized shops. Most Japanese natural/organic cosmetics use domestic ingredients, are of high quality and worth a try. Some of them have a much shorter durability and shelf-life than imported products which also means that they are fresh and do not contain chemical preservatives.

A good example is Supmile, a natural skin-care manufactured by Hanajima Sheman (Katsushika-ku Tokyo) long engaged in OEM manufacturing of cosmetics.

The ingredients are from Japan, and a special feature is that the selling expiration has been set, like food, within 3 months after production. This reflects the desire of the company to have customers using fresh cosmetic products which are directly applied to skin.

All the components are derived from plants, nothing from petroleum. Since it is a skin-care product free of any additives such as alcohol (ethanol), it can also be recommended to those who have sensitive skin or concern about itch and inflammation and men who worry about tingling after shaving.

Because of the selling expiration, the company had sold its products until last year only through the Internet, but from January this year, the OTC (over-the-counter) sale was started at the Roppongi branch of Fukushimaya supermarket (specialized in a wide range of high-quality natural and organic products from many regions in Japan) and the Kodawariya branch, a natural food chain, at Sogo department store in Yokohama.. At both stores samples of all the products including the moisture-rich Supmile are prepared for testing.
O The Supmile skin-care set includes cleansing milk, powder wash, moist water, moist veil cream and botanical oil serum.
O The Supmile trial set includes cleansing milk, powder wash, moist water, moist veil cream.

At Crayonhouse B1 in Omotesando, well known as a market for fresh organic vegetables and other organic products, the hand cream of Supmile together with a mini-bottle of moisting water is available. On the 3rd floor of Crayonhouse you can find a wide range of imported and some Japanese natural/organic cosmetics as well as natural/organic textiles.

●Roppongi store of Fukushimaya: Bl of ARK Hills South Tower, 1-chome Roppongi, Subway Nanboku Line
●Yokohama store of Kodawariya: B1 of Sogo Department Store (3 minutes on walk from Yokohama Station of JR Line/Tokyu Toyoko Line)
●Crayon House/Tokyo (Omotesando) B1:

March 2016
Heinz Kuhlmann