Five Asian beauty trends decoded

Asia Cosme Lab (Photo: © metamorworks / iStock)

31 May 2022


Once a month, Asia Cosme Lab offers a selection of the unmissable beauty trends, products and cultural insights extracted from their trend reports on the Asian beauty industry.

Trend #1 • Sustainability

In Japan, packaging has always been a significant part of the product experience (consumer centric, high-quality materials, smart folding techniques and soft angles). In Korea, packaging has allowed some of the most important product shifts in the cosmetics industry: the apparition of the cushion for instance. In China, packaging reflects the different consumer trends: from quest of efficacy and safety to the heritage pride.

Key figures from:

China [1]

- 54% of respondents are interested in sustainability, showing a growing awareness in environmental protection.

- 42% believe that manufacturers should take more responsibility in environmental protection.

Japan [2]:

- 75.5% of respondents interested in environmental issues.

- 67.8% carry their own bag or bottle.

Refill packaging answers those new lifestyle concerns in Asia with two dynamics operating simultaneously:
- In Japan, sustainability has long been part of Japanese brands’ commitments. Since the 1990’s, refills have become part of the everyday life to reduce the volume of plastic + to save spaces in limited living spaces. Now, refillable products have reached a penetration rate of 80% in Japan.
- In other countries in Asia, refill packaging has started to emerge and accelerate massively with the pandemic, pushing consumers to adopt more environmental-friendly and safety-focused lifestyle.

Our Chinese focus shows how the country absorbs this packaging concept with a luxury and arty vibe.

Trend #2 • Efficacy

94% of Gen Zers in China do research on product ingredients, efficacy and safety before purchasing to know if the product is suitable for their skin type & concerns [3].

This figure highlight Chinese consumers pain point: freshness of skincare products.

So ‘Free from’ claims + mono dose packaging able to maintain the freshness are now two key assets to highlight product safety and efficacy.

Trend #3 • Climate aggression protection

Particularly relevant in South Asian countries, sun protection is becoming one of the hottest skincare topics in Indonesia.

UV protection is experiencing the fastest growth:

+26% YoY growth [4]
15% CAGR on 2021-26 [5]

Environmental aggressions and climate-related topics now infuse packaging. And packaging becomes a problem-solver: user-friendly + easy to re-apply during the day + keeping it fresh.

A true local offer emerges on sunscreen, all adapted to local needs.

Trend #4 • Affordability & convenience

Cosmetic packaging is full of small formats variations such as minis, sachets, pocket formats, etc.

Thailand is the Asian country where sachet format is the most widespread, from skincare to make-up and nutricosmetics. The expected benefits: the perfect try-on format + easy to use until the end + carry-on during the day.

Trend #5 • Customization

Bespoke Beauty has emerged as a massive trend. It allows customers to have personalized benefits adapted to their skin tones, conditions and concerns.

Singapore checks all the boxes to see Bespoke Beauty thrives: with its multi-ethnic background + high-tech reputation + premium-seeker consumers. The country has become a hot spot for indie beauty brands (especially for Bespoke Beauty) with popular brands such as Skin Inc for skincare, Oo La Lab for fragrances and Go Play for make-up.


[1] Source: Kantar Consumer Index report. 2020

[2] Source: Nippon Life Insurance Company survey on 10 138 men & women. Sept. 2021

[3] Source: CBNData

[4] Nielsen, June 2021

[5] Mintel


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