Serbia - Country Commercial Guide
Cosmetics & Personal Care

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-03-08


Serbian consumers are generally traditional, conservative, and price-sensitive. The younger generation, however, tends to be quite fashion-conscious and well-traveled, and has a greater awareness of global trends in fashion, cosmetics, and toiletries. Branding plays an important role in purchasing decisions. Most large international players are already present in the market. The reputation of the United States as a source of high quality and innovative products enhances opportunities for U.S. cosmetics firms. However, selecting the right partner and marketing strategy are keys to success in this market.

The Law on Items of General Use (Official Gazette No. 25/2019) regulates cosmetics and personal-care products, with additional special conditions determined by the Ministry of Health (MoH). The Law also provides for sanitary inspection and sanitary inspector’s authorization to certify the products’ health safety and general safety. The Law prohibits sales and marketing of cosmetic products tested on animals. In addition, all cosmetic products must have a declaration in Serbian, and cannot contain false advertising.

Hair Care

The market is very competitive with a large number of available brands. However, there are only a handful of strong dominant players. Henkel is the leader in the hair care segment, with almost one quarter of the market. Other successful hair care companies include Beiersdorf (Nivea brand), Unilever (Dove), L’Oreal (Elseve), Garnier (Fructis), and P&G (Pantene, Head & Shoulders). Customers generally have little brand loyalty, and companies often create novelty products to attract attention. Wella and L’Oreal dominate at hair salons because they provide professional training and excellent product placement options. As long hair remains fashionable, hair extensions and hair-growth products enjoy high demand.

Skin Care

Sales of skin-care products have been relatively stable, due to the rise of new products (including for men). The skin-care sector has also benefitted from an increasing number of image-conscious women and adolescent girls using makeup at a younger age. Recently there has been a growing trend towards more natural-looking makeup. Additionally, the market for sun-protective products is growing with a greater awareness of the effects of prolonged sun exposure. Due to the climate, sun-tanning products do well, and tanned skin continues to be a beauty trend. Anti-aging products are expected to maintain their popularity. On average, a Serbian woman uses nine cosmetic items a day and spends USD 80 each month on cosmetics. However, this amount also includes hairdresser or cosmetic salon costs. Beiersdorf leads in Serbian skin-care market sales with almost 20 percent of the market, followed by L’Oreal. In the past five years, several new skin care and color cosmetics brands have entered this market. These include MAC makeup, NYX cosmetics, and AVON.


For Serbian women, well-tended hands and nails have become a necessity, but they still use fewer nail care products than women in the United States. With innovations in the nail care industry and the influence of other Western trends, Serbian women are starting to use a wider range of products, which will support further growth in the nail care sector. An estimated 50 percent of Serbian women use nail polish. The percentage of women using nail art is still relatively low. The younger generation is ready to try unusual colors and patterns.


Currently, the main products in the dental hygiene market are toothpaste and toothbrushes. Diversification in dental hygiene is still relatively limited for most Central and Eastern European customers, including Serbs. There has been a boom in mouthwash products, mainly thanks to Johnson & Johnson’s Listerine brand’s entry into the market, which was supported by a strong promotional campaign. There has also been broader promotion of dental hygienist services, electric toothbrushes, dental floss, interdental brushes, and dental water jets.


The Serbian fragrance market is mature, with a number of well-established international brands in the country. The market has experienced stable growth over the last decade and is expected to continue to grow. Online sales and an increased focus on quality branded products have led to a growth in sales of more luxurious perfumes. Perfumes/fragrances are used by 65 percent of women and by 45 percent of men.


Serbian women pay great attention to their appearance. The availability of modern treatments, including cosmetic medicine and plastic surgery represent an opportunity and are in high demand. In the past few years, many beauty salons have started to offer new thinning equipment for non-invasive liposuction, lymphatic drainage, and anti-cellulite lipo-massage. In the past, these treatments were available to only a limited group of women but are now far more widely available and used.

Leading Sub-Sectors:

  • Natural/Organic/Bio products
  • Innovative devices for cosmetic medicine

Best Opportunities

The biggest beauty and cosmetics event in Serbia is “The Touch of Paris”, an international fair, held twice a year, covers the following fields: cosmetics, hair care, aesthetics, and health. It is the one of the largest fairs in South East Europe. U.S. Commercial Service Belgrade can introduce new U.S. brands to Serbian consumers by marketing product catalogs and samples at the fair.

Event: Touch of Paris

Dates: 3-4 October, 2020

Venue: Belgrade Fairground, Belgrade

Organizer: ECO Design Studio Group

Web Resources

Association of Manufacturers, Importers, Exporters and Resellers of Cosmetic Products and Ingredients within the Serbian Chamber of Commerce: and

The Pharmaceutical Chamber of Serbia

Ministry of Health