Skin care trends in APAC: the rising demand for dermocosmetics

Dermocosmetics in Asia Pacific is deemed as the “next big thing” as sales value grew rapidly with double-digit growth rates from Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia between 2013 and 2018.

Due to high pollution rates and stressful lifestyles, consumers are constantly looking for products that focus on problem areas like blemish/acne-prone skin, blackheads, dark circles, and sensitive skin. While sensitive skin is not a new consumer need in the dermocosmetic space, products that claim suitability are now becoming more specific, for example by claiming to reduce redness and, more specifically, alleviate rosacea. According to Euromonitor’s 2018 Beauty survey, sensitive skin, dark spots, whiteheads, blemish-prone/acne-prone, and blackheads are the top five skin concerns of consumers in Asia Pacific. 

The growth in consumers’ knowledge about their skin motivates them to use daily skin care products that can prevent damage from occurring in the first place. These serve as the underlying source for the growth in dermocosmetics skincare, which was originally positioned as follow-up products after dermatological procedures. As many consumers are looking for the positive effects gained from such procedures, but lack direct access to dermatologists, dermocosmetics evolved both as a substitute and a complement to medical recommendations. Alongside heightened consumer interest and industry innovation surrounding the skin microbiome, a growing awareness of what is used in each product is helping to drive demand for dermocosmetics. This in turn advances consumer consciousness of active ingredients. 

Looking forward to 2023, skin care in South-east Asia is expected to expand at 7% CAGR, reaching USD 9.5 billion; that is 10 per cent of overall skin care value in Asia Pacific. Thailand will remain as the major beauty giant in South-East Asia, followed by Indonesia and Philippines. In mature markets like Singapore, increasing economic challenges and middle-class retreat are expected to constrain the value sales growth at a low single-digit level. On the other hand, developing markets like Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia will see healthy growth in this segment. 

What does this mean and how does it impact global beauty and skin care companies though the dermocosmetics market? In order to compete in the broader market, traditional skin care and cosmetics brands are launching extensions that adopt various positionings, spanning natural/clean, beauty-driven and therapeutic solutions. 

Dermocosmetic brands’ emphasis on long-term health and prevention resonates with consumers who have become more aware of the dangers that external factors like UV light pose to their skin. Companies that took early advantage of the shift in consumer preference are now ahead of the game in terms of taking advantage of sought-out consumer benefits. 

Looking ahead, dermocosmetics will continue to grow as consumers increasingly believe that beauty starts with healthy skin, rather than relying on colour cosmetics to hide bad skin. With that, companies are constantly responding to this demand which will see continued growth in this segment. 

Denise Lee, Regional Client Consultant at Euromonitor International, will lead a session at in-cosmetics Asia on ‘Skincare trends in APAC: the rising demand for dermocosmetics’ on Tuesday 5 November at 11:00 in the Marketing Trends Theatre. For more information on the in-cosmetics Asia 2019 education programme, visit: