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Sun Shining on Sun Care

By: Nicole Tyrimou, Euromonitor International
Posted: April 27, 2012, from the May 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Prompted by recent developments such as the introduction of blemish balm (BB) creams in Western Europe and North America and the rising demand for multifunctional products, many skin care brands have continued to look for greater alignment with sun protection. A tendency toward higher SPFs can also be seen, as exemplified by Clinique’s BB cream and the latest Olay Regenerist line, both with an SPF 30.

Multifunctional skin care products could pose a threat to the sun care market as consumers are more accustomed to using them on a daily basis, and they benefit from lighter textures than sunscreens. However, the SPF in these products is much more diluted than in sunscreen products, thus a lot more is needed for the UV protection stated to be effective. Furthermore, consumers do not usually reapply these products and are therefore not as protected from UV rays as they may think. 

This blurring of the boundaries works both ways, with many sun care products now offering skin care benefits. These usually take the form of anti-aging, moisturizing and protection from environmental factors. Estée Lauder has gone one step further by introducing a sun repairing serum, Re-Nutriv Sun Supreme Rescue Serum, which helps repair the skin from damage caused by the sun but can also be used before sunscreen for extra hydration. The convergence between skin care and sun care is expected to continue, and brands that operate across both categories will have to find the right balance to ensure that there is no detrimental cannibalization of sales.

Hair care also offers potential for further cross-category expansion. As hair care is the largest beauty category in Brazil, with nearly 100% of sales accounted for by mass products, lower- to mid-priced brands that incorporate sun protection features could potentially do well in this market. Examples of such combination products are already available from premium and salon exclusive brands such as Clarins, Korres, Kérastase, Aveda and L’Oréal Professionnel. Currently, mass beauty players appear to be concentrating on protecting colored hair from fading instead of introducing products that provide sun protection for the scalp and hair. 

Digital Innovation

As more and more companies are announcing their digital incentives, the use of the Internet as an educational tool as well as a communication platform cannot be underestimated. Sun care players are continually investing in educational campaigns to inform consumers about the health dangers of inadequate sun protection, and the Internet, as well as other digital platforms, is becoming an increasingly popular tool to achieve this.