Beauty Statistics

How much do Brits fork out to look good?


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Beauty treatments go a lot further than skin deep. A change in appearance allows people to express themselves and can boost their self-worth. This power has been harnessed by companies and individuals alike, fueling the UK’s £27 billion beauty industry as we know it today.

Quick facts

  • The greatest worldwide growth in a beauty market has been seen in China, where the beauty industry grew by $21 billion from 2014 to 2019 – over double the next largest growth, which was in Brazil.
  • The amount spent at hairdressers and personal care salons in the UK was highest in 2018, reaching £7.6 billion.
  • This is equivalent to every person in the UK spending £113 on personal care treatments yearly.

The cosmetic market

The cosmetic market in the UK is enormous. In a 2018 report, it was named the third-largest market operating in the UK. Globally, the UK has the seventh-largest cosmetics market, with the US and China taking the top two spots.

Leading brands

In 2018, the leading beauty manufacturer was French cosmetic company L’Oréal with $31 billion in revenue. Producing beauty products and personal care items, Unilever is the second-largest beauty manufacturer, with $25 billion in revenue. At $14 billion in revenue in 2018, prestige cosmetics company Estée Lauder is the third-largest cosmetics manufacturer. American-based Procter and Gamble came in just $2 billion shy of the same revenue as Estée Lauder. The remaining companies each amounted to less than $10 billion in 2018.

Company Revenue
L'Oréal $31bn
Unilever $25bn
Estee Lauder $14bn
Procter & Gamble $12bn
Coty £9.4bn
Shiseido $8.9bn
Beiersdorf $6.9bn
Louis Vuitton $6.7bn
Johnson & Johnson $6.1bn
Amorepacific Group $5.6bn
Kao $5.2bn
Henkel $4.7bn
Avon $4.2bn
L Brands $4.2bn
Mary Kay $3.5bn
Chanel $3.2bn
Colgate-Palmolive $2.9bn
Natura $2.9bn
Revlon $2.7bn
Kosé $1.7bn

Market by country

Asia and Oceania combined made up 39% of the cosmetic market in 2018. North America and Europe each made up a quarter of the market. In 2018, the European cosmetics market was valued at €77.6 billion.

Continent Market share
Asia and Oceania 39%
North America 25%
Europe 24%
South America 9%
Africa 3%

Market by product category

Two-fifths of the cosmetic market is comprised of skincare. With £920 million made in sales in 2018, non-medicated face care products (like moisturisers and exfoliators) were the best selling skincare cosmetic. Haircare and makeup are the next biggest contributors to the market, making up a fifth each.

Product category Share of market
Skincare 39%
Haircare 21%
Make-up 19%
Perfumes 11%
Hygiene products 10%

The online market

The biggest beauty companies on social media

MAC Cosmetics either has the most or the second most followers on each platform, making it the strongest brand in terms of followers. Other than MAC, NYX, Benefit and Tarte are the only brands which appear on more than one of the top 10 lists, while the remaining brands each only appear on one of the lists.


Company Number of followers
MAC Cosmetics 22mill
Anastasia Beverly Hills 19.4mill
Sephora 17.7mill
Calvin Klein 17.6mill
NYX Professional Makeup 13.9mill
Too Faced Cosmetics 12.6mill
Urban Decay Cosmetics 10.9mill
Morphe 9.7mill
Tate Cosmetics 9.6mill
Benefit Cosmetics 9.4mill


Company Number of followers
Eisenberg Paris 19.6mill
MAC Cosmetics 12.5mill
Bath & Body Works 9.5mill
Natura 8.7mill
L'Oréal Paris 7.4mill
Risqué 7.3mill
Avon 6.8mill
Mary Kay Brasil 6.3mill
Eudora 5.6mill


Company Number of followers
MAC Cosmetics 1.5mill
Urban Decay 1.2mill
NYX Cosmetics 1mill
Benefit Cosmetics US 0.95mill
Tarte Cosmetics 0.77mill
Maybelline New York 0.67mill
Smashboc Cosmetics 0.66mill
Make Up for Ever 0.65mill
Covergirl 0.63mill
Bobbi Brown Cosmetics 0.61mill
*Disclaimer: Instagram and Facebook numbers are based off 2019 data. Twitter numbers are from 2018.


As of July 2019, the number of YouTube users was over 1.9 billion monthly – a quarter of the world’s population at that time! In 2018, the number of beauty-related content views reached 169 million – equivalent to the UK’s entire population watching a beauty video two and a half times each.

How much do we spend on beauty treatments?

Weekly spending by age

In the UK, the age group that spent the most on hairdressing and beauty treatments in 2018 was 50-64-year-olds. Each week, people in this age group spent an average £5 on treatments, amounting to £260 a year. Compared to the next biggest spenders, the 65-74-year-old group, the 50-64-year-olds spent £73 more yearly. The under-30s group were the most frugal with their beauty treatments, spending less than £3 on average per week.

Age group Average weekly hosuehold expenditure on beauty treatments
Less than 30 £2.80
30 to 49 £3.50
50 to 64 £5.00
65 to 74 £3.60
75 and over £3.20

Weekly spending by household income

Unsurprisingly, more money is spent weekly on beauty treatments by people in higher gross income decile brackets. The top 10% of people are spending almost eight times the amount on beauty treatments per week than the lowest 10%. This means that they spend an average of £390 more per year on beauty treatments.

Gross income decile group Weekly expenditure
Lowest first £1.10
Second £2.10
Third £2.10
Fourth £1.90
Fifth £2.80
Sixth £4.30
Seventh £4.50
Eighth £4.50
Ninth £6.50
Highest tenth £8.60


Office for National Statistics
Cosmetics Business

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Matt Mckenna
UK communications manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806

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