Melissa Juried Kriebel
Cosmetics, commonly known as makeup, are among the oldest products in the world. The industry has evolved massively over the past few decades and now uses advanced research to produce products for skin care, hair care, makeup, and a laundry list of other uses.
Naturally, these use cases also make the cosmetics industry one of the largest in the world. Overall, the sector is dominated by a couple of large multinational players who spend billions of dollars on product development and marketing. According to the research firm Allied Market Research, the global cosmetics industry was worth $380 billion in 2019 and it will grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.3% to be worth $463 billion by the end of 2027. The industry is undergoing important shifts these days, with the focus on health, sustainability, and environmental friendliness compelling firms to move to recyclable packaging and natural ingredients. The research firm estimates that the skin and sun care market was the largest segment in 2019 and it will retain this share over the course of the forecast period. However, in terms of growth, the fragrance market is thought to be the strongest segment. Additionally, changing views about gender will also impact the cosmetics industry, with Allied Market Research estimating that the unisex cosmetics segment will outpace the broader market and grow at a 6.6% CAGR.
Another report, this time from Fortune Business Insights, has similar estimates for the industry. It values the market at $284 billion in 2021 and pegs it with a CAGR of 5% for the time period between 2021 and 2028 for a final worth of $415 billion. It segregates the market geographically to outline that Asia Pacific was the largest segment in 2020, as it was worth roughly half of the entire market or $105 billion. However, Fortune Business Insights adds that North America will grow strongly due to higher purchasing power and a growth of salons in the region.
The cosmetics industry is also making use of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). For instance, L’Occitane International (SEHK:973.HK) allows its customers to use an AI powered countertop device to figure out their skin type. Once the type has been determined, the machine then provides the customer with a suitable skin cream that is freshly blended. Additionally, L’Oréal S.A. (EPA:OR.PA)’s subsidiary Lancôme uses a foundation machine to create a skin tone profile with the help of a colorimeter. This profile is then run through an algorithm to sift the right foundation from 20,000 different types in Lancôme’s database. A machine mixes the right foundation right at the shop, just like L’Occitane’s skin cream machine.
Taiwan’s New Kinpo Group has a smart mirror that provides users with a ‘skin age’. This metric includes details such as pore density and wrinkles and is used to recommend products to customers. These uses are only a handful that is used in the cosmetics industry since it is heavily focused on improving personal appearance and therefore have a strong potential for interactions between the customer and the company.
In terms of research going on in the industry right now, these days it is all about using stem cells to either reverse hair loss or improve hair growth. Researchers have shown that there is hope for using stem cells to regrow hair, and several companies offer products along these lines. These include Stemson Therapeutics, LLC, which uses induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to create cells that lie at the very start of hair growth. Another stem cell solution maker is Italian firm Framesi Milan whose stem cell hair serums use apple and other stem cells to increase the blood flow in the scalp.
Some notable names in the cosmetics and beauty industry include The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), Ulta Beauty, Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA), and The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE:EL).
We consulted global trade data to sift out which countries export the most makeup products. For added value, the dollar value per ton of the exports is also provided, along with the top companies in each country when available.
12 Countries That Produce the Best Cosmetics in the World
12. Swiss Confederation
Cosmetics Exports in 2021: $1.5 billion
The Swiss Confederation, also known as Switzerland, is a prosperous European country with a GDP per capita of $84,658 in purchasing power parity terms. The country’s cosmetics market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% between 2022 and 2027. Like other Western countries, consumers in Switzerland are also focusing more on organically sourced products due to the harmful effects of chemicals on the skin. Hair and facial color cosmetics make up the largest portion of the Swiss market, and overall, more than a hundred companies operate in the country. These include Cell Premium, which is an anti aging products company that is one of the first to use stem cells in its products. Other firms include NIANCE, Lubex, and Swiss Perfection. A ton of Swiss cosmetics exports was worth $75,000 in 2021, making it one of the most valuable in the world and the highest on our list of the top twelve countries.
