General growth in the beauty and personal care sectors in Middle East region with a focus on ageing concerns has resulted in an upward trend and increased demand for premium skin care products which are considered as an important part of overall wellbeing and daily stress relief routines. The increasing expenditure on personal appearance propels demand for cosmetics in the UAE as there is a huge demand for advanced and premium beauty products including natural and organic products, which continues to drive UAE cosmetics market.

Premium skin care products market in UAE is fragmented, with presence of over 50 brands in the market. These products are built on some tangible or intangible attributes, that offer unique value to customers and are manufactured considering high-income group consumer attributes.

Value Chain: Premium Skin Care Products

Source: GRC Analysis

Pharmacies are the only sales channel for ‘prescription only’ medicated skincare products in UAE. Dermatologist and other skincare experts diagnose the skin issues and prescribe relevant skincare products – external and ingestible products.

Premium Skin Care Market:

The premium skincare product sales increased at a CAGR of 0.4% during 2015-2019; however, the sale is expected to remain same with 0% growth between 2020 to 2025. This is as a result of reduced opportunities for socializing and working outside of the home during the COVID19 lockdown and the pressure on incomes due to widespread job losses place serious pressure on category sales. Unit prices of premium products are also expected to decline, mainly due to demand pressure resulting from the rising cost of living. Emigration due to job loss as a result of the pandemic led business disruptions will result in a smaller number of consumers in the country, a significant negative impact on premium skin care market.

Among local consumers and those expatriates who have remained in the country, consumer behavior change in reduction on non-essential spending will also hamper the demand among residents in the country. Facial care segment has been seen to account for majority of the premium skincare product sales in UAE.

Source: GRC Analysis

Source: GRC Analysis

Key Trends Influencing Consumers of Skin Care Products:

There is growing interest in ingestible skincare among the consumers who are now able to access the information about their skincare and are aware about the impact their food intake has on their skin. Consumers are now showing more interest towards ingestible or inhalable skincare products as they look for a holistic approach of skincare beyond just external products. Generally, consumers are now aware of different needs for skin care products based on their skin type and hence the demand for personalized skin care is growing. Most consumers now require a regimen that is more fitting to their needs, rather than what used to be a general approach from over-the-counter products.

With the rising concern for environmental pollution, the consumers are becoming more concerned about the environmental impact of products, including ingredients, packaging, and transportation. They are analyzing ingredient labels with searches for “cruelty-free” and “natural ingredients” ranking highest in skincare searches.

Give it to the power of social media, most celebrities are influencing the public preferences of skin care products mainly due to Increasing use of social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. Companies are now adopting these channels for skincare advertising owing to their highly-visual nature.

Consumers show more trust to local products as these products are developed considering local climate and skin types. Local beauty products are being adopted by consumers in UAE and as such, global skin-care companies are also launching the local beauty products to benefit from this trend. Consumers desire for transparency has inspired new models for delivering quality cosmetics and skincare products. They are now showing more interest on masstige brands – products with relatively low price but high quality.

Source: GRC Analysis


To sum this up, consumers have become aware about the harmful impact of chemicals on their skin and are increasingly concerned of environmental impact. These customers are now screening every aspect of the product they use including packaging, ingredient, scientific proof for product impact etc. Thus, scientific efficacy and consumer recognition and demand for key ingredients are critical to product success.

For any prospect entrepreneur/ business person, the focus should be on differentiating the products using scientific support to back the product’s claim in marketing material. This marketing strategy coupled with pricing, and product placement will help in building a strong premium brand.