Overview of the Chinese Skincare Market and How to Win it in 2019?

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Chinese Skincare Market is a Goldmine, and we will explain to you the methodology to Win and promote your Brand in China.

This Market is the largest in the world estimated at US$22 billion. It is growing rapidly day by day among major skincare markets. Nowadays Chinese skin care market became a gold mine for many foreign brands. It all happened since this market is growing rapidly, consumers are willing to spend more on High-Quality skincare products.

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Why you should keep reading this article…

This article will analyze Chinese Skincare Market and how it will help you to clarify in easy steps how to enter this Market.

Are you still wondering about that? Then this article is for you.

Skincare in China takes its roots back to the history, they have developed various treatments. Historically, China were developing beauty treatments made of natural herbs, rice water, oils and powdered pearls. Today Chinese consumers have developed more sophisticated skincare routines. Chinese consumers’ demand rapidly evolves, and they are more open for new trends and technologies in skincare.


Perhaps lots of us already have heard a saying that “If we could manage to get just 1% of the China market, we would be a massive success.”

  1. Chinese Beauty Market is huge and has plenty of opportunities for Foreign Brands.
  2. One thing that you will need to understand, this market is challenging the same way as attractive it is.
  3. As you already know, this market is huge yet its highly competitive especially in terms of foreign brands from the US, Europe and Asia.

Foreign brands are still dominating at the market, but at the same time local brands are catching to the latest trends really easily and quickly, which allows new brands to appear and develop at the market again and again. In addition, the demand Consumers are becoming more sophisticated and they are looking for more innovation.


Nowadays Chinese Millennials are using skincare product earlier than it was used to be years ago. For instance, Generation Z are more prone to use cosmetics Products, especially Skincare Treatment in this sense is the Priority. In order to succeed in this market, Skincare brands should catch Millennials at an early stage while they are discovering their journey in the world of Skincare and Cosmetics.

Chinese Beauty Consumers are expanding their “daily beauty routine“ by adding more steps, since it is so important to have a beautiful and healthy looking skin. In their basic daily routine of applying facial cleansers and make up removers, females added more products such as an application of essences, serums, toners, moisturizing creams and eye creams.

More than 70 % of Chinese Millennials on a daily basis also use facial masks and sun protection products, which therefore leads to and average 5-6 steps of daily routines. Moreover, beauty “mature” women above 35 years old, they are also more interested in saving glowing skin and taking care of their daily treatment products more deeply, by adding 9 steps in their daily skincare routine.


Today, on average, the Chinese spend three hours every day on their smartphones, mainly on social media and e-commerce platforms. Hence, a strong mobile presence is fundamental to a brand’s growth, development and continuing presence in the Chinese market. China’s digital marketing landscape also shifts rapidly. Hence, foreign firms that are reacting slow to online trends can be left behind very quickly. Brand managers should also note that China has a domestic substitute for most international websites and social media platforms.





Let’s start from the basics, simply Branding is everything in China. Chinese consumers are more interested in branded products. Today Brands play a big role in decision making of beauty consumers.
Simply your brand become as an anchor point to help consumers navigate the great number of products offered by Skincare Companies.

These worldwide brands take part 54% cosmetics Chinese market. At the head of ranks, the famous brand Procter & Gamble which represents 15% of the Chinese market. The American multinational sells beauty and cosmetics products dedicated to the mass market. At the second place, L’OREAL is part 10% of the market. The French brand is the beauty goods worldwide leader and offers to consumers, innovating and quality products.

The German group named as Beiersdorf, has also a great influence on the Chinese market especially thanks to the Nivea, Labello, Eucerine and Handsaplast brands. These brands are popular and highly demanded not because they are popular abroad but just because they’ve been investing in Branding in China.

Therefore, building and having a strong brand gives you an opportunity and more chances to succeed in the market. Chinese beauty consumers perceive branded skincare products as high quality products. Therefore, entering the market as a Foreign Brand allows you to have a that advantage byword for quality in China, which can be a pay off in the long run.



In China, it is recommended to pay attention and start building your Brand’s reputation, since English content, positive reviews western media platforms will not be visible on the Chinese net.

In addition, Mandarin Chinese Characters are used in the vast majority of internet research (over 97,5%). Remember that Chinese web is a unique ecosystem that requires a fresh and creative approach, right Chinese platforms should be chosen to build your visibility & reputation in order to target your consumers.



