p-ISSN: 2162-9374    e-ISSN: 2162-8416

2017;  7(1): 48-51



The Usage of Cosmetic in Malaysia: Understanding the Major Factors that Affect the Users

Selvarajah Krishnan1, Nur Safia Amira2, Umi Nur Atilla2, Siti Syafawani2, Muhamad Hafiz2

1International University of Malaya-Wales, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2University Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Correspondence to: Selvarajah Krishnan, International University of Malaya-Wales, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Copyright © 2017 Scientific & Academic Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).


The cosmetic industry has been expanding rapidly in both developed and developing countries. The cosmetics market in Asia seems to be one of the fastest growing markets. Research on cosmetic has received a lot of attention from the authorities that are governing the industry. Nowadays, the business players have diversified their marketing strategies not only for the female market but also to the male market as well. The purpose of this paper is to identify the factors that affect the usage of the cosmetic in Malaysia. Some of the variables consist of branding, ingredients and skin problems. In addition this study will refer to the primary and secondary data. In the meantime the questionnaire will be used as a method to collect all the data from respondent to accomplish the research objective.

Keywords: Branding, Ingredients, Skin Problems

Cite this paper: Selvarajah Krishnan, Nur Safia Amira, Umi Nur Atilla, Siti Syafawani, Muhamad Hafiz, The Usage of Cosmetic in Malaysia: Understanding the Major Factors that Affect the Users, Management, Vol. 7 No. 1, 2017, pp. 48-51. doi: 10.5923/

1. Introduction

Understanding behavior of consumers is a key to the success of business organizations. Beauty and personal care have been supported and positive outlook respond from the industry players in Malaysia (Euromomitor, 2012). Thus the issues from the perspective of the need that could either be physiological or sociological, youths tend to place more interest in maintaining their self-esteems. Marketing personnel are constantly analyzing the patterns of buying behavior and purchase decisions to predict the future trends. Nowadays, cosmetic is one of the elements that bring attractiveness to human. It is becoming a trend for most people especially women and teenager to use cosmetic in their daily life. As mentioned by Rodda (2004) to some Asians they tend to overdo the usage such as like the whitening ritual. For approximately users, they randomly picked products to be used without thoroughly exploring the usefulness and the negative outcomes of the usage. Moreover, it is vital to study the ingredients, understand what they are and what they can do to users’ skin. As frequently, the promotion or the launch of new products should be analyzed before purchasing decision are made by the people. “The last thing you want to worry about first thing in the morning is whether the products that make us and our children clean and comfortable also contain cancer-causing chemicals.” (Congressman Markey, 2013). The growing consumer concern about harmful chemicals exposure to human beings as well as the earth’s environment, the natural products sector has been the fastest growing segment of the cosmetics market even during the recession. Last but not least, in Malaysia, the manufacturers and marketers use Halal certification and logo as a way to notify and encourage their target market that their goods are Halal and shariah-compliant. In general, the Malaysian Muslim consumers have the tendency to believe in and purchase product with the reliable Halal certification.

