The world of beauty in 2015

With growth at +3.9%(1), the worldwide cosmetics market was stronger in 2015. With an estimated total of 203 billion euros, it is expanding steadily, driven by demographic trends in the New Markets, new needs linked to urbanisation, and new consumer desires fuelled by social networks. In this supply-driven market, spurred by innovation, L’Oréal is maintaining its leadership.

Growth of the worldwide cosmetics market from 2006 to 2015(1)
(estimated annual growth rate, as %)

  • +4.9%
  • +5.0%
  • +2.9%
  • +1.0%
  • +4.2%
  • +4.6%
  • +4.6%
  • +3.8%
  • +3.6%
  • +3.9%
  • 2006
  • 2009
  • 2012
  • 2015

Main worldwide players(2)
(2015 sales, in billions of USD)

  • L’Oréal
  • Unilever
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Estée Lauder
  • Shiseido

Breakdown of the worldwide cosmetics market

Breakdown of the worldwide cosmetics market(1)
(as %)

Geographic Zones

  • 36.2% Asia, Pacific
  • 24.0% North América
  • 20.2% Western Europe
  • 10.5% Latin America
  • 6.0% Eastern Europe
  • 3.0% Africa, Middle East

Product categories

  • 36.1% Skincare
  • 22.9% Haircare
  • 17.3% Make-up
  • 12.2% Fragrances
  • 10.4% Hygiene products
  • 1.1% Other(4)

Three major trends of the year

Three major trends underpinned the growth of the worldwide cosmetics market in 2015: the swift expansion of make-up driven by digital communications, the dynamism of high-end channels, and the rise of the middle classes in the New Markets, where more and more consumers are looking for innovative, high-quality products.
  • Julianne Moore, Liya Kebede and Zoe Saldana taking a selfie at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015.
  • Dermacenter in Brazil.
  • Young woman applying face cream in front of a mirror.
  • The year of make-up

    Lip colour leads the way
    Driven by the selfie generation, make-up was the most dynamic category in the cosmetics market for the third year running, and proved to be a growth driver both in mature markets, like the United States, and in the New Markets. The success of lip make-up was one of the 2015 highlights, with growth at +10% in the mass-market channel, and +16% in the selective channel(5).
  • Two thriving sectors

    Luxury and dermocosmetics
    Luxury remains the most dynamic sector at +5.7%(5), thanks in particular to e-commerce sales. It continues to drive the beauty market, representing roughly one-third of its growth and performing well in Western Europe, including Southern Europe. Dermocosmetics meanwhile continues to accelerate, driven by deep-rooted upward aspirations for both beauty and health in all parts of the world.
  • Contrasting trends in the New Markets

    India, South Africa and Turkey are performing well
    In 2015, the New Markets generated more than two-thirds of beauty market growth(5). Despite the slowdown in China and Brazil, some growth-relay countries are fulfilling their promise. Growth is double-digit in India, for example, where skincare is very dynamic. South Africa is recording substantial growth rates, particularly in the selective market. Turkey is amongst the most dynamic markets worldwide.

Beauty and digital

Digital communications represent a tremendous opportunity for the beauty market. They add new dimensions to the relationship between the brands and their consumers. Beauty, today, is synonymous with personalised products and services that enrich the consumer experience in all distribution sectors.
  • 6%

    e-commerce share of worldwide beauty market(5)
  • +20%

    growth in worldwide online beauty sales(5)
  • Top 3

    Beauty is one of the most popular search topics on Google(6)
  • 68%

    of Alibaba purchases made from a mobile(7) on Singles’ Day(8) in China
(1) Source: L’Oréal 2015 estimates of the worldwide cosmetics market in net manufacturer prices. Excluding soaps, oral hygiene, razors and blades. Excluding currency effects.
(2) Source: WWD, “Beauty’s Top 100”, April 2015.
(3) WWD estimates of cosmetics sales.
(4) Oral cosmetics.
(5) Source: L’Oréal 2015 estimates of the worldwide cosmetics market in net manufacturer prices. Excluding soaps, oral hygiene, razors and blades. Excluding currency effects.
(6) Source: Google data.
(7) Source:
(8) November 11th.