China Focus: Our top stories featuring China’s cosmetics industry

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

We round-up of our most-read news pieces about China. ©GettyImages
We round-up of our most-read news pieces about China. ©GettyImages

Related tags: Cosmetics, China

We round-up our most-read news pieces about China, featuring the potential of C-beauty, the growing local fine fragrance space, Mary Kay’ efforts to connect with younger Chinese consumers and more.

1 – ‘Fierce competition’: C-beauty holds global potential but challenges remain - expert

Chinese beauty brands have more hurdles to overcome​ before taking the global stage, despite the rising prominence of homegrown beauty brands, according to one expert.

Chinese cosmetics, or C-beauty, have escalated in popularity thanks to the wave of nationalism that has swept the country.

“Pride in China is getting stronger which means that local brands are increasingly appreciated,”​ said Florence Bernardin, founder of Information et Inspiration, a French consultancy that specialises in the Asian cosmetics market.

Bernardin added that Chinese beauty consumers were turning to local brands for products that resonate with their specific skin needs and concerns.

She noted that C-beauty brands have been quick to respond to this need by developing innovative cosmetic products specifically for Chinese skin concerns and tones.

“Iconic brands are able to be highly reactive with product development, combining both the latest worldwide and local trends to offer products that caterer directly to Chinese consumers’ needs,” ​said Bernardin.

2 – Firmenich senses under-explored opportunities in China’s local fine fragrance scene

Swiss fragrance and flavours company Firmenich sees “tremendous” business opportunities in China’s local fine fragrance market​ thanks to the growing middle-class population and their enhanced affluence.

According to Euromonitor data, China’s fine fragrance market grew by 15% in the last year. Firmenich attributes this double-digit growth to China’s consumption upgrade.

“Consumption upgrade is well on its way in China, thanks to a growing middle class population and enhanced affluence of the Chinese people. The consumption upgrade creates tremendous business opportunities for both Chinese companies and foreign companies like Firmenich,” ​said Olivier Viejo, senior commercial director, fine fragrance China, Firmenich.

Along with the growing demand for healthy food, high-quality home care as well as personal care products, the firm is seeing fine fragrance gain traction across the country in the consumers’ quest for more quality products.

3 – Prestige plan: Japanese brand RMK eyes ‘huge’ potential for luxury products in China

Japanese colour cosmetics brand RMK believes it can capture China’s prestige beauty segment​ with its bestselling make-up base products.

The brand recently marked its entry into China with the launch of its official flagship on e-commerce platform Tmall Global.

Following Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea, China is the fourth overseas market for RMK.

Hiroka Satou, a public relations representative from RMK said the brand’s popularity among Chinese consumers have been steadily increasing over the last few years thanks to Chinese tourists in Japan and diagou shoppers.

The Tmall flagship will consists of 178 SKUs, including bestselling products such the RMK Liquid Foundation, RMK Make-up Base and RMK Creamy Foundation.

While the company has had the intention to enter China for several years now, its most popular item among Chinese consumers, RMK Creamy Foundation, was not compatible with Chinese regulations.

4 – Toly Group focuses efforts in China as it predicts uptrend for C-beauty

Cosmetics packaging firm Toly Group is looking to China to drive its business in APAC as it believes C-beauty is set to be the next big trend​ on the horizon.

Today, the firm’s business in APAC accounts for around 15% of its turnover. This is largely due to Toly’s performance in the Chinese market.

“As the second largest market in the world, China is at the core of our Asia strategy and forms a big part of our global ambitions. Whilst the opportunity has been there ever since we stepped foot in China, it's really in the last five to seven years that we have seen the market transform,”​ said Samuel Xuereb, executive director of Toly.

Xuereb estimates that the skin care and make-up segments will grow at a compound rate of approximately 10% and 15% respectively over the next five years in China.

“Coupled with strong appetite for brands to invest in R&D, there is no question that China in particular has a bright future,”​ commented Xuereb.

5 – Younger and wiser: How Mary Kay China is trying to stay relevant with younger and more knowledgeable beauty consumers

As China’s beauty consumers are getting younger and more informed about beauty, Mary Kay China is facing the challenge of developing interesting and efficacious products while employing high-tech ways​ to keep them engaged.

The challenge is made more complex with China’s rapidly increasing appetite for cosmetic products.

“In China, beauty consumers demand for products and services are constantly increasing. The current consumer trend of skin rejuvenation in China is strengthening, and the purchasing power of the 18 to 24 age group is rising,” ​said Katherine Weng, general manager of Mary Kay China.

To cater to younger consumers, Weng said the company was focusing on more “bold and interesting” ​products from its Pink Young range in the next five years.

“This sub-brand was launched in 2019 and features a rich product line that offers a new generation of bold and beautiful makeup solutions through classic essentials and seasonal and trendy styles,”​ said Weng.

While the consumer base is getting younger, it is also becoming more mature in their understanding of skin care and make-up products. According to data from Tmall, the user base of essence products has dropped to 18 years old as of last year.

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