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   Issue 17/18, Summer/Fall 2010

The Cosmetics Industry Today

      Industry Codes             Print Resources
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"In the overall health and beauty care market, makeup margins tend to be the highest (as much as 38%), followed by skin care (as much as 35%). Hair care--satisfying the most basic beauty needs--lags at up to 33%." The markup margin for face makeup (foundation, blush, etc.) is 31%-36%, Lipstick/lip gloss is 29%-34%, and Eye makeup (liner, shadow, etc.) is 28%-33%.1

In recent years, consumers have been spending higher levels of disposable income on cosmetics than they had in the past. Unfortunately, the global financial crisis has put a damper on the market and during those years, more affordably priced merchandise and do it yourself at home products were key in the beauty market. Although there are some exceptions, generally speaking, for all products the higher the household income, the higher the spending percentages. However, in recent years as Generation Y has really entered the job market, they have become a big driver of the cosmetics market in the United States.2 There also seems to be an increased interest in natural and organic beauty products particularly in the United States and Europe and worldwide sales were $9 billion and projected to bet $14 billion by 2015 according to Organic Monitor.3External Link

BERA - Business & Economics Research Advisor - A Quarterly Guide to Business & Economics Topics

Issue 17/18: Summer/Fall 2010
Updated December 2012

Guide to the Business of Beauty: Selected Information Resources

Table of Contents


assorted cosmetics and tools
Caption: (image) above:
Assorted cosmetics and tools.
    KaurJmeb, photographer.
From the Wikipedia Commons

In the United States cosmetics are officially regulated by the Food & Drug Administration as a result of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act passed in 1938. There is also a self-regulatory group, Cosmetics Ingredient Review External Link (CIR) run by the industry association – the Personal Care Products Council. In Europe the EU has cosmetics regulatory authority via EU Regulation 1223/2009 External Link but there is also an independent group of scientists called the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety External Link (SCCS).

Geographically there are three countries to mention as being top consuming countries - the United States, Japan, and Brazil - though countries like China, India, Mexico and Russia are emerging as big cosmetics markets. Of the emerging economies it is Brazil, with its growing middle class and intense beauty culture, that is one of the countries that accounts for a large share of the cosmetics market outside of the United States and Asia. Cosmetics sales have been down in recent years due to the global economic crisis, but the industry is improving. Sales of nail polishes have seen a worldwide growth of 11% in 2011 and has supplanted lipstick as a barometer of the beauty industry. Prior to the global economic crisis, spending on premium brands (those sold at a significantly higher price point) were high. The numbers went down between 2007 and 2011, but in 2011 there was 5% growth in premium brands, the best since 2007. It also seems that China is making its mark in this area and sales of premium brands there has increased.4

Some manufacturers like Aveda, The Body Shop, and M A C have their own stores but most products are sold in drug stores or department stores. Drug stores sell typical consumer brands like Boots, Botanics, L'Oreal, MAX Factor, Cover Girl, Maybelline, etc. Sometimes stores sell their own or an exclusive brand, such as Sonia Kashuk, sold by Target. For more "upscale" products, department stores sell from manufacturers like Clinique, Prescriptives, Lancôme, etc.

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Industry Codes

There are various systems used for industry research to classify business entities. Knowing these schemes can make some areas of research easier because some databases, many of the print sources, and the U.S. government (most notably the Census) use them in their indexing, charts, graphs, lists, and indexes. For the cosmetics industry, the most important of these in the United States are the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) and the Harmonized System (HS). Internationally, the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) is widely used. Relevant codes from these systems are included in the section below, along with links to government data about the cosmetics industry available using these codes.

