Whitening, natural and medicinal trends key to unlocking color cosmetics market in APAC

By Andrew MCDOUGALL

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Human skin color

Whitening, natural and medicinal trends key to unlocking color cosmetics market in APAC
As the face market leads sales of color cosmetics in many Asian countries, meeting whitening, natural and medicinal trends could be key to unlocking this market according to market researcher Mintel.

Facial color cosmetics leads sales of color cosmetics in many Asian countries according to the analyst, especially the larger markets of Japan and South Korea. Although lip color cosmetics dominate the Chinese market, facial colour cosmetics nonetheless account for nearly a third of sales.

“Most launches targeting ethnic skin and most whitening facial color cosmetics were found in Asia-Pacific, as manufacturers are keen to offer formulations adapted to local skin tones and allowing consumers to achieve paler skin,”​ says Mintel.

Nearly one in 10 facial color cosmetics in Asia-Pacific offered skin whitening benefits, mostly concentrated in primers and foundations/fluid illuminators.

Medicinal value

According to the analyt’s Inspire trend observation ‘Looks Good, Feels Good’, Chinese consumers are also increasingly embracing cosmetic products with medicinal properties, with facial color cosmetics in a great position to do this, as they are applied all over the face, contrary to lip or eye color for example.

One way of making cosmetics do more is by borrowing from skin care, adding moisturizing properties for example. This is particularly prevalent in Asia-Pacific, where nearly half of launches are hydrating, compared to just over a third globally.

Moisturising properties are a particularly strong feature of foundations/fluid illuminators largely drawn from plants and vitamins.

Jojoba oil, avocado oil or cocoa butter, are common botanical ingredients used whilst vitamin E is also quite common. Other moisturising ingredients noted recently include the popular hyaluronic acid and the more unusual snail slime.

Natural trend

With plants lending a more natural feel to cosmetics and helping to care for skin becoming a more important consideration for Asian consumers, 36 percent of facial colour cosmetics contained botanical/herbal ingredients in the year to April 2012, compared to 28 percent globally.

Many of these products with plants extracts also had moisturising properties with key ingredients such as aloe vera, camomile, palm oil and mango seed butter caring for skin.

“Many plants used in facial colour cosmetics were chosen for their specific function. Ginseng and cinnamon extracts were claimed to tighten pores, tea tree oil to help soothe skin, artichoke extracts to firm skin and menthol for cooling,”​ adds Mintel.

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