11. Republic of Poland
Cosmetics Exports in 2021: $2.1 billion
The Republic of Poland is a Central European country with high standards of living. It is among the top six cosmetics markets in Europe, and according to estimates by the Polish government, the market was worth 4.3 billion Euros in 2020. Germany, the U.K., and Russia are Poland’s largest cosmetics trading partners, and these exports represented 1.4% of the country’s total exports in 2021. Santander Bank estimates that in 2019, an average Pole spent 100 Euros on cosmetics, lower than the European average. The country’s largest publicly traded cosmetics firm is Global Cosmed S.A. (WSC:GLC.WA) which has a market capitalization of 181 million PLN. Other large players include Miraculum S.A. (WSC:MIR.WA) and Harper Hygienics S.A. (WSC:HRP.WA).
10. Italian Republic
Cosmetics Exports in 2021: $2.2 billion
The Italian Republic or Italy is a Southern European country with a colorful history that ranges from the Roman Empire to the Renaissance. The Italian appreciation for beauty and aesthetics also lends the country a vibrant cosmetics industry. This sector was worth $17.7 billion in 2018, making it the fourth largest in Europe. Italian companies focus their efforts more on hair care products as opposed to skin care. Between 2022 and 2027, the industry is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.2%. Italy’s largest native publicly traded cosmetics company is Intercos S.p.A. (BIT:ICOS.MI) with EUR1.2 billion in market capitalization. Other big names include Gruppo Percassi S.p.A’s Kiko Milano, Diego Dalla Palma Milano, and Italy’s first brand founded by a YouTuber, Mulac Cosmetics.
9. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Cosmetics Exports in 2021: $2.35 billion
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or the U.K., is one of the world’s largest economies and a global power in modern day politics. The British cosmetics industry is also one of the largest in the world, with the health and beauty care market worth a whopping £36.7 billion in 2021. From then until 2026, it is slated to grow at a CAGR of 2%. Britain is also home to one of the world’s largest cosmetics and personal care companies, Unilever PLC (LON:ULVR.L). Unilever has dozens of cosmetics and beauty brands in its portfolio, such as Dove, Brisk, and Noxzema. Another British personal care behemoth is Reckitt Benckiser Group plc (LON:RKT.L) with several personal care products. Other British firms include Avon Products, Inc., The Body Shop International Limited (a L’Oréal S.A. (EPA:OR.PA) subsidiary), and Yardley of London – one of the oldest cosmetics firms in the world. Other notable names selling cosmetics and beauty products in the industry include The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), Ulta Beauty, Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA), and The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE:EL).
8. People’s Republic of China
Cosmetics Exports in 2021: $2.5 billion
The People’s Republic of China is an Asian country with one of the largest militaries in the world and the largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity. Naturally, this also lends China a strong cosmetic industry, which according to some estimates was worth a whopping $52 billion in 2020. Growth in Chinese working women is driving the industry as well, and while multinationals account for the largest market share, home players are also competing with them. China’s largest domestic cosmetics firm in market value terms is Proya Cosmetics Co.,Ltd. (SHA:603605.SS) which is worth CNY45.88 billion.
7. Federal Republic of Germany
Cosmetics Exports in 2021: $3.96 billion
The Federal Republic of Germany is one of the largest economies in the world, and also has the largest European cosmetics sector. This sector was worth EUR13.6 billion in 2021, making up the largest chunk of Europe’s EUR80 billion industry. The lucrative nature of the industry also leads to multiple firms operating in it. Out of these, the largest company that is also publicly listed is Henkel AG & Co KGaA (ETR:HEN3.F), which is worth 27.63 billion Euros on the market. Another large player is Beiersdorf Aktiengesellschaft (ETR:BEI.F) (26.7 billion Euro market capitalization).
In Germany, products of companies like The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), Ulta Beauty, Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA), and The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE:EL) are extremely famous.
6. Hong Kong
Cosmetics Exports in 2021: $4.55 billion
Hong Kong’s cosmetics market was worth $344 million in 2022 and is expected to grow at a 3% CAGR until 2027. Some unique Hong Kong cosmetics companies include Natasha Moor Cosmetics which provides trafficking victims and drug addicts with makeovers and Rare Skin Fuel which uses high potency skincare product manufacturing methods. A Hong Kong cosmetics behemoth is Bonjour Holdings Limited (SEHK:653.HK).
Disposable income and the rise of social media use are spurring growth in the cosmetics industry, which bodes well for companies like The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), Ulta Beauty, Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA), and The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE:EL).
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Disclosure: None. 12 Countries That Produce the Best Cosmetics in the World is originally published on Insider Monkey.