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Dynamic Sun Care Sector Continues to Thrive

By: Carrie Lennard, Euromonitor International
Posted: December 7, 2009, from the December 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Non-greasy formats are necessary for many consumers, and new ingredient developments mean that many ranges now include invisible or clear sun protection products. Garnier Ambre Solaire’s Clear Protect range and Beiersdorf’s 2009 Nivea Sun Invisible Protection range are both proving successful because of their lighter formats. These products represent a move away from thicker consistency high SPF products, which many consumers have found non-user friendly. The new formats offer the lighter feel of lower factor SPFs with the benefit of greater resistance to the sun’s rays.

SPF-enriched Skin Care Competition

The trend for protecting skin daily against the effects of cumulative sun damage has resulted in an influx of moisturizers and antiagers that incorporate UVA/UVB sunscreens. Despite evidence that skin care products with added SPF may not always offer the level of protection stated on the packaging, many of these products compete directly with sun care brands for sales. Brand owners in the sun care sector may consider cross-category developments into the burgeoning skin care market with an added sun protection category, particularly because of the efficacy issues with many of these products. Launches from brands that already have a good reputation in sun protection are more likely to convince consumers that the SPF on the label will match up to the product inside.

Mass Sun Care Sales on the Rise in Key Markets

The idea of a correlation between price and better protection from the sun has taken something of a hit in recent times, as consumer test magazines have consistently rated certain private label products better than certain branded products. In Germany, Stiftung Warentest, a widely trusted German consumer magazine, recently published efficacy tests of sun protection products, showing some premium-priced brands offer inadequate protection from the sun’s rays. While premium products still account for 21% of total sun care sales globally, the percentage held by mass products has increased in many important sun care markets as consumers pay more attention to issues such as UVA protection rating over price. In the U.S., for example, Euromonitor data shows that mass products accounted for 92% of all sun care sales in 2008, up from 89% in 2003.

Natural; Nanotechnology Products Suffer Setbacks

In 2009, German natural beauty brand Dr Hauschka (Wala) had to withdraw its sun protection range from shelves in more than 30 countries as a result of new protection standards issued by the European Commission (EC). These new regulations meant its products did not meet the new criteria for the minimum UVA/UVB protection ratio, which was increased to at least 1:3 from summer 2009.

Soon after the withdrawal, Lavera announced it had developed the first mineral sunscreen to comply with the new EC regulations. The company claimed the reformulated product would meet the UVA/UVB ratio requirements set by the EC and reflect 95% of all UVB rays. The increasingly common practice of using nanoparticles in sun protection products to provide coverage at minute levels has recently come under fire from both environmental groups and scientists alike, both groups citing potential links to health problems and damage to the environment. On the other hand, the environmental and public health interest group EWG maintains that the benefits of nanoparticles in sunscreens outweigh the risks.

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