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China's Cosmetic Industry Surge: Understanding Consumer Consumption Trends in the Evolving Sunscreen Market

In an era where skin health transcends mere aesthetics to encompass broader health concerns, sunscreen cosmetics have emerged as pivotal in warding off skin aging and diseases such as skin cancer. The "China Sunscreen Cosmetics Industry Consumption Trend Insight Research Report 2024" by iiMedia Research underscores the sector's significant growth trajectory, predicting a leap from a 2023 valuation of 14.8 billion Yuan to an impressive 22.4 billion Yuan by 2028. This growth is fueled by consumers' escalating demand for enduring protection and specialized, multifunctional products. As outdoor activities and a nuanced understanding of skincare drive market expansion, the future holds a personalized and diversified product landscape.

Shifting Consumer Preferences and Market Growth 

The tourism and outdoor activity surge is a principal driver of the sunscreen cosmetics market, with the iiMedia Research report showcasing a robust annual growth rate of 12.3% in 2023. This momentum is anticipated to continue, thanks to the increasing popularity of outdoor sports and travel, positioning them as significant market stimulants. Furthermore, consumer expectations have evolved, with a substantial 71.4% prioritizing long-lasting protection and 47.0% valuing product specialization and effectiveness.


The landscape of demand is shifting towards multifunctional products that offer sun protection along with additional skincare benefits such as hydration, antioxidant properties, soothing effects, and skin brightening. This shift is prompting brands to expand their product lines to cater to these complex consumer needs.


Enhanced Regulatory Framework and Industry Maturation


The introduction of the "Cosmetics Registration and Filing Management Regulations" in May 2021 initiated a new phase of heightened regulation, leading to more structured and healthier industry growth. These regulations play a crucial role in ensuring product integrity and effectiveness, thereby facilitating premium market development and boosting consumer confidence.

Key Market Drivers


- Growing Outdoor Lifestyle: The revival of tourism and the increasing popularity of outdoor sports have significantly boosted the sunscreen market's growth. This uptrend reflects a heightened consumer awareness of the essential role of sun protection in outdoor environments, spurring demand for sunscreen products.


- Innovative Formulations: Advances in sunscreen formulation technology are meeting consumer demands for products that not only offer optimal protection but also enhance the user experience. Innovations such as lighter textures, improved breathability, and water resistance are designed to meet the diverse preferences of today's consumers.


- Customization Demand: There is an evident trend towards personalized and varied product offerings. Consumers are seeking sun protection solutions that align with their specific skincare objectives and lifestyles, driving brands to introduce specialized and niche products.


Insights into Consumer Trends


The report underscores the widespread acknowledgment among consumers of the importance of sun protection, with a preference for moisturizing lotions and creams. Moreover, the rise of digital platforms, particularly e-commerce and short video platforms, is shaping consumer purchasing behaviors in significant ways.


Future Outlook


The anticipated growth in China's sunscreen cosmetics sector is closely linked to ongoing innovation and adaptation to the sophisticated needs of an informed consumer base. The sector is poised to see increased demand for products that offer comprehensive sun protection while addressing additional skincare concerns. Moreover, the focus on safety and efficacy, within the regulatory framework, suggests a future where brands will likely escalate their research and development investments to stay competitive.


In summary, the insights from the "China Sunscreen Cosmetics Industry Consumption Trend Insight Research Report 2024" reflect a market in transition, shaped by consumer demands for multifunctional and specialized products, regulatory advancements, and the industry's response through innovation and diversification. As the industry continues to evolve, it will increasingly cater to the nuanced needs of consumers, ensuring its growth and relevance in the broader beauty and skincare landscape.


Contact us to find out more about consumer consumption behaviour in the sunscreen market or download the report here.

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