-76.5%! The number of special cosmetic registrations fell off a cliff

This year, the number of special cosmetic registrations fell off a cliff.

NMPA special cosmetics registration platform shows by May 30, in total 675 special cosmetics were registered this year, which dropped by 76.5% compared to the number of special cosmetic registrations in the first half of 2021.

“People who get the registration certificate get the world”, under industry environment nowadays, an industry insider said so.


The number of special cosmetics registration falls by more than 70%, almost ten thousand registration certificates expired but not renewed

The demand of special cosmetics is a blowout. Report on 2017-2022 Monitoring and Prospect Forecast of Chinese Whitening Market issued by Intelligence Research Group indicates more than 80% of females have demand for whitening, whitening consumption market reached nearly 66 billion yuan each year. It is forecasted according to 2021 White Paper of Sunscreen Trend issued by CBNData that the global market scale of sunscreen care products in 2024 will reach 25 billion dollars.

But at the same time there is a serious unbalance between market supply and demand: the number of special cosmetics registration falls by more than 70%.

Data from Damai Planet also suggests among registered domestic special cosmetics this year, the main categories all presented negative growth. For example, There are 116 newly registered whitening and freckle removing cosmetics, a year on year decrease of 67%. 88 sunscreen cosmetics are registered, a year on year decrease of 71.15%. There are only 24 registered anti-hair loss cosmetics, a year on year decrease of 65%.

Apart from the decrease of the registration certificates, the expired certificates of many top factories have not been applied for extension.

Domestic special cosmetics registration platform indicates there are nearly ten thousand pieces of the registration information of “expired”(shown in “approval document status”) domestic special cosmetics. For instance, cosmax totally possesses 824 registration certificates so far but the expired ones account for about a half. From January to May this year, only 2 special cosmetics were registered.

cosmax registration certificate expired

Nox BellCow totally have 127 registration certificates among which there are 20 “expire” ones. So far, it has registered no special cosmetic products.

It’s noteworthy that according to Provisions for Registration and Notification of Cosmetics, When the 5-year expiration date of special cosmetics registration certificate is not valid and requires renewal, the registrant shall submit the application for registration renewal and the acceptance agency shall conduct format review of application materials within 5 working days. When it meets the requirements, the agency shall issue new registration certificate to the registrant within 10 ten days of the day it accepts the application.

At that time, an industry insider believed that this provision would greatly shorten the time cost for enterprises’ application for the expiration date renewal of the certificat. But up to now, the market results didn’t live out to the expectation.


4 requirements have been added, efficacy test has become the most difficult one

In the eyes of many industry insiders, the drop of the number of special cosmetics registrations is closely associated with the new regulations. In accordance with the requirements since Jan. 1, 2022, at least 4 requirements for special cosmetics registration have been added, namely submitting cosmetic submission code, human trial report, product safety evaluation data and abstract of efficacy claim basis.

No matter what requirements above are, it’s not easy for most of the enterprises.

Firstly, it’s hard for small ingredient manufacturers to get the ingredient submission code when large ingredient manufacturers give up the registration business of special cosmetics.

According to NMPA announcements, ingredients with functions of preservatives, sunscreen, coloring, hair dyeing, whitening shall be provided when special cosmetic are registered, namely ingredient submission code.

Data from the registering platform of cosmetic ingredient safety data shows since the launch of the platform in December 31, 2021, as of June 1, 2022, totally ingredient submission code of 84,808 ingredients were generated, among which special cosmetic-related ingredients are rare.

Ingredients which realize the efficacies of special cosmetics all have a high risk. Therefore the sunscreen used by sunscreen products, the hair dye used by hair dyeing products all have to be the specified ingredients and there are specific restrictions for them. “Ingredient submission code is not only a tracing system but a responsibility system binding ingredient manufacturer to cosmetic safety and also in order to ensure the safety of special cosmetics.” Said by a brand R & D engineer.

But the reality is, small ingredient manufacturers are stuck by related materials such as production process and safety data so that they can’t get the code, while large ingredient manufacturers choose to give up the submission due to the low sales of cosmetic business, high risk and the difficulty of filling in and submitting the materials.

Secondly, big cost/long time, efficacy test has become the biggest barrier

The expenses, time cost and pass rate of the efficacy, and whether the old formula meets the technical requirements of the new regulations.

Currently many old formulas fail to meet the efficacy evaluation requirements. For example, anti-hair loss and whitening products only run toxicological test in fact they didn’t have the actual efficacies. Therefore since the new regulations have come into force, old products all need to re-develop the formulas. And with high cost of efficacy test and long testing time, more pressure comes down on enterprises’ developing new products.

According to the data from NMPA, at present there are only 41 testing agencies which are able to conduct human trial and they are restricted by the lack of volunteers. And it means the enterprises need to wait in line to have the test done if they are going to register special cosmetics or apply for certificate extension, which prolongs the period for products to go on the market.

cosmetic institution


The cost of formula increases, and the price of products with registration certificate is about to rise

Not only the administration department but the consumers have stricter requirements for special cosmetics.

It typically refers to sunscreen products. At present products solely anti-suntan no longer satisfy consumers’ demand. Products with multiple efficacies like sunscreen, nurturing skin, anti-blue ray, anti-aging are apparently more favored.

Take Winona’s best seller product “clear sunscreen lotion” as example, its claimed components contain 3+2 soothing and repairing essence, besides anti-suntan, it also has efficacies of anti-aging, anti-sunburn, moisturizing and repairing. Winona Tmall flagship store shows, up to present, 2 million pieces of this product have been sold.

Big international brands also launch sunscreen products with additional functions in time. For example in May, new sunscreen product “white fatty” of SHISEIDO is released which is reported that it’s an innovative sunscreen lotion combining the functions of anti-UV and nurturing skin, with a highlight of “light makes beauty”.

The development of formula with multiple efficacies no doubt will lead to the cost increase of enterprises’ developing new products. Quite a lot senior industry insiders predict that, with the product hurdles rising, the test cost increasing, now the each enterprise is competing the products’ efficacies, so the price of special cosmetics is surely going up.

Upon the search of Cosmetic Observer, so far many sunscreen products have been quietly raising their prices. For example the “clear sunscreen lotion” of Winona, a lot of bloggers posted the price comparison photo which shows the different prices of the product sold in the livestream room of Austin Li. The price was 168 yuanes in Double 11 festival last year, with gifts the average price per gram was 1.29 yuan. However in 618 shopping festival this year, the price is 306 yuanes, the average price per gram is 1.49 yuan, an increase of 15.5%.

Source from Cosmetic Observer


ZMUni Chinese Cosmetic Regulation Compliance Centre 中贸合规中心

Contact us: info@zmuni.com

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