Sharon Kwek
Sharon is Senior Innovation and Insights Analyst, Beauty and Personal Care at Mintel. Based in Singapore, she provides insights on Asia’s beauty and personal care categories.

The Philippines is evolving into a flourishing consumer market with a modern retail landscape that’s a mix of local and international brands, sold both at local community stores and high-end shopping malls. The Philippines’ beauty industry holds huge growth potential, all thanks to a growing middle class and improved logistics.

The country currently boasts a relatively young population with a median age of just 24 in 2017, according to IndexMundi, demonstrating a different form of consumerism that impacts both retail and product landscapes.

Meanwhile, the explosion of social media usage among consumers in the Philippines has exposed them to beauty trends as well as educated them on product safety, all of which has translated into sales and marketing opportunities for brands.

Local beauty brands are stepping up the game

Korean beauty has had a big influence on the Philippines’ beauty industry with more and more local brands taking inspiration from K-beauty products. Locally manufactured lip products, for instance, are incorporating K-beauty trends, with the latest product innovations focusing on lip tints, lips oils and 2-in-1 lip and cheek tints.

Local beauty brands offer these products at very competitive prices to cater to lower-income consumers, while more premium local brands are attempting to woo brand-conscious consumers with the premise of not having to pay more for imported brands. For example, Ever Bilena Cosmetics, a household name with over three decades of history in the Philippines, first started out in the nail polish sector and, within just the past two years, has evolved into a full cosmetics line.

Some notable beauty brands from the Philippines include Ellana Cosmetics, also recognised as the number one mineral makeup in the Philippines; Vice Cosmetics launched by local celebrity Vice Ganda; and Happy Cosmetics which boasts formulations said to feature the best skin-caring ingredients sourced from Japan—where the brand’s products are also manufactured.

Entering the global stage

Pili Ani is local brand Elemie Natural’s premium facial skincare line which is formulated with natural pili and elemi oils, along with other active ingredients, using the latest natural skincare technologies to create safe, effective products. The brand has extended beyond the Philippines, launching in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2016 and is being sold in the US via TV homeshopping.

As consumers around the world become more knowledgeable about products and ingredients, the country of origin is no longer a barrier for local brands to take their brand overseas. Product quality now supersedes brand names and masstige beauty product producers like Ellana Cosmetics have the potential to venture beyond the Philippines.