Asia’s beauty regimes have often been an eyebrow raiser for the West, particularly in regards to the lengths consumers on the region will go to in obtaining youthful skin. So when we discovered China's new cockroach craze, we knew the rest of the sector had to know about it..
In October we found the nation to have 100 cockroach farms dedicated solely for beauty products where farmers are raising millions of cockroaches to provide protein and cellulose for cosmetics.
Protein is mainly used in the industry for filling and bulking out material, as well as for creating the correct texture, rather than being an active ingredient.
The business is said to be appealing to farmers because of its low start up costs- eggs, a secure building and something to provide dark places for the roaches to hide. It can also produce high returns, with farmers earning the equivalent of US$11 from a US$3.25 investment.
Whether this trend will have the same sort of influence on the Western markets like the infamous BB creams however, is anyone's guess...
Whilst major advancements in animal testing came from the European markets this year, Asia still felt the heat of the sweeping ban as global brands and regulators called for the region to follow suit.
On March 11, the EU ban came into place, meaning it is now illegal to sell cosmetics in the EU if they have been tested on animals anywhere in the world.
Whilst Israel and India immediately got on board, China came under the spotlight, as testing is still allowed there.
This has seen many manufacturers opt out of the market for this reason, and has also seen increased pressure on a lot of the big players who continue to do strong business in the region.
There has been signs of possible improvement here though, as the Chinese government announced the country's main cosmetics regulation is to be revised, which we will be keeping a close eye on for you in 2014.
Over the summer cosmetics giant L’Oréal revealed it was continuing to take advantage of the growing luxury market in China; where sales growth is outpacing the company’s total.
The announcement came in the form of the company offering to buy Chinese skin care company Magic Holdings for HK$6.5bn ($843m).
Magic Holdings, based in Guangzhou, is responsible for the top-selling facial mask brand in China, where beauty and personal care product sales will expand 8 per cent to $34 billion this year, according to Euromonitor.
L’Oreal has been present in China for over 16 years and recently reported first-half sales that rose 5.4% in the region. The brand's first-half revenue in China climbed 11% on a similar basis, the company said in July.
As the Asian markets continue to provide new sources of inspiration to the rest of the industry, Cosmetics Design spoke to experts as to what we can expect to see next from the region in 2014.
According to AP expert Florence Bernardin, despite there being many markets in Asia, the region as a whole has seen the success of the BB cream’s purpose evolve, in that its function has now moved on to become more of an all in one /multifunctional product.
"Each country has it’s sense of ideal beauty enhancing many subtle differences from face shape to skin tone," she told this publication.
The expert also revealed China to be the fastest growing market, where consumers use up to twelve products in their beauty regimes and are now looking for reactive products & requesting immediate results, with a total turnover of $16bn.
It wasn't a good year for Kao's Asian subsidiary, Kanebo, which became embroiled in the courts following complaints that 13,959 consumers had developed white blotches from using its skin whitening products that were recalled last July.
All products containing the ingredient '4HPB', an artificial compound developed by Kanebo were pulled from shelves, which 250,000 Japanese consumers are believed to have used.
In recent months the brand has been criticized for 'reacting slowly' to the crisis and failing to recall their products or announce the danger to the public until a week after the decision had been made to take the whiteners off the market.
At a press conference back in July, company president, Michitaka Sawada said: “the sale of our whitening products will fall in the second half. Our reputation was hurt.”