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China missing out on Asian natural cosmetics market

In the last 18 months, many Western brands of natural and organic cosmetics have withdrawn from Chinese markets in protest against animal-testing methods.

China is losing market share in the Asian natural and organic cosmetics market. Organic Monitor research finds Chinese market growth rates are declining because of animal-testing methods and formulation challenges.

In the last 18 months, many Western brands of natural and organic cosmetics have withdrawn from the Chinese market. Weleda, Lavera, Pangea Organic, Logona and Juice Beauty are some of the brands removing their products in protest against animal-testing methods. Other green brands like Dr. Hauschka and The Body Shop are shunning the Chinese market for the same reason.

The Asian natural cosmetics market is expanding by about 15 percent per year. Growing consumer awareness of health and wellness issues is boosting demand for organic and natural products. Few Chinese companies however are producing natural and organic cosmetics because of formulation and ingredient issues. There is low availability of certified organic ingredients and natural extracts, which are mainly imported into China. Formulators and product developers also lack technical expertise in removing synthetic ingredients from cosmetic formulations.

As will be shown at Sustainable Cosmetics Summit Asia-Pacific, China is losing out to other country markets, such as India, Thailand, and Singapore. Hong Kong however is benefiting most from the “boycotting of the Chinese market.”

All leading international natural and organic cosmetic brands have a presence in the Hong Kong market, whilst over 20 new brands are launched each year. Hong Kong also possibly has the highest concentration of green cosmetic retailers in the world. Apivita, Jasmin Skincare, Aveda, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Jurlique, Melvita, and Comvita are some of the international brands with concept stores in Hong Kong.

The range of natural and organic cosmetics in Hong Kong—and wider Asian region—is increasing. Western brands are raising exports since few Asian brands have been successful in developing such products. Only when Asian companies manage to formulate natural & organic cosmetics with the same efficacy as Western brands, will they be able to tap the potential of their local markets.

The marketing and technical issues associated with natural and organic cosmetics in Asia will be featured in the Asia-Pacific edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit.




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