Skin Care Cosmetics Market Size in the Balkans

Market value

The skin care cosmetics market in the Balkans was valued at 269.62 million EUR in 2017. Until 2021, it decreased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -1.48% to reach 254.05 million EUR.

Market Share by Country

Romania held the largest share of the market value with 31.8% of the total value in 2021. Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Croatia followed with shares of 23.3%, 10.9%, 10.3%, and 8.7% of the total, respectively. They were followed by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, and Montenegro with shares of 8.3%, 5.1%, and 1.7% of the total, respectively.

Origin of Skin Care Cosmetics

In 2021, roughly 55% of the total skin care cosmetics in the Balkans were produced in the region, as a result 45% was imported from outside the region.

Balkan Skin Care Cosmetics Market CAGR 2017-2021

Among the countries in the Balkans, Bosnia and Herzegovina recorded the largest growth, at a 3.08% CAGR for the period. It was followed by Serbia and Montenegro at a CAGR of 2.24%, and 0.95%, respectively. All other countries recorded negative dynamics during the analyzed period. Greece and Croatia recorded the largest declines at a CAGR of -4.25% and -2.45%, respectively.

An infographic regarding the skin care cosmetics market in the Balkans. It shows the market size, the share of foreign origin products, the share of each country's market to the total, and the CAGR of each country.

Skin Care Cosmetics Market Trends in the Balkans

The Rise of Inclusive Beauty in the Balkans

The Balkan skin care cosmetics market experiences a significant transformation, with inclusivity emerging as a dominant trend. Leading cosmetic brands in the region expand their product lines to cater to a diverse audience, encompassing various skin shades, gender identities, and age brackets.

One of the most notable shifts is the increasing interest of male beauty and grooming products. Historically, societal norms in the Balkans, as in many parts of the world, have held certain reservations about men using cosmetics. However, these perceptions begin to change.

Today, it's more socially acceptable for men to care about their appearance. The shift indicates a broader trend: the diminishing relevance of gender-specific targeting. As the demand for gender-neutral products surges, brands respond by developing more unisex products that cater to a broader audience.

The Impact of the Coronavirus Outbreak

The COVID-19 pandemic left a significant mark on the Balkan economies. The swift spread of the virus in 2020 led to the implementation of stringent economic restraints, mirroring global responses. These measures, which included lockdowns, strict social isolation rules, and disruptions in supply chains, have had cascading effects on all sectors.

Countries like Montenegro, Greece, and Croatia witnessed significant declines in their GDP. The pandemic also led to a sharp increase in unemployment rates across the region. The resulting economic downturn, coupled with the uncertainties of the pandemic, led to a shift in consumer spending habits. The focus shifted towards essential goods, with non-essential items, including certain skincare products, seeing a dip in demand.

Shift Towards Skinimalism and Holistic Body Care

The pandemic also accelerated certain consumer trends in the Balkan skin care cosmetics market. One such trend is 'skinimalism', which emphasizes a minimalist approach to skincare. The movement encourages consumers to:

  • Adopt eco-friendly skincare routines;
  • Reduce the number of products they use;
  • Embrace the benefits of multifunctional cosmetics.

Moreover, while historically the primary focus of skincare was the face, there's currently a growing emphasis on holistic body care. The shift has led to the use of traditionally facial care ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, into body care items as well. Brands recognize the trend and actively develop products that cater to this growing demand.

Multifunctional Products: The New Norm in Sun Protection

Sun protection has always been a cornerstone of skincare. However, with increased awareness of the harmful effects of sun exposure, there's more demand for products that provide multifaceted protection. Consumers now seek out products that not only protect against UV rays but also combat other environmental stressors like pollution.

In response, brands innovate and introduce products that offer a range of benefits. These multifunctional products, which often incorporate plant-based ingredients, are designed to provide comprehensive skin protection. However, brands also face challenges, especially with region-specific regulations that sometimes limit ingredient choices.

Digitalization Reshapes the Consumer Experience

The digital revolution has a profound impact on the global cosmetics market, and the Balkan skin care cosmetics market is no exception. With the proliferation of e-commerce platforms and the increasing influence of social media, brands have unprecedented direct access to consumers. This digital connectivity allows for real-time feedback, which enables brands to tailor their offerings more effectively.

Furthermore, the use of advanced data analytics provides brands with insights into purchasing behaviors, allowing for more targeted marketing strategies. The digital shift does not just influence online sales but also reshapes in-store experiences. As a result, digital technologies play a pivotal role in store merchandising.

Sustainability is More Than Just a Buzzword

Sustainability emerges as a central theme in the global cosmetics industry, including the Balkan skin care cosmetics market. Brands recognize the importance of eco-friendly practices, both in product formulation and manufacturing processes. The shift towards sustainability is driven by consumer demand, regulatory pressures, and a genuine desire to reduce environmental impact.

Packaging is one area where this trend is particularly evident. Consumers increasingly seek out products with eco-friendly packaging, leading brands to innovate and introduce sustainable packaging solutions. Collaborative initiatives, like beauty4thefuture between Hamburger Recycling and L'Oréal in the Adria-Balkan region, highlight the industry's commitment to sustainability.

Global Trends Make Local Impact: Athleisure and K-Beauty

The athleisure trend, which promotes skincare products compatible with active lifestyles, resonates strongly in the Balkans. Brands like Clinique have already introduced product lines, such as ‘CliniqueFIT’, catering to this trend.

Simultaneously, K-beauty, with its unique approach to skincare and innovative products, has captivated the Balkan audience. The global success of K-beauty can be attributed to its holistic approach, focusing on care products over decorative cosmetics, and its affordability.

Green Initiatives and Regulatory Influences

The Balkan skin care cosmetics market is also shaped by regulatory measures aimed at promoting green initiatives. Regulatory bodies, both local and international, introduce measures to ensure that manufacturing practices are eco-friendly. Brands respond by adopting practices that reduce emissions and promote sustainability, further solidifying the importance of green initiatives in the industry.

In conclusion, the Balkan skin care cosmetics market is in a phase of rapid evolution, shaped by global trends, consumer demands, and regulatory pressures. By understanding and adapting to these shifts, brands can position themselves for success in this dynamic market landscape.