Retail notes from Tokyo: [Show Report] Cosme Tokyo 2018

I just returned from Cosmetokyo, Japan’s biggest C&T trade show. My last Cosmetokyo visit was four years ago; Cosmetokyo 2014 actually was my very first Asian trade fair! Back then, Cosmetokyo took place in October which worked well with the dates for Cosmoprof Hong Kong (mid-November).

Anyway, over the past three years Cosmetokyo has continued to expand in terms of exhibitor and visitor numbers; in 2015 the trade show date was shifted from October to January and after Tokyo Big Sight exhibition centre became too small for the trade fair, Cosmetokyo moved to Makuhari Messe convention centre in 2018.

Cosmetokyo 2018, the 6th edition of the trade show, took place from 24th-26th January. The first day was a little disorienting; the trade fair has changed so much in the last few years. In 2014 the exhibitors were primarily from Japan and it was very much a domestic showcase.

At Cosmetokyo 2018, however, more than a third of the trade show’s exhibitors came from outside of Japan, and there were many country pavilions and international companies that it took me a while to find my bearings. But then I did and I enjoyed the trade fair tremendously, meeting exciting new brands and re-discovering old favourites.

In 2018, Cosmetokyo organizers Reed Exhibitions Japan had added a number of new features, including a new and very interesting section of the show – Inner Beauty. The entire trade show constellation – Cosmetokyo and its sister show Cosmetech together with Inner Beauty and Beauty & Health Foods Expo (another new show section in 2018) – was renamed Health & Beauty Week Tokyo. And there were a few other smaller shows which took place concurrently with Cosmetokyo, like Health & Beauty Goods Expo and Lifestyle Expo Tokyo 2018.

And now, after this lengthy introduction: click on the link below for more information about some of the interesting brands I met at Cosmetokyo 2018!

Cosmetokyo 2018: Beauty from Japan

I’m familiar with Japanese premium eyewear/optician’s retailer Paris Miki; the company has stores all over Europe and Asia. However, I had no idea that Paris Miki also owns a flourishing beauty business, Paris Miki Cosme.

I was told that the company branched out into cosmetics around 18 years ago and today, Paris Miki sells a number of high-end anti-ageing face care ranges and even some fruit and vegetable-based health food products, mostly supplement drinks, pastes and juices. However, the beauty ranges are only available in their Japanese stores.

Paris Miki Cosme’s portfolio includes Akiko, an anti-ageing range which was launched in 2015. All Akiko products contain human stem cells concentrate and the line includes a UV Mist, a beta-glucane essence, a Black Moist Soap stick cleanser formulated with charcoal, the Rich Moist Cleansing Balm and a sheet mask. I particularly liked the Black Moist Soap cleanser which is a twist-up stick cleanser – you dip it into the water and then “paint” your face with the stick.

The company’s latest product launch is the Whitening Spots Serum which, as the name indicates, brightens the skin and reduces discolourations. The serum contains bisabolol and vitamin C as key ingredients. Another Paris Miki line is Rei Jinka Gold Placenta which is probably the most luxurious of all the company’s skin care ranges.

Rei Jinka offers three products, a rosé-tinted clear lotion with visible gold particles (see pic above), a face cream and a pink-tinted gel cream. All products contain gold particles and that most Japanese of anti-ageing ingredients, placenta! The placenta is enclosed in gold-coated nano-particles which help the active ingredients to be absorbed deeply into the skin.

There is also a set of delicate undereye masks, Junkinka, which consist of a layer of pure gold flakes covered by two layers of very thin tissue-like paper. The masks work like transfers or temporary tattoos: press them very gently on damp skin and then pat on more water or toner until the top layers of tissue are saturated. Then you pull the tissue layers very carefully off the skin.

Cosmetokyo 2018: High-tech beauty

I saw a number of human stem cell-based beauty brands at Cosmetokyo 2018; it was definitely one of the key product trends at the trade show.  As were nano-sized ingredients, by the way.

In Japan (and other Asian countries, I imagine), nano technology is obviously seen an exciting skin care development technology. In Germany and across most of Europe, on the other hand, consumers are rather critical (to put it mildly!) of nano ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products.

