Largest Cosmetics Companies

The beauty industry:

Is a multi-billion-dollar industry which is known to stay strong even in times of economic strife, while the following top 10 cosmetics companies are leading the global cosmetics market for decades. Research studies conducted on the cosmetic industry highlight that the cosmetic market fared well even during the Great Recession of 2008.

Largest Cosmetics Companies – Though consumers tend to be more price conscious during an economic downturn, they do not stop spending on beauty products. Therefore, in today’s environment of rising per capita income, there is immense scope for growth in the beauty business. Cosmetic companies across the globe are thriving on the diversity of products and demographics at their disposal.


Unilever is among the largest consumer goods companies in the world. The company has also managed to carve a place for itself in the cosmetics industry with popular cosmetics brands such as Axe/Lynx, Dove, Lifebuoy, Pond’s, Close-Up, TRESemmé, Suave, Sunsilk, and Vaseline. In 2017, Unilever announced the creation of a new company, Unilever Cosmetics International to extend its global portfolio of prestige beauty and fragrance brands.


As one of the largest cosmetics companies and top beauty brands in the world, L’Oréal began its journey in the cosmetic industry more than a century ago in 1909. Today, L’Oréal generates over USD 30 billion as annual beauty product sales.

Its product range includes color cosmetics, skincare, hair care, sun care products, and fragrances. Its most important brands include L’Oréal Paris, Garnier, Maybelline New York, and Softsheen. The company also sells luxury brands such as Lancôme, Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, and Kiehl’s.

Largest Cosmetics Companies - L'OréalIt specializes in professional hair care products such as Kérastase, Redken, Matrix, and Pureology and owns beauty product distributors such as The Body Shop.

Technavio has been closely monitoring the latest cosmetics market trends to create an in-depth portfolio of cosmetics market research reports.

These reports help our clients identify opportunities within the market and develop effective strategies to optimize their market positions.

Take a look at Technavio’s Cosmetics Market Research Library and download your free sample report today – Largest Cosmetics Companies!

Estée Lauder:

Estée Lauder is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of quality skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. The company provides prestige makeup, skin care, fragrance and hair care with a diverse portfolio of 25+ brands sold in 150 countries. Since its inception in the 1940’s the company has been engaged in leaving an indelible mark on all aspects of the beauty industry. Today, Estée Lauder continues to push boundaries in the global premium cosmetics market, making it one of the world’s most popular cosmetics companies.

Proctor and Gamble:

Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA P&G holds a significant position in the skin care and hair care business with several well-known brands including Aussie, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Herbal Essences, Ivory, Olay, Old Spice, Pantene, Safeguard, Secret, Crest, Oral-B, Scope, Art of Shaving and more. The company offers a wide range of beauty and personal care products for all men, women, as well as babies and kids.


Coty is a New York based company that has built up its beauty business through acquisitions in recent years. The company is a big player in Fragrance, professional hair care and color cosmetics.  The company own brands such as Adidas, Clairol, CoverGirl, David Beckham, Katy Perry, Max Factor, Rimmel, Sally Hansen and Wella. They also own luxury brands such as Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Chloé, Gucci, Hugo Boss, and Philosophy.

Read more: Top 5 Perfume and Fragrance Companies to Watch Out For in 2018


Shiseido was founded in 1872 in Ginza, Tokyo, as the first Western-style pharmacy in Japan. The name Shiseido incorporates the founder’s desire to discover and create new value, a desire that has endured for over 140 years to build the companies unique heritage. This Japanese company makes all types of personal care products including skincare, fragrance, hair care, sun care, body care and makeup. Some of its popular brands include Shiseido, Za, Senka, Anessa, Sea Breeze, Nars, and Bare Essentials.


Beiersdorf has been caring about skin for more than 130 years. They have a wide range of personal care products including skincare and body care brands. Some of their most important brands include Nivea, Eucerin, Labello, Florena, and La Prairie. The company caters to all sorts of needs and operates across different markets including the mass market, dermo cosmetics, and the premium cosmetics market.

