Glowing beauty industry: Saudis, top buyers of cosmetic products

Growth attributed to young population
Glowing beauty industry: Saudis, top buyers of cosmetic products
Saudi's beauty industry is booming

The beauty industry in Saudi Arabia is glowing. A recent report titled “Decoding the Beauty Consumer in the GCC,” released by the luxury goods retailer Chalhoub Group, revealed that Saudis are now the highest spenders on beauty products in the Middle East. 

This surge is attributed to several factors, including the young population, changing cultural norms, and economic diversification. Currently, over half of Saudi’s population is below the age of 30.

“The Saudi beauty market is an emerging market with incredible opportunity for so much development and it is currently experiencing rapid growth, especially in the luxury, beauty and fashion category, making it one of the fastest-growing in the GCC,” shared Larabella Riaz, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of The BDinc. The BDin is a beauty distribution firm in Dubai.

Growing demand

In Saudi Arabia, notable beauty industry players such as Sephora, Al Nahdi, and Faces are developing more products. This is in response to the increasing demands in the market. 

According to the Chalhoub report, Saudi women are the “most engaged users of makeup and fragrance and gain most of their inspiration from social media.” 

Traditional retail remains the primary channel for purchases, especially for fragrances. Meanwhile, in the past three months, eyeshadows and mascaras have seen impressive growth. The former indexed at 71 percent and mascaras at 83 percent. 

According to Expert Market Research, the demand for organic and personal care products is fueling a projected 5.6 percent annual growth in the Saudi cosmetic products market from 2023 to 2028.

“Saudi customers are also savvy and aren’t afraid to mix brands as they can easily identify best sellers from each brand. This shift has led to a greater acceptance of beauty and cosmetic products,” stated Micayla Naidoo. She is the head of marketing and communications at The BDinc.

Gen-Z individuals are also contributing to the growing demand. Research shows that they are more keen on incorporating skincare, hair care, and makeup products into their grooming routines. 

Changes in the beauty market

The diversification of Saudi Arabia’s economy away from a reliance on hydrocarbons is also playing a significant role.

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“The change has led to increased disposable incomes and consumer spending on luxury and beauty products. Digital transformation is another. The rise of e-commerce and social media has made beauty products more accessible to a wider audience,” expressed Naidoo. 

Sarah Al-Rashid, founder of Asteri, the country’s first clean vegan makeup brand, shared that the “Saudi beauty market is growing and will continue to grow.”

“Saudi is the fastest-growing country in the GCC in terms of population, and because of Vision 2030. A lot is changing here,” she added.

According to the Chalhoub report, one of the most remarkable changes in the industry is how women in the region are now embracing local beauty standards.

“Consumers want looks that are more ‘real’ by expressing their unique beauty and features. Replacing Western beauty icons, consumers are now looking more toward local celebrities and influencers that celebrate Arabic beauty,” stated the report. 

Moreover, there is a growing demand for halal beauty products in Saudi Arabia as Muslim women become more engaged in society. This shift has not only captured the attention of local consumers but has also attracted global companies to invest in the Saudi beauty market.

Beauty industry in the Middle East

A report by McKinsey & Co. shows that the global beauty industry, encompassing skincare, fragrance, makeup, and hair care, generated approximately $430 billion in revenue in 2022. This figure is projected to reach approximately $580 billion by 2027, growing at a rate of 6 percent per year.

While China remains the industry’s largest market, the Middle East is among those emerging as the most promising regions for beauty industry expansion.

According to a forecast by Mordor Intelligence, the Middle East and Africa (MEA)’s beauty and personal care products market could expand to $28.30 billion by 2028. This represents a compounded growth rate of 3.88 percent annually.

In Saudi, in particular, this market is making a significant contribution to the economy. In 2021, the beauty sector was valued at US$3.82 billion. It could attain a valuation of US$5 billion in the near future. 

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), projections indicate that the total market revenue will reach US$1.14 billion by 2024. E-commerce channels will account for 24 percent of this revenue. 

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