Mexico - Commercial Guide
Cosmetics

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

Last published date: 2020-08-17

Cosmetics and personal care products represent a best prospect industry sector for Mexico. This section includes a market overview and trade data.

Overview
Mexico is ranked in the top 10 markets in the world for cosmetics and personal care products, and it continues to be the second-largest market for beauty products in Latin America. Due to a strengthening economy and availability of a variety of both domestic and imported brands, consumption of cosmetics in Mexico grew steadily over the past 15 years. Nevertheless, current market conditions such as uncertainty of the policies of the Mexican administration now in its second year, weakening of the Mexican peso versus the dollar by about 30 percent, and the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in lagging growth and conservative forecasts. Instead of an eight percent annual growth rate, based on the industry’s momentum in previous years, experts now believe the beauty sector in Mexico might not even achieve four percent growth in 2020. Nevertheless, even if color cosmetics and fragrances see a downward trend, personal care products are increasing in demand, representing an opportunity for U.S. exporters.

Mexico is a mature market with opportunities for select products that can differentiate themselves from those manufactured locally, though it is important to consider that Mexico is a price-driven market. Exporters can expect to face heavy competition and must be prepared to invest in marketing, through both traditional and nontraditional channels, to gain brand recognition. 

According to Mexico’s National Chamber of the Cosmetics Industry (Cámara Nacional de la Industria de Productos Cosméticos or CANIPEC) the number of Mexican personal care brands has tripled since 2013, with several appealing to a younger audience looking for locally-sourced, environmentally-conscious products. The Mexican consumer spends on average close to MXN 3800 Mexican pesos, about USD 190, annually in cosmetics and personal care products. Of that, less than seven percent was spent on premium products in 2019. Locally-manufactured products mean lower prices than imported goods, and this is a critical element to consider if a U.S. exporter is planning on entering the Mexican market. It is a highly competitive market, but also one in constant evolution, and consumers are eager to follow world trends for beauty products.

Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Market in Mexico
(Figures in billions of USD)

 

2017

2018

2019

2020(Estimated)

Total Local Production

6.90

7.10

7.15

7.10

Total Exports

2.55

2.67

2.65

2.62

Total Imports

2.76

2.87

3.00

2.94

Imports from the U.S.

0.89

0.90

0.92

0.90

Total Market Size*

7.11

7.30

7.50

7.42

Exchange Rates

18.91 

19.23

19.26

20.00

*Total market size = (total local production + imports) – exports)

*Total market size = (total local production + imports) – exports)
Sources: Mexican Secretariat of Economy (SE), Mexican Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), and Mexican National Chamber of the  Cosmetics Industry (CANIPEC).

Leading Sub-Sectors
Skin care
Historically a focus for women, the skin care segment maintains a solid growth position in the beauty industry. As with hair care, men’s interest in looking well-groomed and youthful has contributed to increased sales in this sub-sector. Additionally, associations and manufacturers have made efforts to educate the consumer on the benefits of using skin care products from a younger age to prevent, rather than correct, skin damage. Solar exposure awareness has been one of the areas that CANIPEC has particularly promoted in recent years. This has contributed to the growth of products with a dual functionality such as cosmetics and skin care preparations that include solar protection.  

Hair care
The demand for hair care products has increased due to Mexican men’s increasing adoption of grooming products and the popularity of beards. It represents 20 percent of the personal care market. In recent years, there has been a boom in barber shops and specialty stores catering specifically to men and their hair care needs. Additionally, hair extensions for women have become quite popular among consumers due to both affordable low quality synthetic options and high-end natural hair extensions.

