Specialty Actives: Market Insights from China

Personal Care Ingredients Market in China
Active Ingredients for Cosmetics

China is the largest market for professional skin care and the third largest consumer of active ingredients globally. What are the key growth drivers, which trends are reshaping the industry, and how will this region perform in the future? We asked Kline’s Chemicals & Materials industry experts to share their insights on this highly promising market.

What are the key drivers of the specialty actives market in China?

Today, Chinese consumers are increasingly concerned about the efficacy of cosmetic products and the active ingredients used in them. Educated and demanding consumers are shifting towards mid- to high-end products, as they are looking for efficient solutions to satisfy their skin care concerns. Growing income, urbanization, aging population, increasing importance of “yán zhí” (attractiveness index), and willingness to use advanced products are the key factors, catalyzing the actives market in the region.

What are the leading active ingredients in China?

The Chinese market for personal care almost doubled from 2013 due to robust growth in the consumption of substantiated botanical actives and biotechnology. Categories such as proteins and peptides and marine ingredients have also shown impressive growth rates. Biotechnology is the leading product category, accounting for almost half of the total market value. The category benefited from the increasing popularity of sheet facial masks, using hyaluronic acid in its formulations. Botanical actives is the second largest product category, driven by the natural trend, as well as growing interest in personal care products with substantiated actives.
What are the major skin care concerns in China?

Due to the aging population and an increasing number of women in the high income class, anti-aging is by far the most desired product functionality in China. These products perform moisturizing, anti-wrinkle, anti-oxidant, anti-stress, DNA-protection, skin firming, and other related functions. Skin whitening is the second most important concern. Consumers strongly aspire to have radiant looks, which leads to a growing consumption of skin whitening products. Anti-inflammatory is the third largest segment. The use of these products has increased dramatically in recent years due to intensifying pollution issues, which lead to sensitive skin problems, including red faces and inflammation. Growing demand for anti-pollution and sensitive skin care helps the anti-inflammatory segment grow by 20% from 2013.

How will the market develop in the next five years?

Chinese consumers will continue to shift to high-end personal care, adopting premium ingredients at a fast pace. Therefore, the market is expected to show a robust 18% growth rate through 2021. In line with the demand for effective products, manufacturers will continue to develop more cosmetic products containing active ingredients, and, hence the higher cost.

Discover more insights from the key global markets for active ingredients, with Kline’s recently published study Specialty Actives: Multi-regional Market Analysis and Opportunities.