The Asian natural cosmetics market is expanding by about 15% per year.
However, China is losing out to India, Thailand, and Singapore and Hong Kong as natural Western brands continue to boycott the Chinese market.
While growing consumer awareness of health and wellness issues is boosting demand for organic and natural products, few Chinese companies are actually meeting demand because of formulation and ingredient issues.
In fact, Organic Monitor says that in the last 18 months, many Western natural or organic brands have withdrawn from the Chinese market.
Dr. Hauschka, The Body Shop, Weleda, Lavera, Pangea Organic, Logona and Juice Beauty have all pulled out of China, in protest against animal-testing methods.
'Lack of technical expertise and certified ingredients'
According to the organic watchdog, China is having these problems as there is a low availability of certified organic ingredients and natural extracts, which are mainly imported into the country.
The formulators and product developers also lack technical expertise in removing synthetic ingredients from cosmetic formulations.
Western brands are raising exports since few Asian brands have been successful in developing such products, and it will only be when Asian companies formulate with the same efficacy that they will they be able to tap the potential of their local markets.
On the contrary, Hong Kong possibly has the highest concentration of green cosmetic retailers in the world. International brands have a presence in the market, whilst over 20 new brands are launched each year.
Those with concept stores include; Apivita, Jasmin Skincare, Aveda, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Jurlique, Melvita, and Comvita.
The marketing and technical issues associated with natural and organic cosmetics in Asia will be featured in the Asia-Pacific edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit.