As affluent Chinese begin to age, they are becoming increasingly concerned with consuming the very best skincare products.
Decades of the one-child policy now mean that China’s over-50 population is exploding at the same time that they are gaining spending power. This has led the powerhouses of the cosmetic industry to develop an appealing anti-aging market to respond to Chinese consumers’ fears of aging too quickly, reports WWD. “When people have more high disposable income, of course they will look for more high-end beauty products to spend on,” said Michel Phan, an associate professor of luxury marketing at Emlyon Business School in Shanghai.
Estée Lauder has reported that its Clinique Even Better Clinical dark-spot corrector is a big hit in China, where women are particularly concerned with spots, whiteness, and firmness. L’Oréal has captured men’s interests for similar reasons with its Men Expert Multi-Action 8 moisturizer, the top-selling men’s product in China. Estée Lauder estimates that 94 percent of Chinese women use some form of skin-care product, whereas only 15 percent use makeup. “The irony of the Chinese woman is that she starts being very concerned about aging actually unusually early,” said Fabrice Weber, president of the Asia-Pacific region for Estée Lauder. Women from the age of 33 to 45 are the key demographic in China, Estée Lauder executives say.
By the time they have reached their 20s or early 30s, Chinese women are already concerned about aging. Western women typically don’t have those concerns until they have turned 45. “Youth is very important for people’s continued journey of professional advancement, so anything that is going to help people remain or appear vigorous or dynamic, those products will work,” said Tom Doctoroff, advertising firm JWT’s chief executive officer for Asia-Pacific.
China is already the world’s largest market for skincare products, according to the investment bank CLSA. However, spending per-person in China is about 25 percent of what it is in the United States. Government statistics report that the one-third of the average monthly salary in Beijing and 2012 went towards the purchase of skincare items.
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