Market Barometer Issue 48 – Global Skincare

July 8, 2013
3 min read


This month’s Market Review looks at the skincare sector; an area for comparisons and contrasts.
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Source: Mintel Global Market Sizes


Body Beautiful


Same desires; same players, same markets?

On the face of it, both literally and figuratively, the desire for a beautiful body is ubiquitous. And the trans-national companies which supply the sector are familiar the world over. Attitudes to ageing however do vary; with some societies according much more respect to their elders than others; this is sometimes, but not always, reflected in any skincare promotion.

Beauty in the eye of the beholder

So while the desire to present the best image is commonplace, what is regarded as beautiful varies markedly. A most striking example is in desired tone.  Many Asian women wish for pale skin while generally Northern Europeans wish for a “healthy” tan.  And then there is the fashion element; is the natural look à la mode, or is a certain cosmetic look de rigeur?

Above or below the neck?

Presented graphically is an analysis of what women are prepared to spend on body care as opposed to facial care. These are the outcomes which underline a very complex interaction of attitudes and buying habits, but give ideas of where marketing opportunities lie.

Regional variation

Looking at total expenditure across all the countries, the balance is in favour of the face. Just over three quarters of skincare spend across the 34 countries covered by Mintel is on facial products.  And the country which comes nearest to this average is France, the origin of many a beauty product. There is a strong regional bias with Asian women much preferring to spend on the face, while Latin Americans favour the body.

Culture and climate play a role…

This can partly be attributed to cultural attitudes: the acceptability to expose various parts of the human form. Naturally, climatical conditions are also important. It is noticeable that body care has popularity in countries where any baring of flesh for much of the year does not produce chilblains! But also climates with winter and summer extremes, prone to dry air currents, can take their toll on the skin.

…but do not explain everything

But these factors do not explain all; Thais spend proportionally less than the global average on facial care and the Indonesians expenditure is very focussed below the neck. And while Chileans, Colombians and Mexicans spend more on facial care than body, the Brazilians spend distinctly less.

This blog references our beauty market sizes reports, available to purchase at our store.

Katie Chapman
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