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EghtesadOnline: Iran accounts for $2.1 billion of the Middle East’s $7.2 billion beauty products market–second in the region after Saudi Arabia, according to the Iranian Association of Cosmetics, Toiletries and Perfumery Importers.

Around 70% of cosmetics imports to Iran are smuggled and nearly 15 million people are consumers of beauty products in the country, the Persian daily Shahrvand reported.

The Central Bank of Iran put Iranian households’ annual average income at 270 million rials ($7,460 at market exchange rates) for the last fiscal year (March 2015-16). The CBI report also shows only 2% of the households’ annual expenditure went to recreation and culture, that is, 1.35 million rials ($37.3) for each person, compared to 4.2 million rials ($116) they spend on cosmetics.

In other words, Iranians spend three times more on cosmetics than they do for recreational and cultural activities.

According to the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, about 2,000 tons of cosmetic products worth more than $21.6 million were imported to Iran in the first three months of the current Iranian year (started March 20). The figures show the amount of legally imported products only, reports Financial Tribune.

The imports were mostly from the UAE, France, India, Turkey, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, South Korea, China, the UK and Indonesia.

Iran Cosmetics