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Shipping Beauty Products Internationally: The Basics

Monday, July 1, 2019
3 mins

Shipping beauty products internationally is a winning formula for many businesses in today’s global economy. According to Forbes, “the business of beauty continues to defy gravity.” Much of the growth is happening in emerging markets where grooming and beauty products are just developing passionate consumer followings.

Let’s take a look at why shipping health products and beauty products internationally is such big business. Then we’ll cover the basics for sending health and beauty shipments abroad.

Growing Global Demand for Beauty Products

The health and beauty market includes hair care, skin care, oral care, fragrances, sun care, deodorant, and bath and shower products. According to Reuters, “the global cosmetic products market was valued at USD 532.43 billion in 2017, and is expected to reach a market value of USD 805.61 billion by 2023.

Several trends are helping accelerate the health and beauty market. First is the growth of the industry outside of the United States, including China and Hong Kong. Other regions like Latin America are also showing strong demand for beauty products. Led by Brazil, the world’s fourth-largest beauty market, other Latin American countries like Colombia, Chile, and Mexico are seeing heightened interest in many beauty products. With fewer brands to compete against locally, Latin America can be an attractive destination for shipping beauty products internationally.

From makeup to hair care, international beauty product sales are growing in Latin America. - Image source

Another trend driving growth in the beauty industry is the fact that men are investing more in their grooming beyond the traditional shaving, soap, and deodorant products. According to Forbes, sales of skincare products for men increased 11% in 2017, which is better than any other men’s grooming products.

Perhaps most importantly, the beauty industry is finally going digital. Beauty products have traditionally been a stalwart of retail stores, but new technologies like augmented reality and the growth of direct-to-consumer e-commerce are making shopping for beauty products online a reality for many people, with expected growth of at least 15% in 2019.

4 Tips for Shipping Beauty Products Internationally

To capitalize on the popularity of health and beauty products across the globe, e-commerce retailers need to know the ins and outs of shipping beauty products internationally. The direct-to-consumer e-commerce beauty sector has a few hurdles to negotiate related to warehousing, logistics, and costs. Luckily, with a little help from the right sources, you can start shipping health products and beauty products internationally in no time. Here are the top four tips to get you started:

  1. Alcohol-based perfumes are considered hazardous and can’t be shipped by air without special certifications. Speak with your logistics partner to make sure the proper measures are taken. Many cosmetics are expensive and fragile; products like powdered foundation can get ruined if not properly packaged for international shipping, and other items like creams can be spoiled if not kept at the right temperature.
  2. Many health and beauty products are subject to regulations around packaging, ingredients, marketing claims, and safety warnings, and the regulations between different countries don’t always align. Even if the U.S. FDA approves a product, it may not meet the requirements to be sold in Brazil, for example.
  3. As beauty and health products tend to be driven by trends, supply management can be a challenge, especially for smaller e-commerce retailers.
  4. One area where shipping these products abroad is easier than other goods is in returns planning. On average, cosmetics are returned at a rate of 1-2%, far below the average 20% return rates across e-commerce retail. Rejoice and prepare your logistics team accordingly!

The challenges of shipping health products and beauty products internationally can be overcome when you partner with a knowledgeable shipping and logistics company with experience in your target markets. If Latin America is among your international shipping destinations, read on for details on country-specific regulations for importing health and beauty products.

Which LatAm Countries Allow Shipping Beauty Products and Health Products?

Argentina: Some cosmetic imports are permitted, but they typically require additional documentation. Requirements vary depending on the specific type of cosmetic. The country’s health service also prohibits the import of cosmetics that contain certain toxic substances.

Brazil: Cosmetic imports are allowed. However, make sure that the value is declared properly as customs will inspect parcels.

Chile: Cosmetics imports are permitted, with approval from the Health Service. Obtaining this permission carries an additional cost.

Mexico: Cosmetic imports are permitted for personal use. Take care not to include more than 10 products in a single shipment, however. Customs may assume that it’s for commercial use, which requires a different type of clearance.

Do you have questions about shipping beauty products and health products to other countries in Latin America? Get in touch for country-specific assistance from one of our customer service representatives.

Consider Shipping to Latin America

If you’re an e-commerce health and beauty retailer, consider shipping to Latin America. Overall, Latin American countries spend more on beauty products per person than most other countries (except the U.S. and E.U.), including China. Brazilians imported USD 1.71 billion in beauty products in 2015 alone. Brazil accounts for 9.4% of the global beauty product market, and the country is the top consumer of “deodorant, fragrances and sun protection in the world.”

Brazilian women are major consumers of beauty products in the region. - Image source: Photo by Lucas Lenzi on Unsplash

Beauty is big business in the region, and that reputation is only growing.

With decades of experience shipping across Latin America, SkyPostal is the perfect partner to help you grow your health and beauty business in the region. Contact us today to see how our regional expertise can help you keep costs down and customers happy.