The Buzz and the Hype: Beautyworld, Tokyo


May 28, 2014

The largest trade show for beauty and wellness hit Tokyo Big Site this week, featuring over 500 exhibitors from Japan and around the globe. Beautyworld showcased the best in the up and coming products, gadgets, and trends in both Japanese and global beauty markets, hosting over 57,000 attendees over the three-day period.

The Buzz

Tokyo is known for loving the perpetually adorable, with candy-colored cosmetic lines and Harajuku-kawaii… and the show didn’t disappoint. Altier Raison is a pro-distributor in Japan and featured a lineup of crazy lip appliques, faux lashes, funky tattoos, and the best pro-lines in Hollywood like Ben Nye and Krylon. Altier Raison is also an exclusive distributor of the cult favorite BeautyBlender—an egg-shaped makeup sponge that has become the must-have tool in every artists’ kit.

But Beautyworld revealed a strong presence in the natural world as well. Lar Neo Natural is a holistic skincare line that features completely organic herbs and plants grown in Gifu. Lar’s Botanic Oil is a favorite with Japanese actresses, and with the line priced in the 3000-5000 range, it’s an affordable luxury.


The Hype

Placenta and Collagen. Yep, still here.

Two big (and ongoing) buzzwords in the retail spaces were placenta and collagen. Collagen beauty drinks, masks, creams, and gels. Most dermatologists agree that topical collagen at best only moisturizes the skin, and ingested collagen breaks down in the body before is can benefit the skin in any way.

Japan’s collagen obsession seems to be mostly about marketing. The placenta trend is collagen’s more youthful cousin—placenta being associated with infant-like skin, but again, the benefits are minimal. Collagen molecules are simply too big to penetrate the skin. Says Dr. Jeffery Spiegel, an American cosmetic surgeon, “It’s a bit like saying you’re going to cool off a bottle of milk by holding it against the outside of the fridge,” he says. “It’s just not going to work.”

Hype aside, Japan has always been a global leader in the cosmetics and skincare industries, and Beautyworld gives retailers, industry experts, and product junkies a look at what the global trends in skincare, nails, hair, and anti-aging will be for next year.

The Deets
Beautyworld 2015 will be held on 18-20 May at Tokyo Big Sight.

Writer, actor, beauty junkie, smart aleck.

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