The Cosmetic Supervision and Administration Regulation (CSAR) came into effect on January 1, 2021. According to this new regulation, toothpaste shall be regulated in accordance with regulations on general cosmetics, requiring notification, testing, safety assessment, efficacy evaluation, new toothpaste ingredient application, etc. This update undoubtedly will bring a significant change and much-needed clarification to the whole toothpaste market (More details on ChemLinked). Besides this new change, this market is witnessing additional changes due to many active players have been joining the competition in recent years.
According to Qianzhan Research Institute, the number of people with oral problems in China was about 697 million in 2018. In 2019, this number reached 700 million, meaning that nearly half of China’s population is suffering from oral problems.  With this, more and more consumers have begun to realize the importance of oral care, which in turn promotes the rapid growth of sub-categories such as dental braces, mouthwashes, toothbrushes, and dental flushers. In the iiMedia report, China’s oral care market size reached 103.5 billion yuan in 2019, among which the toothpaste market size amounted to 29.1 billion yuan. 
Although China is the biggest toothpaste manufacturing and selling country globally, China is importing more toothpaste as consumers’ demand for toothpaste becomes higher and more diverse. In 2018, China imported 1.118 billion yuan value of toothpaste, increasing by 24.5%, while, in 2019, the figure rose to 1.444 billion yuan, with a 29.2% YoY growth rate. 
Products in the market also have upgraded in various ways:
- More diverse functions / claims
In the past, toothpaste’s functions usually covered cleansing, whitening, deodorizing, anti-cavity, stopping gum bleeding, reducing swollen gums, oral mucosal repair, and anti-allergy.
At present, emerging toothpaste brands continue to innovate on toothpaste’ functions. NYSCPS, a new oral care brand, adds caviar, bird’s nest and other ingredients to toothpaste, focusing on cosmetic-like oral products. Lysozyme toothpaste and probiotic toothpaste emphasize on the bacteria balance in the oral environment. Ingredients such as essential oils, propolis extracts, and volcanic mud that were commonly used in skincare products in the past have also appeared in toothpaste formulations. Some brands even claimed that their oral products had functions like anti-aging and treatment of Helicobacter, which later were proven to be false claims.
Probiotic toothpaste & Volcanic mud toothpaste
In the new regulation system, the regulator regulates toothpaste’s permitted efficacy claims (More details on ChemLinked). However, though the regulation limits the toothpaste claims to some extent, brands’ innovation on toothpaste’s function won’t stop since young consumers have needs for new creative toothpaste products.
- More delicate packaging
For many young consumers, delicate packaging is an important factor affecting their buying decision. Emerging toothpaste brands emphasized their product packaging, and their new product packaging is usually different from traditional toothpaste packaging. For example, the NYSCPS probiotic toothpaste has a shorter and rounder package that can stand upright and is more like hand cream or facial cleanser, while its bird's nest toothpaste is like sunscreen.
NYSCPS probiotic toothpaste & bird’s nest toothpaste
SAKY mousse toothpaste and Little Dome toothpaste adopt the pumping design commonly used in skincare products, which solves the problem that traditional toothpaste is prone to breed bacteria for exposure in the air. This design is beautiful and practical.
Toothpaste from SAKY and Little Dome
- Rising prices
Toothpaste’ prices are also increasing. Most new toothpaste’s prices are over 50 yuan, and some even exceed 100 yuan, but their sales were pretty good. For example, the new brand BOP founded in 2019, its toothpaste is priced at 60 yuan/100g on Tmall, and its monthly sales are 10,000+. Usmile anti-sugar liquid toothpaste is priced at 60 yuan/180g on Tmall while its monthly sales volume is also 10,000+. Blispring’s chewing gum toothpaste, priced at about 40 yuan/100g on Tmall, became the TOP1 sales Tmall toothpaste single product within half a year. 
One thing to notice is that domestic brands play an important role in the high-end toothpaste market, unlike in the high-end skincare market. In the past, toothpaste was used as a daily chemical product, and the market was dominated by foreign brands such as Colgate and Crest. Subsequently, the middle and high-end domestic brands represented by Yunnan Baiyao and SAKY entered the market and caused the first round of consumption upgrades in the toothpaste market. The price of toothpaste products rose from a few yuan to a dozen yuan. And now, driven by cutting-edge domestic brands such as Avec Moi, Blispring, and NYSCPS, the second round of consumption upgrades in the Chinese toothpaste market has begun.
China’s oral care market is thriving because of consumers’ consumption upgrade and improved awareness of oral health. As a fast-growing and promising market, the toothpaste industry is witnessing the arrival of many emerging brands joining the competition and with it, a new expansion of innovation for products and packaging is starting to boom. The future of the toothpaste market in China is a bright one no doubt.