Japanese company Eternal Beauty’s latest beauty range is Hitoyurai +30 which was launched in April 2017 (see pic above). The range includes five products: a sheet mask, cream, moisturiser, lotion and serum. And all products contain human stem cells.

The company says that its products are formulated with a hybrid stem cell medium which contains two types of human stem cells: neural cells and adipose-derived cells. This hybrid medium is claimed to penetrate deep into the skin for more effectivity; smoothing out lines and wrinkles, minimizing hyperpigmentation and boosting skin density.

Zeal Cosmetics, on the other hand, uses ostrich anti-body ingredients in its skin care products. Now this is really interesting: the premise is that healthy skin is able to repair itself. However, sometimes skin is out of balance because its natural barrier has been damaged by certain bacteria. If these bacteria are treated (read: killed) the skin can regain its natural function and continue regenerating itself.

And Zeal Cosmetics utilises anti-bodies harvested from ostrich egg yolks to combat these bacteria. And here is how ostrich anti-bodies are manufactured. Ostriches (they are all Japanese ostriches, by the way, it’s very much an ingredient that’s made in Japan!) are injected with non-toxic antigens. The birds then produce anti-bodies in response to the injected antigen; the anti-bodies are transmitted into the egg yolks and after the ostrich eggs are laid, the anti-bodies are extracted and further processed before they are integrated into the cosmetic formulae.

And why ostriches in particular? Well, I was told that ostrich anti-bodies are highly resistant – they can withstand temperatures of up to 110°C – and also survive in a strongly alkaline or acidic environment.

Depending on the skin care range – or skin condition, rather – Zeal Cosmetics uses different antigens. Acne or dermatitis, for example, can be caused by certain bacteria and the antigens injected into the ostriches produce anti-bodies that are tailored to combat these specific bacteria.

The company’s main beauty brand is called Rehydrater la Peau and it comprises four sub-ranges: the 5-sku AC Care (acne care) line, the 10-sku dark-blue anti-ageing range (see pic above), a 2-sku Mild Care range and an 8-sku range for atopic skin. Zeal Cosmetics’ latest range is a 2-sku line of oral care – toothpaste and mouthwash – which are formulated with anti-bodies that combat the bacteria which cause gingivitis.

Ostrich anti-body technology is a fascinating research area. I was told that Zeal Cosmetics collaborates with Kyoto Prefecture University Life & Environmental Sciences Laboratory and last year the company began cooperating with Japanese biotech start-up Maz World to further research the use of ostrich egg yolk extract as a skin care ingredient.

McCoy is an Osaka-based salon brand which was launched in 2005. The first McCoy product was a slimming cream, Non F Energy Cream. Now there is a whole range of Non F slimming products, including the Non F Monster body massage gel cream, the Non F Expert body massage cream and the Non F Beauty Cream.

Then the company branched out into face care with the Non F Idol skin care range which includes a cleansing oil, a lotion, cream, bar soap and massage cream. There is also a hair care range, Rei La Sean, which offers a silicone-free shampoo, conditioner and treatment mist.

The McCoy range also includes the Non F Book Make Gel (a décolleté-lifting cream), the McCoy Boob Mask (a sheet mask for the, well, boobs), the Non F Bonnyzime Pack (a massage gel with fermented plants which can be used for face and body) and a range of compression tights, leggings and UV gloves.

The brand’s newest product was actually launched at Cosmetokyo 2018 (see pic above): Beautiful Prestige Pure Mineral Facial Cream is a grey-tinted glossy gel cream formulated with nano-sized mineral clay particles. Now, I love clay in beauty products (especially clay-based masks): it’s such a European skin care ingredient! I’ve rarely seen clay used in Asian cosmetics so it was interesting to play around with the Beautiful Prestige cream.

Cosmetokyo 2018: Multipurpose beauty

And there were more gel textures to explore at Cosmetokyo 2018! Japanese company Gracy Cosme launched Urucolla in 2016 and the brand’s first beauty products were introduced last year. The range offers just two multipurpose products, a Cleansing & Wash and an All in One Gel, which are aimed at modern women who are too busy to spend much time on their face care routine but still want to care for their skin.

