Home ONLINE MALL FOR SHOPPING In China males's skincare growth, startups, international buyers search wealthy glow

In China males’s skincare growth, startups, international buyers search wealthy glow

Enterprise Information

Sophie Yu
Brenda Goh

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s radiant male skincare market has a recent shine: A raft of home startups is tapping international buyers for funds, with ambitions to rival giants like L’Oreal in a billion-dollar enterprise serving image-conscious millennial males like Hou Junru.

FILE PHOTO: Liu Yuxuan, 22, a scholar, places on his make-up at a restroom in a shopping center in Shanghai, China, December 3, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Tune
FILE PHOTO: Liu Yuxuan, 22, a scholar, places on his make-up at a restroom in a shopping center in Shanghai, China, December 3, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Tune
FILE PHOTO: Liu Yuxuan, 22, a scholar, places on his make-up at a restroom in a shopping center in Shanghai, China, December 3, 2020. Image taken December 3, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Tune
FILE PHOTO: Liu Yuxuan, 22, a scholar, places on his make-up at a restroom in a shopping center in Shanghai, China, December 3, 2020. Image taken December 3, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Tune

The 24-year-old Shanghai training employee bought into skincare as a scholar and splurged greater than $1,000 on lotions and lotions in e-commerce agency Alibaba’s large Nov. 11 Singles Day promotion. “My want is to maintain the pores and skin moist and look pale,” stated Hou.

It’s a precedence shared by a lot of his friends, influenced by the unfold of social media and South Korean popular culture that embraces a softer model of masculinity. Already the most important on the earth, the Chinese language males’s facial skincare market is forecast to hit 12.5 billion yuan ($1.90 billion) this 12 months – and develop 50% to 18.5 billion yuan in 2025, analysis agency Mintel estimates.

Market analysis supplier Euromonitor Worldwide estimates the lads’s skincare enterprise in China, excluding post-shave merchandise, was final 12 months already greater than 3 times the dimensions of the U.S. market in greenback phrases and greater than twice the dimensions of South Korea – with worth development by way of 2024 seen simply outstripping each.

Drawing on the large attain of on-line retailers like Alibaba and JD.com, at the very least 10 new Chinese language male skincare manufacturers have been arrange this 12 months, in accordance with media experiences.

“A large number of small manufacturers are rising by way of on-line channels,” Mintel stated in a current report. The “on-line buying expertise permits males to decide on what they need rapidly … on-line retailers could make it simpler for males to hunt out data and suggestions than in offline shops.”

Six of the brand new gamers between them raised greater than 300 million yuan between them, the founder of 1 model informed Reuters. Bertelsmann Asia Investments stated it has invested in a brand new Shanghai model, with out saying how a lot, whereas others like SIG Asia and Redpoint Ventures have additionally positioned sector bets, in accordance with home media experiences and startup analysis database CB Insights.

To make certain, with a mixed share of 60%, in accordance with Mintel, the China market stays dominated by three massive overseas gamers – France’s L’Oreal, Nivea maker Beiersdorf of Germany, and Japan’s Rohto, dwelling of the OXY model. L’Oreal declined to remark for this text, whereas Beiersdorf and Rohto didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Nonetheless, past that dominance lies a hefty, fragmented chunk to be focused by new native startups, hoping to emulate the success of Excellent Diary, a red-hot Chinese language ladies’s cosmetics model whose mother or father raised $617 million in a Nasdaq itemizing final month.


Among the many new breed of male skincare corporations is Coen, based in September by Huang Kai, a Xiamen-based entrepreneur who has shuttered his earlier enterprise promoting males’s attire to concentrate on the sweetness beat, with items manufactured by corporations in Guangzhou.

Huang, 31, stated gross sales at Coen – a reputation that interprets to “scientific and grateful” – topped 1 million yuan in two months through shops on e-commerce marketplaces. A 120 millilitre bottle of its flagship cleanser, ‘Dragon Blood’, retails for 64.90 yuan ($9.90) on Alibaba’s Tmall platform.

With merchandise like a beard depilatory cream within the pipeline Huang stated he was in talks to boost funds from buyers for what he described as an enormous alternative to faucet new generations extra open to skincare. “There are greater than 200 million males born (in China) after 1995,” stated Huang.

A half-dozen of this 12 months’s bevy of startups have collectively already raised greater than 300 million yuan, Huang stated, declining to say which potential buyers he’s speaking to.

Bertelmann Asia Investments Vice President Cindy Zhu informed Reuters her agency has invested in Shanghai-based males’s skincare firm Only a Cool Model (JACB), arrange this 12 months. Zhu stated the fund believed the expansion momentum in China’s cosmetics market would proceed.

“JACB will present extra skilled merchandise that will appropriately meet the skincare necessities of Chinese language males shoppers,” stated Zhu. JACB was not reachable for remark.

In response to the CB Insights database, meantime, Redpoint Ventures and SIG Asia have invested in Make Essense, primarily based in Shenzhen. Make Essense, SIG and Redpoint didn’t reply to Reuters’ inquiries.


One main hurdle for the brand new breed of Chinese language suppliers shall be persuading clients who’ve used well-known overseas manufacturers for years to change over to them.

Schooling employee Hou, for example, stated he doesn’t use new home items, choosing manufacturers like France’s Guerlain and La Mer as an alternative. “These merchandise are used in your face so I don’t wish to attempt manufacturers I haven’t heard of,” he stated.

However others stay open to the likelihood. College scholar Liu Yuxuan, 22, usually makes use of Clinique and Estee Lauder however would take into account home manufacturers that supply worth for cash. “Chinese language manufacturers are extra down-to-earth,” stated Liu.

One avenue of risk for home manufacturers might be to develop into color cosmetics like eye shadow – nonetheless a distinct segment however rising phase, in accordance with JD.com and Alibaba numbers.

“Most males’s merchandise are boring,” stated Hou.

“Why received’t manufacturers give us males extra revolutionary merchandise? Like ladies I additionally want skincare to take care of moisture and look white. I’ll purchase if they’re good!”

($1 = 6.5575 Chinese language yuan renminbi)

© 2020 Reuters. All Rights Reserved.


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