Taiwanese facial masks a big hit with mainland tourists

Taiwan - For Chinese tourists in Taiwan, in addition to purchasing local delicacies such as pineapple cakes and sun pastries, many would leave the island with regrets if they forgot to purchase locally made facial masks, producers said.

Since Taiwan's facial masks provide customers a variety of choices at reasonable prices, visitors from mainland China always sweep boxes of them off the shelves, according to local companies. "There were Chinese tourists demanding 1,500 boxes of our masks, which led to NT$18 million (S$760,860) in revenue within an hour," said Hsieh Chia-chia, the assistant manager of marketing of For Beloved One, a local cosmetics company. Hsieh said the company's sales performance increased 15 per cent beyond normal revenue levels, as tons of Chinese came to Taiwan during the holiday week this October.

Hsieh also stated that the same masks sold in China are more expensive than those in Taiwan (about NT$25 for one piece) by 1.3 times with tax included. According to Watson's marketing manager Pan Ya-lin, except for the price concerns, Chinese people choose to buy masks made in Taiwan for their quality.

Beautydiary, a brand ranking at the top of the Chinese mask-purchasing market, sold 70,000 of its masks worldwide over the past 10 years. Taiwan accounts for one-third of the market while the other 12 countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and the United States are responsible for the remainder, according to local media said. Beautydiary's brand manager Shi Yu-pian pointed out that masks including ingredients such as black pearl, soybean and bird nest rank among their top three products. The Chinese tourists prefer the soybean for it's moisturizing effects while Taiwanese focus on whitening and opt for the black pearl, said Shi.

Besides the facial masks, there's another popular product in the cosmetic industry - the facial night jelly. When visiting Taiwan, chances are that Chinese tourists will utilize facial night jelly along with facial masks for daily skin maintenance, local producers said.