The hydrating Cleansing & Wash has been formulated with four types of hyaluronic acid and three kinds of collagen, amino acids and ceramides and is said to leave the skin clean yet hydrated. The All in One Gel – which also contains hyaluronic acid, collagen, elastine, glucosamine and chondrotoin – works as a toner, essence, moisturizer and can also be used as a face pack. The gel texture of the All in One is rather unusual – Japanese anti-ageing creams are traditionally rich, thick creams or emulsions.

The two Urucolla products are packaged in deep red (they look very striking) but because I somehow neglected to take photos of the range (not sure how that happened!) I can’t show you an actual pic. Check out the brand’s homepage.

I noticed multipurpose products all over the trade show and interestingly enough, most of the all-in-one products that I saw were gel products. Definitely a big trend!

Gel cleansers seem to be especially popular at the moment. I saw a number of new gel cleansers which I really liked – then again, gel is my favourite face cleansing texture. Yes, I’ve tried foams, soaps, milks and oils but somehow I always seem to end up with a nice foaming gel wash! I make an exception for my beloved Rose Cleanser from Sum:37 which is the only solid cleanser that I like.

Anyway, there were several gel cleansers at Cosmetokyo that looked really promising – like the Aile Shinsei Holy Cleansing Gel for example; check out the beautiful product design in the pic below; it’s so déco!

The cleanser is applied on dry skin; massage several pumps of the gel into the face and then splash on water to emulsify; afterwards simply rinse it off. The ingredients contain moisturizing argan oil, lily extract and frankincense. I guess that’s where the English-language appellation “holy cleanser” is coming from ; )

Aile Shinsei was launched in summer 2017, it is “eight-free” (formulated without eight potentially irritating ingredients such as parabens, alcohol, mineral oils and synthetic fragrances) and manufacturer IEST says that it it’s been a best-seller on leading Japanese online store @cosme in the face cleansing category.

Cosmetokyo 2018: Formulated without

That’s another thing I noticed: “eight-free”, “five-free”, “paraben-free” – “free-from” is definitely a trend that is picking up pace in Japanese cosmetics formulations.

Take ODC, for example. Now, this is an intriguing brand. At first I thought this was your average premium Chinese/Asian anti-ageing skin care brand – you know the type, super-shiny golden or silver packaging designed to appeal to more mature consumers and ingredients veering heavily towards the mineral oils and silicones.

To my surprise, that wasn’t exactly true. The brand was launched in December 2016 and the brand name ODC is short for Oxide Depleting Chemicals, referring to the skin care technology behind the products which are based on hydrogen-stabilized water.

The company behind ODC is from Hong Kong, the cosmetics are manufactured in Japan but ODC isn’t actually sold in Japan under this brand name (due to some legal issues).  The products are currently available across most of East Asia and South East Asia (Hong Kong, China and Taiwan; Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand) as well as Canada and the US and even France.

And yes, ODC is an anti-ageing range. The products are based on a patented Hydrogen Stabilized Water complex which reduces the surface tension of the product so it is more easily absorbed into the skin, has an anti-oxidising effect and keeps the ingredients in the formulation stable so they remain effective for longer. In addition, the products contain apple fruit stem cells, German chamomile essence, four different types of peptides and hydrolyzed yeast extracts.

However, what really surprised me is that ODC products are “eight-free”: formulated without mineral oil, synthetic surfactants, parabens, alcohol, phenoxyethanol, artificial fragrances or colourants or UV radiation absorbents.

From what I could see of the English-language INCI listings on the back of the packaging the product formulae are pretty clean. Not organic by any means but very respectable indeed. And highly unusual for this type of beauty brand.

The ODC Hydrogen Time Shaping range (packaged in gold) comprises the Hydrogen Make-Up Remover (a cleansing gel), the Hydrogen Compact Cleansing Foam, the Hydrogen Repair Toner, the Hydrogen Brightening & Beautifying Lotion, the Hydrogen Hydrating & Moisturizing Essence, the Hydrogen Dual Repair Beautifying Cream and the Hydrogen Protection Sun Screen. I tried out all of the products on my hands and the textures feel great.

