Chanel, La Prairie Foray in New Sector in China

Previously, some innovative Chinese brands such as Zhuben, LAN gained a firm foothold in the beauty market which relied on their face oil products. Recently, Chanel and La Prairie launched high-end face oil one after another. From this point of view, China’s face oil sector will reshuffle and this category will strengthen the intensity of competition.

A few days ago, the high luxury beauty brand Chanel launched a new Chanel Sublimage L’Extrait Concentre-Huile Reparateur Intense claiming to add vanilla planifolia and swertia chirata with efficacy of deeply repair skin. Its price is 4820 yuan (about $669.5) on its flagship store on Chinese leading e-commerce platform Tmall. This means that the face oil, which has been viral for more than a year in China, has welcomed high-end players. So, why is face oil trendy? What new opportunities are there now?

Over-1000-yuan essence oil shows up

Not long ago, Chanel’s official account on Chinese social platform Weibo released the promotional post of its new Chanel Sublimage L’Extrait Concentre-Huile Reparateur Intense. According to the introduction, the product combines the pure empowering energy of vanilla planifolia and the intensive repairing power of swertia chirata, which can make the skin smoother, softer and more even. The product is priced at 4820 yuan (about $669.5)/15ml. As of press time, the total sales of the product is 500+ pieces on its flagship store on Tmall.

Through the Imported General Cosmetics Filing Information System, CHAILEEDO found that record date of Chanel Sublimage L’Extrait Concentre-Huile Reparateur Intense is September 16, 2022. It is understood that the product efficacy claims include seven aspects: beauty modification, nourishing, repairing, moisturizing, anti-wrinkle, firming, soothing. In addition to the beauty modification, the remaining six efficacy are uploaded to the human efficacy evaluation test brief, of which anti-wrinkle, firming efficacy of the human efficacy evaluation test is completed in the Chinese laboratory, the rest is completed in international laboratories.

It is worth mentioning that in the recommended beauty steps by Chanel official, the face oil is ranked between the essence and eye cream. CHAILEEDO noted that the face oil launched by Chanel before did not post such beauty steps. In other words, Chanel’s new collection this year has made the face oil an essential skincare step.

Similarly, the ultra-high-end beauty brand La Prairie has also launched La Prairie Skin Caviar Nighttime Oil this year. The product is priced at 4,530 yuan (about $629.2) / 20 ml. As of press time, La Prairie’s official flagship store on Tmall shows that its monthly sales was 100+ units. According to the Imported General Cosmetics Filing Information System, the product claims to have nourishing, moisturizing, anti-wrinkle, firming and soothing effects and has uploaded a brief description of human efficacy tests. In the skin care steps unveiled by La Prairie, La Prairie Skin Caviar Nighttime Oil is ranked after the essence and before the facial cream.

Some analysts believe that that may indicate the high-end brands represented by Chanel and La Prairie intend to make a big splash in the face oil category in China. The continued increase of high-end players is also enough to show that the face oil, which has been popular for more than a year, is becoming more mature and has a larger potential. Meanwhile, China’s face oil sector will reshuffle and this category will strengthen the intensity of competition.

The market of face oil continues to grow

What attracts these high-end brands to the market may also be related to the continued growth of the face oil sector. According to CHAILEEDO data, the market size of China’s face oil products will be about 48.8 billion yuan (about $6.8 billion) in 2022, and as the consumer market for face oil products continue to expand, the size of the upstream supply market for these products will also grow reaching 18.36 billion yuan (about $2.6 billion). As of press, there are 230,000+ notes related to face oil on Chinese sharing platform Xiaohongshu.

The rise of innovative Chinese brands such as LAN Lan, Zhuben and so on are almost all related to the trend of face oil. They have gained a firm foothold in the skincare market with the help of oil products. Among them, LAN and Zhuben are both using makeup remover oil to enter the market, such as LAN Rice Essence Cleansing Oil claiming to be skin nourishing makeup remover oil, and Zhuben makeup remover oil also emphasizing “maintenance of sebum film”.

More brands are actively expanding their oil products under the prosperity of face oil and they are not limited to makeup remover oil and facial essence oil. For example, Bloomage Biotech’s QuadHA launched Refresing Multi-recovery Soothing Oil Essence in 2021. FanBeauty Secret also launched the Oleaeuropaeal Extract Nourishing Water+Oil Mask. Personal care brand Little Dream Garden launched a new essential oil fragrance series this year, which includes bath oil, essential oil fragrance body lotion, essential oil fragrance hand cream and body oil.

It is easy to see that the prevalence of the face oil has broadened the category of oil products, from traditional facial care to the whole body, scalp, hair and so on. An industry insider with more than 20 years of experience in beauty brand operations believes that “the competition of skincare skincare products today such as lotion, cream, masks and other categories are increasingly serious. The industry continues to hype the concept, ingredients. The original common water-based products were changed to relatively few oil-based products, plus the concept of skincare. In that way, the face oil category is chased after by many consumers.

“Domestic(Chinese) brands do not do well enough in research and development, efficacy ratio. They can only make up from the type of product, change the product traits and push some new concepts.” He said.

For this view, a number of industry sources said, “From the past experience of the essential oil market and the positioning of the population, the targeted group of face oil is limited.” The person in charge of a listed company’s beauty brand believes that oil products are more limited in terms of the population and the season. Essential oil products are not a necessary step in skincare. Creams contain oil and feel better than the essential oil.

Although the “oil for skin” will be affected by seasonality, there are many brands are changing the inherent stereotypes through product formulations and publicity, so as to actively broaden the use of oil products scenarios and applicable people. For example, PMPM Rose Squalane Repair Essence was launched during this year’s Chinese 618 Shopping Festival emphasizing that it can be used in summer even on oily skin. LAN also launched Time Miracle Ace-defying Oil claiming non-greasy and meeting the needs of young skin to fight against aging.

For the face oil sector, some industry insiders also express their opinion. As one industry veteran said “it depends on brands to launch more differentiated products and build more scenarios with contemporary characteristics, as well as to create higher quality products to meet the diverse and individual and personalized needs of the younger generation of consumers. Only then can we lead the new trend in skincare.”



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