Paula’s Choice Launches New Online Shopping Site in India

It is reported that the beauty and cosmetic market in India is expected to reach $20 billion by 2025.

Recently, skincare brand Paula’s Choice announces that its new shopping site is now live in the Indian market with a special offer of a 15% promotion on products across the platform with a subscription to the website newsletter.

The brand stated that in its Indian shopping site, it segmented for different skin concerns to enable shoppers to find the right products for their skincare goals. CHAILEEDO found four categories for products are available in the site, namely skin care, skin concern, skin type and ingredients.

CHAILEEDO found three products featured on the website’s homepage, all three of which are popular products from Paula’s Choice – 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, 10% Niacinamide Booster, and Niacinamide 20% Treatment.

(Credit: from Paula’s Choice website)

Paula Begoun, the founder, previously said “Once people feel comfortable turning to the internet, once they see the pleasure in it and how some sites do it better than others—and I think we do skincare better than others, especially in terms our content—why go back?” For the launch of the Indian e-store, the brand said it will plan to further expand its digital presence in India by enabling shoppers to access products in a virtual environment.

Valued at US$2 billion

According to public information, Paula Jane was founded by its founder Paula Begoun in 1995. long before formulating her own products, she was a consumer Long before formulating her own products, she was a consumer struggling with acne & eczema, desperately trying to find products that wouldn’t make her skin worse. Then it evolved into a mission to unveil the truth and learn the facts about skin and skin care.

With her 40 years of experience in the cosmetics industry, combined with her outspoken, love-hate personality, she became one of the first influencers and the first ingredient-centric advocates in the US. In Paula’s videos, she is known as the ‘cosmetic cop’ for her in-depth analysis and sharp commentary on cosmetic ingredients.

(Credit: Paula Begoun, founder of Paula’s Choice)

It is understood that Paula’s Choice products are always made with natural ingredients, no animal testing, and no ingredients that could be harmful to the skin, such as alcohol or talc.

Paula’s Choice products were initially sold online as a direct-to-consumer model, before entering the offline Sephora channels, and was one of the first beauty brands to use the DTC model. Erika Kussmann, Paula’s Chief Marketing Officer, has mentioned in an interview with WWD that Paula Jane’s is the largest DTC skincare brand in the US.

In 2021, Unilever acquired Paula’s Precious from TA Associates, a US-based private equity firm. The exact amount of the deal was not officially disclosed, but is estimated to be around $2 billion, according to speculation by European and American industry insiders. The deal was completed in the 3rd quarter of 2021.

At the time of the acquisition, Vasiliki Petrou, executive vice president and CEO of Unilever, said: “We are thrilled that Paula’s Choice will join our Unilever Prestige family. Paula’s Choice is a true pioneer in the digital space for beauty and has created a mission-based brand rooted in truth and transparency. We can’t wait to introduce the brand and its iconic products to an even bigger audience.”

Following the acquisition, it is clear that Paula’s Choice has been growing, although Unilever did not announce specific turnover in its financial report. According to Unilever’s 2022 financial report, Paula’s Choice successfully entered Sephora in 2021, continuing its growth in the DTC channels.

Paula’s Choice launches into $20-billion market

According to Quartz, the local beauty business is growing at hyper speed as India’s youth, internet user population is growing exponentially and cosmetic brands are rapidly sinking their channels outside the big cities.

A report from Assocham, ‘India’s Pharmacy, Cosmetics and Personal Care Market’, highlights that the domestic personal care products market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 22% during the period 2017-2020. According to this report, the beauty and cosmetic market in India is expected to reach $20 billion by 2025.

Meanwhile, the potential for beauty e-commerce in India remains huge, with the country’s beauty and personal care industry expected to grow by 3.86% per year, with sales increasing by 143% year-on-year, according to Statista. By 2025, the industry’s online sales channel is expected to grow by 18.2%.

(Credit: data from Statista)

And, DTC beauty brands are becoming increasingly popular among Indian consumers, with homegrown DTC brands in India including Bombay Shaving Company, Sugar Cosmetics and MyGlamm. According to Bombay Shaving Company’s FY2022 financial results, Bombay Shaving Company’s operating revenue soared 2.7 times to INR 99.93 Cr ($12 million) in FY2022 from INR 37.7 Cr ($4.6 million) in the previous fiscal year. Sugar Cosmetics also received a $50 million investment from L Catterton in May 2022.

According to publicly available information, Paula’s Choice was entering the Indian market in 2019. Prior to the launch of its DTC website this time, the brand’s products were already available on e-commerce platforms such as Myntra and Amazon in the Indian market.

With this trend, Paula’s Choice, the largest DTC brand in the US, may also want to capture the Indian e-commerce market by further improving its Indian e-marketplace this time. Unilever, as its parent company, has also long deployed the Indian market.

Sanjiv Mehta, chairman of Unilever India, has said that India has the potential to achieve a high GDP growth rate of around 10 per cent and be a USD 10 trillion economy in the next 12 to 15 years

Moreover, Unilever’s listed subsidiary in India, HUL is one of the largest and highest market capitalisation FMCG companies in India, dominating the generic categories of hair care, bath and oral care. Nine out of every 10 Indian households use Unilever products.

In the financial year ending 31 March 2023, For the fiscal year 2021-22, HUL generated Rs 11,684 crore in cash from operations. On a standalone basis, it generated a turnover of Rs 50,336 crore clocking a 11 per cent growth. Unilever’s brand Lakmé, the largest cosmetics brand in India, saw its revenue increased 19.3 per cent to Rs 328 Cr ($39.7 million) in FY23.

With the increasing demand for beauty products in the Indian market, Unilever is also aggressively expanding its presence in the Indian market through various channels. The launch of Paula’s Choice online store may leverage its global recognition and reputation to gain a competitive edge in the Indian market.



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