2. Literature Review

The biggest issues that always show up are all about the reason for using cosmetic that can affect the skin and cosmetic usage. The effect to the skin by using cosmetic is one of the expectations that vary for the cosmetic user itself. The importance of cosmetic is usually to look more beautiful and be confident. It also plays a big role in the creation of an image or being presentable to others (DeLong and Bye, 1990). In a meanwhile, cosmetic usage gives a really big impact to the skin of users that come in good result and ineffective result. In line with this problem, people currently have a greater awareness to protect themselves from hazardous chemical substances. They have become more concerned about cosmetic formulations, and this has developed into a vital criterion for consumers in choosing cosmetic products. According to (Rodda, 2004) a beauty therapist, he revealed that a lot of products in the market are harsh on the skin. Hence, cosmetic products made from natural ingredients have become more popular. Moreover, natural cosmetic products produce beneficial effects, such as fewer side effects, compared with chemical-based cosmetics, and they are environmental-friendly products. In addition, whitening and brightening is big business in the Asian beauty industry. Most of the supermarkets and pharmacies in Malaysia sell a wide range of whitening products. It also offers a solution for those who suffer signs of premature ageing such as brown spots, blotches and discolorations of the skin.
Moreover, without using a correct protection when using cosmetic product, it can lead to making the skin be more sensitive. The skin will go on defensive, thinking that it is being attacked. Many people say they have sensitive skin because skincare products, or household products that contact their skin, cause stinging, burning, redness, or tightness. Usually, people are concerned about the condition on the skin and not thinking about the effect to the skin. Cosmetic as a product that will ensure the changes on the skin turns out to be much demanded product that plays the part of fulfilling human needs. It is currently turning into a tendency that beauty care products are viewed as a piece of good grooming as they add sparkle to a young lady's eyes and glow to her skin. For instance, as the cosmetic industries gain its momentum, Greer (1991) discoveries determine through the years, there are many new product introduced into the industry. And as a result some firm widen their product line beyond not only skin care but also woman’s hair care reparation. Make up items such as eye shadows, eye liner, mascara and other cosmetic items that can enlighten women’s appearance. Thus, aging population will stimulate the development of age-specific makeup and color cosmetic products, particularly in the facial makeup industries (Merchandiser 1999).
Relationships between branding of cosmetic and the effect on cosmetic usage have been conducted in a research. Branding can be in the form of a general name of a product. The user perception of a product can be reflected through branding. In addition, brand gives a big impact in the decision making whether to buy the product or not. Past experience plays an important role in a product selection and brand loyalty. Shoppers tend to use advertising and packaging to guide them in order to increase their awareness towards the brand. Marketing mix is also important by introducing the brand of the product and also increases the brand loyalty. Moreover, brand loyalty can be develop by having a consistent advertising where it can be seen everywhere such as in TV, radio and also magazines. On top of that, price factor can also influence the usage of cosmetic. According to (Ball, 1989) a good price on a name brand can tip the scales on initial use for consumers, who then stayed with the product based on its performance. Unlike the earliest use of scents as primary concerned, the need for better image creation through branding greatly mould the development of cosmetic industry (Hulme, 2001).
Cosmetic usage and the ingredients in the cosmetic product plays important role in safety. A 2006 study by Chemical Safe Skincare Research found that the average woman uses 12 toiletries per day, cumulatively containing up to 175 different chemicals. Because 60 percent of products applied to the skin are absorbed into the body, the average woman absorbs five pounds of chemicals per year through her cosmetics. Many products on the market are not safe and effective, including one of every eight high-SPF sunscreens that does not protect from UVA radiation as mentioned by (EWG, 2007). They have also find out that 135 products that offer very good sun protection with ingredients that present minimal health risks to users.
Most of the ingredient in the cosmetic product involve of chemical rather than natural elements that will influence the skin of cosmetic users. According to Rodda (2004), he state that the two common active ingredients in skin care and beauty products are AHA (alpha hydroxyl acid) and BHA (beta hydroxyl acid). In the present study, investigation of 42 cosmetic products based on natural ingredients for content of 11 fragrance substances: geraniol, hydroxycitronellal, eugenol, isoeugenol, cinnamic aldehyde, cinnamic alcohol, α-amylcinnamic aldehyde, eitral, coumarin, and dihydrocoumarin and α-hexylcinnamic aldehyde. Some of the ingredients are natural and do not have any additional preservatives.
The detection of hydroxycitronellal and α-hexylcinnamic aldehyde in some of the products demonstrates that artificial fragrances compounds not yet regarded as natural substances. Thus, it may be present in products claimed to be based on natural ingredients (Rastogi, 1999).The key ingredients which include plants from Asia such as bamboo, water lily and liquorices are influencing the cosmetic usage (Rodda, 2004). Ingredients that meet the need of the aging baby boomer will continue to have an impact (Challener, 2000). In some countries, there are no strong regulations on safety of ingredients (Rodda, 2004). There's no misrepresentation of ingredients and what they promise to do. Even there is regulation but the cosmetic users also must beware while use the cosmetic products.

