Japan's cosmetics business is huge, but it's also mature, so manufacturers have been looking to grow by tapping new markets. Most evident is their ongoing reach into other parts of Asia, but some companies are taking advantage of underdeveloped opportunities at home too.
According to Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, while overall domestic cosmetics revenues have been down slightly in recent years, sales of men's skincare products were up 17% in 2008.
At the moment, the UL・OS lineup includes two other products besides the skin lotion (skin milk and skin cream), but in a couple of weeks one more will join the fold: a water-based SPF 25 sunscreen.
In light of other industry stats, this makes sense. In '08, Japan's sun protection lotions and cosmetics markets also grew 12%.