Retail / Wholesale

North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS)

May appear in conjunction with Products & Services Codes
    424210Cosmetics merchant wholesalers
    446120Cosmetics, Beauty Supplies, and Perfume Stores
Clothing and Clothing Accessories Stores (with Product & Service Code: 20160)
General Merchandise Stores (with Products & Services Codes: 20160, 20165)

  U.S. Census Bureau Industry Reports

Industry Sampler (2007 Economic Census): NAICS 446120
Cosmetics, beauty supplies, and perfume stores
Statistics of U.S. Businesses: NAICS 44612
Cosmetics, beauty supplies, & perfume stores. 2006.
Retail Trade
This is a good entry point for finding monthly, quarterly, or annual retail trade data including data from County Business Patterns, Capital Expenditures Survey, Business Dynamics Statistics, and Non Employer data. There are Historic files going back to 1959 for the Annual Retail Trade and 1967 for the Monthly Retail Trade.

Standard International Trade Classification (SITC)
Group: 553 - Perfumery, cosmetic or toilet preparations (excluding soaps) External Link

    553.1Perfumes and toilet waters
    553.2Beauty or make-up preparations for the care of the skin (other than medicaments), including sunscreen or suntan preparations; manicure or pedicure preparations
    553.3 Preparations for use on the hair
    553.4 Preparations for oral or dental hygiene, including denture fixative pastes and powders
    553.5 Pre-shave, shaving or aftershave preparations, personal deodorants, bath preparations, depilatories and other perfumery, cosmetic or toilet preparations, n.e. s.; prepared room deodorizers, whether or not perfumed or having disinfectant properties
- - Trade Statistics based on SITC Code
553 Perfumery, cosmetic or toilet preparations External Link (excluding soaps) [PDF: 400 KB/ 1 p.]
From the 2009 International Trade Statistics Yearbook (Select 553) External Link

Harmonized Code External Link

    3303Perfumes and toilet waters
    3304 Beauty, make-up & skin-care prep, manicure etc.
    3305 Preparations for use on the hair
    3306 Preparations for oral or dental hygiene,
    3307 Personal toilet etc prep nesoi, shaving, bath etc.

- - International Trade Data by HS Code

Imports/Exports 2001-2017 International Trade in Goods Statistics by Product Group External Link
See Trade by Commodity Statistics 2001-2017 and chose imports or exports link by product group and country or by country and product group. Select links under Group 33.


North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS)

    325620Toilet Preparation Manufacturing

Industry Sampler (2007 Economic Census): NAICS 325620
Toilet preparation manufacturing

Economic Census

To find data click on either Finding Data tab or the orange I am looking for Statistics on… box. Choose either to find economic data by Industry or by Geography. If you choose Industry you can either find a fuller dataset by using the Industry Statistics Portal or you can view an Industry Snapshot.

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Print Resources

"Anti-aging Products and Services," in Encyclopedia of Emerging Industries. Detroit: Gale, 1998 - present.
LC Call Number: HD2324 .E528 2011
LC Catalog Record: 98660099

A six page overview covering SIC's 2844, 2833, and 2834. Includes organization/structure, background and development, research and technology, current conditions and a short bibliography of "further readings". The latest edition available is from 2011.

WWDBeautyBiz. New York : Fairchild Publications Inc., 2001-present
LC Call Number: HD9970.5.T65 B43
LC Catalog Record: 2003206472
Online: External Link

In every issue, WWDBeauty Biz includes the trends driving new products, personalities behind the business, retail analysis and competitive information, consumer research, business strategies and best practices, and category specific analysis. This Women's Wear Daily publication, which aims to put the beauty business into perspective, is directed toward an audience that includes both top retail management and industry and wall street executives to editors, beauty advisors, and stylists.

"Clearing up Cosmetics Confusion," FDA Consumer . May-June 1998.
LC Call Number: HD9000.9.U5 A1735 May-June 1998
LC Catalog Record: 72626332

Article discusses the FDA's role in the regulation of cosmetics, as well as the debate over drugs versus cosmetics, prohibited ingredients, and more.

Cosmetics & Toiletries. Carol Stream, IL : Allured Pub. Corp., c2001-present.
Published as Allured's cosmetics & toiletries magazine from 1999-2001.
Online: External Link
LC Call Number: TP983 .A222
LC Catalog Record: 2006205377

Long running industry news publication under various titles beginning as Beauty Fashion in 1916 with a name change to Toilet Requisites in 1921. See also Catalog record sv85006448.

