China’s urbanites want to look as good as possible, for as long as possible. Indeed, China’s urbanites spend more on skincare and cosmetics than luxury, according to a study from Kantar. It’s important to note that this skincare spend isn’t just on creams and serums applied to the face, neck, hands and legs. It also encompasses ingestible skincare or edible beauty products. These are catch-all terms that refer to powders, drinks, and supplements that are consumed orally, and target healthier skin, hair, and nails by nourishing the body from the inside out.
Due to counterfeit and safety concerns, savvy urbanites prefer to purchase these ingestible beauty products in China through trusted cross-border platforms, like Tmall Global. This ensures they get access to original label products and can avail themselves of hassle-free customer service if there’s something wrong with the packaging.
With that context in mind, let’s have a look at a few of the edible beauty propositions that are already widely available on China’s cross-border e-commerce platform.
Collagen as ingestible beauty in China
Collagen powders, liquids and tablets are considered by China’s urbanites as one of the major moves to plump up skin and keep it looking youthful. Data from CBN Data and Tmall shows the number of repeat purchases of edible collagen products increased three-fold between 2018 and 2019. This suggests that skin-obsessed urbanites don’t consider edible collagen as a fad. Instead, they’re looking to deeply integrate it into their beauty routine. Which is good news for brands and companies in the industry.
From our analysis of product reviews, and previous projects in the category, imported edible collagen brands that hit the mark with consumers on cross-border e-commerce include:
Click here for an example of a product page on the Swisse Tmall Global store.
Nicotinamide as ingestible beauty in China
Nope, this is not a typo. Nicotinamide riboside, or niagen, is an alternative form of vitamin B3. It helps many processes inside the body, including some functions associated with anti-aging. Nicotinamide was one of the big hits in edible beauty last year, coming from nowhere to become a sensation among those looking for secrets to staying youthful for longer. As awareness of enzyme helpers increases across consumers in different city tiers increases, these types of “Benjamin Button” supplements will remain in high demand.
Based on yet more analysis of product reviews, and previous research from our team we have listed the imported brands that made their nicotinamide products a success with the Chinese consumers:
- For Becared One
- Doctor’s Best
Click here for an example of a product page of edible beauty in China by Blackmores on their Tmall Global store.
Dietary Fiber as ingestible beauty in China
There’s a lot to unpack in fiber-related supplements. Some consumers use fiber-related supplements for digestive health, others use it to stop feeling bloated, others use them for meal replacement or appetite control, and some use it to remove toxins from the body that compromise skincare outcomes.
When it comes to skincare and fiber-related supplements, the key for consumers is psyllium husk, which helps remove yeast and fungus that often triggers skin conditions like acne or rashes.
For the imported dietary fiber product category, the overseas brands we found that resonated well with the Chinese consumers via cross-border e-commerce platforms are:
- Fat Blaster
Click here to see a product page of Metamucil on Tmall Global.
Another note worthy player in the market is Pola Orbis. The Japanese cosmetics manufacturer announced that the sales of its edible beauty product had exceeded even their own expectations. It raked in $264 million in sales its first year.
Opportunities in ingestible beauty in China
Each of the above sub-categories are rich with opportunities. Consumers are still discovering the best solutions that work for them, and they’re open to trying niche imported brands through cross-border e-commerce. If you’re looking at this market, talk with our research and e-commerce teams to work out the best approach for you to gain traction with skin-obsessed millennials and urbanites.