Japan: Despite their blemished reputation, demand for skin whiteners remains solid

Cosmetics makers have recently unveiled new skin-whitening products for this spring and summer, anticipating steady demand in spite of the revelation last year that Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. products had caused skin problems among many women.

“We believe Japanese women’s wish for white skin remains unchanged,” said an official at a cosmetics maker who stressed the need for the industry to eliminate consumer concerns and nurture latent demand for skin-whitening products.

Although more than 10,000 women were found to have suffered white blotches on their skin after using Kanebo whitening products, overall skin whitener sales in 2013 fell only 0.7 percent from 2012, according to market research firm Fuji Keizai Co.

Encouraged by the steady demand, Pola Inc. opted to release four new products, including a face lotion, under its mainstay skin-whitening brand.

Shiseido Co., which put out high-end skin-whitening products last year, will release only one low-priced beauty essence product in the coming spring and summer.

Extracts from a Japan Times article (original). Published 5 February 2014.

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