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Specialty Skin Care Makes Multiple Claims

Antiaging may receive the most press coverage in the skin care market, but the specialty segment has fostered noteworthy and game-changing innovations.

By: Leslie Benson
Posted: January 9, 2009, from the January 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

In the specialty skin care segment—products targeting acne, scars, stretch marks and cellulite—the line between cosmetics and pharmaceutical formulation is becoming increasingly blurred. Advanced ingredients and delivery systems for skin care products provide better results for niche skin issues and offer more marketing claims than previously possible. “Applications for specialty skin care are getting closer to applications that, in the past, were dominated by prescription treatments,” says Jochen Klock, PhD, head market development hair care, DSM Nutritional Products Ltd. Branch Pentapharm, who also believes the segment will soon be marked by differentiation.

According to Pamela de Ryss, vice president, national accounts, Murad, Inc., “Antiaging skin care products continue to be a significant presence in terms of shelf space.” While she doesn’t see much of a shift of real estate to or from the segment, to compete for shelf space, new specialty formulations targeting specific age groups and skin types are offering additional claims, such as dual sun protection and antiaging benefits.

However, while antiaging-focused products may seem to hog some retail shelf space, in many instances, brands such as Murad have launched specialty skin care lines for acne, cellulite, antiaging and redness to complement antiaging SKUs and boost overall sales. In addition, many brands are selling dietary supplements for specialty skin issues to complement topical selections.

“The growing antiaging segment seems to have expanded our clients’ need for additional products to complement their antiaging offering,” says Roger Martin, vice president of sales and marketing, Harmony Labs—a contract manufacturer. “Prestige skin care treatments for acne, scars and cellulite are seeing strong growth, possibly because they are riding on the back of the antiaging growth wave. Historically, consumers have asked our clients for products that treat problems, but the trend is moving toward offering products that may prevent the symptoms or disease states from occurring in the first place.”