China’s Infant and Children Skincare Market Thrives with Increasingly Segmented Product Categories
BY Jekyl HeOct 31, 2023


“First Stock” and the Thriving Market

On October 17, 2023, Runben Biotechnology Co., Ltd. was listed on the main board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, becoming the first enterprise with infant and children skincare products as core business in the Chinese A-share market. According to Runben’s prospectus, the company has three main product categories, mosquito repellent products, infant and children skincare products and essence products. Currently, the infant and children skincare sector takes up the highest proportion of the company’s total revenue, accounting for 45.59% in 2022, with a remarkable year-on-year increase of 79.92%.

This rapidly developing core business mirrors the thriving infant and children skincare industry in China. In recent years, as an increasing number of post-90s and generation Z became parents, their meticulous parenting concept and the improving consumption capacity contribute to the significant growth of the Chinese infant and children skincare market. According to iResearch, the market size of China’s infant and children skincare products rose steadily from CNY 8.57 billion in 2017 to CNY 14.23 billion in 2021. Although it experienced a slight decrease of 3.5% to CNY 13.73 billion in 2022 due to the temporary closure of offline sales channels during the epidemic. In 2026, the market scale is anticipated to exceed CNY 20 billion, with a year-on-year growth of 8.1%. 


Company’s Proactive Engagement 

Drawn by the great market potential, more leading Chinese cosmetic enterprises newly entered or continuously expanded their existing presence in this industry. For instance, Chicmax, a prominent domestic cosmetic group, introduced a functional skincare brand newpage focusing on baby’s sensitive skin in May 2022. Prior to that, it had already founded an infant and children skincare brand Baby Elephant in 2015. Jala, another leading Chinese cosmetic brand, announced the launch of its first infant and children skincare brand, imine, in July 2023. Moreover, in recent years, Chinese domestic brands have gained increasing recognition among Chinese consumers because of their enhancement in product manufacturing technologies and raw material selection. As a result, the market share of international brands led by Johnson’s has been gradually grabbed by Chinese domestic brands like Baby Elephant, Runben, Giving, etc. Taking the infant and children facial lotion and cream category as an example, Chinese brands accounted for 57% of the sales from April 2022 to March 2023, surpassing international brands at 43%. [1]

Promising Product Categories and Emerging Trends

At present, the skincare products for infants and children involve nine categories such as body lotion, facial cream, sunscreen, cleanser, lip balm, etc. In terms of sales value, body lotion is the most popular category in China, followed by the facial cream and lotion category. The two are the most significant categories in Chinese infant and children skincare market. Feigua statistics indicated that the total sales value of these two categories generally took up more than 70% market share of skincare products for infants and children on Ali e-commerce platforms. 


A wide range of distinctive body lotion and facial cream products has been launched by international and Chinese domestic brands. For instance, Aveeno developed a daily moisture lotion product with natural oatmeal, which can protect and moisturise baby’s delicate skin for 24 hours. Baby Elephant’s Antarctic Lotion contains plant extract with effective moisturising and repairing functions from the Antarctic and prebiotics, which is helpful to maintain the skin barrier. Dexter have a baby cream product featured in calendula to efficiently soothe baby’s skin. 


Although the cleanser and lip balm categories hold a relatively small market share, they are experiencing promising growth rates of 59% and 23%, respectively, in 2022-2023. [1] Various products have been rolled out in these categories as well. For instance, Winona Baby introduced a cleansing foam product containing calendula and portulaca oleracea extracts with skin-soothing efficacy, suitable for sensitive skin. Runben’s lip balm is added with four plat oil formulas, candelilla wax, orange peel oil, shea butter and sunflower seed wax to endow the product with efficient moisturising efficacy. 


Furthermore, infants and children skincare products exhibit a trend of segmentation by skin types, seasons, and ages. In terms of skin types, similar to adults, infants and children also have different kinds of skin, such as dry, oily and sensitive skin, and are supposed to choose corresponding skincare products. Therefore, skincare products suitable for specific skin ranges continuously emerge in the Chinese market. For instance, Hi Papa’s amino acid and centella amino acid cleansers are suitable for dry and sensitive skin, and oily and sensitive skin, respectively. The former focuses on moisturising and mildly cleaning skin, and the latter concentrates on reducing pore blockage and deeply cleansing. The products of Winona Baby are primarily designed for sensitive skin. Its hero product contains prinsepia utilis and ceramide to strengthen the skin barrier and resist stimulation. 


Since the skincare demands also range in different seasons, there is an increasing number of products designed for distinctive seasons. For instance, because of the high temperature in summer, infants and children prefer skincare products with light texture and cool skin sensation. The demand for skin soothing and repairing also grows in that period due to the strong sunlight. In this case, Giving launched a facial cream with ectoin, which helpful to soothe skin, and unique texture, which offers coolness for users’ skin. 


Giving’s Soothing Cream with Ice-shake-like Texture for Babies

Moreover, as the main skincare problems of infants and children at different ages are distinctive, some brands develop skincare products with different age ranges. For instance, Mama Selection was the first Chinese brand to provide age-specific skincare products. It had a facial cream series for 0-3, 3-12 and 13+ ages, featured with different raw materials. To be more specfic, the whey protein facial cream for infants aged 0-3 is to help build skin barrier and moisturise skin. The crithmum maritimum facial cream for children aged 3-12 aims to strengthen the skin barrier, alleviate external stimulation, etc. The hydrating and balancing facial cream for children above 13 can mildly inhibit oil secretion and maintain the microecological balance of the skin. However, in general, only a few brands have skincare products targeting infants and children with different age ranges. More new products are to be expected in the future as the industry develops.

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Mama Selection’s Facial Cream Series for 0-3, 3-12 and 13+ Ages

**Disclaimer: All images used in the article are from the Internet.

Jekyl He
ChemLinked Market Research Analyst
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