3. Research Methodology

This study is set to find out the usage and effect by using of cosmetics. This research include independent and dependent variables. The independent variable like effect on skin, ingredient of cosmetics and brand. Cosmetic usage being the dependent variable. This study are run to describe the ways to be a solution about the problem. For sure the problem exist from the cosmetic are get the solutions.
The investigation on association using non-directional hypotheses like there is a relationship between the cosmetic usage and the effect to the skin. There is a relationship between the cosmetic usage and the brand of cosmetic product and last there is a relationship between the cosmetic usage and the ingredients in the cosmetic product.
The research sampling method that will be used in this study is random sampling to obtain a more scientific result that could be used to represent the entirety of the population. A list of all health care facilities (maternity and lying-in clinics, public and private hospitals, health centers). The health care facilities and institutions in these three place will then be the target sources of respondents of the researcher.
The respondents in this research will all be coming from one single location - Kuala Lumpur, specifically the randomly selected area of Kuala Lumpur. The researcher choose Kuala Lumpur because of the socio-economic conditions present in the area that is relevant to the study and also as it fits the time frame and resources of the researcher. The randomly sampled respondents will be asked by the researcher for consent and approval to answer the questionnaire until the desired number of respondents which is 100 is reached.
The questionnaire requires information about the socio-economic and demographic background. Statements that are perceived to be factors that influence the reason why using cosmetics and why choosing the different brand. The cross-sectional data for the study were collected from the respondents elicited through personally administered questionnaires (PAQ). The data collection activities were confined to a local area and the organizations that were willing and able to assemble groups of user based on area to respond to the questionnaires. Other places involved those at maternity and lying-in clinics, public and private hospitals, and health centers. The data gathering activities were in the form of survey using a close-ended questionnaire as the instrument.

4. Findings

This study has been explored in Kuala Lumpur. The data form of survey using a close-ended questionnaire as the instrument. Studies focused on demographic profiles, concerning the effect of cosmetics to the skin, concerned on the ingredients on cosmetic, and concerned on branding. The awareness of cosmetic usage are being measure by using others factors also such as gender, age, occupation and level of income. Usage of cosmetic has become trend to be used to all gender but female are found to be more interesting in cosmetic to be compared to males. Educational and level of income been showed that it influences the usage of cosmetic in this three states. In factors level of income, representative that use cosmetic comes from various level of income. Representatives will first refer to the brand of the cosmetic product instead of looking for ingredients and effect to skins. The result of the between the ingredient, effect of skin, and branding towards cosmetic, among this three investigations, customer tend to consume and purchase cosmetic first by looking at the brand.
Cosmetic is widely used as people would feel confidents when using it. Pie chart shows that cosmetic are important and has become priority for consumer to purchase and use. The highest percentage of cosmetic categories is skincare with 30% users, followed by hair care 25% and cosmetics 15%. Here, we can conclude that skin care and hair care are the most purchase items and high in demand.
Figure 1
Figure 2
Diagram shows that cosmetics consists of variety of products, the most item used is bb/cc cream for 62%, followed by makeup remover for 50%, and sunblock for 48%. The data collected among user aged from 20-45 years old.

5. Conclusions

We can conclude that based on studies, cosmetic industry are getting bigger and increases due to customer demand. The wants and desire to look good, enhance confident level, and follow the trend are the main reason of the high usage of cosmetic. Among the factors that we studied such as effect to the skin, the ingredient on cosmetic and the brand of cosmetic, based on investigation, we can conclude that the brand itself are the main influence of customer behavior which it can influence purchasing decisions compared to effectiveness of product and the ingredients. Cosmetic are being used by all people which does not focus on any age, level of income, occupation and gender. The dominant user is female. Overall prevalence of cosmetic product use is increasing among both males and females. The industry players nowadays have diversified their marketing approaches not only to the traditional female market, but also to male market as well. Even though level of income and occupation are different but the usage of cosmetic are still high due to wants and demand. Maybe in the next studies, we can conduct more data on existing prices, imitation cosmetic that offer low prices, and quality of cosmetic product.


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