8 November 2021
Cosmetics has gone from child’s play to a fully fledged sector of the overall industry, dedicated to selling products to children and their parents. The child cosmetics market is growing at an annual rate of CAGR 6.75% and by 2026 estimated to be worth $1,795.15 million. The children’s cosmetics and beauty market is not a small world after all. But is it worth investing in? Here are all the facts and arguments surrounding this area within the umbrella of the cosmetics industry.
In 2017 an investigation by WTVD found asbestos in face powder sold by Justice, an American Tween retailer. While the tests that Justice did across their products to combat this did find asbestos in the product they stated that none of their customers had ever complained about an adverse reaction or detrimental side effects. However Justice did note that breathing in products that hold asbestos in them can create breathing problems and general complications. They pulled the product from the market and advised those who had it to throw it out.
Claire’s – a brand associated with young teenagers and children’s accessories – was accused of having products on their shelves that contained asbestos shortly after the Justice incident. The law firm that accused them specialized in extreme cases of asbestos poisoning and mesothelioma – they conducted their own tests on the products via a trusted lab while Claire’s used independent labs to test the products as well. While the law firm’s conclusions were positive on the asbestos content within the products, Claire’s tests returned negative but they still pulled the products from their shelves despite continuing to deny that they contained asbestos.
Other brands such as Chantecaille (creator of Bébé) launched miniature ranges of their mature products with special formulations designed for the sensitive skin of children and babies. These products are aimed at the parents who purchase products from these brands, but the age of social media is also having an effect on the market. As an awareness of self-care continues to be fashionable and people look for more transparency in the ingredients that make up their products the children’s market will continue to grow due to the impact of influencers: They are all allergy and dermatologically tested, gluten, soy, and wheat-free, PETA certified cruelty-free, and made without any fragrances, chemical additives, phthalates, SLS, or dyes. Ideal for anyone with sensitive skin.
Brands such as Harry & Rose and Baja Baby aren’t affiliated with any mature markets – a trend that sees emerging businesses in the luxury baby products sector aiming to skip the mature markets but still appeal to parents and compete with established brands who do have mature lines.
The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) is an independent industry panel that reviews the safety of the ingredients used by cosmetic and beauty brands. They also take into consideration the product’s age range and the appropriateness of the ingredients in that product for the age it is marketed for. They review each individual chemical compound and have an entire section dedicated to child’s products: the skin of babies and infants is continually adapting during the postnatal period, in a manner that optimizes the balance among growth, thermoregulation, and the water-barrier and protective functions of the skin, in contrast to the relatively steady-state of adult skin. The leading market producer for children’s beauty products is China, due to testing regulations being different in the manufacturing country to the country that the products are being sold in – some companies are able to get away with procedures, ingredients and tests that would not be allowed in their own country. This is why boards like the CIR exist to ensure that companies are holding themselves to standards approved by internationally respected bodies – the ingredients that are prohibited usually cost less and can therefore help to boost the sales price while keeping the manufacturing price down.
The revenue of the global baby and child skin care products market is estimated to be $4980.71 in 2025 – growing from $4037.6 in 2021. This figure is a direct descendant of the boost that the market saw in 2010 thanks to the Latin America markets – Brazil is home to two of what were the world’s leading brands in children’s cosmetics and beauty products. This popularity injection saw bigger companies trying to get a foothold in the sector – with established brands opening up their product capabilities to the infant markets battling with trusted brands such as Johnsons to gain a monopoly.
While the child is of an age where the parents are making the decisions, brands are appealing to the mature market for children’s products – and then having to alter their marketing strategies for when the children become their own decision-makers. As a market it is very fashionable, has a growing CAGR percentage and will always be full of potential gaps for brands to fill.
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