Johnson & Johnson:

Despite being a pharmaceutical company J&J has become known for its beauty products across the world. This includes products for baby care, skin care and oral products. It’s most famous brands include Johnson’s Baby, Neutrogena, Aveeno, and Listerine. In fact, several baby products such as oil and shampoo have become synonymous with the name Johnson and Johnson. The company generated a revenue of more than USD 76 billion in 2017.

Amore Pacific:

Amore Pacific is a beauty products company based in South Korea. The company launched its cosmetics brand AMOREPACIFIC in 2002. The company which focuses primarily on developing natural beauty products has slowly made a name for itself in the beauty industry, benefitting from the K-beauty trend in recent years. The company is growing at a rapid pace with increasing demand for some of its most popular brands including Sulwhasoo, Laneige, Mamonde, Innisfree, Etude, Lolita Lempicka, Annick Goutal.

Kao corporation:

Kao cosmetics is listed in the Forbes ranking as a USD 34.4 billion company. Kao cosmetics company which is headquartered in Japan sells products in all cosmetic categories including color cosmetics, skincare, facial and body cleansers and hair care. Popular brands from this company include Bioré, Jergens, John Frieda, and Goldwell.

Largest Cosmetics Companies – Dior Design: 

The world in 2019:

Largest Cosmetics Companies - dior


The global cosmetics market continued to grow steadily, spurred on by the limitless diversity of consumer aspirations and by innovation. This constant growth can be explained by the very nature of the cosmetics sector, which addresses a need that has been around since the beginning of human history: the quest for beauty.

  • ≃+7.5%
  • +7.5% growth in 2018

Largest Cosmetics Companies - L.A Girl

Global Beauty Brands – Forbes:

In the $382 billion global beauty business, these are the 10 brands that matter. Brand valuation firm Brand Finance ranked the 50 biggest beauty brands by projected revenues, customer loyalty and willingness to pay a price premium, royalty rates and current market value.

As one of the largest cosmetics companies and top beauty brands in the world, L’Oréal began its journey in the cosmetic industry more than a century ago in 1909.

  1. L’Oréal.
  2. Unilever. 
  3. Estée Lauder. 
  4. Proctor and Gamble. 
  5. Coty. 
  6. Shiseido. 
  7. Beiersdorf. 
  8. Mac.
  9. Revlon.

Largest Cosmetics Companies – Growth of the worldwide cosmetics market over 10 years.

United States:

Within the United States, the state of California has the largest concentration of beauty establishments in America at 25.5%, followed by New Jersey at 8.1% of American beauty establishments. Since 2016 the number of cosmetic stores rises between 3 and 4% each year and employment in this division is rising each year 13-16%. California has the largest concentration due to social media marketing from celebrities and ‘beauty gurus’. For example, Kylie Jenner’s company Kylie Cosmetics, is valued at $800 million and sold an estimated $330 million worth of makeup in 2017.

YouTube and social media influencers Jeffree Star:

(Jeffree Star Cosmetics), and Michelle Phan (Ipsy), and pop-star Rihanna with her Fenty Beauty line of cosmetics, have also contributed to California’s rising popularity in the beauty industry.[5]

Because the US dollar is so valuable to other countries around the world, it has become extremely expensive for most countries to import American beauty products and to export their own products to America. However, there are a few countries with beauty products that are in popular demand in America due to their quality and value including France, Canada, Italy, and the United Kingdom. As of 2018,

“These four countries account for 45.2% of all industry imports as domestic consumers demand luxury products”.[3] South Korean and Japanese skincare products which are designed to be more gentle and innovative, are also becoming more popularized in the United States due to their quality and affordability. The U.S has held the same regulation over this industry since 1938 under the FD&C Act, which has gained additional amendments over time.


Canada is a big influencer in the American beauty industry due to its proximity to the United States and because it falls under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This agreement “eliminates most tariffs on products traded between Canada, Mexico, and the United States,” and allows Canada to trade superfluously. Canada accounts for an estimated 13.6% of imports and 19.9% of cosmetic exports in 2018. Because Mexico also benefits from the NAFTA trade agreement, they represent another top cosmetic importer and exporter for lower-priced beauty products which are manufactured in mass and sold in large drug store chains in America.


