While the cosmetics industry has women slathering their faces with a variety of high-price lotions and potions, up until recently Japanese men have been relatively immune to the pseudo scientific claims of anti-aging creams. But it looks like that’s all set to change as manufacturers begin to bring out a range of products that promise to return elasticity and shine to middle-aged men’s skin.
The breakthrough brand, according to Nikkei Trendy, on the Japanese market has been Nivea. When the company’s Revitalizing series was launched in 2006, sales that year were an impressive ¥3.5 billion, but they have steadily climbed and in 2010, almost doubled to ¥6.2 billion. Nivea’s success is thought to be down to both straightforward advertising, which simply states the product is for men who feel their skin is lacking tautness and looking a bit dull. It’s also thought that men who are embarrassed to ask advice about anti-aging cream feel they can trust the brand because they are familiar with it through their mothers or wives.
Otsuka pharmaceuticals were next to follow suit. In September 2008 they launched a range of moisturizing products for men called UL.OS. Their research indicated that though young men spend a lot of money on facial washes or on aftershave, only 10 percent were moisturizing. The range includes a lotion, milk and cream. The packaging is minimal and, compared to women’s moisturizing products, the price is extremely reasonable (200 ml of Skin Lotion costs just ¥1,890).
Lucido, a company that makes cosmetics for men, is boldly advertising that it has created a range for 40+ men. While this might not look too glamorous on packaging, the company reckons a no-nonsense approach is something that men, who are worried about losing their looks, will appreciate.
Lucido looks as though it might have a trump card up its sleeve with a new product launch at the end of the month. “Slightly Tinted Moisturizing Cream” is somewhere between foundation and a moisturizer; the product can cover unsightly blemishes while also, of course, replenishing the skin with essential oils. We think it might be a hit with men who might otherwise shy away from buying make-up products.
As companies target this potentially lucrative market, drugstores are giving over display space to men’s anti-aging creams. It looks like many in the industry are hopeful that they can revive the fortunes of the flagging cosmetics market (which has been rather depressed since 2008’s financial crash) as well as bring the luster of youth back to crinkling skin.
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