Natural Beauty: The Pacific Way

Pacific people have been using coconut and other natural produce as beauty products for centuries. Traditionally, coconut has been used for food and cooking products as well as for handmade oils, highly valued for its restorative properties.

Now, the same traditional-based processes, for both coconut as well as other popular cosmetic oils such as monoi and tamanu, are providing an opportunity to create luxurious soaps, scrubs, elixirs, and lotions for national and international markets. From the village to the factory – opportunity is booming.

Across the Blue Pacific, there is immense opportunity for businesses to work with small-scale farmers and local communities to develop world-class natural beauty products for sale in the regional tourist sector, as well as for export to international markets.

How the market stacks up

In 2018, the global cosmetic oil market was valued at US$50.58 billion. Compound annual growth rate should register at 5.2% between 2019 to 2025.

The beneficial properties of cosmetic oils (anti-microbial, moisturising and anti-inflammatory are projected to fuel demand over coming years. This will ultimately drive market growth.

As people become increasingly health conscious, consumers are also moving towards more organic products. This drives an increased demand for organic oils as part of people’s diets. It also shows a growing preference for organic over synthetic oils in beauty products.

A 2019 analysis of the organic oil market by Persistence Market Research described the Asia-Pacific region as the fastest growing exporter in this market, with China and India highlighted as large consumers.

Consumer trends are showing preferences for organic, raw and natural dietary products with an increasing focus on personal health. Consumers are also demanding products using less resources while contributing to the circular economy.

Pacific businesses are in a uniquely advantageous position. They can leverage consumer ideals with their promise of raw, pristine and sustainable products, fresh from the islands.

Impact from the global pandemic

A recent market-force driver has been the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for organic oils and cosmetic products has increased over the past two-years.

According to management consultancy firm McKinsey & Company, while the global beauty and cosmetics industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, sales of skincare, haircare and body care products have benefited

This aligns with the ‘lipstick effect’: an economic theory that suggests consumers will seek comfort and indulgence during times of economic downturn by purchasing small luxuries such as cosmetics and self-care products.

Divine oils from the Pacific

The Pacific is lush with raw and organic products used within the cosmetic oil space. Coconut, a superfood central to the lives in the Blue Pacific holds high value in cosmetic export markets, valued at US$4.5 billion in 2020. Coconut also produces feed for local livestock as a by-product of its oil extraction. This is a simple example of a circular economy providing positive and sustainable sociological and economic outcomes.

Similarly, Pacific cultures have used oil from the tamanu fruit both medicinally and aesthetically for centuries. Known for its nutrient-filled, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, it is a valuable ingredient in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and personal care products.

In 2019, the global market for tamanu (moringa) oil was valued at US$84.9 million. It is projected to reach US$137.2 million by 2027. This upswing comes as people become more aware of its health benefits and seek out more natural remedies for skin and personal care.

Lastly, monoï oil, the gem of French Polynesia. Infusing the petals of tiaré flower petals in pure coconut oil is the reason monoï possesses many of the same benefits as coconut oil, containing hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic properties that support its use in skin and haircare products. Like champagne, monoï carries an Appellation of Origin. Only products from French Polynesia are labelled ‘monoï’.

Working together

With a market primed for entry, Pacific businesses and the communities behind them have much to gain from the success of Pacific-based cosmetic oils and organic beauty products.

Economic growth, improvement in living standards and further employment opportunities all present optimistic prospects, only serving to encourage those interested into the fast-growing industry.

We work with a range of cosmetic oil and skincare producers throughout the Pacific. If you’d like to learn more, get in touch with :

Aotearoa New Zealand – Aude Douyère, Trade Development Manager:

Australia – Jeremy Grennell, General Manager – Exports:

China – Yolanda Jiang, Trade Development Manager:

Europe – Jodie Stewart, Trade Commissioner Europe:

Previous Post

Volcanic Earth – Vanuatu’s Natural Beauty Brand

Next Post

Delivering pertinent information for exporting into the New Zealand market

  • Keep informed

    Subscribe to Pacific Trade’s newsletter and keep up to date with our news and views.