"The Latin American market for beauty and personal care products, lead by Brazil, already nearly matches the US market and has huge growth potential," Christian Bardin, president of cosmetics consultancy CBA Associates told the conference.
Total sales of beauty and personal care products in Latin America reached US$53.6bn last year compared to $58.8bn in the US, according to Euromonitor statistics. But by 2014, Latin American sales are predicted to reach $80.3bn compared with sales of $62.3bn north of the Rio Grande river.
Health care products
Predominant in the region's market is Brazil which now accounts for the globe's third largest sales of beauty and healthcare products after the United States and Japan.
Mexico is the area's second largest market with sales expected to rise from $7.9bn last year to $49.3bn within four years. But market growth will depend upon remedying the inequality of income distribution and improving the nation's infrastructure and credit availability, said Bardin.
Latin America's top three beauty and personal care categories are hair care, fragrances and skin care. Hair care product sales are expected to rise from $11.3bn last year to $15.8bn in 2014.
Fragrances and skin care will increase from $8.5bn and $7.4bn last year to $13.8bn and $11.5bn respectively within the next four years.
Men's grooming is another key category in this market with sales exceeding color cosmetics, deoderants, bath and shower, body care and sun care.
Rich in natural resources, it is no surprise that analysts are hailing the Latin American decade, said Bardin. "Just look at where the natural resources are - that will tell you which markets will grow," he added.
Meanwhile, Monica Gregori, marketing director of Brazil's Natura Cosmetics highlighted the value of sales of cosmetic products to Brazilian women. The nation's 95m women account for 50.9 per cent of the population, said Gregori. "Women account for 43 per cent of Brazil's economically active population and 70 per cent are prone to invest in products designed to make them feel good and look beautiful."
Female spending power reached $450bn last year of which $19bn was spent on beauty services and cosmetics.
"Brazil is under the spotlight and attracting international brands. Everybody is trying to get a piece of that market," concluded Gregori.
Latin America Key Facts
* Total population 580m across 23 countries.
* Median age below 30.
* Average economic growth rate 5.5 per cent.
* 15 per cent of global oil resources.
* 30 per cent of global fresh water.
Source: CBA Associates