The following product categories hold the largest share of the European market: skin care (€20.07 billion), toiletries (€19.64 billion), hair-care products (€14.84 billion), fragrances/perfumes (€11.93 billion), and decorative cosmetics (€11.17 billion).
Exports of cosmetic products from Europe totalled €20.2 billion (trade value) in 2017. France and Germany were Europe’s main exporters, exporting more than €10 billion between them and accounting for 50% of total global exports from Europe.
The European cosmetics and personal care industry generates significant intangible assets, defined as non-monetary value that cannot be seen, touched or physically measured, like brands and patents. The total value of Europe’s leading cosmetics brands is estimated to exceed €59 billion. Of the world’s 50 leading cosmetic brands, 22 are domiciled in Europe (BrandFinance, 2017).
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. 165,750 people are employed directly, and a further 1.64 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.
The cosmetics and personal care industry value chain comprises five levels:
Over 27,900 scientists are employed in the European cosmetics sector, from a diverse range of disciplines including physics, microbiology, biology, toxicology, physiology, rheology, nanoscience, analytical chemistry and genetics to name a few (Cosmetics Europe, 2017).
By attracting and training workers with specialist skills, the cosmetics industry increases the pool of talent and skilled labour for other science-led industries - such as pharmaceuticals.