Fragrances
Perfumes and body splashes continue to be a strong segment, especially with the presence of online retailers like Amazon Mexico, Vorana, Linio, Mercado Libre, and specialty stores such as Sephora, which have opened in Mexico and are quickly expanding across the country. Unfortunately, it is also heavily affected by counterfeiting, as well as being very mature. As a result, the introduction of new fragances requires hefty marketing budgets that many smaller independent manufacturers cannot afford. Fragrances represent 14 percent of the market but domestic manufacturers continue to increase their market share especially in direct sales channels

Color Cosmetics and Nails
Color cosmetics including nails account for 15 percent of the market. They are sold mainly through retail channels and direct sales, but online retailers are quickly gaining popularity, especially since younger Mexican consumers follow the trends they see on the internet, where they primarily learn about popular U.S. brands. Many companies successfully enter the market by forming alliances with internet personalities (influencers) in the country to promote their brand among the younger population.
The market for nails and related products continues to grow with local manufacturers leading the way. There is also demand for popular U.S. nail polish brands that consumers discover through online video tutorials and blogs. Related accessories such as nail stamping plates and tools are also sought after by the Mexican consumer.

Opportunities
Regulation of imported cosmetics and personal care products is not cumbersome if no miracle nor therapeutical claims are made and, in most cases, only require labeling compliance as outlined in NOM 141. Standard NOM 141 specifies the information that must be provided in Spanish to inform the consumer about the product's function and use. The ingredients list can appear in the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) format. Before exporting to Mexico, it is important to work with a Mexican importer of record to review the specific requirements that the product might have and ensure the products are compliant with all applicable Mexican standards. Some ingredients might be in the list of forbidden ingredients or be included in concentrations that would make the product qualify as a pharmaceutical. For products being imported into Mexico it is important to work closely with a Mexican company that can obtain the necessary permits and make sure that labeling requirements are correctly met. 

Emerging niche sectors represent the best opportunities for growth without having to compete fiercely with multinational companies that dominate the mainstream market and spend considerable sums in marketing. Since the Mexican beauty sector is not a global trendsetter, niches that are more developed in the United States are in their early stages in Mexico, providing an opportunity for suppliers to pioneer in this arena.
Beauty products for men is a segment expected to grow at rates of over eight percent by 2025. Barber shops continue to be the fastest growing segment and although international brands such as Unilever and Procter and Gamble dominate the market, there is an increasing demand for niche products. This has spurred the creation of local Mexican manufacturing of grooming products sold exclusively at barber shops and specialized beauty suppliers. 

Organic and natural products have strong potential due to the international trends towards environmentally-friendly products. The biggest impetus for buying natural or organic personal care products is the perceived health benefit. U.S. brands interested in selling to the Mexican consumer must be aware that there are several natural and organic Mexican brands that are gaining momentum, and more are created every month. These brands do not aim to compete with well-established commercial brands and do not invest heavily in marketing since they rely on social media and video bloggers to gain consumer awareness and brand recognition. These Mexican natural ingredient brands invest in well-designed packaging and can compete with international brands of the same category. The challenge for the U.S. exporter is to compete with locally-made products benefitting from considerably lower freight costs. Still, U.S.-made organic and natural products have a good reputation with the segment of the population that can afford imported products. 

It is important to note that in the natural product sub-sector there is great uncertainty and expectation regarding the import of personal care products containing cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Marijuana– and hemp–derived products containing specified amounts of the chemical compound THC remain illegal under U.S. federal law, including the transport of those products over state and international borders.  However, a 2018 directive from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration may signal an evolving approach towards regulation of these products. Meanwhile, the Mexican Government published regulations in October 2018 allowing for their import without cumbersome processes. Then in March 2019, the Mexican Secretariat of Health (Secretaría de Salud) announced that the guidelines were revoked until further notice. As of April 2020, permits for the import of personal care products containing CBD oil are not being granted, and the Mexican Government has extended until December 2020 the timeframe to produce new guidelines. Involvement in exportation and importation of CBD may subject you to criminal penalties until both the United States and Mexico have finalized their regulatory regimes. Please contact us for the latest developments.

The current COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have a great impact on the cosmetic and personal care sector. Spas and beauty salons might be the most affected subsectors of the industry, with social distancing measures posing a challenge to service providers and their suppliers. There are as yet no standard protocols for service providers, and industry associations believe spas and beauty salons will see a decrease in number of clients wary of close contact with therapists, stylists, and estheticians, in addition to increased expenses in sanitizing measures and protective equipment. 

