Post — 10 Min Read

China on Verge of Skin Microbiome Explosion

While the United States is the current consumer leader globally, with the EU just behind, the Asia Pacific skin microbiome market is on the verge of exploding and analysts expect China to have the largest market by 2025.

While the United States is the current consumer leader globally, with the EU just behind, the Asia Pacific skin microbiome market is on the verge of exploding and analysts expect China to have the largest market by 2025.

The Skin Microbiome is the collective term for the bacteria, fungi and viruses that live on our skin. The skin is the human body’s second largest organ in terms of surface area, exceeded only by the intestines. It contains seven layers of tissue and guards the muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organs.

There are approximately 1000 different bacterial species and up to eighty different fungi species living on our skin. Some of these species are already familiar, as they are also present in our gut microbiome and include the Staph, Strep and Candida species.

The skin microbiome is as individual to each person as a fingerprint. No two people can have the same microbiome, as lifestyles, diet, location, ethnicity, etc. all play a part in the makeup of the skin microbiome. The microbiome of an individual is different on various parts of their own body such as armpits, face, hands and feet. This is due to multiple factors such as weather exposure, heat, sweat production, work environment and so on.

Skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and rosacea are believed to be connected to a lack of diversity in the skin microbiome. Recent studies have shown that, for example, individuals with eczema have a microbiome not found in individuals without the condition. Societal obsession with cleaning and hygiene – while obviously one of the key advancements in modern history and, of course, vital for survival – has also led to massive changes in the skin microbiome and harsher conditions within which it must survive.

Chinese market Trends

The global probiotic (microbiome-friendly) market for cosmetics is expected to grow exponentially over the coming years. While the United States is the current consumer leader globally, with the EU just behind, the Asia Pacific market is on the verge of exploding and analysts expect China to be the largest market by 2025.

The Chinese market has unique attributes that are rarely found together in other parts of the world. The young middle-class affluent demographic is enormous compared to parts of the West – largely supported by the parents and grandparents of this generation and smaller family sizes. In economic terms, this grouping has disposable income available and is willing to spend more on beauty, technology, etc. than their western counterparts. With a massive e-commerce market throughout China, more information and more choices are available, even in rural areas. The Chinese ecommerce market is worth almost $2 trillion and expected to grow by 20% in 2020.

The keywords “Health” and “Beauty” are the most commonly searched words across all Chinese e-commerce platforms, indicating just how much potential there is in China for cosmetic and skincare brands. The Skin Microbiome is a new concept in China yet matches the already popular concept of personalised or bespoke cosmetics in which the Chinese market is willing to invest. Large multinational brands such as Lancome and La Roche Posay are beginning to advertise and educate the Chinese consumer about the Skin Microbiome, in a similar way as the Dove brand is doing in the US and EU.

There is a trend in the Chinese market that most consumers who purchase skincare products and cosmetics are looking for products that carry certain claims – claims that products intending to protect and enhance the Skin Microbiome fall under. As consumers gain more knowledge of the skin microbiome, much in the same way as when gut microbiome was introduced in the past, pressure will build on brands to take advantage of this emerging trend.

Chinese Cosmetics Regulation

Chinese regulations for cosmetics are very different to those in Western countries. Although there has been a massive global movement against animal testing in cosmetics, China still maintains animal testing for any cosmetic product not manufactured in China. Any cosmetic or skincare product to be sold in the Chinese market must undergo safety testing through animal tests. There is a lot of work ongoing to change this law, which began with China agreeing to halt animal testing in 2012 for any product manufactured there, and the law will be changed in the next couple of years for all other cosmetics to come under the same regulatory framework.

Labskin’s ethical Human Skin Equivalent model for testing of cosmetics and skincare products is the closest available to real human skin,. It has a better accuracy rate than animal testing, and with its ability to mimic the skins microflora is well placed to help brands enter the Chinese market with validated Skin Microbiome- enhancing products.

For more information got to www.labskin.co.uk/skin-model

To get in contact with our R&D or Sales departments please email info@labskin.co.uk