The Current Market and the Estimated Trend of Cosmeceuticals in China

The desire to maintain a youthful appearance combined with the increasing wary of potential toxicity has driven the development of Cosmeceuticals worldwide. China, with around 18% of the world population, has kept growing in purchasing power, which provides budding promises for international companies to enter - if they bring higher quality products that meet their desire. Cosmeceuticals are one of the lucrative bandwagons that you don’t want to miss in the Chinese market.

1. What are cosmeceuticals?

Cosmeceutical, as defined by Dr. Albert Kligment, represents ‘a topical preparation that is sold as a cosmetic but has performance characteristics that suggest pharmaceutical action.’ It improves the functioning/texture of the skin by encouraging collagen growth by combating the harmful effects of free radicals, thus maintaining keratin structure in good condition and making the skin healthier. Examples of popular cosmeceuticals include moisturizers, retinoids, antioxidants, depigmentation agents, etc.

2. What are the current market and the estimated trend of cosmeceuticals in China?

According to the data from Frost & Sullivan, the retail sales of cosmeceuticals grew from RMB 10.3 billion in 2017 to 31 billion in 2021, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31.8%. It is estimated that the sales of cosmeceuticals can reach around RMB 62.3 billion, with a CAGR of 15% from 2021-2026. Table 1 shows the current market and the estimated growth of cosmeceuticals in China.

Table 1: The Current Market and the Estimated Growth of Cosmeceuticals in China

3. Why are cosmeceuticals gaining ground rapidly?

Reason 1: the increase in cosmetic surgery drives the demand for cosmeceuticals.

After cosmetic surgery, the skin is highly vulnerable, which requires safe, bacteria-free, and fragrance-free skin care products. Basic skin care products cannot meet this demand, so cosmeceuticals are favored during the postoperative period. According to the report from Deloitte, the cosmetic surgery market in China is entering a golden growth age, up from RMB 63.7 billion in 2015 to RMB 154.9 billion in 2020. It is estimated it can reach over RMB 350 billion in 2025.


Reason 2: the increasing number of skin problems drives the demand for cosmeceuticals.

In modern society, the factors such as high stress, stay-ups, environmental pollution, mask-wearing, etc. lead to increasingly vulnerable and sensitive skin. This low-tolerance skin gives rise to the demand for gentle, safe, and soothing products. Cosmeceuticals are, thus, gaining ground in the cosmetic market.


4. What is the requirement for importing cosmeceuticals into the Chinese market?

According to the Regulations on Supervision and Administration of Cosmetics, cosmeceuticals are regulated as special cosmetics. Therefore, cosmeceuticals, imported into the Chinese market, shall comply with the provisions and rules of the registration of special cosmetics. 

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