The ongoing coronavirus crisis and the lockdowns and business closures in Mexico are expected to unfavorably impact the cosmetic and fragances market in 2020. Considered a non-essential activity, beauty-related businesses were ordered to close operations until specific reductions in pandemic cases. The effects of these measures are already being felt by the consumers who will likely put off purchases of cosmetics and fragrances in the near future. In turn, the personal care subsector, specifically soaps, hand sanitizers, and related antibacterials, are expected to be in high demand in 2020. Self-care products will also be in demand as the population focuses on wellbeing and looks for alternative ways to maintain their appearance with fewer salon visits. 

Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic is spurring development of ecommerce in Mexico for both cosmetics and personal care products. This will become an essential sales channel, and several distributors and retailers quickly launched or expanded their online presence due to social distancing measures. It is important to note that U.S. exporters cannot sell directly to the Mexican consumer through this channel in compliance with standards, customs, and labeling regulations. For online sales, the U.S. exporter will still need a Mexican importer of record to assist with the import process and labeling compliance. Contact us if you need assistance in finding such a parter in Mexico. 

Web Resources

Cosmetology Chemist Association (SQM)

www.sqcm.org.mx

Federal Commission for the Prevention of Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS)

www.gob.mx/cofepris

Mexican Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI)

www.inegi.org.mx

Mexican National Chamber of the Cosmetics Industry (CANIPEC)

www.canipec.org.mx

Association for the Cannabis Industry in Mexico (ANICANN)

www.facebook.com/ANICANNMX

Mexican Standarization and Certification Laboratory (NYCE)

www.nycelaboratorios.com.mx

Events

  • Expo Spa, Latin American Spa Association, September 18-20, 2020, Mexico City
  • EBIO, Expo Belleza Internacional de Occidente, August 30 and 31, 2020, Guadalajara, Jalisco
  • EBS, Expo Beauty Show, October 25-27, 2020, Mexico City
  • The Mexican Healthy Products Summit, January 21-23, 2021, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco

Contacts
For more information on the cosmetics sector in Mexico, please contact:
Yazmín Rojas
Commercial Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service—Monterrey
Tel.: +52 (81) 8047-3290
Yazmin.Rojas@trade.gov

 

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Cosmetics and personal care products represent a best prospect industry sector for Mexico. This section includes a market overview and trade data.

Overview

Mexico is ranked in the top 10 markets in the world for cosmetics and personal care products, and it continues to be the second-largest market for beauty products in Latin America. Due to a strengthening economy and availability of a variety of both domestic and imported brands, consumption of cosmetics in Mexico grew steadily over the past 15 years. Nevertheless, current market conditions such as uncertainty of the policies of the Mexican administration now in its second year, weakening of the Mexican peso versus the dollar by about 30 percent, and the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in lagging growth and conservative forecasts. Instead of an eight percent annual growth rate, based on the industry’s momentum in previous years, experts now believe the beauty sector in Mexico might not even achieve four percent growth in 2020. Nevertheless, even if color cosmetics and fragrances see a downward trend, personal care products are increasing in demand, representing an opportunity for U.S. exporters.

Mexico is a mature market with opportunities for select products that can differentiate themselves from those manufactured locally, though it is important to consider that Mexico is a price-driven market. Exporters can expect to face heavy competition and must be prepared to invest in marketing, through both traditional and nontraditional channels, to gain brand recognition.

According to Mexico’s National Chamber of the Cosmetics Industry (Cámara Nacional de la Industria de Productos Cosméticos or CANIPEC) the number of Mexican personal care brands has tripled since 2013, with several appealing to a younger audience looking for locally-sourced, environmentally-conscious products. The Mexican consumer spends on average close to MXN 3800 Mexican pesos, about USD 190, annually in cosmetics and personal care products. Of that, less than seven percent was spent on premium products in 2019. Locally-manufactured products mean lower prices than imported goods, and this is a critical element to consider if a U.S. exporter is planning on entering the Mexican market. It is a highly competitive market, but also one in constant evolution, and consumers are eager to follow world trends for beauty products.

Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Market in Mexico
(Figures in billions of USD)

 

2017

2018

2019

2020(Estimated)

Total Local Production

6.90

7.10

7.15

7.10

Total Exports

2.55

2.67

2.65

2.62

Total Imports

2.76

2.87

3.00

2.94

Imports from the U.S.

