Spotlight on J-Beauty: Tradition meets Technology meets Minimalist Beauty

September 6, 2018

With the recent boom of K-beauty’s fun and playful textures and innovations, we start to gain inspiration from other cosmetic trends coming from the east, specifically Japan. Japanese beauty, or J-Beauty, has always been a giant in the Asian beauty market, and looking into their principles it is easy to see why. Japanese culture is rich in tradition and deep-rooted influences that span across the different aspects of life. If we look at architecture, interior design, and food, Japanese focus is on simplicity and efficiency. Beauty is no different. With the second-highest market for cosmetics in the world, valued at ~ 20B€, and demographics shifting towards targeted cosmetics consumers, it's perfect timing to focus on this key player (sources: CEW, EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation).

Ingredient Spotlight

Shibui (渋い) (adjective), or shibusa (渋さ) (noun) are Japanese words which refer to a particular aesthetic of simple, subtle, and unobtrusive beauty. Keeping with this concept, J-Beauty generally focuses on simple products with a few efficient ingredients. These ingredients are often also ones that have been used for centuries in Japanese rituals and medicines, enhanced by innovative technologies.

As an island nation, different types of seaweeds are used throughout Japanese culture, in all parts of the country and in many different aspects of life (food, traditional medicine). The numerous benefits of seaweeds are well-known and respected in Japan. In cosmetics, we can also look to obtain the skin benefits from algaes that are typically consumed for health benefits. In this category, among others, SEPPIC offers blue spiruline extracts.

Famous in design, but also to make tea from the leaves, Camellia is one of the most popular beauty secrets from Japan. The seed oil is used instead of mineral oils, for deep moisture and cleansing.

Request a sample of our simple and gentle facial oil prototype US20100 Weightless Camellia Facial Oil.

Immerse in the “Onsen” Hot Springs

The volcanic country of Japan has many hot springs, called “Onsen” (温泉). Taking an Onsen bath has been a tradition for thousands of years. In Japanese culture, bathing is a time to relax and reflect. At the same time, the Onsen are well known for their numerous therapeutic benefits, including absorption of essential minerals and moisturizing properties.

The SEPPIC prototype

US20054: Plant-Sourced Deep Moisturizing Micellar Water can be used to get these same benefits!

Multipurpose humectant DUB DIOL (opens new window) provides hydration, while also allowing a gentle formulation with low % of preservatives due to its antimicrobial properties.

SEPPIC’s mineral cocktail, SEPITONIC™ M3.0, acts like the mineral-rich Onsen hot springs by oxygenating the skin, bringing an energy and metabolism boost, and anti-aging properties. SEPITONIC™ M3.0 also boosts the activity of any other actives in your formula!

Replace Vigorous Skincare with a Gentle “Pat”

Japanese beauty is all about softness, so is the new practice of “patting”.

Patting is a new way to apply skin-care in Japan. It is gentler than rubbing and has even been thought to enhance the penetration of actives. To pat, simply place the product on the fingers, and press the fingers onto the skin. It can be a very gentle tapping motion, or a firm press of the palm against the face. Japanese watery lotions patted are also a way to help the pH level of the skin regain balance after cleansing.

Start patting! Try making EU07406: Drops of Purity in the lab.

Mochi-Hada: Rice-Cake Skin

J-Beauty focuses on gentle application and ingredients, and soft, flawless skin. The ideal soft, matte, powdery-looking skin is referred to as mochi-hada, after the much-loved rice cake desserts, mochi. Mochi has been around since 300 B.C. and is traditionally made and eaten for Japanese New Year!


To achieve mochi-hada, use active ingredients for skin complexion, and functional ingredients to achieve a smooth, matte, blurred appearance.

The powdery effect can be achieved by the addition of Sepimat™ SB (opens new window) to the formulation. This soft, oil-absorbing powder brings gloss and shine reduction and a blur effect to the skin.

For tightened pores and a fresh complexion, SEPPIC offers Ceramosides™ HP (opens new window), which brings ceramides to the skin. “Ceramide” is among the “top trending ingredients in skin care” in Japan, according to volume of Google searches (2017). It is in the top 5 ingredients for “pores” and “scars” concerns (Source: Think With Google).

J-Beauty formulations aim to be simple and efficient. The application can be, too. Try prototype EU07297: Power Matte! Soothing & Mattifying Spray for a one-step sprayable application for soothing and mattifying, to achieve mochi-hada.

One of the key ingredients here for flawless complexion is the active ingredient, SEPICALM™ VG WP (opens new window), which contains a combination of AMINOVECTOR™ technology and water lily, or “Japanese sleeping lotus,” extract. The Japanese sleeping lotus, symbolizes peace, purity, pleasure and spiritual enlightenment, fitting with the Japanese principles.

Questions? Samples?

Request the full presentation, samples, and more info in the chat!

*Stearinerie Dubois products are distributed in the USA by Seppic.

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