The worldwide dermocosmetic skincare market has ballooned during the Covid-19 pandemic as consumers battled an increased incidence of sensitive and problem skin.

Major international brands such as La Roche-Posay, Eau Thermale Avène, Filorga and Curel have all seen their bottom lines soar over the past 18 months.

The global dermocosmetic skincare sector reached sales of US$30.5 billion last year and is expected to hit US$46.6 billion by the end of 2023.

Chinese skincare brands such as Chando, Herborist and Pechoin have been challenging their international counterparts for some time. A similar trend is emerging in dermocosmetics as so-called C-Derma brands increase their appeal to Chinese consumers.

There’s certainly plenty of opportunity. The iResearch Consulting Group, a leading market researcher in China, recently released the Chinese Women’s Sensitive Skin White Paper 2020. More than 43 per cent of Chinese women claim to have sensitive skin and many are Millennials and Gen Zers aged 18 to 39 years.

The top three causes of sensitive skin outlined in the report are a late-night lifestyle, stress and the over-use of colour cosmetics.

Major C-Derma brands were dominant during Alibaba’s 2020 Singles’ Day event. Winona, the number one brand for sensitive skin in China, surged ahead of the two leading international dermocosmetic brands, La Roche-Posay and Eau Thermale Avène. HomeFacial Pro, which has similar product listings to The Ordinary, also made the Top 50 list in revenues during the world’s largest online shopping festival.

Dr Yu is also very popular and was tapped as one of China’s top patriotic skincare brands last year. A derm-based brand focusing on inflammation, redness and sensitivity, its clinically-proven formulas are botanically-based.

QUADHA, a premium clinical brand developed by Bloomage Biotech, the world’s largest manufacturer of hyaluronic acid, was springboarded to popularity by A-list e-commerce streamer Austin Li. The so-called “Lipstick King” holds the “world record” as a makeup influencer for selling 15,000 lipsticks in five minutes and has turned his talent to skincare.

Dr Alva has carved out a formidable reputation for its microbiome-boosting probiotic skincare. Launched in 2018, its parent company is the Freda Pharmaceutical Group, a leading manufacturer of high-tech natural food additives and cosmetic ingredients, medicinal and health products.

The success of Japanese and South Korean skincare brands in China kickstarted the move towards products formulated for Asian skins. Chinese consumers are now seeking functional care products and C-Derma brands have a unique point-of-difference, in addition to superior efficacy, safety and affordability. The use of celebrity marketing, key influencers and livestreaming has propelled them to  top-of-mind status among demanding and sophisticated Chinese beauty consumers.

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