Everything you Need to Know About the Chinese Cosmetics Market

The Chinese cosmetics market is booming and is now the world’s second-largest beauty market. Here’s everything you need to know about this rapidly growing industry, including the top brands and products that are popular in China. Plus, we’ll explore some of the challenges and opportunities that brands face when doing business in China. So whether you’re thinking about entering the Chinese cosmetics market or are just curious about what’s going on there, read on for all the latest news and insights!

A World Tour of Beauty Trends

People, mostly ladies, all over the world are searching for ideas to make themselves look and feel their best. With over 8 billion beauty ideas, there’s something for everyone. No matter where you are, what your hairstyle is, or what color skin tone you have, it’s not easy to have a complete view of trends. It is easier to launch a skincare or perfume brand than a make-up brand in China, and competition is really hard to fight for those products.

3 Uniques Circumstances Contributing to The Growth of The Chinese Beauty Market

Young generations are rejecting the large brands their parents preferred and are now seeking out locally-made, artisanal, and more natural products in all consumer categories.

  1. Consumers, mostly women, are on a journey of exploration. They are enjoying new products and finding new brands to share
  2. Young independent brands are supporting a surge in creativity and innovation
  3. There is constantly a new way to do business online in China

Cosmetics Brands: Be Aware of Geo-Trends

  • In America, the emergence of indie brands, or independent brands, is shaking big brands’ competition.
  • In Western countries such as France, the UK, or Europe in general, naturality and bacteria beauty products are preferred.
  • In South Korea & Japan, the main beauty trend is dry beauty
  • In China, a particular market for beauty products, digital beauty is booming on the market.
Indie beauty is really about so much more; it's a lifestyle and a community. Indie beauty brands have a heart and soul that consumers can see in the products they buy.

The Emergence of Naturality Trends in the cosmetic industry

  • Natural brands (2000): L’Occitane, Origins, Kiehl’s… with natural components
  • Green organic (2010): Certification for products components and provenance
  • Clean and sustainable (2020): Eco-conception including packaging

Beauty Influencers & KOLs in China: Key Elements for Cosmetic Brands

Before, a few years ago, everyone gets their beauty advice from their mom and grandmothers. Followed by traditional media such as TV advertising and women’s magazines, the trend shifted and young women started getting advice by themselves; daily people swarmed online. Nowadays, women are hungry for advice from real people and don’t trust brands or marketers anymore.

Consequences of Digital Beauty Emergence

All new products entering the cosmetics market have to be “instagrammables” (or “Weiboables“) in terms of packaging, texture, color, and result on the skin. Digital accessibility and educational qualities demystify the skincare, fragrance, and make-up market’s mysteries. Young consumers tend to interest themselves in ways of fabrication of the product they use, they want to know the components and their exact utility of them.

The Effects of the Beauty Industry and Social Media Alliance

Beauty and health products need to be efficient, customers expect high results compared to the high competition and the numerous similar products on the market. They crave the instant effect, a soft-focus, and a “wow” effect; to resume, an instant fix, a strong desire for instant gratification.

Market Facts About Millennials and Digital Beauty

  • 95% had not bought print media in the last year
  • 72% have a “favorite” KOL
  • 100% used WeChat that day
  • 95% had bought something using their phone in the previous week

How to Build your own Cosmetic Brand DNA in China

Focus on a particular kind of skin, ethnicity, or hair type, as one-size-fits-all doesn’t resonate with consumers anymore. Having a personal story that is what draws consumers into the brand. Create passion and engagement amongst your consumer community and find what can make you different from the competition without losing your brand essence.

Beauty brand China

How do rival the Big beauty brands in China?

  • Drive innovation by using digital
  • Ultra-segmentation thanks to new trends
  • Dedication to each of your consumers through targeting

Bilibili, the Best Chinese Platform for Beauty Brands in China

If you don’t know Bilibili yet, hurry up and get to know the type of content you can encounter on this brand-new platform. Bilibili started out in 2009, and is one of China’s biggest video-sharing sites. The company provides a platform for China’s Millennials and Generation Z to both watches pre-made content or create their own entertainment videos.

Bilibili and beauty brands

Its difference lies in its ability to create a highly sticky community in the niche market of the street culture. Thanks to its fast growth of users, the company has expanded into a lot of new categories including advertising, mobile gaming, e-commerce, and beauty.

Celebrities Now Become Business Women

Celebrities move from promoting beauty brands as spoken models to becoming lifestyle brands themselves. The entrepreneurial spirit has hit many celebrities. For example, Gwyneth Paltrow started GOOP and her own skincare line, and Jessica Alba started Honest Company…

Bet on KOLs to Promote your Beauty Brands in China

sichenmakeupholic make-up influencer

As said earlier, KOLs are a buzzword. The KOLs market is booming since millennials want “normal” people to advise them rather than big brands. Using an influencer or a micro-influencer can boost your brand awareness and e-reputation in China. Find more information about the benefits of KOLs use to influence marketing in China and build your own digital marketing campaign.

GMA is also an agency. We use our knowledge of the beauty industry and our mastery of Chinese culture and marketing tools to help foreign brands win the Chinese market. Contact us to get a free consultancy.

1 comment

  • In Asia, and especially in China, people are worried about skin aging and pollution. It is only recently that consumers have begun to think about the effects of smog (smog) on their health and skin. In addition, the growing awareness of environmental issues is pushing consumers to turn to greener products. For this reason, Chinese consumers are increasingly looking for organic, vegan and natural products. Words like “natural”, “green” and “clean” are spreading widely on social media. Products labeled as “cruelty-free” are also gaining traction among young Chinese consumers, especially Millennials and GenZ.

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