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Aesthetic Appeal

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: February 8, 2007
Today, sun care goes beyond defending skin against the harmful effects of the sun. The market has become more holistic, with as much of the focus on general skin maintenance and finding alternatives to a sun-baked tan. Self-tan products, everyday sun care products and combination products are growing in importance to the segment, and manufacturers of sun care products are constantly looking for enhanced attributes with which to differentiate their products—with protection no longer the sole differentiator. Offering a wider range of attributes is key to success.

According to Euromonitor International, growth of the U.S. market is expected to be 9% over the 2005-2010 period. Globally, the 2005 sun care market of $5.6 billion is forecast to reach $7.2 billion by 2010. Innovations in value-added products is expected to drive growth of 2%. The evolution of the sun care market does not end with protection properties or even sun protection products themselves, and the increased focus on developing products for after-sun exposure (moisturizing and soothing properties), increased focus on self-tanning products and a shift in focus from beach-oriented products to daily-use skin care applications have dramatically altered the look of the segment.

Beyond SPF
“Over the past 10 years, there has been dramatic increase in demand for sun care,” said Rob van der Meij, global business manager alcohol & derivatives, Shell Chemicals. “With better consumer understanding of skin health and widespread sun-safety awareness campaigns—particularly in markets such as the U.S., U.K. and Australia—consumer demand has fuelled growth in the sector. In addition, consumers have become increasingly discerning, demanding a wider variety of qualities from the products—from water resistance and durability to absorption and self tanning. This has led to considerable innovation and a proliferation of sun care products on the market.”

Thomas Russo, formulations manager at Lipo Chemicals Inc., notes that products have evolved by providing improved SPF performance and improved UV broad spectrum protection—UVB and UVA (as consumer knowledge on the long-term skin damage caused from UVA sun exposure grows, manufacturers are formulating with more effective UVA sunscreens). However, improved skin feel, improved water proofing and water-resistant performance, and innovations in product application also have been an important part of this evolution.

“Today’s sun care products perform better, feel better and are more versatile and multifunctional than they were 10 years ago,” said Craig A. Bonda, director, R&D, personal care, CPH Innovations, RTDHallStar. “These advances are the direct result of new raw materials and a better understanding by formulators of sunscreen photochemistry and skin biology.”