Key facts

Key Facts about the Cosmetics Industry

  1. The CTPA represents manufacturers, distributors, retailers and wholesalers as well as suppliers of ingredients and services; covering around 80% by value of the UK market in finished cosmetic products.
  2. The UK cosmetics market was worth £9,379 million in 2016 (at retail sales price), one of the top five largest markets in the EU.
  3. The EU cosmetics market was worth EUR 77 billion at retail sales price in 2015.
  4. More than 4600 SME companies (small, medium-sized enterprises) operate in the EU cosmetics industry.
  5. The cosmetics industry is science-led, constantly seeking to further understand how the skin and body works to provide improved and innovative products that respond to on-going changes in the environment and consumer lifestyles.
  6. Every year a quarter of all cosmetic products on the market are improved or are developed completely new; with over 26,000 scientists and 520,000 life science students in Europe. Cosmetics accounted for 10% of all patents granted in the EU in 2009.
  7. Each product is assessed for safety by a properly qualified safety assessor who looks at the quality of the individual ingredients, the manufacturing process, the quality control and considers the way the product will be used, by whom and in combination with what other products. This safety assessment has to be in place before the product can be marketed anywhere in the EU.
  8. The cosmetics industry faces the challenge to put risk into perspective and demonstrate the difference between risk and hazard. To help dispel myths and assumptions that all chemicals are dangerous to our health, the CTPA has information available on our consumer website and has published two white papers to challenge such perceptions.
  9. Cosmetic products are enjoyed by millions of people all over the world contributing to healthy lifestyles, well-being and confidence in appearance – feeling confident about one's appearance rates as the most important factor for building self-esteem.  This is a consistent finding from several years of research, conducted by CTPA since 2004, and comes above having a large group of friends, being financially successful and even having a supportive family.
  10. The cosmetics industry takes sustainability very seriously and provides education and skills to communities worldwide to develop sustainable jobs and improve self-esteem in under-developed areas.

Historical use of cosmetics

Cosmetic products have been in existence for thousands of years –

  1. In 400 BC, Greek Olympic athletes covered their bodies with a ‘sunscreen’ mixture of sand and oil to protect their skin from the sun!
  2. The Chinese Cho Dynasty (600 BC) used gum, egg whites, gelatine and beeswax to create nail varnish.
  3. The use of henna as a hair colorant was first recorded around 1400-1500 BC.
  4. A soap formula was found written on a Babylonian tablet around 2200 BC.
  5. Ancient Romans used a mixture of soil and water in their hair, rolled with textiles and baked it in the sun to create temporary waves.
  6. In 5000 BC the Egyptians made a bath powder from myrhh, the powdered ashes of ox hooves, powdered and burnt eggshells and pumice.
  7. Use of perfume dates back to the beginning of mankind; the first perfume bottles were found in the Mediterranean in 7000 BC.

(small, medium-sized enterprises)