Who Spends The Most On Toiletries and Cosmetics?

Most of you will probably agree that personal hygiene, beauty and assorted bathroom-related habits are a fascinating matter. I’ve written about bad” national eating habits once before, and today, I decided to scour the market research database I have access to for factoids relating to body care products.

So, in terms of annual per capita expenditure, who do you think spends the most on…

Answer: Norway, followed by Australia and Japan. Surprisingly, Iranians spend more than the Portuguese and Latvians.

In 2010, an Iranian cleric famously blamed the country’s recurring earthquake disasters on women “not dressing modestly enough”. The use of lipstick, fortunately, was not implicated.

Answer: Brazilians. Makes sense. It’s hot there, and they are notoriously body conscious.
At the whiffy bottom pit of the table are Pakistan, China, Vietnam, Nigeria, Indonesia and India.

Men’s Grooming Products?
Answer: Ireland. Really. Irish blokes forked out the equivalent of US$30.4 on men’s grooming products per capita in 2011. Or maybe it was their better halves, driven by their far more discerning olfactory sensibilities, to make the purchase…?

Skin whitening products have major traction in many parts of the world, especially in the Asia Pacific region. In India, 84% of facial moisturisers sold (by retail value) in 2011 contained skin whitening ingredients, followed by the Philippines (65%), Taiwan, Indonesia (both 52%), Thailand (50%), Egypt and Japan (both 41%).

The Japanese are not just obsessed with attaining a flawlessly pallid visage, but they are also the world’s top spenders when it comes to “super premium” beauty and personal care products (i.e. top end luxury brands) – they shell out three times more than Americans and ten times as much as Canadians. The latter, intriguingly, clock up the highest per capita spend on hair removal products. I must admit this puzzles me – surely they could do with a bit of insulating body fluff to stay warm…?

[For data source, click here]

8 thoughts on “Who Spends The Most On Toiletries and Cosmetics?

      1. gkm2011

        I buy it in the States (is the blunt answer). It is small enough and lasts long enough that two or three containers will work for a year. I can’t comment though on what Chinese people do (or don’t). 🙂


      2. Anna

        This makes me appreciative of the fact that you can get practically any western beauty product in Moscow. Sometimes I get pouty when I cant find one by a specific brand I got used to, but I guess I should count my blessings instead!


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