The Appetite for Dermo-cosmetics in China is growing in 2022

Achieving beautiful skin is no longer confined to wearing makeup or applying anti-aging creams. Consumers in China are moving toward healthy lifestyles and want to feel and look good. To do so, they seek to maintain hydrated, luminous skin and protect it from external impurities via anti-pollution solutions.

Thanks to this shift in behavior, the Chinese derma-cosmetics market is growing and is becoming one of the most promising ones in the cosmetics industry. Chinese consumers are more aware of the cosmetics ingredients and harmful chemicals that are bad for their sensitive skin. This is perhaps what is driving the beauty industry to align itself more proactively with health care. In this blog post, we will take a look at the Chinese derma-cosmetics market and see the opportunities for imported cosmetics in this skincare category.

The rise of Dermocosmetics in China

Historically, the dermo-cosmetics market is more developed in Western Europe, especially in France, Italy, and Spain. According to leading dermo-cosmetic skincare brand Eau Thermale Avene, the European derma-cosmetics market was 3.9 percent more valued than the previous year.

So far this year, Mintel has recorded an increasing percentage of beauty and personal care products launched in China that carry a dermatological-tested claim. The cosmetic industry is expanding rapidly in China and is now one of the fastest-growing skincare categories in the country.


The global dermo-cosmetics market size was valued at $52.12 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.5% from 2022 to 2030. China’s dermo-cosmetics market is almost the same, predicted to grow at CAGR 7% in the forecasted period, with acne & atopic sensitive skincare products being the top category in the sensitive skincare category.

After Covid, a search for a healthy lifestyle

A further reason for the growth of dermo-cosmetics in the Chinese market has been the global consumer interest in health, wellness, and benefit-driven products. More and more Chinese consumers are concerned about the real effectiveness of their skincare products and their long-term effects on sensitive skin health, especially consumers with bad skin conditions. Institutional distrust grows daily, and the Chinese look to third parties to advise them on which products are safe to buy.

Dermatological claims help to reassure them that a product is safe. A Brand that incorporates skincare products for sensitive skin and attaches a dermatologist-recommended claim or even works with dermatologists to develop a product will be the most valued among Chinese consumers.

What are the trends in the Chinese derma-cosmetics market?

Many Chinese people have very sensitive skin and are looking for derma-cosmetics that can replace the products they are using daily, so that they can use innovative solutions for those products every day, such as make-up.

A transition from skincare to color cosmetics

Dermatologist-recommended brands have some of the most loyal purchasers across the skincare market due to Chinese consumers’ belief that the products are effective and safe for the skin. As a result, skincare claims are rapidly becoming a key, sometimes essential, talking point amongst many color cosmetic products. Chinese consumers that are used to facial skin and body dermo-cosmetics are demanding for using color cosmetics with similar benefits. Younger consumers from China, in particular, Millennials and Gen Z, are looking for multipurpose products that can save them time.

Mintel has seen that dermo-cosmetics (especially Korean skincare brands) brands significantly increased their product ranges to feature color cosmetics with skin health or dermo-cosmetic benefits, such as anti-inflammation, redness reduction, anti-aging, or color products for oily skin types. They also include product-tested claims associated with dermo-cosmetic products, such as for sensitive skin, dry skin, oily skin, dermatologically tested, and free from claims concerning parabens and fragrances.

Cosmetic brands in China need to offer genderless products

Cosmetics and dermo-cosmetic brands are not reserved for women. In fact, the total skincare market in China is driven a lot by men, that want to take care of their skin routine and look good, just like women. They are looking for foreign brands with European Quality Label EFQM, as they believe foreign brands are better when it comes the quality. What is interesting to know is that for example when it comes to lipsticks, the most known lipsticks influencer in China is a man, called Lipstick King (Austin Li).

Innisfree for men on Weibo

Chinese consumers prefer mists over spot treatment

When it comes to acne treatment for sensitive skin types, the Chinese market is not mature yet, as for example the Korean one, offers different types of products, depending on consumer preferences. It’s very hard to find spot treatments in the sensitive skincare category. Most of the derma cosmetics sold in China are mists, creams, and toners.

Whitening is not the main purpose

Something that might sound very obvious when it comes to skincare cosmetics is not that obvious, as for many years all the introduced cream products and other cosmetics on the market had whitening features. Although the whitening purpose is still very important, is not the main focus when it comes to derma-cosmetics. Consumers focus on moisturization, spot treatment, and skin renewal instead.

Digital is the key to promoting your derma-cosmetics brand in the Chinese market

Any brand wanting to enter the Chinese market, no matter the industry, should focus on its online promotion, but when it comes to cosmetics it’s even more important. Chinese consumers are cautious about their skincare purchases, wanting the best for their health. It means they will conduct a little online research about the products they are interested in. So, in order to grasp their attention and convince them of your offer, you need good branding and e-reputation in China.

Dermocosmetic Brands should have a Chinese website

It’s important to build a brand’s site in Mandarin language and adapt it to Chinese tastes in terms of style and design. In order to develop awareness among consumers and at the same time brand your products, your website must become visible online. Read the following steps to understand how.

french shampoo brand in china case study

Baidu SEO & SEM: Crucial for Dermocosmetic brand in China 2022

All the biggest international cosmetics brands have their own site in China and can be found by Chinese consumers through Baidu. In fact, it is not essential to be found on Google in China, but in their search engine. In this case, however, SEO and SEM are a must on Baidu in order to be visible and linkable. Check our article to see how best to leverage Baidu SEO for your brand.

Chinese social media will help you with brand visibility and e-reputation

Social media networks are in vogue in China and must be utilized effectively. We recommend using WeChat, Weibo, Little Red Book, and Douyin, which are the most popular and effective platforms in China.

WeChat is a messaging app, a social media platform, a mobile payment tool, a search engine and so much more all rolled into one. The best way to start is to open a Wechat Official Account, which allows a brand to create an account and publish content. And, sent this content to followers like a newsletter. This is how brands can raise brand awareness, by publishing content that gets shared between friends, in group messages, and on users’ Moments.

WeChat also allows brands to create mini-programs, where you can develop an interactive brochure presenting your brand and the products, as well as open a WeChat Store. This is a great opportunity for smaller brands, as it’s very cost-effective and allows more control over the store.

Little Red Book is getting extremely popular in China, among Chinese girls. This platform is perfect for cosmetics and beauty products and can reach trendsetters, micro-influencers, and many girls with international purchasing behavior. More than perfect for international brands, that need the concrete word-of-mouth marketing.

KOLs (Key opinion leader ) marketing

Chinese cosmetics influencers are taking over China’s beauty market. They are making the most out of the visually-oriented Chinese youth environment, producing watch-and-learn videos to share the most important tips and tricks on how to always look 100%.

Elixir & co . Kols campaign on Little Red Book by GMA

Influencer marketing is the digital marketing solution we recommend the most when it comes to cosmetics brands. Due to many scandals and fake brands, Chinese consumers rely more on word-of-mouth marketing than official advertising and brand profiles. Influencers have big influential power and collaborating with them can help your derma-cosmetics brand become one of the top sellers in a short time.

Selling your derma cosmetics on cross-border online marketplaces

As demonstrated by a cosmetic colossus like L’oreal, e-commerce is a useful way to reach Chinese consumers, who buy over 70% of the products online. E-commerce gives brands the most visibility. Being featured on platforms like Taobao, Tmall, or JD is a very profitable option, but it’s reserved only for flagship brands with an established presence in China.

Apart from those top-selling, yet very expensive platforms, like Tmall or, you can start selling your products on WeChat and Little Red Book. Those cost-effective options are best for testing the market, they are very useful for cosmetics brands, as those brands can put direct links to sales pages during live-streaming sessions and other content options.

Contact us and start promoting your skincare brand in China

GMA is the top and most visible digital marketing agency in China. We have helped a lot of brands to develop their business in China, by leveraging the latest and most effective digital tools.

We can help you with market research, web design, WeChat official account or mini-program setup, influencer marketing, localization, distribution, and many more.

Do not hesitate to contact us for more information. We offer a free discovery consultation, where our expert will learn about your brand and see the best solutions for you in the Chinese market.

We have more than 10 years of experience in the industry, so you can be sure we can offer you the experience and know-how needed to succeed in the market.

1 comment

  • Vincent

    The brand Avène whose products are all made in France, celebrated in 2013 the 10th anniversary of its launch in China. In a decade, the range of care based Avène Thermal Spring whose source springs Avène-les-Bains in the Natural Park of Haut-Languedoc has won the trust of dermatologists and Chinese consumers. The attractiveness of “made in France” has played in favor of this success, because it is synonymous with serious product development, safety and quality in manufacturing. Present in the Chinese market since 1996 in Oncology and since 2004 in Dermo-Cosmetics with the Avène brand, Pierre Fabre Laboratories are developing successfully and are now joining the 50th anniversary of France-China diplomatic relations.

    In 10 years, the Avène brand has managed to multiply by 20 its geographical coverage. It is now present in 230 Chinese cities and distributed in more than 1100 points of sale. An Avène product is sold every 5 seconds in China, each time via one of the 1,500 advisors employed by the French brand. Pierre Fabre Dermo-cosmetics now counts China among its top 3 international markets.

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