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By: Abby Penning
Posted: December 6, 2010, from the December 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.
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Beauty products as simple as lip gloss and moisturizer are seeing health benefits these days. From the introduction of SPF into foundations, skin creams, hair products and more to the increasing introduction of ingredients such as collagen, resveratrol, acai and amino acids, products are being formulated to not only create a youthful, fresh outward appearance, but also to help support a medically healthy body as well. While it’s true that these ingredients and efforts have long supported both health and beauty, the industry has turned the dial up on touting these offerings, showing how they truly do work hand in hand to leave consumers with the results they crave. This has led brand owners to encourage further introduction of these ingredients into formulations, as well as analyzing the ingredients products already include for medically based benefits.
This has also led to a relative explosion of the cosmeceutical niche within the beauty world. Albert Kligman, MD, PhD, a physician at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and a professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine coined the term, using it to describe topical preparations that were sold as cosmetics but could benefit the skin like a pharmaceutical. Though physicians getting in on the act of beauty products is nothing new, now many dermatologists and cosmetic physicians are branding their lines with their own names, such as Perricone MD, a line founded and supported by dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, MD; Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, formerly MD Skincare; and Obagi Medical Products, founded by Zein Obagi, MD, a dermatologist.
This trend also has encouraged the rise of nutraceuticals, or supplements taken to help encourage and ensure healthy skin, hair and nails. Going beyond vitamins and dietary supplements, these beauty supplements feature a gamut of antioxidant options, isoflavonoids and other ingredients that often naturally appear in food and drink, but are now being used to support a beauty routine. The supplements aren’t always just in pill form, also appearing as drinks and foods, and beauty-supporting ingredients in these consumables are increasingly used to help supplement the skin, hair and nail beauty maintenance routines people are already undertaking.
The recession as a trend is so 2009— or at least that’s what economists, who assert the economic downturn ended in July 2009, would say. However, the challenges of the difficult economy have implications that are certainly stretching into 2010 and beyond. For the beauty industry, one of the main lasting effects is the increased popularity of private label and store brands. When the economy turned south, many consumers, instead of giving up their beauty routine altogether, shifted to similar products that featured a lower price point. From the online-exclusive GCI magazine article “The Rebuilding of Bar Soap,” Jim Howard, vice president of sales and marketing with bar soap manufacturer Twincraft, said, “There has been a massive focus from the FDM [food, drug, mass] stores to develop their own private label store brands. As a result of the recession, consumers began shifting to using these store brands for their better price points, and then found they liked them. This has encouraged the FDM lines to want to innovate to keep these consumers interested and retain them.”
Now, these lines are working to keep the consumers they gained during the economic downturn—as some consumers turn back to their tried and true brands, as Ed Shirley, vice chair of global beauty and grooming, P&G, noted at a September 2010 CEW event. “Consumers can’t afford to fail [in their product selection] when they don’t have much discretionary income. Brands are trust marks.” This has influenced what retailers offer to consumers on the shelves, as well as how new products are being conceptualized, formulated and marketed.