China will boast the world's largest cosmetics market in 2018, overtaking America for the first time, according to global financial services company Morgan Stanley.
It will account for 20% of total sales, compared with 17% for the second-placed US and 10% for Japan, which is placed third.
A clear example of the potential China holds (even for smaller Western brands) is the case of Stenders, a Latvian skin care label that is marketed partly on its local honey ingredients.
For instance, the brand can be found in a dedicated booth at the upmarket Mao Ye Tian Di department store in Shenzhen. It also sells on leading Chinese e-commerce outlets such as Taobao where individual traders sell 100g boxes of Stenders facial cream "imported from Europe" for Chinese yuan renminbi RMB260 (US$39.34).
There is much to play for in China where retail sales of skin care products rose