0.89

0.90

0.92

0.90

Total Market Size*

7.11

7.30

7.50

7.42

Exchange Rates

18.91 

19.23

19.26

20.00

*Total market size = (total local production + imports) – exports)
Sources: Mexican Secretariat of Economy (SE), Mexican Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), and Mexican National Chamber of the Cosmetics Industry (CANIPEC).

Leading Sub-Sectors

Skin care

Historically a focus for women, the skin care segment maintains a solid growth position in the beauty industry. As with hair care, men’s interest in looking well-groomed and youthful has contributed to increased sales in this sub-sector. Additionally, associations and manufacturers have made efforts to educate the consumer on the benefits of using skin care products from a younger age to prevent, rather than correct, skin damage. Solar exposure awareness has been one of the areas that CANIPEC has particularly promoted in recent years. This has contributed to the growth of products with a dual functionality such as cosmetics and skin care preparations that include solar protection.  

Hair care

The demand for hair care products has increased due to Mexican men’s increasing adoption of grooming products and the popularity of beards. It represents 20 percent of the personal care market. In recent years, there has been a boom in barber shops and specialty stores catering specifically to men and their hair care needs. Additionally, hair extensions for women have become quite popular among consumers due to both affordable low quality synthetic options and high-end natural hair extensions.

Fragrances

Perfumes and body splashes continue to be a strong segment, especially with the presence of online retailers like Amazon Mexico, Vorana, Linio, Mercado Libre, and specialty stores such as Sephora, which have opened in Mexico and are quickly expanding across the country. Unfortunately, it is also heavily affected by counterfeiting, as well as being very mature. As a result, the introduction of new fragances requires hefty marketing budgets that many smaller independent manufacturers cannot afford. Fragrances represent 14 percent of the market but domestic manufacturers continue to increase their market share especially in direct sales channels

Color Cosmetics and Nails

Color cosmetics including nails account for 15 percent of the market. They are sold mainly through retail channels and direct sales, but online retailers are quickly gaining popularity, especially since younger Mexican consumers follow the trends they see on the internet, where they primarily learn about popular U.S. brands. Many companies successfully enter the market by forming alliances with internet personalities (influencers) in the country to promote their brand among the younger population.

The market for nails and related products continues to grow with local manufacturers leading the way. There is also demand for popular U.S. nail polish brands that consumers discover through online video tutorials and blogs. Related accessories such as nail stamping plates and tools are also sought after by the Mexican consumer.

Opportunities

Regulation of imported cosmetics and personal care products is not cumbersome if no miracle nor therapeutical claims are made and, in most cases, only require labeling compliance as outlined in NOM-141-SSA1/SCFI-2012. Standard NOM 141 specifies the information that must be provided in Spanish to inform the consumer about the product's function and use. The ingredients list can appear in the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) format. Before exporting to Mexico, it is important to work with a Mexican importer of record to review the specific requirements that the product might have and ensure the products are compliant with all applicable Mexican standards. Some ingredients might be in the list of forbidden ingredients or be included in concentrations that would make the product qualify as a pharmaceutical. For products being imported into Mexico it is important to work closely with a Mexican company that can obtain the necessary permits and make sure that labeling requirements are correctly met.

Emerging niche sectors represent the best opportunities for growth without having to compete fiercely with multinational companies that dominate the mainstream market and spend considerable sums in marketing. Since the Mexican beauty sector is not a global trendsetter, niches that are more developed in the United States are in their early stages in Mexico, providing an opportunity for suppliers to pioneer in this arena.

Beauty products for men is a segment expected to grow at rates of over eight percent by 2025. Barber shops continue to be the fastest growing segment and although international brands such as Unilever and Procter and Gamble dominate the market, there is an increasing demand for niche products. This has spurred the creation of local Mexican manufacturing of grooming products sold exclusively at barber shops and specialized beauty suppliers.

