With the expansion of various entertainment and fashion news in China today, the number of women spending on skin care and beauty regimes is growing at an incredible pace. According to a report released by a British market research company, in 2014, Chinese women spend RMB 6.5 billion (est. US$ 1 billion) on facial masks. In 2019, the mask market in China is expected to reach a scale of RMB 13 billion (est. US$ 2 billion), far more than beauty giant, Korea.
Many women in China stated that they would apply masks at least three times a week. In interviews with celebrities on TV shows, female actress Fan Bingbingsaid she used 700 masks per year and even male stars are said to apply three masks per day. A photo on Weibo of a Chinese primary school boy who use to apply facial masks during cram school had triggered numerous discussions online. Many adults can’t help but feel they’ve overlooked skin care regimes in comparison to their primary school counterparts. It seems that in China, not only women but men have joined the already large beauty fanbase. Users believe that the ingredients in beauty masks permeate through the skin effectively in a short amount of time but of course, the media is partly responsible for its propaganda and now, is widely deemed as an essential step to the daily skin care routine.
Compared with skin care products, makeup has only begun to heat up in recent years. Makeup is not considered as a necessary part for many Chinese woman and up until now, bare faced women without makeup are still very common on the streets in China. Due to these habits, people in general pay more attention to skin maintenance rather than make up which many are still reluctant to wear. The biggest appeal in facial masks is its “moisturizing” components. Regardless of whether one’s skin condition is dry, combination, or oily, it’s believed that almost all skin problems attribute to the dryness in the skin. The use of facial masks can increase water content of the skin stratum corneum in a short period of time. Once the cells have arranged themselves in position, they immediately appear moist and shiny which gives a visually "whitening" effect. This immediate result encouraged people to invest in facial masks. Observing the various fashion medias in China, it’s common to see Chinese consumers flipping through products such as essence, facial masks, lotions, creams, exfoliants, and so on. The costly skin care products are one of the main factors that have people convinced in its effect.
When exactly will this facial mask boom in China decline? Will there be more high-end skincare products that’ll replace the all mighty masks? Cosmetic companies, we’re waiting.