Skin Care in Asia Pacific

May 2021

Sales of skin care declined in Asia Pacific in 2020, with the region hit by Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the measures taken to contain its spread. Hand care was one product that continued to record positive growth, with consumers needing to moisturise hands dried out by frequent washing and sanitising. Skin care will rebound with dynamic growth in 2021, quickly regaining any sales lost during 2020.

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Key findings

Healthy sales increases over the historic period

Skin care sales were increasing at steady annual growth rates of 6-7% in Asia Pacific in recent years, with China, in particular, helping to drive these increases. Factors like anti-ageing and clean beauty were visible trends across the region, while e-commerce had grown to become the biggest individual retail distribution channel.

Pandemic disrupts skin care in 2020

Many markets in the region, including China, saw a slightly worse skin care performance against the backdrop of the pandemic in 2020, with some countries, eg Japan, seeing big sales declines. COVID-19, or, more precisely, the measures taken to control its spread, including store closures and lockdowns, disrupted skin care sales. Hand care sales benefited from the additional washing and sanitising of hands during the pandemic, while “soothing” was a key theme as consumers sought products to relieve skin problems caused or exacerbated by the frequent use of face masks.

E-commerce a major “winner” in 2020

E-commerce recorded strong growth during the pandemic, particularly during lockdown periods, but also with consumers looking for ways of minimising their exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Internet retailing accounted for more than a third of sales in both China and South Korea in 2020, with companies becoming more digitally active during the pandemic. Skin care is also an industry in which players make extensive use of livestreaming, particularly in China, as it enables brands to demonstrate products, engage with consumers and distribute exclusive coupons.

Strong growth over the forecast period

Chinese growth rates will strengthen again from 2021, while Japan will return to positive territory from this year, with Asia Pacific as a whole expected to see healthy annual growth rates over the forecast period.


Key findings

Regional Overview

Asia Pacific accounts for more than half of global skin care sales
Strong growth expected in Asia Pacific over the forecast period
China dominates the new value sales in Asia Pacific over 2015-2020
Hand care sales driven by additional washing and sanitising in 2020
Chinese facial care dominates the new sales over 2015-2020
COVID-19 underlines the importance of a well-developed digital strategy
Store-based retailing still dominates skin care sales…
…but e-commerce continues to make major gains

Leading Companies and Brands

Competitive landscape becoming more concentrated in China
Japanese companies losing share at a regional level
Shiseido doubles its Chinese revenues over 2015-2020
Lancôme moving up the rankings over 2015-2020

Forecast Projections

Strong growth expected for skin care in Asia Pacific
Strong rebounds expected in Japan and Hong Kong in 2021
Rising incomes and lifting of travel restrictions to help boost growth

Country Snapshots

China: Market Context
China: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Hong Kong, China: Market Context
Hong Kong, China: Competitive and Retail Landscape
India: Market Context
India: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Indonesia: Market Context
Indonesia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Japan: Market Context
Japan: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Malaysia: Market Context
Malaysia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Pakistan: Market Context
Pakistan: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Philippines: Market Context
Philippines: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Singapore: Market Context
Singapore: Competitive and Retail Landscape
South Korea: Market Context
South Korea: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Taiwan: Market Context
Taiwan: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Thailand: Market Context
Thailand: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Vietnam: Market Context
Vietnam: Competitive and Retail Landscape


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