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2022 China’s Beauty Industry Hot Topics & Trends

The consumer market in China’s beauty industry has always been high, especially consumer enthusiasm for beauty and skincare products. Based on the “Miaokan” Beauty Industry Observation” published by Miaozhen in January 2023, we summarized the KOL launch strategy, hot topics, trends and innovative marketing in the beauty industry in 2022.

Targeting strategy – KOL

The data shows that both international brands and domestic brands' KOL delivery strategies such as Double 11 are focused on advertising on Xiaohongshu and Douyin platforms, but the strategies for selecting KOLs are somewhat different.

  • International big brands:

i) Xiaohongshu – Mid-tier (T3) and KOC (T4) KOL (followers between 50,000 and 500,000)

ii) Douyin – Macro (T2) KOL (followers between 2 and 5 million)

  • Domestic brands:

i) Xiaohongshu – Mid-tier (T3) and KOC (T4) KOL (followers between 50,000 and 500,000)

ii) Douyin – Mid-tier (T3) KOL (followers between 500,000 – 2 million)

Beauty Hotspots – Potential Topics

  • Sustainable beauty concept

Sustainability primarily refers to the process of maintaining ecological balance and harmony in resource development, investment direction, technological development and institutional change while meeting human needs and future development. Consumer discussion on sustainable beauty increased by 56% YoY in 2022. Therefore, the concept of sustainable beauty has begun to rise with the improvement of environmental awareness, many international brands have begun to launch a series of promotional activities related to the concept of sustainable beauty. These include eco-friendly packaging boxes for Origins and P&G products, Lancôme's project to recycle empty bottles for skin care products, and Chanel’s use of refillable packaging for its Red Camellia series.

  • Simple skin care “Less is more”

After the epidemic lockdown, the lessons of excessive skincare and the change in skin care concept, consumers no longer blindly buy and use complex skin care products, but carry out skin “subtraction”. To achieve a simple skincare routine, consumers are beginning to learn to select appropriate skin care products according to their current skin condition. “All in one” skin care products with multiple effects can meet the needs of simple skin care and are preferred by consumers. The top three requirements for simple skin care are moisturizing, repair and sun protection, while the main categories are serums, face creams and cleansers.

  • Medical Aesthetic x Skincare

After being stimulated by the beauty economy, medical aesthetics has successfully created new scenes for skin care products. Skincare according to medical aesthetics has become a hot topic of discussion all over the net. The main buzzwords in the discussion are the mask, medical aesthetics, care, repair, skin care, hydration, etc. Domestic brands lead the medical aesthetics skin care segment and big international brands are also entering the market with deep skin repair products. To meet the high demand and requirements of postoperative skin repair, domestic professional skincare brands with dermatological quality have gradually emerged.

  • Light daily makeup

Pseudo-plain makeup and light makeup are popular makeup looks in 2022, as consumers prefer versatile light makeup, that not only meets the various demands of daily life but also has the effect of reducing age. Other makeup looks that have aroused trending discussion are light European and American makeup, Japanese makeup, Korean makeup and so on. When choosing beauty products, consumers opt for lipstick colours with low saturation that match light makeup, such as tawny brown or milk tea shades. In addition to daily life, consumers also choose the appropriate makeup for different seasons and festivals, especially lipstick colours. For example, choose a tawny brown colour in spring and summer, black tea brown in autumn and winter, purple on Halloween, reddish brown on New Year’s Eve, and so on.

Trends – New scenes of outdoor activities, new consumption of cross-sector collaboration and Metaverse

  • New scene: outdoor sports

Outdoor activities such as camping, cycling, skateboarding, etc. have a high degree of discussion after the lifting of the lockdown in China. Therefore some beauty brands are linking sports scenes with product effectiveness and increasing the promotion of sports scenes. For example, Estee Lauder invited KOLs to promote and highlight the characteristics of DW's long-lasting oil control, especially by combining popular outdoor sports manufacturers such as camping, frisbee, etc., and use the scene and effect as a selling point to attract consumers.

  • New consumption: beauty x new tea

By collaborating across industries with new tea beverages, beauty brands can work together to create a win-win marketing effect. Co-branded products and benefits from brands like Helena x Manner to create “Lady Beauty” and “Coffee Upstart”, will not only enhance Manner’s brand image but also enable Helena to reach a broader audience of young Gen Z consumers.

  • New tech experience: Metaverse

In addition, beauty brands have also begun to join the upsurge of the Metaverse, apart from cooperation with virtual digital humans, they are also trying to release digital NFT collections, open virtual flagship stores and other games to offer consumers a new experience using meta-universe technology. Brands such as Lancôme are creating virtual flagship stores to bring users an immersive 3D reality-enhanced shopping experience.

Overall, the beauty market is expected to continue to evolve in the future, and various marketing strategies and industry trends will have an impact.

If you would like to know more about advertising or KOLs on media platforms, please feel free to contact us. To access the full report, click here to download.

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