Monthly Digest: China Cosmetic Sector Review | Mar 2023
BY Jekyl HeApr 10, 2023



  • Market Condition

  • Company Dynamics

  • Financial Results

  • E-commerce & Social Commerce News

  • Regulatory Compliance

Market Condition

1. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the total retail sales of cosmetics products from January to February 2023 was RMB 65.6 billion, with a year-on-year increase of 3.8%, which has been the first positive growth since July 2022. In addition, compared with statistics in the same period of 2019, 2021 and 2022, the total retail sales of cosmetics products from January to February 2023 has been increasing steadily, with 2020 as an exception due to COVID-19.


2. According to the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC), the total import value of cosmetics and toiletries from January to February 2023 was RMB 20.70 billion. In February, the import value was RMB 11.91 billion, with a 15.3% YoY increase. 


3. The statistics from O&O Consulting showed that the total sales of online sunscreen products from March 2022 to February 2023 were RMB 12.91 billion, with a slight YoY decrease of 0.78%. Regarding the brand competition, the concentration rate of the top 10 brands, with 8 international brands and 2 Chinese domestic brands, was 44%. Anessa, Mistine and Lancome were top 3 brands with respectively RMB 1.23 billion, RMB 1.09 billion and RMB 731 million in retail sales. 


Company Dynamics

1. Maybelline’s brand-new surrealistic mascara, Falsies Surreal Extensions, was launched with the brand’s initial virtual image, May, as one of Maybelline’s steps in metaverse. In the future, May will also help with the launch of virtual products and services, participate in metaverse-related campaigns, etc. 


2. Villa Harmony, an experience centre jointly built by Firmenich and Xunxisuo, has opened recently. Xunxisuo is a studio focusing on traditional Chinese fragrance research and development. For Firmenich, the opening of Villa Harmony is to broaden consumer experience and optimise Firmenich’s advanced perfume business in China through deep insights on traditional Chinese fragrance culture and history. 


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3. Botanee, a Chinese domestic cosmetic enterprise, plans to unveil a new brand named Beforteen this year. The new brand can provide integrated but precise acne treatment solutions for consumers based on Chinese skin disease research and AI technology. Beforteen currently has launched an AI skincare test tool through its WeChat mini program. Users can upload their photos on the program and the AI tool will analyse the acne in the photos according to the Guideline for Diagnosis and Treatment of Acne. After that, users can make appointments with online doctors and receive a comprehensive solution including skincare products, drugs and functional foods.

4. As many cosmetic brands have rolled out a wide range of sunscreen products in recent years, their additional functions have been extensively expanded. For instance, Cerave launched an oil-free sunscreen for oily and sensitive skins, which is added with 3 essential ceramides to relieve erythema and pigmentation and repair the skin barrier. 


5. The Global Advanced Technology Research Centre and Male Skincare Research Centre of Estee Lauder officially opened on March 29, 2023. In the future, the Global Advanced Technology Research Centre will cover the basic research of sophisticated areas and conduct in-depth research in fields such as anti-ageing, dermatology, etc. The Centre will also collaborate with Chinese academic and research institutions to develop new and efficient skincare ingredients and formulas. According to Estee Lauder’s plan, the Centre will become the largest cutting-edge technology research centre for group’s international market by 2025. The Male Skincare Research Centre will carry out scientific research, product development, packaging innovation on male cosmetic products, and clinical testing targeting Chinese male consumers. Based on in-depth understanding of the Chinese male consumers’ needs, the Centre will be able to assist in the development of its male skincare brands such as Lab Series.

Financial Results

International Brands


Growth Rate



EUR 8.80 billion


1. The sales of Beiersdorf in 2022 reached 8.80 billion euros, with an organic year-on-year increase of 10.2%.

2. The group’s Africa, Asia and Australia region accounted for 31.5% of the total sales, with organic YoY growth of 9.9% to 2.77 billion euros.

3. The Derma business unit of the group achieved 23.9% organic sales growth, with strong growth acceleration in the Chinese market.


EUR 22.4 billion


1. Henkel’s sales totalled 22.4 billion euros in 2022, with 8.8% organic growth.

2. The sales in the Asia-Pacific region increased organically by 6.8% to 3.8 billion euros and took up 17% of the total sales.


EUR 3.62 million


1. The net revenue of Puig came up to 3.62 million euros, with a YoY rise of 40%.

2. The group’s Asian revenue grew by 41% to 349 million euros, accounting for 10% of the total net revenue.

Chinese Domestic Brands


Growth Rate




RMB 6.36 billion


1. The revenue of Bloomage Biotch in 2022 was 6.36 billion yuan, with 28.53% YoY growth.

2. The growth was mainly driven by the steady increase in the company’s raw material, medical terminal, functional skincare product and functional food businesses.

3. The functional skincare product business achieved 4.61 billion yuan, with a 38.8% YoY increase, accounting for 72.45% of the total revenue.

Giant Biogene

RMB 2.36 billion


1. The revenue of Giant Biogene in 2022 increased by 52.3% to 2.36 billion yuan.

2. The growth was promoted through the improving influence of its brands and products, which was achieved by the expansion of product types, online and offline channels and marketing.

3. In terms of brands, the core brands Comfy and Collgene contributed approximately 90% to the total revenue. The revenue of Comfy and Collgene was respectively 1,613 million yuan and 618.4 million yuan.


RMB 5.01 billion


1. The revenue of Botanee in 2022 rose by 24.65% to 5.01 billion yuan.

2. The brand Winona was still the main driving force for growth, taking up 97.43% of the total revenue.

3. In terms of channels, Botanee’s online sales reached 4.03 billion yuan, a YoY increase of 22.06%. The offline sales reached 970 million yuan, a YoY rise of 37.04%. 

E-commerce & Social Commerce News

1. Tmall has strategically cooperated with 50 top FMCG brands such as P&G, Estee Lauder, Biohyalux, etc. According to the collaboration, the platform and brands will jointly build new products from scratch. Tmall is to assist brands during the overall process of new product output from product positioning, concept generation, product testing, product launch to marketing promotion. The first strategic product cooperated by Biohyalux and Tmall has already been rolled out on Tmall, which only costs 7 months from project initiation to product launch.


Regulatory Compliance

1. In 2022, the number of NCI notifications in China was several times that of the past years. Leading companies continue to increase the research and development of NCI. Various NCIs developed by high technology and functional NCIs are emerging. The increasing number of NCI notification, on the one hand, intensifies the competition in the cosmetic industry; on the other hand, boost the vigorous development of the whole industry. More details on ChemLinked.

2. To facilitate the healthy development of retail trade through cross-border e-commerce (CBEC), GACC adopted Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) nationwide in the customs declaration of CBEC imports on February 10, 2023. More details on ChemLinked. 

3. On March 23, 2023, China State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) issued the finalized Administrative Measures on Toothpaste, clarifying the responsibilities of all stakeholders, the toothpaste’s definition, the management requirements for toothpaste products and new ingredients, the requirements for toothpaste safety assessment, efficacy claims and labelling, as well as the ongoing use of the existing toothpaste production licensing system. More details on ChemLinked.

4. On March 27, 2023, China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) announced adjustments to the submission of cosmetic ingredient safety information, relaxing some regulatory requirements. This move is in response to some enterprises experiencing difficulties in obtaining the necessary documents due to factors such as COVID-19 pandemic related restrictions. More details on ChemLinked.

Jekyl He
ChemLinked Market Research Analyst
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