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Skin Care Remains Star of Global Beauty Market

By: Carrie Lennard, Euromonitor International
Posted: August 31, 2010, from the September 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

Skin care remains the most important category in the global beauty market by far, accounting for a 23% value share of total sales in 2009, according to market research firm Euromonitor International. This means that its success is pivotal to the performance of the industry as a whole. Growth in global skin care sales slowed to 3% in 2009, down from 5% in 2008. Even growth in the star category, nourishers/antiagers (9% value growth in 2008), slipped to 7% in 2009 as consumers in key markets looked for less-expensive alternatives for their skin care regimen.

Sales of Premium Antiagers Forecast to Perform Well

Despite some trade down during the recession, premium skin care is set to see the biggest increase in value size of any premium segment, with $2.6 billion predicted to be added over 2009–2014, equating to 40% of absolute growth in the entire premium beauty industry. This performance will be driven by strong demand for premium skin care in Asia, especially China. Even in Western markets such as the U.S., sales of premium antiagers have remained comparatively buoyant as consumers have, evidently, attached greater importance to fighting the aging process than other areas of beauty, and the perception of a link between price and efficacy remains strong for many consumers despite evidence to the contrary. Despite declines in many other areas of skin care, recession-hit France saw 3% value growth in premium antiagers in 2009, up from 1% in 2008, according to Euromonitor.

Antiagers Buoy U.S. Skin Care’s Positive Growth

The U.S. skin care category is expected to swell by $264 million 2009–2014, largely driven by nourishers/antiagers. While cleansers and acne treatments, notably body and facial moisturizers, have reached maturity and are expected to see sales growth slow or even decline, the nourishers/antiagers category shows no signs of slowing down. Demand for antiaging products will be driven by the aging U.S. population, with the number of consumers over 50 set to rise by more than 10 million 2009–2014.

Flagging Anticellulite Sales

According to Euromonitor statistics, while global growth in nourishers/antiagers may have taken a slight knock to 7% in 2009, value growth in anticellulite creams plummeted from 6% in 2008 to just 1% in 2009. In tests, neither product type has been shown to work effectively in the long term. Even though effective, efficacious antiagers only temporarily plump up the skin by a fraction of a millimeter, they are performing better, which raises questions as to why.