Facial Mask Enters the Era of High-level Efficacy

As an essential skincare product, the market for facial masks has been growing rapidly. With the advent of the era of efficacy, Chinese consumers’ demand for facial masks has shifted from basic efficacy to higher-order efficacy such as whitening and spot reduction, repair and soothing.

Under the influence of the concepts of “beauty economy”, “self-pleasing consumption” and “womenomics”, skin care products have become a necessity in daily life, and facial masks are favored by Chinese consumers due to their quick effect and convenience.

Data shows that from 2016 to 2019, the compound growth rate of China’s facial mask market was 24%. In 2020, affected by the epidemic, the growth rate of China’s facial mask category market slowed to 5.1%. In 2021, the mask market gradually recovered, and the market size increased by 11% year-on-year to $5.498 billion; in 2025, the size of the Chinese mask market is expected to reach $8.217 billion to $8.964 billion.

From September 2020 to September 2021, the GMV contribution rate and GMV ranking of facial masks ranked in the top 2 in the first-level category of skin care on the Tao Department platform. And facial mask ranked first among the top20 sub categories of sales volume of China’s short video e-commerce platforms Kwai and Tik Tok China beauty live broadcast.

With the development of China’s economy, the increase of residents’ disposable income, and the expansion of consumer groups, it is inevitable that the scale of China’s facial mask market will continue to expand, and the facial mask category has become a hot-selling category on various platforms in China.

In this fiercely competitive market, in addition to the most basic moisturizing and hydrating effects, facial mask brands have put more resources and energy into the iteration of product safety, efficacy and ingredients. Especially after the outbreak of the epidemic, safety has become the primary factor for Chinese consumers to choose cosmetics, who are now more concerned about the efficacy and ingredients of the products.

From October 2021 to December 2021, among the top 10 brands in China’s recommending social platform, Xiaohongshu, with the amount of interaction in the mask category, there are 6 brands that focus on repairing effects. The main ingredients are resurrection grass, hyaluronic acid, ceramide, Curacao aloe vera, Bifida Ferment Lysate, centella asiatica extract, etc.

In 2021, China’s network-wide patch mask market share is 78%, while there are 7 masks with hydrating and moisturizing effects in the TOP 10 patch mask products with sales on Taobao family platform, and 7 masks with whitening and spot-lighting, repairing and soothing, anti-aging and other higher-order effects (some have compound effects).

It can be seen that Chinese consumers have a large demand for facial mask with high-level efficacy such as repair, and high-level efficacy facial mask have become a hot trend and a new growth point in the Chinese facial mask market.

In addition, according to the observation of Qeyes, the price polarization of mask products on Taobao family platform and Douyin platform is quite obvious.

In the past year, among the top 10 sales of mask products on the Taobao family platforms, there are 5 models below 100 yuan (about $15), and 2 models above 300 yuan (over $45). In December 2021, among the top 10 sales of Tik Tok China, there are 8 models with a price of more than 250 yuan (over $37), of which there is also a mask with a price of more than 1,000 yuan (over $149).

Among them, L’Oreal Paris and Dr.alva are on the two lists, ranking 2nd and 9th respectively on the Taobao family platforms and 6th and 7th on the Tik Tok China.

The product of L’Oreal Paris on the Taobao family platform list is the “Fresh Mix Ampoule Smoothing Mask (20 Pieces)”, which is priced at $54 and focuses on moisturizing; while the one listed on the Tik Tok China is”Fresh Mix Ferment Pre-essence Mask (5 Pieces) + Fresh Mix Ampoule Smoothing Mask (10 Pieces)”, with a unit price of 45 US dollars. Among them, the pre-essence mask focuses on anti-aging and brightening the skin while the ampoule mask focuses on moisturizing and strengthening the barrier.

Dr.alva, founded in 2018, is a new Chinese innovative brand entering the mask track. Both on the Taobao family platforms and Tik Tok China, the listed product is “Probiotics Professional Deep Repairing Mask”, with a price of 13 US dollars for repair and moisturizing.

Nowadays, facial masks have become the category that Chinese consumers are most willing to try, and various forms of facial masks have emerged. With the rising demand of Chinese consumers for product safety and freshness of ingredients, according to the survey, 63.27% of consumers are willing to buy membrane-liquid separation masks, which gave birth to freeze-dried technology and dual-chamber freshness locking technology, and freeze-dried mask was born one after another.

In addition, clean beauty concept is also gradually prevailing in China, and high concentration of essence ingredients instead of water mask is also increasingly popular in the market. According to a research 69.44% of Chinese consumers are willing to buy such masks. With high concentration of essence ingredients instead of water, the efficacy of mask products is amplified, making it easier for consumers to trust.



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