New research from Mintel  reveals that two-thirds (66%) of urban Chinese consumers aged 20-49 who experience skin conditions say lifestyle is a top factor causing their facial skin conditions, followed by an endocrine disorder (47%) and environmental pollution (45%).
According to Mintel, Chinese consumers are more likely to modify their lifestyle (72%) and pay more attention to daily facial skincare (71%) before taking any extra measures to treat their skin conditions. However, while 86% of male skin condition sufferers claim they don’t take any measures, allowing it to heal on its own, only just 3% of female skin condition sufferers do the same.
The most common skin conditions are not all the same for men as for women. Acne is the main concern of Chinese males (45% vs 38% among females), while they are less likely to report dark spots/pigments (24% vs 36% among females).
Products designed to manage specific skin issues have a long history of development in China, but the dermocosmetics industry (usually referred as the cosmeceuticals industry in China) only started gaining momentum over the past few years. So far, only 38% of urban Chinese consumers use cosmeceuticals to improve their skin conditions.
“Minor skin conditions seem to be no big deal for Chinese consumers. The majority of them don’t bother to use specialised products or take medicines to treat their skin conditions. In order to broaden the consumer base and usage frequencies, cosmeceuticals need to promote more preventative usage by positioning the products as a holistic approach to maintaining healthy skin, or address lifestyle factors, such as stress or lack of sleep, which is regarded as the number one cause of skin conditions in China, according to our research,” commented Alice Li, research analyst at Mintel.
Science and active ingredients
In China, the number of skincare products claiming to be dermatologically tested, grew from 3.3% of new product launches in 2015 to 8.9% in 2017, according to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD); meanwhile, the ‘for sensitive skin’ claim is also on the rise as it was featured in 12% of new product launches in 2017, even exceeding similar launches in Japan in 2017 (10.4%).
“As Chinese consumers highly value scientific data and endorsement from professional institutes to support product quality, dermatologically tested claims could help local brands build a professional and effective image,” Li added.
Furthermore, 74% of Chinese consumers agree it’s essential that cosmeceuticals contain enough active ingredients. While 60% agree cosmeceuticals formulated with fewer ingredients are safer, nearly the same percentage (62%) of respondents are concerned that long-term usage of cosmeceuticals may result in dependence.