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Cosmetics industry profile

The cosmetic industry in Ireland
  • Premium sales driving overall beauty and personal care sales growth in 2018
  • An increase in the number of domestic brands growing their sales
  • L’Oréal (UK) leads a relatively fragmented market
  • Innovation is the key driver of beauty and personal care sales
  • An uncertain future for players pending the outcome of Brexit


The European cosmetic industry

Valued at €78.6 billion at retail sales price in 2018, the European cosmetics and personal care market is the largest in the world.

The largest national markets for cosmetics and personal care products within Europe are Germany (€13.8 billion), France (€11.4 billion), the UK (€10,9 billion), Italy (€10.1 billion) and Spain (€7 billion).


Socio-economic impact

The cosmetics and personal care industry brings at least €29 billion in added value to the European economy annually. €11 billion is contributed directly by the manufacture of cosmetic products and €18 billion indirectly through the supply chain.

Including direct, indirect and induced economic activity, the industry supports over 2 million jobs. 167,730 people are employed directly, and a further 1.63 million indirectly in the cosmetics value chain.

For every 10 workers employed in the European cosmetics and personal care industry, at least two further jobs are generated in the wider economy as a result of employees spending their wages on goods and services.

Moreover, by attracting investment from outside of the EU, developing intangible assets like brands, and investing in R&D, the cosmetics and personal care industry is helping to enhance the competitiveness of the European economy and contributing to future prosperity.

The vast majority of Europe’s 500 million consumers use cosmetic and personal care products every day to protect their health, enhance their well-being and boost their self-esteem. Ranging from antiperspirants, fragrances, make-up and shampoos, to soaps, sunscreens and toothpastes, cosmetics play an essential role in all stages of our life and have important functional and emotional benefits.

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