Chemical suppliers keep pace with global personal care markets

Global personal care markets

Chemical companies are working hard to satisfy the growing demand for ingredients that go into personal care products for the skin, hair, oral care, and other applications. As a large, rapidly expanding and increasingly diverse market, product ingredients represent special challenges for chemical companies. Today’s consumers want more, they want quality and they want it now. But opportunities are evident as well, driven by a growing middle class in the East, an ageing population in the West, and new markets such as men’s grooming, halal beauty and bio-based skin care.


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Alton Adams

Principal and US Lead, Customer Strategy and Growth

KPMG in the U.S.


Better products for a ‘better’ you

In South Korea, consumers take up to a dozen steps in their daily skincare routine, while Chinese consumers prefer one-step products supplemented by sheet masks, sometimes twice daily. In Indonesia, scalp freshener products are popular with Islamic women wearing the jilbab.1 In the US, men’s grooming is one of the fastest-growing market segments in personal care.2


Clearly, personal care is an expanding, highly regionalized and increasingly diverse market. Product categories include toothpaste, fragrances, mouthwashes, hair care and dyeing products, cosmetics and products for nail care, bathing and shaving. The chemical ingredients for these products include surfactants, emulsifiers, polymers, emollients, cosmetic active ingredients, pigments, UV filters and thickeners, and protein compounds.3


The global market for personal care products is expected to increase between 3.5 and 4.5 percent over the next five years, with a total market value of US$500 billion by 2020.4 The market or product ingredients will likely grow even faster over most of the same forecast period. Valued at US$7.46 billion in 2014, the ingredients market is expected to reach US$11.76 billion by 2023, representing a CAGR 5.2 percent.5


Skin care is the major application for personal care products and accounts for a quarter of sales.6 The largest segment for ingredients is surfactants, agents that increase a liquid’s wetting and spreading properties.7 On the basis of chemical properties, the active ingredients segment shows the strongest growth.8


Asia Pacific represents the largest share (29 percent) of the global personal care products market, with sales fueled mainly by population growth, urbanization and increased per capita spending power.9


Europe occupies second place, followedby North America.10


In the US, a growing Hispanic population and rising demand for luxury personal care brands will support demand for cosmetic chemicals over the next five years.11 In Europe, skin care and toiletries remain the most important product categories, followed by hair care and fragrances.12 Across all developed economies, including Japan, the growing number of older consumers is driving more sales for anti-aging, anti- wrinkle and sun protection products.13 


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1 Examples from In-cosmetics trends presentations review 2015, In-cosmetics News, 27 May 2015, URL

2 Global Personal Care: Trends 2015, Lebermuth, URL

3 Personal Care Chemicals and Ingredients Market: Global Industry Analysis and Forecast to 2020, Persistence Market Research, URL

4 Growth of global ingredients market outpaces personal care industry, Transparency Market Research, URL

5 Ibid.

6 The Future of Beauty and Personal Care in the Globe and Asia Pacific, Euromonitor International, November 2015, URL

7 Ibid.

8 Ibid.

9 Growth of global ingredients market outpaces personal care industry, op. cit.

10 Asia Pacific to Continue Personal Care Ingredients Market Dominance, Global Market to Reach US$11.76 bn by 2023, press release,, URL

11 US Cosmetic Chemicals Market to Grow due to Increasing Demand for Personal Care Products, TechSCiResearch, URL

12 The European cosmetics and personal care market shows signs of recovery, Premium Beauty News, 23 June 2015, URL

13 Ibid.

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