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DSM in Personal Care

Beauty research in China

Exploring the Power of Beauty in China

China is known for its complexity and therefore is difficult for brands to make inroads or gain traction in this hugely important market. So our team of researchers travelled to China for ten days with the sole aim of unlocking this complexity by discovering what beauty really means to Chinese women, and thereby opening up new opportunities for us and our customers.
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A voyage of discovery reveals differing perceptions of beauty...

Our researchers spent quality time with Chinese women in their homes, observing and discussing with them how beauty and personal care fits into their lives. We found that the definitions of beauty the women gave were often widely different from those given in many Western countries, with more emphasis on the inner sense of beauty. Importantly, although they expressed a desire for more influence in society, these women nevertheless strongly valued their own traditions and culture.

...and a confident market influenced by tradition

Like Chinese women, the Chinese personal care industry demonstrates a growing self-confidence. It no longer looks primarily to the West for high-quality, innovative products, turning instead to Chinese medicinal and cosmetic traditions for inspiration. One example of this is the popularity of face masks, which offer face care with some welcome pampering and ceremony.

Aging – a universal concern with regional variations

Our research further revealed that while Chinese women are concerned about skin aging, they are aware that Asian skin generally seems to age slower and in a different way to Caucasian skin. For Chinese women, the first signs of aging are loss of skin elasticity, especially in the skin of the cheeks and neck. They also report that their pores become enlarged and the skin tone becomes uneven, with skin getting duller and more yellow with age. Fine lines, especially at the corners of the eyes, are seen as a sign that preventive action is needed to avoid the development of deeper wrinkles later.

Co-creating skin care solutions that meet the needs of Chinese women

Because pore size, elasticity and evenness of skin tone are all adversely affected by collagen depletion, DSM Personal Care conducted a new efficacy study on our collagen booster SYN®-COLL specifically with the participation of Chinese volunteers. We were able to demonstrate how SYN®-COLL improves skin structure in Chinese volunteers, reducing the appearance of pore enlargement and revealing a beautifully lifted, sculpted look, giving the whole face a firmer, more youthful appearance.

But this is just one example of the valuable lessons already learned from leveraging our newly gained insights: overall, four specific concepts derived from our experience in China have been launched globally. We are also offering education, training and workshops to our customers to further explore the potential of Chinese consumer insights and we are developing further innovation ideas.

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