Asia in Focus

The male grooming revolution is on its way with Japan's ‘joshiryoku danshi’

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

The male grooming revolution is on its way with Japan's ‘joshiryoku danshi’

Related tags Hygiene

Joshiryoku danshi refers to a generation of young Japanese men who aren't interested in a traditional masculine role but rather invest their time and money on 'feminine activities' like shopping and beauty routines.

Why is this group important for the cosmetics sector to be aware of?

Well, our Asia Pacific cosmetics market expert, Florence Bernardin says that as Japanese women look for more sensitive qualities in men, the younger generation is investing in a softer appearance including skin quality, odor and hair removal.

boys girls skills

Marketing analyst specialized in Asian youth research, Harada Youhei refers to joshiryoku danshi or 'boys with girls skills' as creating a new category for the beauty industry in Japan.

"These young men are described as removing hair on their legs, wearing ladies trousers (short length, ankle visible), carrying around a grooming pouch, and opting for soy milk for anti-ageing care,​" Florence tells

Meanwhile, Tokyo-based beauty giant Kao conducted an online survey of 1,032 men in their 20's in 2011 which found forty-eight per cent of respondents use skin lotion, skin milk or beauty essence.

Macho marketing won't work here..

Despite various top personal care players stepping up to give Asian men more complex solutions that go beyond maintaining hygiene in recent years, this younger generation say they prefer women's beauty and grooming products.

According to Florence, a recent issue of beauty magazine; 'Bistory' depicted eight men’s profiles from 27 to 44 years old where cooking skills, skin care approaches, sun protection, teeth whitening, and hair styling routines were rated and explored.

"What's most interesting about that article is that most of the products shown were women’s ones​," she tells this publication.

"I wonder if the men’s skin care market will step up to cater to this group or if these young men will continue to find the answer to their gentle personality through women’s products only,​" Florence adds.

Asia in Focus - bringing you all the latest cosmetics trends from the region

Asia in Focus is a series that hones in on the segments offering the most opportunities for the industry.

It looks at how best to enter Asia's markets and hones in on specific consumer trends and behavioural pattern breakdowns with our experts on the ground, in the region.


Florence Bernardin is the CEO of 'Information & Inspiration', an agency that specialises in all that is the cosmetics industry in Asia, and will be back on the region next month reporting on what matters.

If you would like to see our expert look into specific topics on their next trip, please contact us via the editor button below for consideration.

Related topics Market Trends

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