The China skincare market is on the up and up. China’s urban professionals are spending more on skincare than luxury. According to Kantar, investment in skincare and cosmetics outstripped spend on handbags for surveyed consumers.
We use the term ‘investment’ very deliberately. Just like investing in stocks, local Chinese consumers believe that it pays to invest in skincare from a young age. Women in their 20s have become China’s biggest consumers of anti-aging cosmetics and skincare. They spend more than older women with higher disposable incomes.
Much of that investment is going into anti-aging, a market that in China is estimated at around $US4 billion in 2019. As for skincare as a whole, the core consumers’ average age is decreasing. AgencyChina’s analysis of Tmall data across 2017 to 2019 shows a noticeable decrease in the average age of online anti-aging shoppers, from 26.1 years old to 24.3 years old.
Eye Skincare biggest mover
Within anti-aging, one of the most dynamic areas is eye skincare. AgencyChina estimates China’s spend on anti-aging eye creams, serums and masks reached around RMB 3.2 billion last year, an increase of 43% from the year prior. Interest in eye skincare routines is also booming, with over 570,000 relevant routines and product reviews featured on Little Red Book.
We are convinced there is a significant opportunity to meet the needs of younger consumers concerned about eye skincare. Chinese consumers between the ages of 20-25 and 25-30 have distinct eye skincare needs, and our analysis suggests this difference hasn’t been fully captured by domestic and foreign brands.
Particularly, the focus of costumers aged 20-25 clusters around hydration, brightening and de-puffing. This shifts as consumers approach their thirties, where consumers tend to favour anti-aging products, collagen boosters and retinol formats that deliver rapid results (i.e.: serums and ampoules).
Opportunities in China Skincare Market
To date, brands have tried to appeal to younger consumers through younger brand ambassadors. However, these brand ambassadors sell existing stock, rather than new product lines. We think that this could be improved. Existing product lines, designed for fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, don’t match younger consumers’ eyecare need states, desired effects and preferred ingredient profiles.
Instead, we would encourage skincare companies to consider the following opportunities:
• Product portfolio extensions to meet increasing anti-aging eyecare needs
• Specific R&D for skincare consumers aged 20-25
• ‘First-aid’ solutions for immediate impact, offered alongside products for long-term maintenance
• How they will reach younger consumers through a combination of online and offline retail channels
If you are a skincare company looking to understand specific consumers in China, or you’d like to understand the size of the prize for particular categories of skincare, or you’d like to market your skincare products better, book yourself in for a consultation with us.