Cosmetics & Toiletries. The Guide. Carol Stream, IL : Allured Pub. Corp., 2006 - present.
LC Call Number: TP983 .A2224
LC Catalog Record: 2006243169

This supplement to the trade publication, Cosmetics & Toiletries, serves as a guide to the ingredient suppliers by product category and region. Also includes a State of the Industry overview.

"Girl Power: Marketing to Today's Women." Euromonitor International. (October 22, 2007).
Not available in print at the Library of Congress.
Table of Contents External Link

This strategy briefing is geared to marketing and selling multiple products to women including cosmetics (see particularly, the Consumer Market Opportunities section). Includes various charts and graphs.

Global Cosmetic Industry. Duluth, MN : Advanstar Communications, c1999 - present.
LC Call Number: HD9970.5.C67 .G57
LC Catalog Record: sn 99030130

Trade publication for personal care professionals covering the cosmetics and toilet preparations industries. They now have a web site under the name GCI Magazine. External Link

"Perfumes, Cosmetics, and Other Toilet Preparations." Encyclopedia of American Industries. Detroit: Gale, 1994 - present.
LC Call Number: HC102 .E53 2011
LC Catalog Record: 2001223283

This chapter covers SIC 2844 (NAICS 325620, 325611) and contains information on the organization/structure, background/development, further readings, etc. of the industry. 2011 edition is available.

Polla, Ada. "The Changing Face of Beauty Distribution." Global Cosmetic Industry. March 2012; 180(2):24-28.

This article looks at the evolution in the trends of retail channels in cosmetics industry in the United States.

The Rauch Guide to the U.S. Cosmetics & Toiletries Industry. Manchester Center, VT : Impact Marketing Consultants, Inc. 2003/05 ed.
LC Call Number: HD9970.5.C67 R38
LC Catalog Record: 2004209732

Industry structure and current market information, from raw materials, to product categories, to the directory of hundreds of leading marketers. Economics section provides data on industry shipments; long-term growth and forecasts; prices; company performance; employment, expenditures, and productivity; transportation and geographical patterns; packaging; foreign trade; and government regulations. Other sections include technology and raw materials, information on color cosmetics and fragrances (men and women), hair care products, skin care (sun, men, foot care, facial, etc.), and an advertising, directory.

"Toiletries and Cosmetics. " Encyclopedia of Global Industries . Detroit: Gale, 1996 - present.
LC Call Number: HD2324 .E53 2011
LC Catalog Record: 97661013

Covers SIC 2844 (NAICS 325620) and contains information on the background and development, organization and structure, current conditions, and further readings. 2011 edition is available.

Walker Rob. "State of the Industry." Global Cosmetic Industry. June 2012; 180(5):32-39.

Publisher Summary: The article reports that while emerging markets remain primary drivers of beauty industry growth, developed markets played their part, specially the U.S., which posted its best performance in more than five years on the back of strong sales of premium brands.

Walker, Rob. "The Future Bright for Color Cosmetics Despite Economic Gloom." Global Cosmetic Industry, 180(3), 38.

Willett, Julie ed. The American Beauty Industry Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Calif. : Greenwood, c2010.
LC Call Number: TT958 .A44 2010
LC Catalog Record:2010002234

Over 100 entries on historical and current topics primarily on the late-19th and 20th-century American beauty industry including categories like gender, race, sexuality, and stages of the lifecycle.

Winter, Ruth. A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients. 7th ed. New York : Three Rivers Press, c2009.
LC Call Number: TP983.A55 W57 2009
LC Catalog Record: 2010292417

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Internet Resources

American Academy of Dermatology External Link

This site includes a variety of pamphlets on various topics (acne, tanning, dermabrasion, etc.) External Link

Directed to consumers shopping for cosmetics, this web site can also be used for market research to determine major players and competitors.

Beauty Biz External Link

The beauty/cosmetics area of Women's Wear Daily. Includes articles and information on the business and fashion end of the cosmetics industry.

Beauty Packaging External Link

Website for news/newsletter articles. Some content is free, some is subscription. There is a particular focus on packaging but by necessity they do look at the beauty industry.

