Iranians Spend $2.1b on Beauty Products Annually

There are 15 million cosmetic product users in Iran, which ranks second in the region after Saudi Arabia in the $7.2 billion beauty products market in the Middle East
Iranians Spend $2.1b on Beauty Products Annually
Iranians Spend $2.1b on Beauty Products Annually

Iranians spend 4.5% of their annual earnings on beauty products, three times more than their European counterparts, as per official statistics. The Germans spend 1.5% and the French and British 1.7% of their income every year on cosmetics.

According to data from the Iranian Association of Cosmetics, Toiletries and Perfumery Importers, Iran accounts for $2.1 billion of the Middle East’s $7.2 billion beauty products market–second in the region after Saudi Arabia, the Persian daily Shahrvand reported.

It is said that there are 15 million consumers for cosmetic products in Iran. Dividing the annual turnover by this number shows that each consumer spends $140 on cosmetics per year. Germany’s online statistics portal (Statista) states that the per capita cosmetic spending in Europe is €90 ($99) on average. The index is $173.5 in Germany, $176 in France, $177 in Britain, $169 in Italy and $150 in Spain.

If the raw figures alone are taken, Iranians spend less than Europeans on make-up products. But the results change as other parameters such as the price of products and household average earnings are taken into account as well.

As confirmed by the Iranian Association of Cosmetics, Toiletries and Perfumery Importers, 70% of the cosmetics in the market are smuggled into the country and often sold at a lower price than they would be if they were legally imported, not to mention the health risks contraband products are likely to pose. Europeans on the other hand pay the real price of the products which includes tax and are thus more expensive.

Moreover, the spending has to be measured as compared to the average earnings. Based on Gallup Incorporation’s opinion polls, Iranians’ median per capita income has been estimated as $3,100 while that of the Germans, French and British $14,000, $12,500 and $12,300 respectively. The Spanish and Italians earn $6,800 and $7,200.

This means that Iranians spend 4.5% of their income on beauty products while the figure is 1.5% for Germans, 1.7% for the French and British, 3% for Italians and 2.5% for the Spanish.

These calculations show that people in Iran spend three times as much on cosmetics as German, French and British consumers.

  Cosmetic Surgery

Additionally, Iran’s Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons’ Association has announced that 80,000 cosmetic surgeries are performed each year constituting 0.3% of the operations in the world. This is a rather large percentage given that only 1.08% of the world population lives in Iran. Besides, the figure is said to be approximate due to the absence of an official registration system and the fact that other types of beauty surgeries such as body contouring and facial rejuvenation, among many others, are not included.

Data from the Central Bank and the Statistics Center of Iran suggest that cultural pursuits constitute a small portion of Iranian household expenditure. The reports indicate that each family spent only 2% of their income on recreation and cultural activities in 2015, less than half their expenses on cosmetic products.

Iran’s share of the world book market is 0.1% which is one-third the country’s share of the cosmetics market. The $2.1 billion incurred on beauty products is said to equal Japan’s cinema turnover and exceeds that of Bollywood and the UK’s film industry.   

Culture, cinema and books don’t comprise high-income businesses in Iran while cosmetic surgeons and beauty product dealers make fortunes on their business.

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