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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

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Industry experts agree that anti-aging and whitening products will continue to be in demand. Beauty brand owners should take advantage of these trends and develop innovative formulations that help whiten and nourish skin, or even do both. In addition, brand owners should consider exploring the market for such goods in China’s mid- to lower-end cities where women are becoming more cosmetic-savvy about keeping their skin looking young and fair, but have less access to global or larger brand names than consumers in top-tier cities.

Another key point to note is that consumers are not limited to women. A key area of growth within the skin care sector is men’s products, because Chinese males are now more concerned than ever about their appearances and the importance of projecting an image of success, which—some believe—starts with good-looking skin. As more men become accustomed to the idea of keeping up their appearances, the skin care product segment will no doubt continue on an upward trend. In fact, Euromonitor expects the Chinese domestic market for skin care goods to grow at a greater rate than that in North America and Europe. Skin care producers will want to continue investing in this area, developing and marketing products that are suited to the specific skin care needs of men.

Hair Care

Next to skin care, the largest segment of the Chinese beauty market is hair care. Research firm RNCOS expects the sector to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15.5% between 2011 and 2013. And not surprisingly, shampoos and conditioners are the major products within this segment.

While the majority of Chinese previously bought dual-function, value-for-money hair care products, customers now seek out solutions that cater to their particular hair needs. According to Procter & Gamble, the driving factor is that consumer requirements have become much more specific. For example, specialized shampoos and conditioners for moisturizing, repairing, dandruff treatment or straightening effects are now widely adopted across the country.

With rising incomes, the market for shampoos is expected to grow as basic necessities become much more affordable. Consumer demand for conditioners will also rise as the Chinese population becomes increasingly sophisticated in their hair care routines. What is important then is for manufacturers to differentiate their products from others and demonstrate how their brands meet specific hair care needs.