Beauty cosmetics and skincare exports by country totaled US$58.8 billion in 2018, up by 53.2% for all beauty cosmetics and skincare exporters over the five-year period starting in 2014. Year over year, sales for these specialized personal care exports appreciated 18.6% from 2017 to 2018.
From a continental perspective, European countries sold the highest dollar worth of exported beauty and skincare goods during 2018 with shipments valued at $27.3 billion or approaching half (46.5%) of the global total.
In second place were Asian exporters at 38.1% while 12.6% of worldwide beauty cosmetics and skincare product shipments originated from North America. Smaller percentages came from sources located in Africa (1.1%), Oceania (1%) led by Australia and New Zealand, then Latin America (0.7%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.
The 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix is 3304 for beauty or makeup preparations and preparations for the care of the skin including sunscreen.
Beauty Cosmetics and Skincare Exports by Country
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of beauty cosmetics and skincare products during 2018.
- France: US$9.6 billion (16.3% of total beauty/skincare goods exports)
- United States: $5.8 billion (9.9%)
- Singapore: $5.2 billion (8.8%)
- South Korea: $4.9 billion (8.4%)
- Japan: $3.9 billion (6.6%)
- Germany: $3.8 billion (6.5%)
- Hong Kong: $2.53 billion (4.3%)
- China: $2.47 billion (4.2%)
- Italy: $2.3 billion (3.9%)
- United Kingdom: $2.2 billion (3.8%)
- Poland: $1.7 billion (2.9%)
- Belgium: $1.4 billion (2.4%)
- Switzerland: $1.33 billion (2.3%)
- Canada: $1.3 billion (2.2%)
- Spain: $1.1 billion (1.9%)
By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 84.2% of all beauty cosmetics and skincare exports in 2018.
Among the above countries, the fastest-growing beauty/skincare goods exporters since 2014 were: Japan (up 231.5%), South Korea (up 209%), Singapore (up 135.9%), Hong Kong (up 132.1%) and Switzerland (up 103%).
Which top countries posted the most modest increases in their exported beauty/skincare goods sales? That would be United Kingdom (up 3.2%) and Germany (up 21.4%).
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for beauty cosmetics and skincare products during 2018. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s exported beauty cosmetics and skincare items and its import purchases for those same commodities.
- France: US$7.6 billion (net export surplus up 18.9% since 2014)
- South Korea: $3.9 billion (up 497.6%)
- Japan: $2.5 billion (up 3386.2%)
- Singapore: $2.3 billion (up 208.6%)
- Germany: $1.1 billion (up 28.9%)
- Italy: $1.1 billion (up 106.7%)
- Switzerland: $870.9 million (up 279.3%)
- Poland: $789.4 million (up 26.4%)
- United States: $425.8 million (down -4.4%)
- Ivory Coast: $164.9 million (up 20.7%)
- Israel: $136.4 million (up 37.6%)
- Belgium: $120.1 million (down -5.5%)
- South Africa: $63.8 million (down -6.6%)
- Colombia: $53.4 million (up 41.7%)
- Tanzania: $51.7 million (reversing a -$1.5 million deficit)
Historically a fashion mecca, France has the highest surplus in the international trade of beauty cosmetics and skincare offerings. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms France’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.
The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for beauty cosmetics and skincare products during 2018. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s import purchases and its exports for these specialized personal care commodities.
- China: -US$3.8 billion (net export deficit reversing a $20.3 million surplus in 2013)
- Hong Kong: -$2.8 billion (up 84.6%)
- Russia: -$1 billion (down -1.7%)
- Saudi Arabia: -$573.7 million (up 0.4%)
- Macao: -$525.1 million (up 37.9%)
- Australia: -$430.4 million (up 11%)
- Thailand: -$416 million (up 334.9%)
- Taiwan: -$410.2 million (up 23.6%)
- Canada: -$375.7 million (up 22%)
- Vietnam: -$345.6 million (up 897.4%)
- Norway: -$305.4 million (up 0.6%)
- Malaysia: -$304.8 million (up 81.2%)
- Mexico: -$300.9 million (up 48.8%)
- United Kingdom: -$277.5 million (up 38%)
- Austria: -$268 million (up 19.2%)
Overtaking Hong Kong three years ago in 2014, mainland China incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of beauty cosmetics and skincare products. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights China’s strong competitive disadvantage for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for supplying countries positioned to satisfy the powerful demand among Chinese consumers and businesses.
Beauty Cosmetics and Skincare Product Suppliers
Below are global conglomerates that represent established players engaged in the international trade of beauty cosmetics and skincare offerings. Each conglomerate’s home country is shown within parenthesis.
- Avon Products (United States)
- L’Oreal (France)
- Proctor & Gamble (United States)
- Shiseido (Japan)
- Unilever (United Kingdom)
Top Beauty/Skincare Products Subcategories
Different types of beauty cosmetics and skincare exports are listed in descending order below, starting with the most lucrative subcategory.
- Beauty/makeup preparations and skincare: US$44.4 billion (up 57.6% from 2014)
- Eye makeup: $5.2 billion (up 37.8%)
- Lip makeup including lipstick: $5 billion (up 88.8%)
- Makeup or skincare powders: $2.7 billion (up 45.7%)
- Manicure or pedicure preparations: $1.5 billion (down -23.4%)
The lipstick-related subcategory grew at the fastest pace during the latest 5-year period via its 88.8% gain. The one declining subcategory is manicure or pedicure preparations with international sales shrinking almost one quarter over the 5-year period.
See also Beauty Cosmetics and Skincare Imports by Country, Perfumes Exporters by Country, Diamond Exports by Country and Wine Exports by Country
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on May 5, 2019
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 5, 2019
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on July 29, 2019
Wikipedia, Cosmetics. Accessed on May 5, 2019
Wikipedia, Category:Cosmetics companies. Accessed on May 5, 2019