Cosmetic sales in France reached €6.5 billion in 2006, according to FIPAR (Fédération des Industries de la Perfumeries – the French federation for the perfume industry). France is another country in which the cosmetic industry plays an important role, both nationally and internationally. Most products with a label, “Made in France” are valued on the international market. According to data from 2008, the cosmetic industry has grown constantly in France for 40 consecutive years. Famous cosmetic brands produced in France include Vichy, Yves Saint Laurent, Yves Rocher and L’Oréal. L’Oréal is known for its mass production of hair and makeup products which are produced in mass and sold in drug stores in America as well as internationally.

L’Oréal has gained popularity especially due to its app Makeup Genius which allows users to try on makeup using their phone camera in addition to working with Los Angeles-based NYX Cosmetics and Estee Lauder’s MAC Cosmetics, L’Oréal is one of the leading cosmetic brands in the United States.

Largest Cosmetics Companies – According to the company’s latest financial report of 2017, North America accounted for 13.6% of the company’s global cosmetic sales.


In Germany, the cosmetic industry generated €12.6 billion of retail sales in 2008, which, at the time, made the German cosmetic industry the third largest in the world after Japan and the United States. It has been shown that Germany’s cosmetic industry grew nearly 5 percent in one year, from 2007 to 2008. German exports in this industry reached €5.8 billion in 2008, whereas imports of cosmetics totaled €3 billion.

Germany gains most of its imported cosmetics from France, Switzerland, the United States and Italy.


The Italian cosmetic industry is also an important player in the European cosmetic market. Although not as large as in other European countries, the cosmetic industry in Italy was estimated to reach €9 billion in 2007. The Italian cosmetic industry is however dominated by hair and body products and not makeup as in many other European countries. In Italy, hair and body products make up approximately 30% of the cosmetic market.

Makeup and facial care, however, are the most common cosmetic products exported to the United States.


The cosmetic industry in Asia is mainly dominated by regional cosmetic brands. Shiseido Co. LTD, A popular cosmetic brand based in Japan, has 82.1% of its sales in Asia. No other Western company in the top 10 match these kinds of regional sales. Furthermore, geographic dispersion of sales by Asian cosmetic companies in Asia accounted for 92.42% of sales, while geographic dispersion of assets of Asian cosmetic companies in Asia was 87.05%. Western cosmetic companies often have failed to gain footholds in various countries.

For example, in Japan, many advertisement campaigns that find success in the West, such as celebrity appearances and references to science, did not sway a sample group of respondents to purchase the foreign brands. However, despite the lack of Western cosmetic presence, the growing trend of “fair skin”, or whiting one’s skin, can expose consumers skin to harmful chemicals when using “fairness creams”.

Do to recent significant economic growth in many Asian markets, regulation pertaining to chemicals in cosmetic products has been lacking. SK-II, a cosmetic product owned by P&G, was found to contain banned heavy metals in China in 2006.

Another study found that women who had recently moved to Vancouver, Canada from East and South Asia had higher levels of lead in their blood than South and East Asian immigrants who had been living in Canada for longer. One of sources of lead was determined to be some facial powders marketed various regions of Asia.

Largest Cosmetics Companies

The cosmetic industry is dominated by a small number of multinational corporations that originated in the early 20th century, but the distribution and sale of cosmetics is spread among a wide range of different businesses. The largest cosmetic companies are Johnson & Johnson, L’Oréal Paris, Gillette, Neutrogena, Nivea and Chanel, Inc. The market volume of the cosmetics industry in the Europe and United States is about EUR €70b per year, according to a 2005 publication. The worldwide cosmetics and perfume industry currently generates an estimated annual turnover of US$170 billion (according to Eurostat – May 2007). Europe is the leading market, representing approximately €63 billion.

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If there’s any sector that perfectly highlights the profitability and success of cross-industry partnerships, it’s our very own beauty world. In fact, it seems that every market from digital, fashion, film and charitable is clamoring over themselves to take a slice of the cosmetics pie. And you can’t really blame them, what with the global market expected to reach USD 716.6 billion by 2025 and all that.

So in all honesty, the latest trend of beauty publishers well and truly stepping out of their box and attempting to become lifestyle brands hasn’t shocked me. Well, not that much. But why are the likes of Refinery29, Who What Wear and Vogue driving out of their line and starting to dabble in product launches?

Updated: 13-02-2021

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