The brand also offers a number of special-care products, like the Firming & Lifting Essence and the Rejuvenation Anti-Ageing Serum (silver packaging), plus a few hair care products, like the Anti-Ageing Scalp Serum, Hydrogen Care Shampoo and Care Conditioner; a shower gel and a body cream.

Finally, there is the Hydrogen Atom Anti-Ageing and Anti-Fatigue Capsule, an “inner serum”. The supplement contains an interesting blend of Japanese and Chinese medicinal plant ingredients, such as caterpillar fungus, lingzhi mushroom, maitake mushroom and marine salt-based minerals.

Cosmetokyo 2018: Golden beauty

Gold leaf (or gold flakes, rather) is a traditional beauty ingredient in Japan. Around 90% of the edible, cosmetic and decorative gold leaf that is produced in the country is manufactured in Kanazawa, a city in Ishikawa prefecture.

I actually visited Kanazawa in May 2017 and yes, I did notice the many gold skin care ranges that were available in every tourist/souvenir shop. And of course I also saw the sweets and confectioneries and especially ice cream (soft serve) decorated with edible gold leaf.

A cone of soft serve sprinkled with gold flakes costs around 6 Euro (I just checked my Instagram feed to confirm – I love Instagram, it’s the perfect tool to structure and archive information!). If you want an ice cream wrapped in an entire sheet of gold leaf (google it, it looks spectactular!) you’ll have to shell out around 10 Euro.

Anyway, gold leaf is probably the most famous locally-made product of Kanazawa city and I’m pretty certain that most of the gold leaf cosmetics that I saw at Cosmetokyo 2018 were formulated with gold from Kanazwa.

Hakuichi is one of the biggest gold leaf manufacturers from Kanazawa, they had a spectacular exhibition booth at the show – check out the pics above. On the counter they had all their recent product launches, including a clear eye gel with gold flakes in Hakuichi’s main beauty brand Kinka, a 2-part gold leaf Kinka sheet mask and (I found this particularly interesting) two new cosmetic gold flake blends.

The company’s range of cosmetic gold flake variants (or “beauty gold flakes” as it is called in the English-language product brochure) is impressive: yellow gold, white gold, champagne gold and platinum flakes which are available in different sizes, grades and diameters as well as several special gold leaf blends (see pics below).

Paris Miki Cosme’s Rei Jinka range (see first section of this article) is another perfect example of a classic high-end Japanese gold care range but there were also a number of other brands that offered gold-based products.

Like Beauty is Perfect, a premium Japanese skin care brand. Its main product range is called Meninaz – beautiful packaging and veeery high-end prices: their new Essence Cream Foundation (see pic below), for example, has an RRP of 15,700 Yen (which at the current weak state of the Yen still translates into just over 110 Euro!).

The Cream Foundation contains EGF (epidermal growth factor) and FGF (fibroblast growth factor) and is claimed to have an anti-ageing and brightening effect on the skin. Another recent launch is the Meninaz Up3 Jelly which contains rose water, lima bean seed extract, glycerin and soluble collagen. And gold flakes, of course.

Cosmetokyo 2018: Regional beauty

Kyoto-based men’s care brand Quick Organizer was another of my favourite brand discoveries at Cosmetokyo. The range offers four ultra-stylish fragrance-free products formulated with activated charcoal.

I was particularly impressed with the design of the blotting papers (a type of product that I use myself). Usually blotting paper are tiny little individual rectangles packaged in a small cardboard sleeve. Portable, yes, but also finicky, especially when the plastic sticker bit inside doesn’t work and you have to try and pull out a single sheet with your fingers….

The Quick Organizer blotting papers are made from special aburatorigami paper manufactured in Kyoto and look more like paper sheets: large and square and actually bound in a stylish square booklet (see pic below). I initially thought this was a product brochure! The oil blotting sheets are covered with an extra layer of charcoal so the oil that has soaked into the sheet isn’t visible from the outside. Very discreet!

The brand’s line-up also includes a bar soap, a repairing serum and an oil-control gel moisturizer and later this year there will be several new body and hair care products. You can also purchase various gift sets which are wrapped in beautiful furoshiki cloths (also made in Kyoto, of course). The products are sold in exclusive men’s stores, select shops and onsen spa hotels in Tokyo and Osaka.

