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Beauty Business

cosmetic products
Main considerations when buying cosmetic products for Chinese mainland consumers include benefits/efficacy, brand and word-of-mouth

Consumer demand for cosmetics and skincare products in the Chinese mainland has seen sustained growth. To understand the consumption habits for cosmetics and skincare products of both male and female mainland consumers, the HKTDC Research conducted online questionnaire surveys, consumer focus-group discussions, and company visits between October and December last year. The study was carried out in several mainland cities to understand the cosmetic product preferences of consumers there.

The study found that a majority of female respondents regularly wear makeup. Among them, the proportion of young women (aged 20-30) who often use cosmetics (88 per cent) is higher than that of more mature women aged 31-45 (83 per cent). Respondents use, on average, 4.7 different cosmetic products. The main considerations when buying them are product benefits/efficacy, brand and word-of-mouth.

“Our survey found that when it comes to buying and using cosmetic products, 52 per cent of the respondents would stick to several specific brands, indicating that their brand loyalty is quite high,” said Alice Tsang, HKTDC Economist (Greater China Research Team), who headed the study.

When launching new products on the mainland, Ms Tsang said that companies have to offer innovative products or novel makeup themes to attract consumers’ attention. “Demo sessions for new products, for instance, can help generate interest among consumers,” she noted.

Skincare Regimen

Korean brands
Korean brands are more popular with young Chinese mainland consumers, while more mature customers tend to favour European and American brands

Overall, 85 per cent of female consumers on the mainland follow a skincare regimen and use, on average, 7.7 skincare products. Among imported skincare products, Korean brands are more popular with young respondents, while mature consumers said they favour European and American brands. However, the major considerations when buying skincare products are still product quality, ingredients and value for money.

The prevalence of men using makeup is still relatively low in mainland society, but most of the respondents believe that having a skincare routine is part of good grooming. Sixty-three per cent of male respondents said they use only cleansing milk, lotion or face cream. Just 37 per cent of the respondents have a skincare routine, using on average 3.4 different skincare products.

Promising Sector

Cosmetic and skincare brands targeting the male market
Cosmetic and skincare brands targeting the male market

While only five per cent of the male respondents use makeup daily, 29 per cent would use cosmetics when the occasion warrants a more polished look. They use primarily sunscreen/sunblock and BB cream.

Ms Tsang pointed out that not many male cosmetics and skincare brands are currently available on the mainland market, which presents a promising niche for those in the industry. Companies targeting this sector should pay particular attention to offering attractive packaging and designs when launching their products. They could opt for simpler designs with neutral colours to attract male customers, according to Ms Tsang.

Related Link
Young Consumers: Driving the Growth of China’s Skincare Market


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