Heavily affected by the COVID crisis and lockdown measures, large Japanese cosmetic brands have seen their profits drop sharply, according to Tsuyoshi Hasuo, President of Nippon Shikizai France. The group reacted to this situation with adaptability and innovation, in particular with a whole range of make-up and skincare products suited to new consumer expectations.

In Europe, Thépenier Pharma & Cosmetics has developed products suiting both the repeated use of digital devices and their impact on the skin, such as a Self-Protective Mist and an Anti-Blue Light Eye Contour. For enhanced antibacterial protection, the laboratory has also developed a biocidal hand gel, both a disinfectant and a moisturiser, formulated with calendula and hyaluronic acid.

Natural performances

Nippon Shikizai intends to leverage on its European teams to establish its global development, increase its expertise and reduce time to market. Since the acquisition of Thépenier Pharma & Cosmetics in 2000, more than EUR 13 million have been invested in the production site based in Normandy. With the more recent integration of Orléans Cosmetics, renamed Nippon Shikizai France, the group has stepped up its production capacity to 95 million units per year in Europe.

Thépenier Pharma & Cosmetics is one of the fastest-growing manufacturers in Europe with a steady increase in sales. The turnover grew from EUR 9 million in 2014 to EUR 18 million in 2018 and EUR 20 million in 2019 (EUR 23 million with Nippon Shikizai France). Despite the overall context, growth remained strong in 2020 (+9%). Thépenier Pharma & Cosmetics also generates 50% of its revenues on the American market.

Alongside Japanese technical know-how, the group centres its French innovation on the trend of natural performance. "Europe is the cradle of clean, natural and organic beauty for the group," assures Bertrand Lasserre, Managing Director of Thépenier Pharma & Cosmetics. A challenge that translates into various clean and hybrid innovations, both in skincare and make-up.

Sticks and powders

Boasting clean, natural, water-free, preservative-free, non-gender and vegan performances, a new range of innovative and high-performance moisturising skincare products is proposed in the form of sticks and with a recyclable packaging solution. It is formulated with 99% natural ingredients (hemp oil, baobab, cellulose, organic mango butter, etc.) and Cosmos certified.

Also in skincare, the range of boosters, with well-being, anti-ageing, hydration and skin radiance properties, with more than 97% of ingredients of natural origin, is formulated to suit all skin types.

On the side of make-up, the silicone-free line of foundations, concealers and highlighters, plays the card of solid formats with its stick format and claims 97% naturalness and a hybrid action.

The mattifying powders, blushes or bronzers, are 100% natural and tinted with vegetable pigments extracted from radish, beetroot and turmeric.

The Ultra-Green range of compact powders, blushes and eye shadows has ruled out talcum powder or titanium dioxide, leaving room for 99.9% naturally derived ingredients.

Besides the foundation category, which represents the bulk of products manufactured by the group (31%), the mascara/eyeliner range is developing significantly in the Normandy production unit, which offer a brand new natural and hybrid mascara formula featuring active ingredients that strengthen and help the growth of eyelashes. The other main categories are eye-shadow/blush type products (10%), and skin and sun care (10% in 2019) but growing strongly in 2020 thanks to the innovation efforts of Thépenier Pharma & Cosmetics. As for Nippon Shikizai France mainly dedicated to powders which account for 70% of the production, the objective for the coming years is to reach a 50/50 distribution between powders and cast products.