Organic and natural products have strong potential due to the international trends towards environmentally-friendly products. The biggest impetus for buying natural or organic personal care products is the perceived health benefit. U.S. brands interested in selling to the Mexican consumer must be aware that there are several natural and organic Mexican brands that are gaining momentum, and more are created every month. These brands do not aim to compete with well-established commercial brands and do not invest heavily in marketing since they rely on social media and video bloggers to gain consumer awareness and brand recognition. These Mexican natural ingredient brands invest in well-designed packaging and can compete with international brands of the same category. The challenge for the U.S. exporter is to compete with locally-made products benefitting from considerably lower freight costs. Still, U.S.-made organic and natural products have a good reputation with the segment of the population that can afford imported products.

It is important to note that in the natural product sub-sector there is great uncertainty and expectation regarding the import of personal care products containing cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Marijuana– and hemp–derived products containing specified amounts of the chemical compound THC remain illegal under U.S. federal law, including the transport of those products over state and international borders.  However, a 2018 directive from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration may signal an evolving approach towards regulation of these products. Meanwhile, the Mexican Government published regulations in October 2018 allowing for their import without cumbersome processes. Then in March 2019, the Mexican Secretariat of Health (Secretaría de Salud) announced that the guidelines were revoked until further notice. As of April 2020, permits for the import of personal care products containing CBD oil are not being granted, and the Mexican Government has extended until December 2020 the timeframe to produce new guidelines. Involvement in exportation and importation of CBD may subject you to criminal penalties until both the United States and Mexico have finalized their regulatory regimes. Please contact us for the latest developments.

The current COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have a great impact on the cosmetic and personal care sector. Spas and beauty salons might be the most affected subsectors of the industry, with social distancing measures posing a challenge to service providers and their suppliers. There are as yet no standard protocols for service providers, and industry associations believe spas and beauty salons will see a decrease in number of clients wary of close contact with therapists, stylists, and estheticians, in addition to increased expenses in sanitizing measures and protective equipment.

The ongoing coronavirus crisis and the lockdowns and business closures in Mexico are expected to unfavorably impact the cosmetic and fragances market in 2020. Considered a non-essential activity, beauty-related businesses were ordered to close operations until specific reductions in pandemic cases. The effects of these measures are already being felt by the consumers who will likely put off purchases of cosmetics and fragrances in the near future. In turn, the personal care subsector, specifically soaps, hand sanitizers, and related antibacterials, are expected to be in high demand in 2020. Self-care products will also be in demand as the population focuses on wellbeing and looks for alternative ways to maintain their appearance with fewer salon visits.

Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic is spurring development of ecommerce in Mexico for both cosmetics and personal care products. This will become an essential sales channel, and several distributors and retailers quickly launched or expanded their online presence due to social distancing measures. It is important to note that U.S. exporters cannot sell directly to the Mexican consumer through this channel in compliance with standards, customs, and labeling regulations. For online sales, the U.S. exporter will still need a Mexican importer of record to assist with the import process and labeling compliance. Contact us if you need assistance in finding such a parter in Mexico.

Web Resources

Cosmetology Chemist Association (SQM)

www.sqcm.org.mx

Federal Commission for the Prevention of Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS)

www.gob.mx/cofepris

Mexican Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI)

www.inegi.org.mx

Mexican National Chamber of the Cosmetics Industry (CANIPEC)

www.canipec.org.mx

Association for the Cannabis Industry in Mexico (ANICANN)

www.facebook.com/ANICANNMX

Mexican Standarization and Certification Laboratory (NYCE)

www.nycelaboratorios.com.mx

Events

  • Expo Spa, Latin American Spa Association, September 18-20, 2020, Mexico City
  • EBIO, Expo Belleza Internacional de Occidente, August 30 and 31, 2020, Guadalajara, Jalisco
  • EBS, Expo Beauty Show, October 25-27, 2020, Mexico City
  • The Mexican Healthy Products Summit, January 21-23, 2021, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco

Contacts

For more information on the cosmetics sector in Mexico, please contact:

Yazmín Rojas

Commercial Specialist

U.S. Commercial Service—Monterrey

Tel.: +52 (81) 8047-3290

Yazmin.Rojas@trade.gov