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Japan’s Younger Generation Is Choosing Gender-Neutral Cosmetics

The younger generation is less influenced by gender stereotypes about makeup and skin care and is increasingly embracing cosmetics marketed to all genders.

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The Yoshimichi Siblings and their natural-red lip balm for men and women (Photo by Akiko Shigematsu).

The emergence of 'genderless cosmetics' in Japan reflects a rising trend to stop pigeonholing people based on socially constructed differences between the sexes. Perhaps it is also time to stop categorizing behaviors as those of men or women.  

Against the backdrop of an increasing awareness amongst men on beauty and skincare, brand after brand have been promoting gender-neutral makeup. Even the idea that men and women have different skin types, as it turns out, is based on preconceptions of differences between sexes. 

Skin type is not determined by sex, rather external factors play a major role. The idea that men have tougher skin just because they are men no longer holds up. 

Suorum brand unisex concealer at Loft’s Cosmetics Festival, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo (Photo by Akiko Shigematsu).

The use of skincare products as well as eyebrow and face makeup by men is becoming more widespread, and lip products and mascaras are also gaining traction. The closing of the gender gap is starting from the face.

New Products Mean New Customers

Red lips contrasted with pale skin leave a lasting impression. Looking at displays for the new 'perse' line of makeup products produced by The Yoshimichi Siblings, a celebrity sister-brother duo, one might feel as if they have come upon the beginning of a new era.

Read the rest of this article here for more on new gender-neutral skin care trends in Japan. And find more great articles on the environment and the challenges of achieving the SDGs, on our new website Japan 2 Earth, sparking a transition on the environment and SDGs.

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Author: Akiko Shigematsu

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