Retail sales value of cosmetics in China 2009-2019

In 2019, the retail sales of cosmetics by wholesale and retail companies in China reached 299.2 billion yuan. This indicated a fourfold increase in cosmetics sales since 2009.

Where do people buy cosmetics in China?

A vast majority of beauty and personal care products in China are sold online, popular e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, Tmall,, and In 2018, Tmall alone was selling around 8.4 million facial beauty masks, 6.2 million lipsticks and 5.9 million tubes of face cream per month. Especially consumers in first and second tier cities trust and use online channels for cosmetics purchases, driving the e-commerce sales growth. Offline, majority of beauty products are sold in specialty cosmetics chain stores, hypermarkets, supermarkets, and department stores, whereas more basic daily toiletries like soap or shower gel are most often picked up in supermarkets and grocery stores.

What are the major cosmetics segments in China?

Traditionally, skincare is the largest cosmetics market segment in China and the rest of East Asia. Elaborate skincare rituals to keep face skin looking youthful, white, and glowing have been part of the Chinese beauty routine for centuries. Not surprisingly, skincare and sun care is the leading cosmetics import category as well. Other important market segments include haircare, bath and shower products, and recently emerging decorative cosmetics trend.

Retail sales value of cosmetics by wholesale and retail companies in China from 2009 to 2019 (in billion yuan)*

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Release date

January 2020



Survey time period

2009 to 2019

Supplementary notes

* Displayed figures only include wholesale and retail companies with an annual sales volume of five million yuan or above and with an employee number of above 60 people.

Note: 1 yuan equals approximately 0.14 U.S. dollars and 0.13 euros (as of January 2020).

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