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics External Link

Cosmetics companies whose products meet or exceed current EU formulation standards are encouraged to sign the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. Only cosmetics companies who manufacture their own line of products can sign the Compact.

Cosmetics Design

This is a site for “News on Cosmetics Formulation & Packaging in North America” but there are alternative websites for the EU as well as Asia Pacific (in English). This is a mostly news source but includes information on products and trends as well as the business and financial end of the industry. The Product Library covers skin care, hair care, color cosmetics, fragrances, nutricosmetics, and packing and includes webinars, product brochures, technical papers, and suppliers. There is a Hot Topics which can cover a variety of topics and can change, but naturals/organics, anti-aging, nanotechnology, and other hot or even new areas. There is also a free newsletter as well as an app available via Google Play and the Apple store.

GCI Magazine External Link

This is the online presence of Global Cosmetic Industry.

Cosmetic Executive Women External Link

This is a professional organization with executives, both women and men, in the beauty, cosmetics, fragrance and related industries. While this is a membership site there is content available witout joining.

"Cosmetics & Beauty Supplies Stores Industry." United States Cosmetics & Beauty Supplies Stores Industry Report [serial online]. January 2012;:1-248. Available from: Business Source Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed November 23, 2012.

Publisher Summary: Several charts are presented which provide data and forecasts for the cosmetics and beauty supplies stores industry in the U.S. for 2009-2013 including employment trends, total sales of sub-industries, and estimated number of establishments.

Cosmetics Business External Link

This is the online presence for the publication Soap, Perfumery & Cosmetics. Website includes articles by topic, market reports (only available to subscribers), a company directory organized by activity, etc.

Cosmetics Index External Link

Source for cosmetic industry professionals to find information about all components of the industry. Includes news, articles, information on industry events, and has a small business resource center. The Industry Resources area includes links to relevant government agencies, associations and miscellaneous groups while the Resources area give information/links to relevant publications. The Raw Materials & Fragrances area has listings of relevant companies. There is also a Research Reports section which is under development as of August 2010. External Link

Sponsored by the Personal Care Products Council and its member companies. Resources include federal, state, international, and scientific links. Also includes information by product category (bath, hair care, nail, eye makeup, face makeup, etc.). Each product category includes a description of the products as well as ingredients and related information. The Safety area includes such topics as regulatory information/overview (U.S. and international), ingredient reviews, labeling issues, and scientific information. External Link

Web page for the publication Cosmetic News. Subscription is required for most of the data; site tends to focus on Europe and the international market.

The Cosmetic Site External Link

Publisher for Cosmetics & Toiletries and Global Cosmetic Industry with links to both publications. Cosmetics & Toiletries has an archive of some of its issues and the China, Brazil, and Latin America editions of CT. Global Cosmetic Industry, the Global Business area, has market information, a state of the industry section, general news, and an archive of some issues.

Cosmetics. U.S. Food & Drug Administration - Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition. External Link

The two most important laws pertaining to cosmetics marketed in the United States are the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA). Within the FDA's Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition there is an Office of Cosmetics and Colors. The web site contains information on such topics as laws, regulations, the international activities of the FDA, labeling, ingredients, and federal enforcement.

Datamonitor Industry Market Research External Link

In the Research Store there are many reports on the facial care and fragrances industry. Here are a few examples: "Facial Care - United States"; "Facial Care in China"; "Fragrances - United States"; "Anti-Aging & Beauty Attitudes And Behaviors"; "Global Make-Up market to 2011"; "Make-Up in Asia-pacific to 2011"; Reports must be purchased either as part of a subscription or on an individual basis. Issues of Datamonitor Industry Market Research are available to subscribers from 1998 to the present in the Gale Business Insights: Global database.

Examining the Current State of Cosmetics
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
House of Representatives - Energy & Commerce Committee

Witness panel included:
Michael M. Landa, J.D. – Director, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Halyna Breslawec, Ph.D. - Chief Scientist and Executive Vice President for Science, The Personal Care Products Council
Peter Barton Hutt, J.D. - Senior Counsel, Covington & Burling, LLP
Mr. Curran Dandurand - Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Jack Black Skincare
Ms. Debbie May - President and Chief Executive Officer, Wholesale Supplies Plus
Michael DiBartolomeis, Ph.D. - Chief of the Safe Cosmetics Program, California Department of Public Health

Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors Association External Link

International association focused on keeping its members apprised of regulatory and industry developments. Most of the information is for members only or available only on a fee-basis.

