Top Trends Shaping APAC’s Skin Care Industry

Asia-Pacific is the powerhouse of global skincare with over half of the world’s sales in 2018, outdistancing other major regions such as North America and Western Europe. A massive population of four billion people, economic expansion and consumers’ desire for vanity spending all contribute towards a predicted 7% constant annual growth rate (CAGR) in sales value from 2018-2023.

Within the Asia-Pacific region, there is no doubt that China is the largest market, accounting for 46% of total sales with a predicted 4% CAGR from 2018-2023 in sales value. Japan and South Korea rank second and third, with a value share of 25% and 9%, respectively.

However, as the above countries reach maturity, international skincare companies are now shifting the battlefield to Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia where sales of skincare products are expected to grow at double-digit numbers from 2018-2023.

Thailand´s skincare value sales will account for 4% of Asia-Pacific’s total sales by 2023

Taking Thailand as an example, whitening products remain the key revenue driver as fair skin is associated with beauty and success in their culture. As the country’s population ages, demand for anti-aging products and organic skincare is also showing promising prospects.

Retailers such as Boots, Watsons and Sephora all plan to open more stores in Thailand. Their stronger distribution networks will also play a part in the booming of skincare sales. Aside from intensified competition from multinational corporations, local Thai brands that feature natural ingredients including Ray, Snail White and Scenito Beauty have outgrown their home market and have expanded their presence into other Asia-Pacific markets.

Facial care represents the largest skincare segment for Asia-Pacific

Diving into the performance of specific product categories, facial care represents the largest skincare segment for Asia-Pacific and is set to see a 6% CAGR in value terms from 2019-2023. According to Euromonitor International’s annual beauty survey, the number of daily mask users in China tripled within the period 2016-2018 as celebrities Fan Bing Bing and Charmaine Sheh share that their daily mask ritual is the secret to beautiful skin.

Interestingly, Asia Pacific customers are much more advanced when it comes to using facial skincare products like cleansers, moisturisers and toners, with a much higher daily usage rate compared to the global average. However, when it comes to non-facial skincare categories, such as body and lip moisturisers, uptake is significantly behind the rest of the world. This suggests there is still potential for suppliers to encourage the usage of these items in Asia-Pacific through various marketing means and instore upselling.

The rise of J-beauty and C-beauty

During the 2010s, K-beauty was the buzz word in Asia-Pacific because of the thriving Korean pop culture, innovative product packaging and affordable price range. Leading players Amore Pacific and LG Household and Care saw their value sales grow by 80% and 135%, respectively, over the past five years.

Moving into the 2020’s, the competitive landscape within Asia-Pacific’s skincare industry is shifting towards a more quality and ingredients focused approach. As customers opt for a less demanding routine with more natural products, Japanese prestige beauty is set to experience a strong comeback. It is believed that J-beauty companies spend decades on innovation before product launches.

Japanese beauty giant Shiseido invested hugely in the 76,000 sq ft global innovation centre that opened earlier this year, which is taking a more scientific and technology concerned stance over the attention-seeking and playful nature of K-beauty competitors.

For those consumers who cannot afford to go premium, moving from K-beauty to C-beauty seems to be the direction to go in. Pechoin is one of the fastest-growing Chinese brands because of its strong connection to heritage through use of traditional herbal care ingredients, green positioning and respectable pricing. The polarisation of Red – an online review and eCommerce platform – also creates an opportunity for C-beauty start-ups to reach target audiences of young females and to expand their distribution channels rapidly at a much lower cost.

Emerging Southeast Asian countries fuelling growth, facial skincare categories driving revenue and the dwindling of K-beauty are just a few of the many dynamic changes that are shaping the current market situation. Changes in retail dynamics and unstable political environment are other issues that should not be neglected when looking at the big picture.

Whether you want to dive deeper into the mentioned trends or to know more about where the industry is moving to, in Emily Leung’s presentation, she will answer these questions during the “Skin Care Trends Across Asia From 2019 And Beyond” session at Cosmoprof Asia.

Pre-register to receive the Skin Care Trends Across Asia From 2019 And Beyond report after the event now!