Young men are driving skincare market in China

The mainland Chinese male skincare and cosmetics market is expected to grow twice as fast as the global cosmetics market in the next two years, reaching CNY1.9 billion (US$300 million) in 2019, according to Euromonitor International.

A report by Jing Daily stated that young Chinese men who are between 18 and 26, and have increasingly more disposable income, are becoming the new driving force for the male beauty market.

According to a study released in April 2017 by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, young men are beginning to build skincare habits early compared to their elders.

Chinese men as young as high school age are already using basic facial cleansing products and by the time they begin university their skincare routine becomes more complex, said Jing Daily.

Many factors are driving young Chinese men’s consumption in the skincare market, according to the study, with some respondents concerned about their skin health.

“The air pollution in China now is very serious,” said one Weibo user. “It greatly affects the skin quality.” Some said their skincare habits formed as a result of the influence of their girlfriend or wife.

The study also suggests that the introduction of exclusive product lines for men means that they are more likely to cultivate skincare habits, with demand increasing for products such as BB creams, eyebrow pencils and concealer.

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As consumers develop diverse needs, more varieties of male skincare products are emerging. According to a 2016 Beauty report released by Amazon China, L’Oréal and Nivea ranked highest on its top 100 skincare products of 2016 list, with professional men’s skincare brands like Biotherm and Lab Series favoured by the male consumer.

Jing Daily noted that mainland consumers tend to form different perceptions towards skincare and cosmetics brands in different countries or regions.

For example, consumers generally believe that Swiss brands focus on medical beauty, American brands tend to make more advanced formulas and Japanese brands feature whitening effects, which are more suitable for Asian skin.

The per capita consumption gap between male and female buyers has reduced from CNY26.6 (US$4) in 2014 to CNY13.7 (US$2), according to research compiled by e-commerce giant JD.com on the consumption of beauty products in China in 2017.

Even though male skincare products, cosmetics brands and product categories are far less diverse than those in the women’s market, the future growth of the men’s market is vast as there will be more foreign brands entering the mainland market, Jing Daily concluded.

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