French beauty exports hit ‘record’ year in 2021 with China, US, makeup and face care strong says FEBEA

Like many markets worldwide, the French beauty and personal care category faced a tough year of business in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with very few companies experiencing growth and many requiring additional support​, particularly SMEs. But, according to a report released by FEBEA this month on French cosmetic exports, the tide had now started to turn with beauty and personal care global exports rebounding.

“After a contrasting year in 2020, French cosmetics has returned to excellent export performance, consolidating our country in its position as the world leader in cosmetics,”​ FEBEA said in a statement.

According to the report, exports of French beauty and personal care products in 2021 tallied up €16.2bn in sales, a solid improvement following declines in 2020 and up 2.5% on exports in 2019. And this, FEBEA said, was largely due to the strong performance of certain markets and categories.

‘Record growth rates’ in China and US exports

Regionally, the French beauty industry reported “record growth rates”​ of exports to China and the US in 2021.

China was now the “leading destination country for French cosmetics exports”​, according to FEBEA. In 2021, cosmetic exports to China represented 11.7% of total French beauty exports at €1.9bn in business, up 56% from 2019 largely due to makeup sales. France now exported more than one in three lipsticks to China, FEBEA said. Since January 2021, French beauty companies had been able to export ‘ordinary’ or general-use cosmetics into China without animal testing​.

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