The Top 10 Cosmetic Brands in the World – Companies That Dominate

branded bottle of beauty product

It’s interesting to know just which companies comprise the top 10 cosmetic brands in the world. Usually, those brands are considered to be the ones with the most sales and that make the most money. Should other factors be considered in ranking the best makeup companies? At Our World is Beauty we like to consider things like sustainability, purity of ingredients, toxicity, harm to the user, and harm to the environment so maybe we can make two lists of the top 10… one for the highest-grossing companies and one for the best quality consider factors such as cost, pure ingredients, and environmental harm.

RelatedLearn about holistic skincare.

The Top 10 Cosmetic Companies in the World


What’s the number one beauty brand in the world we hear you asking? Well, top spot goes to L’Oréal Paris at almost 10.2 billion United States dollars. L’Oréal has the caché of being a European based company and a very savvy marketing team. They may not make the best beauty products all things considered, but there’s no arguing they make the most money with their line of foundations, makeup, and more!


Gillette comes in at number two. While L’Oreal is more female-focused, Gillette also has a strong line-up of men’s products that accounts for a lot of their success. If you are missing almost half the adult population in your marketing strategy you lose out on a lot of your sales. Gillette sells close to 7.6 billion.


Nivea clocked in at 6.2 billion in sales last year. A German-owned company and subsidiary of Beiersdorf they market various skin and cosmetic products throughout the world. Nivea was introduced in 1911, so has been around for a remarkable 111 years as of 2022. That’s resilience!


Guerlain had 5.7 bn in sales. They are a luxury perfume firm that branched out into makeup and skin care. Are they pretentious or are they really that good? It’s up to you to decide, but certainly many millions of women swear by them.

Estée Lauder

Estée Lauder was the name adopted by Josephine Esther Mentzer when she started her cosmetic company in 1946 in New York. It does sound a lot more elegant! Because of the name I always thought it was a European company until doing some research. EL also did 5.7 billion in sales like Guerlain.


Pantene was introduced in 1945, just a year before Estée Lauder. It must have something to do with post-World War Two prosperity. All that entrepreneurial spirit bottled up for several years. Nowadays Pantene has less expensive products but they are well-liked by their customers. Pantene made 5.2 billion in 2021.


Dove is involved mostly with the toiletries (soaps, lotions, facial care) side of the beauty industry, but can still be considered a cosmetics company. Because of their worldwide presence, they sell a lot of bathroom necessities and so racked up sales of 5.1 billion.


Clinique is a brand also developed by Estée Lauder. It emphasizes safety and used dermatologist approval and testing products so that ingredients would not trigger allergic individuals. It boasted a 5 bn revenue in 2021 which, combined with Estée Lauder’s revenues outdid even L’Oréal.


Garnier, like Clinique, is a sort of sub-brand of a larger company. In this case, it is L’Oréal. Garnier is distinct from L’Oréal in that it claims its products are more natural and emphasizes environmental friendliness. The sales were 4.1 billion USD last year.


Finally, Head and Shoulders by Proctor and Gamble, the good old dandruff shampoo brand had a net income of 4 bn last year. Head and Shoulders is very much advertising-driven in its success. They employ top-tier celebs to get their message across, so it is no wonder they have a high profile.

In Summary

While covid-19 has affected the bottom lines of a lot of businesses in the last couple of years — including beauty — we expect the top 10 cosmetic brands in the world in 2023 to show a rebound in their dollar totals. As far as the landscape for smaller more sustainability-oriented companies, they do tend to come and go, and only the strongest survive difficult times like the pandemic. Check in next year to see if there is any shakeup in the top ten makeup and beauty brands.

Image Credit – Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash