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Pulsing With Potential

By: Sara Mason
Posted: August 26, 2013, from the September 2013 issue of GCI Magazine.

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With the Chinese market boasting nearly 100% growth in 2012 and double-digit growth seen across all surveyed regions, the largely under-penetrated but booming at-home skin care devices market is still in its infancy, suggesting even greater opportunity for growth, according to the Kline report. “The Far East often leads the way in ‘gadgets’ and no less so in personal care,” agreed Luebcke.

In addition to underdeveloped markets, skin care needs such as anti-aging, acne and cellulite/body toning are yet to be comprehensively addressed. While skin cleansing systems have become readily available in both premium and mass retailers and generate the highest levels of interest, especially among younger women, other skin care devices are still a relatively niche market in the beauty category, reports Mintel. Devices that address more specific skin concerns such as wrinkles, age spots and acne likely will be the future of the category.

Opportunities abound for beauty brands and suppliers to provide formulations activated by beauty devices to drive active ingredients deeper into the skin and enhance overall benefits, specifically those that target anti-aging and cellulite-reduction. “Combination treatments are truly the next level of advanced skin care,” said Solta’s Nagy. Developing a topical specifically for use with a device can help target specific skin improvements with greater precision. “We can deliver skin care that is highly customized to each patient’s concerns and desired outcomes,” he continued.

Increasing awareness and education that dispels confusion and uncertainty about benefits would go a long way to growing the market potential as well, particularly for women over 55.

Traditionally, professional treatments have relied on the esthetician assessing the hair, skin or nail type in order to make product or treatment recommendations. “The DIY consumer now needs to be able to assess themselves with home-use tools or with the product itself, or at the least make an informed choice from their appearance and feel,” said Luebcke.

“Personalization, ultimately, will lead to better efficacy and give the user a feeling of receiving a special treatment rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.”

Convenience and personalized pampering benefits with professional-like results allow many to rationalize the financial commitment as a long-term investment, particularly when compared to costs associated with professional care.

Brands that develop, market or provide safe and efficacious formulas specifically for use with or that complement the technology will have the opportunity to be a part of this market-shaping trend.

Sara Mason is a freelance writer based in the Chicagoland area. She was previously managing editor of GCI magazine.