Japan Data

Who Needs Lipstick with Masks? Products that Sold Badly in 2020

Economy Society Lifestyle

Cosmetics sales took a hit in 2020 as they became a lower priority item during the pandemic.

Japanese market research company Intage ranked products that had poor sales in 2020. Lipstick topped the list due to widespread use of masks, while motion sickness medicine came second, as people made less frequent trips. Cardiotonic medication in third place is popular with Chinese visitors to Japan, and sales suffered in 2020 due to their absence.

Ranking Category (YoY Sales) Ranking Category (YoY Sales)
1 Lipstick (44%) 11 Chewing gum (82%)
2 Motion sickness medicine (54%) 12 Contact lens solution (83%)
3 Cardiotonic medication (63%) 13 Sinus medication (83%)
4 Blush (66%) 14 Quasi-drug energy “mini drinks” (85%)
5 Foundation (68%) 15 Milk lotion (85%)
6 Makeup base (72%) 16 Fruit juice drinks (87%)
7 White powder foundation (79%) 17 Face packs (87%)
8 Cough medicine (79%) 18 Deodorant (88%)
9 Cold medicine (79%) 19 Sports drinks (88%)
10 Vitamin B₁ supplements (81%) 20 Eye makeup (88%)

Created by Nippon.com based on data from Intage Shiru Gallery.

Intage compiled sales of daily consumer goods including food, beverages, and lifestyle items, for the period January to October 2020, based on retail data from approximately 4,000 stores across Japan.

Lipstick fared the worst with sales down by more than half at 44% compared to the previous year. Manufacturers have tried to offset the problem by developing new products like lipstick that does not smear on masks.

Along with lipstick, four other cosmetics items were in the top ten for reduced sales: blush, foundation, makeup base, and white powder foundation. With fewer opportunities to go out since the state of emergency was declared in April 2020 and people being encouraged to work from home, makeup has become a significantly lower priority.

However, while masks cover half the face, more importance was placed on emphasizing the eyes, so a relatively smaller drop in sales was seen for those types of cosmetic items.

Intage compiled data in the same way for products that sold well in 2020, which revealed that masks enjoyed the biggest rise in sales (a year-on year increase of 325%), followed by disinfectant (up 202%), thermometers (up 149%), mouthwash (up 120%), and wet wipes (up 79%). It is no surprise that hygiene-related products showed phenomenal growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

cosmetics masks COVID-19