For a long time, in China, whitening is the second-largest demand market followed by moisturizing. However, due to the implementation of new cosmetics regulations in China, the number of new products for freckle minimization and whitening this year has decreased and the total number of new products is less than 70. Chinese industry insiders said that they are not going to launch new whitening products this year. It can be said that China’s whitening market is quiet in 2022.
According to the data from the World Health Organization, the market size of whitening products will reach $31.2 billion in 2024. On a global scale, Asians have the most common whitening needs. Oriental women have a long-standing concept of whiteness as beauty, especially in China and Japan. Women in Korea and other countries have an affection for clear and fair complexion. It is predicted that the average annual market size of whitening consumption in China is at least $9.821 billion. As one of the most important market segments in cosmetics, the consumption scale of whitening products is only second to the basic needs of moisturizing and cleaning, which shows that the consumption of whitening products is prevalent.
In China, more than 80% of women choose whitening cosmetics in their daily skincare process. In terms of category preference, consumers like to buy facial masks that claim to have whitening effects, followed by whitening sunscreens and whitening essences. With the advent of summer, consumers are also very concerned about body whitening and the sales growth rate of hand masks and body lotions is also accelerating. In terms of brand country preference, the market share of Chinese brands and international products of online whitening cosmetics account for 50%. In terms of ingredient preference, “niacinamide” has become the most popular ingredient in whitening cosmetics, followed by pearls and vitamin C.
At present, whitening cosmetics account for nearly 30% of China’s cosmetics market, but the new rules mean they will face stricter approval and regulation, making it much more difficult and costly for companies to produce and sell whitening products.
According to China’s Cosmetics Efficacy Claim Evaluation Specification, the efficacy of freckle minimization and whitening requires human efficacy evaluation tests, which can only be carried out by testing institutions registered in China. However, at present, there are less than 20 testing institutions in China that are qualified to conduct whitening human efficacy evaluation tests. At the same time, the cost of freckle minimization and whitening human efficacy evaluation was as high as nearly $30,000. Although the current test cost has dropped, it still exceeds $15,000. These have stumped many businesses.
A search on China’s domestic special cosmetics registration platform shows a total of 131 related products. This means that since the beginning of this year, only 131 new special cosmetics products in China have obtained registration certificates. Among them, there are 57 whitening and freckle minimization products.
When searching on China’s imported special cosmetics registration platform, there are only 25 products, including only 8 whitening and freckle minimization products. It can be seen that since the beginning of this year, there are only 65 new products in the freckle minimization and whitening category of Chinese brands and international brands, mainly covering categories such as essence creams, masks, body lotions, sprays and hand creams.
In addition, it was found that in these new products, there is almost no trace of well-known brands, except for the relatively familiar brands like Dr.Jart+, POLA and Lancaster. On the market and marketing side, the publicity related to whitening has also weakened.
This year, big-name and well-known brands have not launched new whitening products, which is in sharp contrast to the past. So, what are the effects of the current brand promotion? The answer is anti-aging.
With the trend of aging of the global population, the demand for delaying aging is increasing day by day. The global anti-aging market size reached $191.7 billion in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 8.3%. Forbes data believes that China’s anti-aging market has a development space of 100 billion in the future.
The new generation of young consumers in China are increasingly aware of skincare and their sensitivity to skin aging is improving, which makes them enter the ranks of anti-aging earlier. The survey shows that the age of Chinese consumers who use anti-aging products for the first time is getting younger and younger, and the proportion of people born after the 1995s who use anti-aging products before the age of 24 is as high as 84%.
Moreover, it is worth mentioning that, compared with whitening, anti-aging does not require human efficacy evaluation tests in China, meaning that the time and cost of the brand are greatly reduced.