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Skin Care Market Radiant for Foreseeable Future

By: Nicole Tyrimou, Euromonitor International
Posted: August 28, 2012, from the September 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Furthermore, Clarisonic anti-aging devices and their growing popularity, which has been fueled by a high-profile media presence and attention from bloggers, have given rise to a new category within beauty.

Search for Unique Ingredients

As the competition between brands intensifies, companies are looking for new ingredients and technologies to establish a unique selling point. A growing trend, currently present in many other beauty and personal care categories, is the use of natural ingredients. Although this used to be a niche for companies such as Skin Nutrition, Korres and Lush among others, it is now becoming more mainstream, with brands such as Garnier, L’Oréal and Christian Dior dipping their toes into the world of natural and nature-inspired ingredients.

The new range from Christian Dior, Diorsnow, uses one of the more recent nature-inspired ingredients, Icelandic glacial water. The water’s higher purity and mineral balance is said to improve efficacy. As the product range also offers whitening, it is no surprise it launched first in Asia. Icelandic glacial water, known to be pollution-free, is also used by some consumers in Asia (despite its high price) to wash their faces or as a toner. Its popularity has already started to spread to North America and Western Europe.

Beauty Categories Blurring

As companies keep searching for new ways to add value to their products, more offerings with multiple targets are hitting the market. The most popular trend is the incorporation of SPF in skin care. As sun damage is believed to be the main cause of visible aging in the form of hyperpigmentation and wrinkling, it is essential to use sun protection on a daily basis. It is thus more efficient to use a moisturizer with both UVB and UVA protection to prevent sunburn and aging damage, respectively.

In addition, the latest research from SkinCeuticals shows protecting one’s skin from UVA and UVB is not enough, as sunlight is mainly composed of infrared rays that can penetrate the skin and damage collagen, causing the skin to age. This has led to a rise in popularity of products that contain antioxidants, from serums (which are perceived to be the most efficient moisturizers) and anti-agers to sunscreens.

Furthermore, skin care benefits have also been incorporated in other categories, such as deodorants. This rising trend is seen mostly in the form of body sprays with moisturizing or even skin toning properties. Lancôme’s Aroma Tonic is the latest launch being promoted as a new body treatment spray designed to tone and moisturize the skin with a high concentration of essential oils. Other launches have come in the premium category, such as Chanel’s Eau Tendre Sheer Moisture Mist, which also works as a light scent to fragrance the skin as well as using essential oils to nourish the skin. Silky Body Oil from Valentina uses macadamia and sweet almond oils as well as vitamin E to moisturize, treat and produce radiant skin. These launches further demonstrate the blurring between categories is a trend set to continue.

Bespoke Skin Care: One Way Forward?

As skin care becomes increasingly saturated, companies will keep trying to find new ingredients, new consumer groups and new technologies to differentiate their offerings. With an increasing emphasis on individuality, combined with increasing demand for personalization, technologies such as Genalysis from U.K.-based geneOnyx, which uses a saliva sample from a cotton bud to analyze a person’s DNA so as to select the best skin care ingredients for that person, will become more popular. Bespoke fragrances are already growing in popularity for super premium brands, and, with the skin care market forecast to reach $113 billion in absolute terms by 2016—more than double fragrances’ forecast value—super premium skin care brands could look at bespoke offerings as their future selling point.

Nicole Tyrimou is a Euromonitor International beauty and personal care analyst.