Tmall Released a White Paper to Interpret the Trend of China’s Sensitive Skin Market

On April 15, Beijing time, Taobao and Tmall released the White Paper on Sensitive Skin Market Trends, which summarized the development status and future trends of sensitive skin categories from the aspects of market trends, user scale, a report on users’ information and brand marketing patterns.

At present, the current buzz in the Chinese skincare sector relates to sensitive skin.

The incidence of skin problems such as skin sensitivity is gradually increasing due to the effect of air, environment, pressure, irritating food and other factors. Frequent makeup, too much makeup removal, abuse of products, Aesthetic Medicine and other factors also bring certain pressure to the skin barrier. According to the World Health Organization, 70% of Asian people have sub-healthy skin, of which 60% of urban women show sensitive skin.

On April 15, Beijing time, China’s mainstream e-commerce platform Taobao and Tmall released the White Paper on Sensitive Skin Market Trends (hereinafter referred to as the White Paper), which systematically summarized the development status and future trends of sensitive skin categories from the aspects of market trends, user scale, a report on users’ information and brand marketing patterns.

In 2019, China exceeded $2.126 billion in dermatological (sensitive skin) skincare market capacity and reached $38.349 billion in skincare terminal retail sales with sensitive skincare products accounting for only 5.5% of the Point of Sale Terminal in the entire skincare industry. In terms of growth rate, the average annual compound growth rate of sensitive skincare products reached 23.2% from 2014 to 2019, which is much higher than the compound annual growth rate of China’s cosmetics industry from 2014 to 2019 (9.9%).

According to public information, the market size of skincare products aimed at sensitive skin in China will reach $4.550 billion in 2022, with a compound growth rate of 27.0% in the past three years. Among them, the growth rate of China’s online market is even more rapid and the growth rate of the sensitive skincare market on Taobao and Tmall has exceeded 40% for two consecutive years with the market size exceeding ten billion yuan (more than $1.569 billion) in 2021.

Although the proportion of dermatological skincare products in the cosmetics market has continued to increase in recent years, a big gap in the penetration rate of overseas markets still prevails. According to the data, compared with the average global market, the United States and Western Europe accounted for 10.3%, 14.7% and 22.9% of the overall sales of skincare products in 2019 respectively, China’s sensitive skin products accounted for only 5.5% and thereby there is still a one to three times of gap to catch up.

In the White Paper, it is not difficult to find that the main population with sensitive skin is women aged 20 to 30 in China’s second-and third-tier cities who may make up and remove makeup almost every day due to the needs for work and life, which leads to quite serious skin sensitivity.

Compared with the overall consumer population, the sensitive skin consumer group is clearer in terms of the skincare purpose because they show a stronger preference for the function. In the keywords of searches, the proportion of function-related keywords is generally higher, among which the demand for hydration and moisturizing, cleaning, whitening, acne removal and other effects is higher and the ingredients such as salicylic acid, aloe vera gel and amino acids are more concerned.

The function is a bridge between brands and sensitive skin consumers, who are eager to have consistent and functional skincare products to help solve their skin troubles. The data shows that brand words account for about 60% of the total number of search terms for sensitive skin groups, and the TOP 10 brands preferred by severe sensitive skin groups are mainly professional sensitive skin brands such as WINONA, freeplus, Curel and Avène have become the first choice.

In terms of consumer categories, the mild care population and the mild/occasional population are more convergent, with the demand for face care sets, cleansers and masks ranking in the top three, while the demand for serums and creams is more pronounced among mediately sensitive and highly sensitive people.

The arrival of consumption upgrades has made consumers pay more attention to the quality of products and they are more willing to pay for cost-effective products. Consumer demand continues to shift in the direction of health, safety and convenience and such consumption upgrades are more urgent in the sensitive skin market.



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