Whether you’re running an ecommerce store selling beauty products or are thinking of starting one, it’s important to keep up with consumers’ changing demands to ensure your brand is in sync with the latest beauty trends. This includes knowing what the top-selling beauty products are.

According to recent research on the purchasing preferences of beauty buyers, the most popular beauty product consumers buy is skincare products. These accounted for 41 percent of the global cosmetic market in 2021.

The second top-selling beauty product is haircare, making up just over one-fifth (22 percent) of the market share. This is followed by make-up, with 16 percent.

Together, these top three beauty products contribute to 79 percent of the cosmetic market worldwide. In other words, out of every dollar consumers spent on cosmetics in 2021, nearly $0.80 went to these three top-selling beauty products.

Perfumes and hygiene products make up the five top beauty products consumers purchased in 2021. Both of these have market shares of around 10 percent each. 

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Change in Market Share of Top Beauty Products

Currently the most popular beauty product (and by a significant margin), the market share of skincare products has been increasing over the past decade.

A decade ago, its market share was at 31 percent—ten percentage points less than its current market share. By 2015, this had increased to 36.1 percent, before hitting the 40-percent mark in 2019.

For the market share of skincare to grow, others had to give. Among the top beauty products, perfumes experienced the biggest loss. Its market share in the global cosmetics market fell from 14 percent in 2011.

Top Beauty Products: Purchase Factors

When deciding what beauty products to purchase, buyers value personal recommendations above all else. Nearly half (46 percent) of consumers (69 percent) say they tend to discover beauty products this way.

Product samples also have a strong influence over beauty buyers’ decisions to purchase. More than one-third of them (36 percent) discover new products from receiving samples. 

This is followed by ad placements across many media (both online and traditional) platforms. Ads that are seen on television help 34 percent of beauty buyers discover new products, while those on social media and websites are responsible for 25 percent and 24 percent of product/brand discovery respectively.

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