Yaotomi from Nagoya city in Aichi prefecture was another interesting Japanese exhibitor with a strong regional heritage. It’s an organic farming company, actually, which was founded in 2009. Today Yaotomi runs a string of organic farms on various parts of Japan, supplying various restaurants with their fresh produce. Most of Yaotomi’s fruit and vegetables are sold online and through wholesalers.

In 2017, the company decided to branch out into cosmetics and launched three products; a lotion, face cream and a cleanser. And in a few months the range will be expanded with a gel-cream. While the products are not organic by European standards (at least not according to the INCI translations provided by my Google Translate app…) the product formulation are pretty clean and include a number of plant extracts, most of which are sourced from Yaotomi’s own farms.

All products are based on what the company calls “activated water”: filtered through bamboo charcoal and charged with semi-precious stones like tourmaline and quartz (again, that is if Google Translate is correct!). The formulae also include a plant complex which consists of eleven different herbs, including hamamelis leaf, ginkgo, eucalyptus and edelweiss; and several Japanese plants which Google translated as mukuwa root skin, otaninjin root and yukinoshita.

I love Yaotomi’s packaging design: gloss white tubes and bottles whilst the cardboard packaging features a fresh, graduated blue. Reminiscent of the classic Weleda packaging but very pretty. I was told that Yaotomi’s beauty products are retailed at selected outlets of Tokyo Hands and Ion and Daimaru department stores.

Kinzendo’s beauty brand All-J, on the other hand, is packaged in pure, stylish white. The company was founded in 2014, in 2016 Kizendo launched its first All-J product (the All-in-One Moisture Gel) – yes, it’s another all-in-one gel moisturizer ; )

Kizendo describes the product as a gel-cream like serum that fulfills the function of multiple skin care products such as toner, serum and moisturizer. And because you only apply one product it means less irritation for the skin, especially if your skin type is sensitive or prone to dermatitis.

The main ingredient in the All-J products is ceramide extracted from soybean seedcake, fermented rice bran extract, vitamin C and several plant extracts, including alpinia speciosa (a plant from the ginger family) and paeonia lactiflora which is a type of peony that is native to Northern and Central Asia.

The most recent All-J launch, from late 2017, is the Smooth Rich Skin Facial Soap (a bar soap) and soon there will be two further products:  the Moist Rich Skin Cleansing Oil and the Moist Rich Eye Multi Concentrate.

Cosmetokyo 2018: Organic beauty

Natural and organic beauty is definitely a growth market in Japan. The organic lifestyle is most popular with the 25-40 year old female demographic which has sufficient disposable income (organic cosmetics in Japan aren’t cheap!) and the key distribution channel are specialist retailers. However, the absence of a really affordable, widely distributed mass market brand (like Alverde in Germany) means that organic beauty in Japan is also a bit of a niche market.

Still, it’s a niche market that has been growing constantly over the past decade. The leading retail chain is, of course, Cosmekitchen – you can read more about this organic perfumery chain on trend-traveller here – with its sister chain Biople. Cosmekitchen’s founder Mash Beauty Lab is definitely the key driver in the Japanese organic beauty market.

And although there are so many interesting Japanese natural and organic beauty brands, none of these were at the trade show – probably because they already have their Japanese distribution sorted out. However, the international exhibitors at Cosmetokyo 2018 included numerous organic beauty brands that were hoping to break into the Japanese market.

Like natural Polish beauty brand Yope, for example, who was a first-time exhibitor at Cosmetokyo (see pic above). Yope started out as a household cleansing brand back in 2015 and then began launching personal care products.

Today, the brand’s portfolio includes 21 body care products, primarily body cleansers and lotions as well as 16 household cleansing products. In Poland, Yope’s products are sold in perfumery chains Douglas and Hebe; also in various natural stores. I like the quirky packaging design and the single-note fragrances – like rosemary, sage, geranium, lavender and verbena – which smell amazing!

Farmaesthetics is a charming brand from the US. Brenda Brock launched her first products back in 1999 which, I imagine, makes Farmaesthetics one of the older indie brands in its home market. A few years ago, Brenda moved her company from Texas to Rhode Island.

