Asian Men's Makeup Market: South Korea First, China Is Key

- Jan 28, 2019-

The men's cosmetics market is undergoing a makeover as manufacturers scramble to mainstream it, Beijing time reported on Thursday. French companies such as Chanel and Polaroid (Pola Orbis) of Japan have launched a new line of products to capitalize on signs of rising demand for cosmetics from men, especially in Asia. The failure of some previous experiments in the sector and the woes of leading companies such as L'Oreal in France are a gamble in which companies are reluctant to hype up. Acro, a subsidiary of Polaroid Olympus, launched a men's cosmetics line in September. "We don't expect to see sales soar," said Akira Gogo, president of the company. "We are trying to create a new culture." But in markets like South Korea, the growing acceptance of male makeup has helped redefine the niche's potential. There, the K-pop boy band and its lovely, impeccable appearance are gaining popularity. The market for men's ornaments in Asia remained relatively small in 2017, accounting for less than $49.5 billion of global sales, according to European market research firm Euromonitor International (Euromonitor). Elsewhere, however, business revolves around shaving products and deodorants, while in Asia, male skin care is one of the fastest-growing areas of the industry, accounting for more than 60 percent of global sales.

South Korea first, China is key

In South Korea, men spend more on skin care per person than in other countries, with consumers spending more than 10 times more than in the United States or France, Euromonitor data show. Michael Nolte, creative director of cosmetics trend forecasting firm BeautyStreams, said: "in South Korea, there is a lot of pressure to look young. At work, you have to look like a 20-year-old, but 20 years of work experience. It's also a culture of boy beauty. " This brings opportunities to the brand, but also creates some obstacles. In this innovative and competitive local cosmetics market, non-male-specific cosmetics have become popular among men. In the first eight months of this year, cosmetics sales to male customers by Gmarket, South Korea's largest online shopping site, surged 130 percent from a year earlier, including mascara and lipstick.

Chanel launched its "Boys" (Boy) cosmetics line in South Korea in September and plans to launch its stores in Asia outside South Korea in 2019. Acro initially focused on stores and online sales in Japan. But it sees South Korea and Thailand as potential entry points for broader Asian markets, which it plans to enter next year. "We believe that the special needs of men will lead to real innovation in the application of technology, new products and formats for a wide range of uses," Chanel said in an email review. However, a key test for male cosmetics competitors is whether they can finally break into the Chinese market. L'Oreal estimates that China's beauty market will reach 39 billion euros ($44.35 billion) in 2018 and is expected to more than double by 2030. Signs of male shoppers' interest in cosmetics have emerged. JingDong, China's second-largest ecommerce company, said the number of male consumers buying cosmetics in the first 17 days of a special sales period in June was 61a year higher than in the same period last year. The best-selling skincare brands include Dior, owned by LVMH, and SK-II., a Japanese brand owned by P & G