The NPD Group, a leading market research company, has presented the U.S. and global beauty industry’s first look at 2009 year-end results for skincare, makeup, and fragrance.

According to NPD, the total U.S. prestige beauty industry showed a decline of 6 percent in dollar sales in 2009 vs. 2008. All of the U.S. prestige categories experienced dollar declines. Prestige fragrance posted the biggest declines, followed by prestige makeup, and prestige skincare.

Make no mistake, 2009 was a most challenging and difficult year for the prestige beauty industry,” said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Yet, particularly as we entered fourth quarter, there was evidence of some recovery,” she added.

The food/drug/mass channel was flat in 2009. Similar to the prestige beauty market, fragrance sales declined. Makeup sales in the mass channel experienced growth and skincare sales were flat overall, however, if haircare was excluded, sales of skincare products at mass would actually have experienced growth in line with makeup.

Globally, China experienced impressive sales growth in the fragrance, makeup, and skincare categories. On the other end of the spectrum, Mexico, Spain, and Italy showed declines in all three categories. France showed the least drop in overall prestige beauty sales with minimal declines in the fragrance and makeup categories.