Farmaesthetics’ products are based on powdered herbs, flowers and clays, plant oils and plant hydrosols – beautifully simple product formulations which are based on Brenda’s own recipes (she grew up on a farm, hence the brand name).  At the moment the company is focusing on its Japanese market entry; they have already found a Japanese distributor and if all goes well, the brand will be launched in late spring/early summer 2018.

I was told that Farmaestethics is also interested in expanding into the European market and I think the brand would do well in Germany. The German organic C&T market is incredibly competitive but Farmaesthetics products are unusual enough to stand out on the shelf whilst the ingredients are high quality enough to appeal to the country’s jaded organic consumers.

The choice of organic brands in Germany is so large (you can find certified organic beauty in every price segment and retail channel, from discounters over drugstores to high-end perfumerie and department stores) that an international brand really needs a unique USP. Especially when they operate in the masstige to premium sector. However, I think Farmaesthetic could probably do it.

I met Korean organic newcomer brand Urang Naturals at Cosmobeauty Seoul 2017 and liked their products immediately – gorgeous hydrosols, oil blends and serums with very pretty packaging. And here they were at Cosmetokyo with their Japanese distributor who told me that Urang will launch in Japan later this year. At the booth, the company presented several new launches, like the True Rose Repair Essence (pic below) which smells AMAZING. I look forward to seeing Urang’s new Anti-Blue Light Face Oil (which they have already shown on Instagram) at Cosmoprof Bologna 2018 this March.

Another Korean organic brand which I had met at Cosmobeauty 2017 is Stay Young. The company’s face and body care products are based on traditional Korean herbs and plants and they showed quite a few new products at Cosmetokyo – the range of sheet masks you can see in the picture above, for example.

Also from Korea is organic brand Chobs. Chobs’s parent company CH Harmony will be at Vivaness trade show in Nuremberg next month so if you are attending Vivaness or Biofach (as I am), check out this interesting little brand. High-quality, clean product formulations and their Centella Asiatica Serum (which I received as a press sample) is simply fabulous.

Chobs was launched in 2006, in 2016 the brand received its Cosmos certification. In fact, the brand’s entire portfolio of 20-odd products is certified organic, vegan AND halal.

Theline-up includes three cleansers (Tea Tree Cleansing Water, the facial scrub Aloe Vera Peeling Lotion and the foam wash Apple Bubble Cleanser), two toners (Rosemary Goun Mist and Moringa Toner), the hydrating Moringa Lotion, the afore-mentioned Centella Asiatica Serum, a Skin Soothing Essence; the light-textured Apple Aqua Moisture Cream and the Moringa Total Cream (this is a heavier moisturizer).

The range also offers a Moringa Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream, six different sheet mask variants, an Argan Oil and a hand cream based on chamomile water. There are also four baby products and two feminine hygiene products: a foam cleanser and Feminine Cleansing Wipes which will be launched soon.

I always enjoy seeing Australian brand Eco by Sonya at trade shows – the company usually has some exciting new products to introduce and I simply LOVE their Face Tan Water; it’s the only facial tanning product that I can use which looks natural on my rather diva-like skin.
Anyway, at Cosmetokyo the company had brought along a brand-new product range, the 4-sku Skin Compost.

The line-up includes Super Citrus Cleanser (a citrus-scented gel cleanser which is based on aloe vera juice. The gel texture turns into a milky cleansing fluid once you massage the skin with water), the Super Acai Exfoliator which contains, well, acai berry extract as well as coconut oil; and the Super Hydrator, a light oil-free hydrating fluid with coconut water and hyaluronic acid.

There is also the superfoods-based Face Compost 7-minute mask formulated with chlorella, spinach, chia seed oil, sacha inchi oil, aloe vera juice, coconut water and avocado oil (sounds amazing; I want to try it!) and the Glory Face Oil, a lovely blend of grapeseed oil, coconut oi, chia oil, sacha inchi oil and chia oil plus pumpkin seed oil.

Natura Siberica from Russia was at Cosmetokyo 2018 as well. I’ve seen the brand at various Asian and European trade shows over the years (they will also be at Vivaness next month) and their exhibition booth is always beautiful.

