Cosmeceuticals in China: a Fast Growing Market

Cosmeceuticals are relatively new to the Chinese market but the market is expected to reach USD 27 billion by 2025.

Cosmeceuticals market in China

Cosmeceuticals are a new trend in China that is changing the cosmetic industry. The latest research from Mintel reveals that 69% of Chinese consumers agree that using cosmeceuticals daily can prevent skin sensitivity. In addition, over two in five (44%) say that they only look for cosmeceuticals when they are suffering from certain skin conditions.

Cosmeceuticals: a choice that lies in the space between cosmetics and drugs

With the rapid growth trend of cosmeceuticals these years, more and more beauty retailers are expanding their offerings to include cosmeceutical products in their stores. Busier and more stressful lifestyles, as well as worsening environmental conditions, can be the essential reasons why the cosmeceuticals market can soar and gain more and more profits in China.

The term “Cosmeceuticals” comes from the words ‘cosmetics’ and ‘pharmaceuticals’, and the adoption of this kind of product is influenced by Western shopping behaviors, where consumers when experiencing bad skin conditions want to be visited by dermatologists before searching for and buying items. As time went by, Cosmeceuticals have become indispensable for western people, now even for Chinese consumers.

In fact, the best-selling segment of cosmeceuticals was Skincare (nearly 50%) in 2018, followed by Haircare.

Cosmeceutical is a good solution to improve skin conditions

All these following factors have dramatically impacted the sale of cosmeceuticals in China:

  • Busier Life (Life-Work Balance has not been getting “healthier” with the 996 trends)
  • Worsening Environnement (we will hopefully see a positive impact in the near future)
  • Strong Social Pressure on physical appearance
  • wealth growth

Not by chance, authoritative research shows that Chinese consumers believe that the daily use of these products can prevent skin sensitivity and 7 in 10 (69%) state that the daily use of cosmeceuticals can prevent skin problems.

On the other hand, fewer consumers think they need cosmeceuticals only when experiencing certain skin conditions. That’s good news for the Chinese cosmeceuticals market since it shows the positive potential of such products to be included in consumers’ daily skincare routines. With more knowledge about and attention paid to ingredients and product safety, it is important for cosmeceuticals sellers to highlight the efficacy of key ingredients.

Chinese males consume cosmeceutical almost as much as women

Whether about cosmeceuticals or cosmetics, in the past, women are the core consumers in this industry. However, these days, it seems that men are also eager for ingredient information, demonstrating a little gap in ingredient awareness between genders.

The gender gap in the users of cosmeceuticals is becoming smaller. According to Mintel’s research, 56% of men have purchased facial masks that include collagen as an ingredient in the first six months of 2020; this compares to 58% of women who did the same. Other ingredients with significant penetration rates among men include essential oils (40% male vs 33% female), vitamins (34% male vs 32% female), and amino acids (32% male vs 35% female).

It appears when males receive more education about cosmeceuticals ingredients, their usage increases. It is important to help build awareness with male buyers to enhance the revenue the most. For instance, many businesses offer guidance in-store, especially for males with no knowledge of cosmeceuticals.

Cosmeceutical in China: ingredient safety and quality are essential

As for anything related to human health, Chinese people always put priority on safety and quality. It seems that there is too much appalling news about drug safety or food safety in China, so the citizens are constantly on alert. The government also pulls its weight to protect its citizens against possible false health claims.

A product’s effectiveness and safety are both equally important to Chinese consumers. When setting product claims against cosmeceuticals, it is essential that manufacturers are aware that consumers highly value scientific data and endorsement from professional institutes to substantiate a product’s quality and effectiveness.

With regard to cosmeceuticals, it is important that brands pay particular attention to the ingredients used in cosmeceuticals. Mintel revealed that up to three in four (74%) urban Chinese consumers agree that it is essential for cosmeceuticals to contain effective ingredients.

In order to validate a product’s quality, Mintel’s research reveals that cosmeceutical producers can do that via data and institutional endorsement. Indeed, over half of urban Chinese consumers say to believe that a product has high quality if there are precise data to support it (55%) or if it is authorized by a professional institute (52%).

These researches indicate that it is important for cosmeceuticals brands to take a transparent approach to their labels and ingredients list, letting consumers know how the formulas work. Chinese people usually attach great importance to transparency, especially for the transparency of quality.

Marketing a Cosmeceutical brand in China (the basis)

Brands in China tend to collaborate with hospitals and also leverage their rich history and experience with herbal medicines to boost interest.

Chinese people usually would trust brands with a long history and successful treatment examples rather than new brands in China. And then there are more and more people who tend to rely on the cosmeceuticals that contained Chinese ancient magic herbal medicines, which boast much less hazardous materials than normal cosmetics and effect a permanent cure they believe.

Upgrading store concepts in 2017 was a repetitive marketing approach seen by big names such as Watsons, Gialen, and Mannings. These stores are separating their own derma cosmetics items from the rest of the store. These companies are also launching their own cosmeceutical brands.

For example, Gialen created four of its own brands in China in early 2018 to emphasize simpler formulations, safety, and ingredients with good effectiveness. This is aligned with the Chinese consumer’s understanding of cosmeceuticals.

Want to start selling your Cosmeceutical brand in China?

We are a digital marketing agency based in China. GMA has developed a lot of successful business here because we know how to effectively promote your cosmeceuticals business for landing in China and reaching potential customers, using the latest digital marketing tools.

Do not hesitate to contact us for more information, (here are our case studies)

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