Information Resources External Link

The producer of this web site, SympathyIRI, tracks many areas, including the cosmetics industry, on a fee basis. Leigh Anne Rowinski has prepared a number of reports on the beauty industry for the company, and has spoken at NPD Groups' External Link "Hot off the Press" Beauty Industry Event."

MMR (Mass Market Retailers) External Link

A business-to-business global mass retail newspaper targeting headquarters, regional and district level buyers in Supermarket Chains, Drug Chains, etc.

NPD Group External Link

Provides retail tracking service for the prestige beauty market and includes consumer behavior insights. Detailed retail tracking information is provided for the American, French, and Italian beauty markets. Their data is not necessarily for sale as a market research product, however it can end up in articles. Also, their press releases can also offer insight into specific topics. For example: "Ethnicity and the Frequency of Beauty Product Usage," "The Internet Is One Of The Fastest Growing Channels For Buying Beauty Products," "Makeup Takes the Lead in the U.S. Prestige Beauty Industry," etc. Also, sponsors the "Hot off the Press" Beauty Industry Event."

Packaged Facts External Link

Various reports. Examples include those for ethnic markets/products, products for specific age groups like "tweens" and teens, and natural/organic products. All reports are available on a fee-basis only.

Personal Care Products Council External Link

The Personal Care Products Council (formerly the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association) is the national trade association for the cosmetic and personal care products industry and represents more than 600 member companies. The International Legal and Regulatory database is available to members only. The group has published the Cosmetic Ingredient Review External Link since 1976 and has established the External Link site for consumers to use to research ingredients and safety issues in the cosmetics industry.

The Science of Beauty: A Guide to Selected Resources

Prepared the the Science Reference Section of the Library of Congress, this guide includes print and electronic resources for those interested in the science behind make-up and beauty products.

EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database External Link

Developed by the Environmental Working Group, this database allows users to search by product, ingredient, or company to discover what ingredients are in particular brands of makeup and whether the ingredients are harmful. Skin Deep contains information and online safety assessments for over 62,000 products, 8,600 ingredients, in over 2,000 brands sold by 1,700 plus companies.

Sephora External Link

Although designed for consumers shopping for cosmetics, the web site can also be used for market research for determining industry players and competitors.

ULTA External Link

Although designed for consumers shopping for cosmetics, the web site can also be used for market research for determining industry players and competitors.

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Library of Congress Catalog Searches

Additional works on the cosmetics industry in The Library of Congress may be identified by searching the Online Catalog under appropriate Library of Congress subject headings. Choose the topics you wish to search from the following list of Library of Congress subject headings to link directly to the Catalog and automatically execute a search for the subject selected. Please be aware that during periods of heavy use you may encounter delays in accessing the catalog. Please check the other sections of this guide for catalog searches which relate to topics covered by those sections. For assistance in locating other subject headings which relate to this industry, please consult a reference librarian.

 1."Boomers drive rising cosmeceutical fortunes, joined by younger shoppers," Research Alert. February 4, 2005. Volume 23, issue 3. page 1. As viewed in the Business Reference Suite database (Gale Cengage Learning), July 23, 2010.

 2. Walker, R. (2012). "The future bright for color cosmetics despite economic gloom." Global Cosmetic Industry, 180(3), 38. Retrieved from: ProQuest External Link on November 23, 2012.

 3. "Natural & Organic Beauty Products Reach $9 Billion." Nutraceuticals World [serial online]. September 2, 2012;15:6. Available from: Business Source Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed November 23, 2012.

 4. Walker, R. (2012). "State of the industry." Global Cosmetic Industry, 180(5), 32. Retrieved from ProQuest External Link on November 23, 2012.

Last updated: 09/25/2018

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