Personal care and cosmetics to India

The cosmetics and personal care industry is one of the fastest growing consumer products sectors in India. There is strong potential for Australian exporters.

Market size and growth trends

The personal care and cosmetics sector in India has had continued strong growth. There is increasing shelf space in retail stores and boutiques in India for stock imported products.

India is also one of the fastest growing consumer markets in the world. There is a move away from informal markets to organised and premium retail in major Indian cities. This is also happening in smaller towns and cities.

Key trends

Key drivers of demand for imported cosmetics products include:

  • growth in organised and premium retail
  • emergence of a young urban population in Indian cities with increasing disposable income
  • an increase in the number of working women
  • changing lifestyles
  • increased affordability of lifestyle oriented and luxury products
  • social media and fashion television programs
  • greater product choice and availability due to the growth of India’s e-commerce market.

Growing spa sub-sector

The spa sub-sector is also growing. This includes the number of spas, and the diversity of spas and products available.

International spa brand products have entered the Indian market via leading online retail platforms. Brands are capitalising on the changing global trends and easy online presence. Platforms include Flipkart, Myntra and Amazon.  

Marketing and distributing your product

Marketing your product in India may need strong marketing and sales efforts. Indian importers often look for strong marketing and advertising support from exporters for building the brand in this market. It can also help to have more than one distributor covering different regions of the country. However, it’s good to work with only one national importer at a time.

Importers prefer Australian brands that are known internationally. Importers’ initial preferred product volumes are likely to be low. The cost of advertising, marketing and promotion can be high.

Dermatologists are also important market influencers for certain skincare products.

Key players in the market


Many foreign brands have established themselves in the Indian market. They have a strong support structure and an India-specific pricing strategy.

Established international brands in India include:

  • Revlon
  • Avon
  • Burberry
  • Nivea
  • Calvin Klein
  • Loreal
  • Cartier
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • MAC
  • Christian Dior.

Australia is relatively new to the Indian cosmetics market compared to brands from the United States of America (USA) and Europe. It’s important to increase your brand’s profile.

Export locations

Traditional exporters to India include:

  • France
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • China
  • USA

There is also recently increasing exports to India from:

  • Japan
  • Hong Kong
  • Malaysia
  • Thailand
  • South Africa
  • Israel
  • Turkey
  • Jordan

Popular imported products

Some of the major cosmetics items India imports include:

  • fragrances
  • colour cosmetics
  • long-lasting lipsticks
  • liquid lip colour
  • eye make-up
  • sunscreen
  • specialised skincare products, including dry skin, anti-ageing, anti-wrinkle and anti-blemish products
  • skin care products for men
  • professional hair care, hair coloring and styling products
  • nail colors, nail care products and artificial nails
  • shaving creams.

Organic personal care and cosmetics product imports are also growing. These are particularly popular among professionals.

Laws and regulations

Registering your product

You need to register all cosmetic products imported for sale in India with the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO). The CDSCO is part of the Directorate General of Health Services.

Registering can be costly and time consuming. Exporters can use the services of an importer or consultant to register with the relevant authorities.

Animal testing ban

Animal testing of cosmetics is banned in India. This also applies to cosmetics products imported into India.

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs website has more information about India’s import duties for all products.

How Austrade can help

We have a dedicated team in major Indian cities. Our specialists can help Australian businesses understand, enter and succeed in this market.

Contact Austrade online or call 13 28 78


Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.

Contact details

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission – Austrade – contributes to Australia's economic prosperity by helping Australian businesses, education institutions, tourism operators, governments and citizens as they:

  • develop international markets
  • win productive foreign direct investment
  • promote international education
  • strengthen Australia's tourism industry
  • seek consular and passport services.

Working in partnership with Australian state and territory governments, Austrade provides information and advice that can help Australian companies reduce the time, cost and risk of exporting. We also administer the Export Market Development Grant Scheme and offer a range of services to Australian exporters in growth and emerging markets.