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China becomes France’s largest beauty export market in 2020

By Tess Stenzel


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China became the largest market for French beauty products for the first time in 2020, ahead of Germany and the US, according to new data.

The country is now the leading buyer of French skincare, creams, beauty products, makeup, and lipsticks, according to France’s beauty association, the Fédération des Entreprises de la Beauté (FEBEA).

In total, the French cosmetics sector generated 15.7 billion euros of products exported in 2020, With the country’s exported sales to China increasing almost 20.7 percent in the 12 months.

Cosmetics has been the second-largest exporting sector in France, behind aeronautics.

“Cosmetics have proven their ability to cope with this extraordinary situation throughout the year,” said Patrick O’Quin, president of FEBEA, in a release. “In total, more than 50 percent of production is exported, and the cosmetics export activity alone employs 130,000 men and women, throughout France.”

“Despite the disturbing context, French cosmetics today holds 24 percent of the world market share. “Made in France” remains an essential asset for the sector and for our economy as a whole,” he added.

Sales in French soap performed well globally with nearly 11.3 percent growth in value since 2019. The increase was the strongest in Asia with a 22 percent raise followed by Europe with 19 percent.

On the other hand, sales of perfumes fell by 16 percent and eau de toilette fell by 28 percent over the year, which was due to the scarcity of scent launches and the shutdown of travel retail.

Photo credit: Jhong Pascua via Pexels