China’s lifestyle social platform Xiaohongshu released its 2022 Xiaohongshu Beauty Trends Report earlier this month. Based on content searched on the platform in the past year, it predicts key trends to watch in 2022: including “efficient skincare,” “haute makeup,” “stacking products,” and “gender neutrality.”
With more than 200 million monthly active users, Xiaohongshu engages a large number of beauty enthusiasts. According to the report, women account for 89 percent of the clients who browse beauty-related posts, while those aged between 18 and 34 make up 87 percent. More importantly, many of them are now in the habit of using the platform to research before purchasing skincare and makeup products.
Understanding this demographic’s mentality and behavior will allow global beauty players to better map out their media allocation and KOL strategies in the mainland. Here, Jing Daily highlights three key takeaways to help beauty players better understand Chinese shoppers and navigate the platform itself.
Cheng Fen Dang (成份党) has become a crucial trend shaping the beauty landscape here since it emerged in 2017. Initiated by skincare aficionados with backgrounds in science, this select group shares professional knowledge of cosmetic ingredients and how they affect different skin types. Some of them post product reviews that evaluate various ingredients and their attributes on personal social accounts, which have become trusted stores of advice for locals.
Tracking data from January 2020 to July 2021, the Xiaohongshu beauty report shows a growth of ingredient-related searches, especially in 2021. Keywords such as “Morning C night A” (meaning: applying products with vitamin C in the morning while using those with vitamin A in the evening), salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide, are among the most searched. In 2021, the number of searches for ingredients increased by 216 percent year-on-year.
Alongside the evergreen perfumes, facial cleansers, and lotions, more categories of cosmetics have been added to men’s beauty wishlists. For instance, between March 2021 and August 2021, the searches for "men's eyebrow shape" and "men's makeup cream" increased by 130 percent and 354 percent compared to the previous six months.
Moreover, the report disclosed a marked increase of men in 2021 — and 14 percent of these are content creators. This segment can potentially encourage more men to move beyond older assumptions about masculinity and so accelerate the growth of gender-neutral beauty labels.
Similarly, the report has shown how communities on Xiaohongshu have embraced diversity. This shift was reflected in the rise of personalized and customized makeup, which can highlight the uniqueness of beauty consumers’ characteristics. For example, searches for “how to define olive skin” and “square face makeup” increased 470 percent and 1,100 percent, respectively. The pursuit of individuality has also been seen in the practice of layering multiple products, such as lipsticks and perfumes.