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A Look at Skin Care and Hair Care in China

By: Randy Wang, Project Manager, PCHi, Reed Sinopharm Exhibitions
Posted: October 24, 2011

The Chinese beauty industry experienced tremendous growth in the past decade, to say the least. At present, the country’s personal care market is the second largest in Asia-Pacific after Japan, and the third largest worldwide. Yet, it still has a huge potential for growth because of its largely untapped nature. Disposable income among the urban middle class has been increasing rapidly, and the country’s 1.3 billion-strong population offers a large consumer base. These factors, if nothing else, position China as a very attractive market for beauty brand owners, both local and international.

Within the domestic beauty market in China, skin care and hair care are the two largest segments in terms of revenue generation. These two sectors contribute more than 50% of total sales within the local beauty industry, and are expected to grow rapidly over the next few years. Here’s a closer look at the skin care and hair care markets in China, and the wealth of opportunities that are available for cosmetics and toiletries businesses looking to serve the ever-important Chinese consumer.

Skin Care

Skin care dominates the overall beauty market in China as it represents 36% of all personal care items that are available. The most popular items within this segment are facial moisturizers, followed by facial cleansers. And with the Chinese becoming more willing to invest in their appearances, the skin care product market is expected to reach $77.84 billion by 2012.

A number of trends have emerged in recent years. First, skin care products with anti-aging properties grew in popularity last year (2010), according to a report by Euromonitor International. These formulations claim to repair the DNA of damaged skin, thereby slowing down the process of skin aging and reducing wrinkles. When these products first appeared in the market, the primary consumers were mid- to high-income women in their 40s and 50s who were concerned about maintaining a youthful appearance. But with more young ladies becoming increasingly conscious about preserving their looks, the demand for anti-aging products has since shifted to include those in their 20s and 30s.

Skin-whitening solutions are also very much in vogue. In China, females are indeed the fairer sex, because a pale complexion is considered an attribute of beauty. Women of all ages strive to attain this standard, which has led to skin-whitening solutions becoming popular amongst both the young and old.