Dry skin affects four in five Japanese


Do you feel you have dry skin? graph of japanese statisticsThe winter months are the driest months in Japan, causing many people problems with dry skin and brings a rise in the sales in humidifiers. To see what the average Japanese suffers from and how they cope, MyVoice looked at prevention of dry skin problems.


Over the first five days of December 2008 15,073 members of the MyVoice internet community completed a private online questionnaire. 54% of the sample were female, 2% in their teens, 15% in their twenties, 36% in their thirties, 29% in their forties, and 18% aged fifty or older. Sadly, the answers were not broken down by sex.

I get really bad dry skin in Japan, although to what extent it is from the dry air, from aging, or just from taking more care now I’m married, I couldn’t say. My hands suffer the most, and the creams I use are just my wife’s left-overs!

I also have psoriasis on a couple of spots on my legs, but that doesn’t really count as dry skin. Interesting statistics about it is that it is the most common dematological complaint in most Western countries, but Japanese are 100 times less likely to suffer from it that us whities, although my excellent doctor says the reason is not known; it’s some combination of genetics, lack of sunlight, and being an island race that increases risk factors.

Although this survey does not look at the topic specifically, one of the most popular skin protection methods, from the effects of not just dryness, but also aging, in Japan is collagen drinks, collagen creams and collagen-rich foods. I always felt the effectiveness was overblown, so I was pleased to a story in the Japan Times saying it is indeed a waste of money! (Via Japan Probe).

Another rumour that seems to be doing the rounds is that young people should use cosmetics aimed at those in their fifties or so.

Research results

Q1: Do you feel you have dry skin? (Sample size=15,073)

All year round16.7%
Depending on the season64.6%

Q2: Where do you feel dry skin? (Sample size=15,073, multiple answer)

Around mouth43.2%
Around eyes27.3%
Around nose10.0%
Don’t feel dry skin anywhere12.2%
No answer1.0%

The “U-zone” is a new term to me, but it appears to be a U-shaped area from below (or including) the eyes, down the cheeks and meeting on the chin.

I’m not sure why 18.6% said they never had dry skin in Q1, but then only 12.2% gave the similar answer in Q2!

Q3: What counter-measures do you take for your own dry skin issues? (Sample size=those with dry skin from Q2, multiple answer)

Use skin care products80.7%
Use bath salts23.5%
Use a humidifier15.0%
Take supplements8.2%
Watch what I eat6.2%
Do exercise4.7%
Improve my rhythm of life4.0%
Use a face steamer, etc3.2%
Visit an esthetician, etc2.2%
Don’t take any particular counter-measures13.7%
No answer0.5%

Q4: Are these counter-measures effective? (Sample size=those who take counter-measures from Q3)

Feel a great benefit6.3%
Feel some benefit57.7%
Can’t say either way25.4%
Don’t really feel much benefit8.7%
Don’t feel any benefit at all0.6%
No answer1.3%

Q5: What kinds of skin care products do you use? (Sample size=those who use skin care products from Q3, multiple answer)

Hand cream65.7%
Lip balm61.9%
Milky lotion45.1%
Body cream33.4%
Soap, body soap23.1%
Beauty fluid, essence22.6%
Other particular body zone cream10.9%
Face pack8.9%
Water spray5.2%
No answer0.8%

Q6: Why did you choose these skin care products in Q5? (Sample size=those who use skin care products from Q3, multiple answer)

Suits my skin41.6%
Effect, function40.1%
Feeling in use34.4%
Ease of use33.9%
Whether free from additives13.9%
Friends, family evaluation12.8%
Trust in manufacturer, vendor11.9%
Advertisement image10.6%
Web site, word of mouth evaluation9.2%
Volume of contents7.0%
Manufacturer, vendor brand strength, name recognition6.9%
Breadth of product line5.8%
Package design4.8%
Country of manufacture3.5%
Magazine column evaluation3.0%
Specialist recommendation2.1%
Famous name who appears in advertising material1.0%
Nothing in particular8.1%
No answer0.8%

Q7: What counter-measures would you want to use, continue to use in the future? (Sample size=those with dry skin from Q2, multiple answer)

Use skin care products62.5%
Use bath salts25.9%
Use a humidifier18.6%
Watch what I eat15.7%
Take supplements15.1%
Improve my rhythm of life14.1%
Do exercise12.9%
Use a face steamer, etc9.2%
Visit an esthetician, etc5.5%
Don’t want to take any particular measures17.3%
No answer2.6%
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  1. mike said,
    January 11, 2009 @ 04:20

    Dry skin is a big problem for me here in New York in the winter. Low humidity is the problem.

  2. January 11, 2009 @ 05:25

    My girlfriend has lately been using her own skin care oils on *my* face!

  3. RMilner said,
    January 14, 2009 @ 18:34

    I get dry skin when I visit Japan in winter and stay for a week or more. I think it is partly the dryness of the air (much drier than London!) and also low level of fats in the Japanese diet.

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