Being visible online especially on Baidu for Chinese Beauty consumers is highly important. Baidu is a similar to Google, yet it is having more power in the market with with 80% market share in the search engine market. However, operate Baidu is not the same as Google. Baidu is dominating in Mainland China,  It handles about 6 billion search/queries per day on average and has over 60 million viewers per day as well. In China, Baidu has covered 95% netizens in China to increase brand visibility and attract more traffic, there is no second choice except Baidu whether to put ads on it or optimize organic searching results. At the very beginning, it is very important to draw more potential customers’ attention on Baidu while you’re increasing your brand awareness.



In order to expand your Brand’s visibility, setup of Chinese website is a plus. Consumers treasure their time when browsing website during searching. If the loading speed is too slow it may affect the potential consumers’ attitude toward your brand as a small or low-quality company. Or, they shut down the site and turn to your competitors. In regard of a faster loading website, it is suggested to have a hosting inside Mainland. We usually have the server locating in HK though, and it perform well also. But if the brand is qualified to have their website server inside, the performance of website will be way much better. In addition, Be aware of sensitive word. Hence, due to China censorship, sensitive word cannot be included. So, be aware of some sensitive word related to China policy or regulation is important to have a good content website. In terms of PPC, you should have an account on Baidu to place ads.




Before Chinese consumers purchase a specific skincare product, they take time to make a deep research on analyzing the reviews and comments of other users. Its critically important to purchase a product that has already won good reputation comments from different other millennials, since the market is quite full of all sorts of brands and Skincare products.

And simply it is reasonable enough, that they would like to choose a product that is high quality and in addition its totally beneficial and it has no flaws according to the Reviews and blogs. Since whenever it comes to the Skin, its simply a matter of being very careful on what they apply to their skin.

More than 90% of Girls indicated that they conduct extensive research before they buy skincare products and online plays a critical role in this research.


There are huge amounts of information on skincare brands across multiple channels in China.
E-commerce websites such as T-Mall and JD are the main channels for browsing across brands and offerings, while social media also plays a critical role in building brand awareness and helping consumers develop product and brand knowledge. Chinese Beauty Consumers use a different way to research information.

In addition, XIaoHongShu (RED) is one of the booming Chinese Beauty Platforms is Little, it is highly popular among Chinese ladies. It has more than 5 million monthly users, which are searching the reviews on products that they are willing to purchase. It means that XIaoHongShu (RED) is one of the top useful platforms to promote your brand and win the trust of Chinese millennials.


Online Trends nowadays are highly important and more than 90% are influenced by it. Beauty Consumers are constantly craving for some Beauty trends, they search on new Products, 
Reviews, they Check Beauty News. Various Online Beauty Platforms, Magazines are informing Chinese millennials by giving them new ideas of Skincare Trends, New Brands. E-commerce websites such as Tmall and JD.Com are always offering beauty consumers plenty of new trendy products. Moreover, apart from all of these influencing factors, of course, a great impact comes from Social Media and Influencers (KOLs).


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XiaoHongShu (小红书), which literally translates as “Little Red book” is a billion dollar start up and one of the Top and booming Chinese social media apps. Nowadays this app has already more than 60 million registered users and half-year sales of 700 million yuan (around $109 million) as of the end of September. Therefore, it is highly important to be acknowledged about this great app especially for companies in the health, beauty, fashion and luxury industries.

Basically, the Little Red Book app provides three main features for consumers such as trust, community, and convenience. In this sense, Little red Book is a great platform that has lots of advantages for both consumers and suppliers. Most popular products on this app are cosmetics, beauty products, and nutrition supplements that are hard to find in China.


Little Red Book mainly targets Chinese women aged at 18 to 35-year-old and it has a great feature for Chinese millennials to discover and buy luxury foreign products. In fact, 90% are females and 80% of the users are under 30 years old.


XiaoHongShu (小红书)  is also known as RED and highly used by Chinese beauties. Little Red Book reflects a great combination of similar tools of TMall and Weibo platforms, which makes this app a generator for word-of-mouth marketing.  The whole content is created by users which makes this app more transparent and it provides users to review foreign products, leave travel tips, share shopping tips and reviews on those purchased luxury products and swap their fashion ideas. Most of the users on this app are savvy shoppers who want to get the best products from overseas. Mainly users share reviews on various luxury foreign products from the DIOR handbag to lipstick from Chanel and many other various items such as beauty supplements and other related items.

Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs)

Key Opinion Leaders have a great impact on Chinese Social Media. In order to generate exposure and sales, the majority of brands have been always working with Celebrities. Consumers are craving for recommendations and reviews. Therefore, in Chinese beauty consumers are more prone to purchase KOL’s words. Hence, KOL’s opinion and suggestions have a huge influence on their audience’s decision making. Instead of listening a random salesman’s opinion on the product, Chinese Millennials rather go online and look for reviews from their friends or other people, who have already tried a product and have a real review on that. It’s is not a secret that KOLs have an ability to have strong relationships with their followers. Consequently, in this scenario, KOLs become that friend whom they trust, especially when it comes to Skincare products.

Collaborating with KOL (key Opinion Leaders) allows you to unlock the access to their audience and their network. It means that KOL’s recommendations and reviews will help you to expand the exposure, gain more clicks and in the end to purchase your Brand’s Skincare products. In addition, according to various surveys, it is indicated that customers are positively influenced by KOLs, while Generation Z customers are being more receptive and responsive groups.

Nowadays traditional marketing with Influencers on TV ads, or radio ads doesn’t have a strong impact. Since, Chinese Millennials want to hunt a great deal, simply they want to research and learn about the product before they purchase it. Thats the exact time when Key Opinion Leaders become a reliable source of opinion.

Furthermore, Chinese beauty bloggers are representing a second most influential group of KOLs in terms of Skincare items. Beauty consumers are more tend to purchase the product after the repeated posts from Professional Beauty Bloggers. Fro instance, in order to promote a recent launch of a new L’Oréal Paris lipstick, 50 famous beauty bloggers were invited to do a 20-minute livestream video. As a result, in two hours 10,000 units being sold on its T-mall flagship store alone.



If you are looking for a platform that will help you to build your Skincare brand’s reputation and drive more sales, then Weibo is a must to work with. Weibo is a micro blogging platform, recognized as the breeding place for beauty KOLs.

Due to a huge amount of beauty bloggers and over 411 million active users every month on this platform, it makes it easy to go viral. Tag system allows you to target the audience precisely, including the case of Weibo advertising. Being present on this platform gives you a big advantage since its database of users is well- organized and fine-segmented.
In addition, the advertisement can drive traffic efficiently to your official account or website, since Weibo’s database of users is well-organized and fine-segmented, which makes this platform much more efficient.


If you start from scratch, Xiao Hong Shu (RED) store is recommended to start with. Later on, after you gained an online Reputation , trust and visibility. You are more than ready to start launching online stores with such E-commerce giants as TMall or JD. Consumers go e-shopping on these two platforms if they are willing to buy international brands products. In comparison with other e-commerce platforms, Tmall and JD show higher conversion rates.
Yet, it can be still complicated to set up an official store at the beginning. First of all, lots of documents should be submitted and later on tested in the process before opening store. In this case, lots of international brands start with cross-border e-commerce on Tmall or JD, it allows brands to shorten the process as well as to lower the cost.


You might need to get a quality guide, which is vital in order to be able to navigating the Chinese market. We at GMA are an international team of 60 marketers, copywriters, publishers and ad experts. We work in the plenty of fields beginning from branding, ad strategy to lead generation. We are willing to be our clients’ team in China and build strong and long term, serious relationships based on results and the achievement of clear KPI.


About GMA



We are a Digital Marketing, and help companies to develop their Branding in China, develop their distribution and boost sales.
We have developed real expertise in Beauty Products.

  1. Contact us to receive our case study
  2. To Speak to one of our Expert
  3. and receive a proposal of Solution for your Brand

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  • Michael

    Hi I’m Micheal and I recently launched my skincare brand which is a bit special and very innovative. Indeed, I sell products made from plants placenta. It boosts skin regeneration, helps against wrinkles, and many other skin issues.
    Do you think it could work out in the Chinese market? I think it may ask to educate customers and help them to understand what it is. How can I get help? Thank you

  • Hello
    We are a taobao distributors, and searching for good western brands to resell on our stores.
    Contact us with your Brands and good condition

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