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In recent years, China’s facial mask market has shown an upward trajectory, as evidenced by the annually increasing market size and penetration rate. According to the 2023 Facial Mask Trend Insight White Paper, the size of China’s facial mask market reached CNY 45.2 billion in 2021 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.13% during 2012-2021. It was projected to continue growing and exceed CNY 72 billion in 2024. Besides, the market penetration rate rose consistently from 32% in 2012 to 56% in 2021 and was expected to continuously increase in the future. These positive performances indicated the promising market potential of China’s facial mask industry.
Currently, Chinese domestic brands dominate the facial mask market. Chinese local brands took up 8 seats of the top 10 best-selling facial mask brands on both Ali and Douyin platforms from Jan to Oct 2023. This is mainly attributed to their improving product competitiveness resulted from product efficacy and ingredient innovation. However, the market concentration ratio of the industry remains relatively low. The market share of the top 20 brands was merely 28.43% in 2022. In this condition, China’s facial mask industry still has space for international brands to gain more market share, but they are probably supposed to strengthen their competitiveness by product innovation.
The market is evenly distributed by online and offline channels. In terms of online channels, Ali platforms held the largest market share. Taking the sales value during Jan-Sept 2023 as an example, Ali platforms occupied nearly 20% of the total, exceeding all the other online channels like Douyin, Kuaishou, etc. But the growth rate of Ali’s sales value decreased significantly in this period, while that of Douyin and Kuaishou experienced a remarkable increase. Notably, the growth rate of Kuaishou’s sales value arrived at approximately 38%. In this case, brands may consider exploring opportunities in these rapidly-developing channels and make more attempts to sell products through live streaming.
Willingness to Accept Various Facial Mask Forms
Although sheet facial mask is still the main form used by consumers, they are positive to various other forms. For instance, clay facial mask products have gained popularity among consumers. Its market size increased by 167% year-on-year (YoY) on Douyin in 2022, accompanied by a 47.4% YoY growth in brands offering this product. Innovative forms like freeze-dried and ampoule facial masks are also well-received. More than 80% consumers are willing to purchase facial masks with innovative forms at a premium whose most acceptable range is within 5%. In particular, the freeze-dried facial mask is a shining star in this segment. Its market size exceeded CNY 900 million from April 2022 to March 2023, with a growth rate of 80%. Facial mask enterprises can capitalize on this trend by diversifying their product offerings and exploring different product forms.
Pursuit of Advanced Efficacies
Nowadays, consumers consider hydration as the basic function of facial masks. Apart from it, they seek products with sophisticated efficacies such as repairing, skin-soothing, whitening, anti-wrinkling, etc. Among these, facial masks with skin-soothing and repairing functions developed rapidly. The market share of this category grew by 7.3% YoY in Jan-Sept 2023. To cater to consumer preferences, facial mask brands can broaden the range of efficacies offered in their products, so as to attract a wider consumer base.
Varied Price Acceptance Among Different Facial Mask Types
Consumer acceptance of facial mask prices varies depending on the type. Over half of consumers are willing to pay between 50 to 100 CNY for sheet facial mask products, while the acceptable price range for clay facial mask products is higher, ranging from CNY 100 to 500. When it comes to hydrating masks, consumers tend to opt for lower-priced options, with prices dropping to CNY 0-10 per piece. For repairing masks, consumers are open to a wider price range, including both higher and lower-priced options. To align with consumer expectations, facial mask enterprises are supposed to adopt different pricing strategies when developing distinctive product types.
Under China’s current regulatory framework, cosmetics are categorized as special and general cosmetics, which are subject to registration and notification respectively. Special cosmetics refer to hair dyes, hair perming products, freckle-removing (whitening) products, sunscreens, anti-hair loss products, and cosmetics with new efficacy. Other cosmetics are general cosmetics. In this condition, generally, facial mask with freckle-removing (whitening) and new efficacy are subject to registration while others undergo notification.
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