Whether you’re having a facial in a spa, or doing your makeup at home, every beauty lover will have their favourite brands and products that they love to use, with some products being firmly placed on people’s beauty shelves for years. From signature scents to a skincare saviour that never lets you down, there are hundreds of products and brands out on the market which are deemed iconic, thanks to their popularity with consumers.
With so many much-loved products out there, we wanted to find out which are the world’s favourites. To do this, we analysed the Google search volumes for some of the world’s most popular products and brands in each country around the world. From this, we’ve been able to reveal the top makeup, skincare and scent cult favourites of all time. Read on to find out where your favourite beauty product ranks…
The World’s Most Popular Iconic Beauty Products
Ranking as the world’s most popular beauty product is The Ordinary Niacinamide, which is the top product for 63 countries, including Italy, Canada and Mexico. The super affordable beauty cult favourite is a water-based, universal serum for blemish-prone skin, which is designed to smooth, brighten and balance textural irregularities. The serum, which is made up predominantly of niacinamide and zinc PCA is suited to all skin types, which along with its extremely accessible price point, is likely why it's so loved amongst skincare fanatics around the world.
In second position as the world’s most popular beauty product is Charlotte Tilbury’s Flawless Filter, emerging as a fan favourite in 14 countries including the UK, USA and Australia. The product was catapulted to popularity after exploding on TikTok and now one bottle of the dewy highlighter is thought to sell every two minutes worldwide. The ‘glow booster’ designed by the British makeup brand is designed to give your face a filtered and glowy look and can be worn either on its own or under or over makeup as a highlighter. Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk lipstick - another iconic product amongst beauty lovers - also ranks in the top list at sixth place, with the classic neutral lipstick being a favourite product in Poland, Ukraine and Georgia.
Rounding off the top three is the iconic Nivea Creme, which is sold in the nostalgic blue tin which many of us will remember seeing in our beauty cupboards at home from a young age. First released in 1911, the product has remained a family favourite for over 100 years thanks to its wide-ranging uses - the all-rounder can be used as a moisturiser, face mask, body lotion, make-up remover and even a massage cream. It’s the most popular beauty product for 15 countries around the world, including Germany, Brazil and Vietnam.
The only scent to make the list is Poison by Dior - a rich scent with notes of honey, coriander and musk, which is the most searched for product in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia. Other products which made the list included makeup classics including Benefit’s Benetint and Laura Mercier’s Translucent Setting Powder (the most popular product in Turkey and Greece respectively), and Clarins’ Double Serum - an anti-ageing concentrate which is lusted after in countries including Spain and South Africa.
|Rank||Iconic beauty product||No. of countries' top product|
|1||The Ordinary Niacinamide||63|
|2||Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter||14|
|4||Clarins Double Serum||7|
|6||Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk||3|
|=7||Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder||1|
The World’s Most Popular Iconic Beauty Brands
As well as the world’s most popular iconic products, we also wanted to see which brands were topping beauty lovers’ lists, and so we looked at search demand for some of the world’s biggest beauty, scent and skincare brands around the world too.
Skincare brand CeraVe tops the list of the world’s most iconic beauty brands, with the dermatologically tested skincare brand exploding onto the mass beauty market over the past few years thanks to going viral on TikTok - despite being recommended by skin care pros since the 00s. The brand offers a range of cleansers, moisturisers, serums and more, which contain three essential ceramides which can help restore the skin’s protective barrier. CeraVe is the most searched for brand in 39 countries including Portugal, Thailand and Mexico.
Affordable skincare brand La Roche Posay follows in second position, with 33 countries around the world, including Australia, New Zealand and Canada, favouring the brand over all other beauty brands. The skincare brand, which originated in France, is a fan favourite by consumers and dermatologists alike, thanks to its affordable price points and sensitive-skin-friendly range. Some of the brand’s most popular products include the Effaclar Duo (+) Moisturiser, Cicaplast Balm and Invisible Fluid SPF50+ Sun Cream.
Global beauty brand Avon ranks in third position, with the cosmetics, skincare, perfume and personal care company based in London being a firm beauty favourite for 30 countries around the world including South Africa and Brazil. Vaseline is the fourth most popular beauty brand in the world (10 countries) while makeup brand MAC ranks in fifth spot, with nine countries including Japan, Greece and Spain searching for the brand more than any other.
UK cosmetic company Charlotte Tilbury is the favourite brand for seven countries including the UK and Ireland, while singer Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty is the only celebrity-owned company to make the list of the top iconic beauty brands.
|Rank||Iconic beauty brand||No. of countries' top brand|
|2||La Roche Posay||33|
The USA’s Most Popular Beauty Brands and Products
Revenue in the US cosmetics market is estimated to reach over $19 billion in 2023, and with so many states searching for their favourite brands and products, we wanted to dive a little deeper into the data, to reveal each state’s brands and products of choice.
When it came to the USA’s favourite products there were two clear winners, with Charlotte Tilbury’s Flawless Filter ranking as the top for 33 states including New York and California, while Glossier’s You perfume ranks as the top product for the remainder of states.
When looking at the brands loved by beauty obsessives in the US, Glossier tops the list. The skincare and beauty brand launched less than ten years ago, back in October 2014 by founder Emily Weiss, and has grown to become a global beauty brand, which was valued at around $1.8 billion in 2021. Some of the brand’s cult products include brow product ‘Boy Brow’, multi-use balm ‘Balm dotcom’ and skincare staple ‘Milk Jelly Cleanser’ - leading the brand to be a favourite of 22 states in the US.
Skincare brand Drunk Elephant follows in second spot, while makeup brands MAC and ColourPop Cosmetics rank in third and fourth spots, emerging as the favourite beauty brands for five and three states respectively. Other iconic beauty brands which make the top list include La Roche Posay, Origins and Aveda.
Desk research was used to formulate a list of 111 iconic beauty products and 143 iconic beauty brands. We then analysed the Google search volume of each product and brand for 159 countries around the world to determine which products and brands came out top in each location. This data was also used to reveal the number of countries and US states that favoured each product and brand. All data correct as of September 2023.