At Cosmetokyo, the Moscow-based brand presented a whole clutch of new product launches, including the 6-sku cleansing range The Northern Collection. The line-up includes two cleansing butters – Black (charcoal) and White (clay) – two cleansing masks (again, Black/charcoal and White/clay), a micellar cleansing water and the creamy Deep Face Cleansing Soap.

With the exception of this last product, the entire range is certified by Cosmos Organic.

The majority of Natura Siberica’s product portfolio (which admittedly is huge! There are also a number of country-specific ranges) is near-natural rather than certified organic so this new product range is pretty exciting. Great packaging, too and I can personally attest that the Black Cleansing Mask works very well; it has a slightly warming effect on the skin which I like (I love thermo masks).

The brand also introduced a beautifully packaged 8-sku range of body scrubs and body lotions called Crazy Desserts (and the scrubs really look luscious! See pic above) and a new face and body care brand which celebrates Natura Siberica’s Siberian heritage, Sibérie Mon Amour. There will also be a new certified organic men’s care range soon.

Cosmetokyo 2018: Sheet mask beauty

Sheet masks are definitely a big product trend in Japan; there seems to be a bigger choice every year. In the drugstores you still primarily find Japanese brands but increasingly there are also masks from Taiwan (hello, My Beauty Diary!) and, of course, from Korea.

There were a number of Korean sheet masks exhibitors at the show, like Mediheal (which I seem to see at every single Asian and European trade show that I visit!) but also smaller brands, like Idoh Cosmetics.

In late 2017 Idoh Cosmetics launched the 2-sku Mirror Mask range which offers – get this! – 5 step masks! I can still remember when 2-step masks (double-sachet packs with serum/oil and sheet mask packaged separately) were the next big thing ; )
Anyway, now we have arrived at 5-step masks! The Idoh masks also reflect two further beauty trends at the moment: travel-friendliness and portability.

The Mirror Masks are available in Silver and Gold; each pack offers sachets with cleansing foam, a lotion and emulsion and a cream. The outside of the sheet masks are decorated with silver and gold pattern respectively which makes these masks also selfie-worthy – another major beauty trend at the moment.

Another cool face mask innovation came from Korean company BioSensor Laboratories. Franz is described as the world’s first home treatment iontophoresis mask.

Iontophoresis is a type of TDDS (transdermal drug delivery system; a system which carries active ingredients or other substances into the deepest layers of the skin). Usually, iontophoresis is achieved by using a very low electric current to transport the actives into the skin.

Franz, however, says that it has developed Tissue X, the world’s first non-electric TDDS – no need for a battery or other gadget, Tissue X does it with the help of IGMBs (Ion Generating Micro Booklets) which generates an ion energy flow that is said to achieve the same effect as an electric current.

The concept is based on the principles of osmosis and RED (Reverse Electro Dialysis) which uses salinity gradient energy – this is the energy that is generated when salt water and fresh water meet.  For more information, check Wikipedia!

Anyway, the Franz concept consists of two masks: the Empowering outer mask and the Enriching inner mask. The mask pack actually contains three components: the Enriching fibre mask which is saturated with a serum containing hyaluronic acid, vitamins, ceramides and human stem cells (of course!); the Elixir (an ionised liquid solution which activates the IGMB cells on the Empowering mask) and the Empowering mask which has a very fine metallic mesh on the outside (see pic below).

And this is how you do it: cleanse your face and apply a toner. Place the Enriching mask on your face. Squeeze the Elixir on to the back of the two rectangular boxes that are located to the right and left of the Empowering mask. Place the dry Empowering Mask on the wet Enriching mask. Then let the mask work for 20-25 minutes, take it off and massage the residue of the serum into your skin.

And that was Cosmetokyo 2018 – I hope you enjoyed the virtual walk around the trade show! Next year’s Cosmetokyo will take place from 30th January to 1st February 2019.



Filed under Asia, Retail, Show Reports, Trade Shows, Travel, Trends

5 responses to “Retail notes from Tokyo: [Show Report] Cosme Tokyo 2018

  1. Pingback: Vivaness 2018: [Show Report] The biggest organic C&T show in Europe | TRENDS. TRAVELS. AND BERLIN

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