Jane Henderson, Mintel

Jane Henderson, Mintel

The demand for new product innovation in the beauty space has never been more important in China where facial skincare products account for 92% of the total skincare market value. According to Mintel, products incorporating natural ingredients could stand to benefit.

Indeed, a recent survey from the market research company show that 90% of urban female consumers in China tend to buy natural ingredients products - rising to 92% for 30-39 year olds and 94% of those on the highest income (over RMB10,000). Furthermore, some 80% of urban female consumers in China say that they “always check the ingredients of skincare products before buying them” and a massive 90% claim that they are “getting more concerned about the safety of skincare products”.

Mintel estimates the facial skincare segment to be worth RMB65 billion in 2012, up from RMB36 billion in 2007. Furthermore, Mintel forecasts the market to grow even further over the next five years to 2017 to reach RMB104 billion.

Plant-based cosmetic products that enhance the appearance of the skin are increasingly in demand and organic and natural herbal-based skincare products are becoming increasingly popular nowadays amongst Chinese consumers thanks to the international skincare trend and ongoing ingredient scare cases in China,” says Jane Henderson, Global President - Beauty & Personal Care Division, at Mintel. “Increasing urbanization and demand for natural beauty products presents real opportunity for brands looking to capitalise on the Chinese marketplace. An increased number of Chinese consumers from rural areas are relocating for better working opportunities and they are also trading up and demanding more from their beauty products,” she continues.

In fact, skincare products with botanical or herbal ingredients claims have dominated the Chinese market in terms of new product development since 2008, according to Mintel’s Global New Products Database - up from 52% in 2008 to 73% in 2011.

The advantage of natural and organic skincare products is not just about avoiding the use of artificial chemical ingredients or even harmful ingredients, but rather applying a concept of ‘fully nutritional’ and ‘fully comprehensive’ treatment to increase the skin’s healthiness. At the same time, some of these natural or organic plant essence products also offer aromatherapy stress relief. Thus, in terms of the long-term application effect, safety concerns and even eco-friendliness, these green skincare products will certainly be a major skincare trend in the future,” Jane Henderson adds.

The research also reveals sun care as a category ripe for capitalising on the demand from Chinese consumers for natural products in beauty, with over a third (36%) disagreeing that natural and organic sunscreens are not as effective as chemical ones.