Covering Iranian economy,
business and current affairs.

Single Report

Iran's Cosmetics Market

July 15, 2017

Executive Summary

This report is meant to take a look at the state of cosmetics market in Iran. The first part features a brief reflection on the culture governing the use of cosmetics in Iran, why people opt to use cosmetics at all, and the change of the public perspective on cosmetics. The second part reviews Iran’s latest demographic statistics and women’s share of the population as the main customers of cosmetics in the country.  

Later the overall volume of trade on the market will be explored. The latest import figures for 1395 (ended on March 20, 2017) in different categories specifying the countries from which Iran has imported the products will come next. Also in this part of the report, the estimates of Vistar Business Monitor based on figures released by official and unofficial sources will be presented.

The next section will focus on major brands that have the Iranian cosmetic market under their sway. The results of an exclusive survey by Vistar featuring those who use cosmetics will also be presented. And finally, a list of Iranian companies involved in imports and distribution of cosmetics will be presented and the most prominent importers of cosmetics into the country will be introduced.
Compared with its neighbors, Iran has a long history of underlining beauty, art, fashion and the like. In recent years, the use of cosmetics has made a quantum leap in Iran over the past decade thanks to a shift in value patterns, especially among young or even middle-aged women in society.

The Persian culture has had a strong emphasis on beauty, aesthetics, art, fashion, design, and poetry of years more than anywhere else in the Middle East. Iran has a history of searching for great cosmetic brands. In the beauty revolution in the West from 1920s and 30s, cosmetic brands were imported into Iran and actively purchased by the Iranian elites.
Iran has a domestic cosmetics industry where as the majority of the cosmetics are imported from other countries. Premium Western cosmetics brands are also well received amongst Iranian elites to this day. Therefore there are strong opportunities for the Western nations to benefit from penetrating the Iran Market. However this requires understanding the religious overtones that influence the government and the culture.

The widespread availability of satellite TV channels is mainly to blame for the extended use in recent years of cosmetics in Iran. At a time when satellite TV has found its way into people’s life, even the nomadic life, in Iran, one cannot look the other way when it comes to the impacts of the culture the satellite TV tries to instill in Iranian society. The growing use of satellite TV, which has resulted in Iranians watching European and American movies and TV series, has brought about a shift of attitude in the ranks of different groups of people in society, among them women who put on makeup on different grounds.

We are seen before we are understood. This means communications, especially human contacts, start with looking at other people’s faces. Women in Iran wear makeup to render themselves more beautiful, catch the attention of the opposite sex and sometimes to appear neat and well-groomed in society. According to a survey involving users of cosmetics in Iran, the following three are the most important reasons behind Iranian girls and women wanting to use cosmetics:
-    Beauty
-    Better self-feeling
-    Personal interest

In light of the fact that a mandatory dress code is in effect in Iran under which women are obliged to cover their hair and body completely, for women face is the only room for manoeuver and by applying makeup they use this part of their body in the best possible manner And they seize on this opportunity in the best way possible to make their presence felt in society.

As time wears on, applying makeup catches on. Despite the fact that an Islamic Republic is in power in the country, Iranian women have overtaken women in liberal Western countries when it comes to consumption of cosmetic products. The rise in cosmetic use is in evidence in Iran even when it comes to women who have chosen the traditional Islamic clothing: chador.      

The majority of women apply makeup shortly after getting up in the morning, even if they are sick. They believe they need to appear neat and made-up in public.

Table of Contents
1    Notes    3
2    Executive Summary    4
3    Iran’s Demography    5
4    A Look at the Market through the Eyes of Different Sources    7
4.1    Lip makeup imports    10
4.2    Eye makeup imports    11
4.3    Nail polish imports    11
4.4    Makeup powder imports    12
4.5    Imports of skincare products and similar cosmetics    13
4.6    Imports of hairdressing products    14
4.7    Imports of other products    15
5    Smuggling in Iran    16
6    Estimated Size of the Market and Figures on Household Consumption Costs    18
7    Available Brands in the Market    19
8    A Review of Consumption Status and Consumer Tendencies    22
9    Importers    36
10    Investment Opportunities    37
11    Appendix – Survey Questionnaire    37

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