What Is the Skin Care Industry?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 16 January 2020
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The skin care industry consists of skin care manufacturers that make and sell products designed to clean or moisturize a person’s skin. This industry is a sub-category of the cosmetic industry and is known for producing acne solutions, body lotions, and skin peels. The United States and Japan in particular are countries that profit substantially from the skin care industry, though products from France and China are also common. Sometimes the most popular skin care products differ based on country; for example, skin whitening products are popular in Asia and Africa, but uncommon in the United States. This industry is often criticized for lack of innovation and setting impossible standards of beauty.

A manufacturer of skin care products focuses on creating products that clean or moisturize the entire body, face, or other specific body parts. Over-the-counter acne products that promise to reduce or prevent acne are common, though usually not as effective as prescription acne products. Body lotions, sometimes with sunscreen protection, add and trap moisture in skin. Other products might reduce the appearance of scars, brighten or darken skin, or decrease the visibility of pores.


The skin care industry is incredibly profitable around the world, as both men and women seek to improve their appearance. As the industry advances, less expensive ingredients and methods are discovered and used. Sometimes this does not affect product quality, while other times it positively or negatively affects quality. Either way, the skin care industry usually profits because of their lowered costs.

A product prized in one country might be a poor seller in another country. For example, some countries are known to prefer white skin, while other countries have a bustling market for skin darkening products. Another example is men’s skin care, which is growing in popularity around the world, but some countries have a much busier market than others. Every country has different standards of beauty, though some standards frequently overlap.

Some scientists criticize the skin care industry for its perceived lack of innovation. These people believe the industry is more focused on imitating other manufacturer’s successful products instead of coming up with new ideas. Another common criticism is that skin care companies set unreasonable standards of beauty by digitally manipulating photos and hiring the most flawless models to demonstrate their products. In some countries, the skin care industry is required to use photographs that do not mislead potential customers about a product’s capabilities.


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