China holds potential for foreign cosmetics brands as consumers prioritise beauty


- Last updated on GMT

China holds potential for foreign cosmetics brands as consumers prioritise beauty

Related tags Professional skin care Economics Economic growth

The economic growth in China slowed slightly from a GDP of 9.2 percent in 2011 to 7.8 percent in 2012, however this has not stunted consumers’ will to tackle beauty concerns and has seen foreign brands experience fast growth.

According to market researcher Kline, despite the slight fold up in economic growth, beauty holds firm as consumers have reduced visits to spas and salons. However, despite lessened traffic, the professional market in China is still seeing a steady increase.

“Posting a solid 5 percent growth, the professional skin care market is seeing foreign brands experiencing faster growth than local ones with the exception of local Chlitina, which posts above-average market growth due to its mature sales network, strong brand reputation, and strong senior management,”​ says the report.

Foreign brands are seeing this success in China as consumers generally view foreign products as more desirable, associating them with higher quality and the cachet of a premium purchase.


Foreign products are particularly popular within the younger, trend-setting, demographic and foreign brands are expected to continue to outpace domestic brands through 2017 according to Kline's recent Professional Skin Care: Global Series report.

It states the top skin care concerns in China include dehydration, skin whitening, and anti-aging. Anti-dehydration products are popular typically during the fall and winter, and the demand is larger in the northern China region, where the climate is more arid than the southern area.

Seeking lighter colored skin remains an ongoing trend persisting across most demographics, but youth in particular.

“Lighter colored skin is traditionally perceived as a sign of an elevated social status and appears firmly established within the Chinese market's concept of beauty, this being borne out by a CNY 940.9 million (USD 149.6 million) spend on skin whitening products in 2012 alone,”​ says Kline.

Hair care

Salon hair care is also seen solid growth over the past five years thanks to rising incomes with coloring being the most dynamic category.

This is thanks to educative marketing, celebrity-driven fashion trends, and consumers being more image conscious, reveals Kline.

Increasing consumer concerns with hair and scalp health, including issues such as hair loss, are also boosting the growth of shampoos and conditioners. 

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