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Cover Story: Cosmeceuticals Inject Innovation Into Antiaging

By: Diana Dodson
Posted: April 2, 2008, from the April 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

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While skin care is a beauty priority in many Asian markets (four of the six biggest per capita spenders on skin care are in this region), antiaging is seen as less important than skin whitening and standard cleansing, toning and moisturizing products. At ¥1.5 trillion ($13.1 billion), Japan is the largest skin care market in the world, but less than 10% of spending is accounted for by antiagers. In the U.S. and U.K., the figure is closer to 30%. However, China, India, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia are seen as important new growth areas for the antiaging market as international beauty trends filter into these booming new economies.

Youthfulness: A Beauty Priority

A growing appearance-consciousness among consumers is fueling dynamism in the antiaging market globally. People are under a great deal of pressure to look good all the time, something that is being instigated by a mass media that often promotes an unrealistic archetype of beauty. Healthier lifestyles, too, mean that, as they grow older, consumers are increasingly feeling more youthful than their actual age would suggest, and antiagers are seen as a way to ensure that one’s outer appearance reflects this inner youthfulness.

The market is also benefiting from manufacturers’ attempts to broaden the consumer base for antiagers. The growth in products designed to prevent the skin from aging, rather than those that claim to turn back the clock on more mature skin, has attracted consumers in their 30s and 40s to the market. Men’s antiagers has also become a small but vibrant segment.

It is not only volume sales that are on the rise, however; value sales are also achieving strong growth. Efficacy is of prime importance in this market, and price is seen as a key determinant of quality. Premium brands do well in the antiaging segment, and five of the leading 10 global brands are prestige labels—including Estée Lauder, Lancôme and Shiseido.

Increasingly, too, consumers are trading up to exclusive, niche antiaging brands such as Crème de la Mer—which can cost well in excess of $200 for a 50 mL pot. RéVive Peau Magnifique retails for $1,500 for four 1 mL vials of antiaging serum—about double the average price of a single Botox treatment. Even mass brands are contributing to unit price rises, with labels such as Olay offering products at a price not far below those of premium alternatives such as Clinique.

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