It’s J-Beauty’s moment.
With U.S. consumers opting for a simpler skincare approach inside and out, the harmonious duality of J-Beauty’s skincare concept resonates with those who are tired of extensive (and expensive!) 12-step regimens and who want more time in their day for themselves.
Here, we caught up with two of Shiko’s beauty experts, Hinako Sugioka, Cosmetics Marketing and Product Development and Jim Berkrot, Vice President Marketing Mitsui USA to learn more about J-Beauty’s point of difference, consumer trends in skincare in the wake of COVID and the Shiko Beauty products curated to help you create the perfect J-Beauty skincare regimen for you.
J-Beauty Skincare’s Point of Difference
J-Beauty focuses on prevention and maintenance for healthy skin. “If you take care of your skin as a daily routine, this is a future investment, so every day is important,” Sugioka says. “A well paired, healthy lifestyle and healthy skin has always been the foundation of Japanese beauty,” she explains.
Haiku, a short form poetry originally from Japan, is a perfect example of how beauty is embodied in Japanese culture, Sugioka says. Haiku involves very few words—but each has a great impact that has been carefully chosen. “Haiku embraces a natural simplicity and the finding of beauty in small everyday rituals, just like what Japanese beauty is,” she adds. “The self-care routines are simple in Japan, but meticulous. And then each step has a huge meaning and a great impact on your skin. “
J-Beauty, specifically the products sold by Shiko Beauty, is different from U.S.-based beauty brands and from K-Beauty. It’s approachable beauty that’s “to you from Japan,” says Sugioka. There are simple, easy-to-incorporate skincare regimens involving just a few steps and curated products boasting potent ingredients to help your skin look its best.
A Joy, Not An Obligation
J-Beauty is not about obligation, Sugioka notes. A J-Beauty skincare routine is more of a skincare ritual that makes you feel zen. It inspires you to want to do it to stimulate the five senses, she adds. That's the biggest difference from J-Beauty. “Japan is the country with the highest life expectancy—Japanese people dedicate their time and soul each day to wellness,” Sugioka says. The Japanese take tremendous care of their health and lifestyle, as well as their skin. “That’s our holistic approach that was already embedded through daily life,” she says.
Another interesting aspect of Japanese culture, from the skincare perspective, is that women want to have what they call “mochi-like skin,” Berkrot says. Mochi are smooth rice cakes that are plump, firm, round and silken—that's what women want their skin to look and feel like. “They want Mochi Hada, hada means “skin” in Japanese. A Bouncy, poreless, matte complexion,” explains Berkrot.
J-Beauty Skincare is Especially Relevant to the U.S. Beauty Consumer
All you have to do is head to Sephora and you’ll see J-Beauty best sellers. Berkrot notes that J-Beauty is different when it comes to simplicity and mindfulness, embodying holistic beauty. “It's very important that beauty is both from the outside in and from the inside out,” he says. “Beauty consumers today are busy multitasking—they have to work, they want to play, they have children, they have furry children, and they don't want to spend a lot of time using a lengthy skincare regimen,” he explains. “We deliver the most efficacious raw materials and formulations that have a targeted approach, they deliver benefits for all skin care needs.” Thanks to our curation by beauty experts, Shiko offers a tight edit of the best of the best as it relates to Japanese skincare.
Skincare is Self-Care in a Post-COVID World
In the U.S., women are busier than ever, dealing with an ongoing pandemic, uncertainty, anxiety—even changes in work style from in-office to remote and back again. This environment takes a toll on skin. During this time, many of us had to look inward and find inner peace and balance. “This time had a grounding effect, and it brought us back to our roots as to what it means to be a human being, how precious life is, what it means to be kind to others, and what it means to be kind to yourself,” said Berkrot. “So how can one be kind to themselves through meditation, through yoga and exercise, through a healthy diet, and through healthy skin care regimens?”
All in all, J-Beauty is about a less-is-more approach. Making the foundation of your skin look as good and healthy as possible, while using a minimal amount of products. This is on trend for American skin care. Skinimalism, sustainability and a holistic beauty approach are important to today’s skincare consumer. Shiko delivers just that.