Spreading Clean Beauty

Japan makeup trends within the well-aging movement

The land of the rising sun has often been a guiding light for cosmetic brands to look into for inspiration and innovation opportunities. A look at current Japan makeup trends cannot be complete without an examination of the current discourses around aging in cosmetics. 

While aging is a global phenomenon (it’s estimated that almost 30% of the population will be over sixty years old in thirty years), Japan is particularly affected by this reality. In fact, the country has by far the highest senior population ratio in the world, where 29% of its population are over 65 years old, according to figures by Nippon.

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As aging transforms into a more and more common life experience, so do attitudes towards it. It can be argued that a transformation is taking place, moving from a negative perception of aging processes to one that encompasses this stage as a necessary part of modern life and seeks to make it as meaningful and pleasant as others.

Narratives in cosmetics are also seeking to accompany consumers in their shifting mindsets. As a consequence, discourses around aging have shifted to incorporate well-aging in Japan makeup trends.

Additionally, cosmetic solutions are also changing on a fundamental level. As cosmetic science continues advancing, it’s possible to describe a new era of cutting-edge science reshaping what well-aging skincare looks like. 

In such a context, at Provital we want to examine Japan makeup trends within the well-aging framework, generating an interdisciplinary look that casts a light on new opportunities for brands in this market.

Well-aging and emotional beauty in Japan makeup trends

Aging processes in skin are straightforward: as we age, cells regenerate more slowly. A multitude of factors have an influence on the aging process, a reduction of collagen production being one of the key ones.

While the aging process has remained the same, the ideas and attitudes surrounding aging have experienced multiple changes. Put briefly, it can be argued that the discourse generated by the cosmetic industry has focused on stopping aging signs since the very inception of advertising and marketing.

However, a recent shift has taken place towards what had been labeled as the “well-aging movement”. This trend prioritizes emotions and well-being in aging processes, preferring the mental and emotional balance that comes with taking care of one self. 

Attitudes in consumers have quickly been identified: in the Euromonitor study Innovation and Population Ageing (carried out in 2021), the majority of respondents put “mental wellbeing” and “feeling good” as their top priorities.

In such a context, the term emotional beauty is also used to describe this movement, one that has taken over the aging population and Japan makeup trends in particular. The focus is no longer on preventing wrinkles or promising eternal youth: brands must now align with new attitudes in consumers that aim at a more holistic look at their health throughout their whole lifetime. A key aspect of this new view is the increased emphasis on emotional health: happiness, balance and mental wellbeing have taken centre stage and pushed superficiality aside, as consumers increasingly understand beauty as a stabilized position between inner and outer virtue.

The Japanese case: some key Japan makeup trends that align with the well-aging movement

The previous paragraphs can offer a glimpse into the current good health of the cosmetic efforts targeting aging processes: Grandview Research estimates that the market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 5.4% from 2021 to 2028.

In fact, a look at food, drink and VMS launches related to well-aging can also offer a clear picture of successful initiatives in Japan: while 45% of these launches take place in Europe, Asia Pacific already represent 29% of these.

In such a context, it’s worth looking at a few key Japan makeup trends related to the well-aging movement:

  • A quest for highly effective ingredients that present scientific backing in their claims
  • Claims like “clean”, “fresh” and “natural” continue being popular, with the “bare face” look being en vogue. A good foundation that incorporates all these aspects becomes a crucial element in any makeup set
  • Preference for natural ingredients
  • The need to align with companies’ ethos. Consumers want to support companies that encompass their values. This includes efforts in sustainability such the managing of production waste and an ethical supply chain for cosmetic brands

Wonderage: the natural ingredient that matches emotional beauty for the Japanese market

In the wake of these trends and movements, cosmetic brands must find ways to connect to new consumer sensibilities. Wonderagestands at the heart of this coalescence of well-aging and emotional beauty and Japan makeup trends.

Incorporated to foundation formulas, Wonderage represents the perfect example of a new era of makeup products that both treat aging signs and have a real positive effect on the emotions of the consumer. 

Let’s first look at this ingredient’s effectiveness in treating aging signs. Made from the fruit of the Cucurbitaceae plant, Siraitia grosvenorii, this active ingredient has shown: 

  • In vivo efficacy in minimizing wrinkles on the eye contour and neck
  • In vitro efficacy in the measurement of expression of miRNAs modulated with the active ingredient Wonderage™ in mature skin donor fibroblasts. This showed that the ingredient is able to balance the epigenetics of mature skin, inhibiting miRNA overexpression by 79.85%
  • In vitro studies have also shown Wonderage™ to have an impact in the pathways associated with fibroblast yield and synthesis of key extracellular matrix components.
  • Ex vivo efficacy in the increased synthesis of key extracellular matrix proteins. The ingredient thus promotes a firming and filling effect by boosting hyaluronic acid and strengthening collagen.

But Wonderage™ has gone a step further in developing claims that present scientific backing around emotional beauty. While emotions and well-being tend to be a particularly evasive topic, at Provital we have worked to incorporate Artificial Intelligence in a process that will be able to attract the most savvy consumers interested in the emotional and well-aging side of Japan makeup trends.

Through a ground-breaking in vivo study, the emotional impact that a treatment with Wonderage™ had on the subconscious level of the volunteers’ minds was quantified. How? Using a software able to recognize emotions provided us with insight of the impact of our ingredient on the volunteers’ health and wellbeing by registering all the facial micro expressions of the volunteers and classifying their emotions. 

The result was a clear push in the scientific evidence around Wonderage™, as well as obtaining a model to understand its  impact on the subconscious emotional wellbeing of the volunteers.

This opens the door to a new era of emotional beauty in Japan makeup trends and those related to well-aging in particular. As consumers seek a new relationship with their own emotions related to their aging processes, neurocosmetics offer scientifically-backed claims that have a real impact on their well-being.

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