Export sales for these specialized personal care commodities decreased in value by -4.7% from 2019 to 2020.
The biggest 5 exporters of beauty cosmetics and skincare goods generated over half (52.2%) of global exports.
From a continental perspective, European countries sold the highest dollar worth of exported beauty and skincare goods during 2020 with shipments valued at $26.7 billion or 44%) of the global total. Close behind in second place were Asian exporters at 43% while 10.7% of related shipments originated from North America.
Smaller percentages came from shippers located in Oceania (1%) led by Australia and New Zealand, Africa (0.6%) and Latin America (0.7%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.
For research purposes, 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 2020.
- France: US$9 billion (14.8% of total beauty cosmetics and skincare exports)
- Singapore: $6.2 billion (10.3%)
- South Korea: $6.1 billion (10.1%)
- Japan: $5.3 billion (8.7%)
- United States: $5.1 billion (8.4%)
- Hong Kong: $4.1 billion (6.7%)
- Germany: $3.4 billion (5.5%)
- China: $2.2 billion (3.6%)
- United Kingdom: $24 billion (3.4%)
- Poland: $1.95 billion (3.2%)
- Italy: $1.8 billion (3%)
- Switzerland: $1.6 billion (2.7%)
- Belgium: $1.3 billion (2.2%)
- Spain: $1.1 billion (1.8%)
- Netherlands: $1.1 billion (1.8%)
By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 86.2% of global beauty cosmetics and skincare exports in 2020.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing beauty cosmetics and skincare exporters from 2019 to 2020 were: Hong Kong (up 31%), Japan (up 19.1%), Switzerland (up 16.6%) and South Korea (up 14.8%).
Those countries that posted declines in their exported beauty cosmetics and skincare sales were led by: China (down -21.5%), Italy (down -19.7%), United States (down -16.8%), Germany (down -12%) and France (down -10.3%).
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for beauty cosmetics and skincare products during 2020. 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$7.2 billion (net export surplus down -9.2% since 2019)
- South Korea: $5.2 billion (up 22%)
- Japan: $3.9 billion (up 34.1%)
- Singapore: $3.3 billion (up 9.4%)
- Germany: $1.2 billion (down -3.2%)
- Switzerland: $1.1 billion (up 19.1%)
- Poland: $933.8 million (up 20.4%)
- Italy: $823.8 million (down -25.6%)
- United States: $593.5 million (down -39.9%)
- Spain: $135 million (up 508.4%)
- Israel: $125.5 million (up 0.5%)
- South Africa: $115.6 million (up 197.2%)
- Netherlands: $75.5 million (up 5%)
- Senegal: $52.7 million (up 16.5%)
- Belgium: $49.6 million (down -263.7%)
Historically a fashion mecca, France earns 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 2020. 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-$15.2 billion (net export deficit up 45% since 2019)
- Hong Kong: -$3.2 billion (up 65.2%)
- Macao, China: -$2.3 billion (up 179.9%)
- Russia: -$761.5 million (down -27.2%)
- Saudi Arabia: -$594.5 million (down -11.5%)
- Taiwan: -$439.6 million (down -5.8%)
- Vietnam: -$383.8 million (up 388.8%)
- United Arab Emirates: -$379.1 million (reversing a $160.9 million surplus)
- Canada: -$342.8 million (down -8.2%)
- Australia: -$275.3 million (down -26.1%)
- Norway: -$265.8 million (up 3.2%)
- Malaysia: -$229.4 million (down -30.7%)
- Austria: -$198.8 million (down -15%)
- Romania: -$189.3 million (up 10.1%)
- Portugal: -$182.1 million (down -24.2%)
Mainland China and its political territory incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of beauty cosmetics and skincare products. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights the Asian entities’ 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$49.9 billion (up 1.3% from 2019)
- Eye makeup: $3.9 billion (down -22.4%)
- Lip makeup including lipstick: $3.6 billion (down -32.2%)
- Makeup or skincare powders: $1.9 billion (down -26.7%)
- Manicure or pedicure preparations: $1.2 billion (down -6%)
The biggest product category, beauty and makeup preparations or skincare, was the sole gainer from 2019 to 2020 thanks to a modest 1.3% increase in dollar value.
See also Beauty Cosmetics and Skincare Imports by Country, Perfumes Exporters by Country, Diamond Exports by Country and Wine Exports by Country
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports – Commodities. Accessed on June 10, 2021
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 10, 2021
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 10, 2021
Wikipedia, Cosmetics. Accessed on June 10, 2021
Wikipedia, Category:Cosmetics companies. Accessed on June 10, 2021