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Mixed Fortunes for Sun Care

By: Carrie Lennard, Euromonitor International
Posted: May 4, 2010, from the May 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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New product developments in sun protection are almost exclusively centered around high SPF protection. Recent innovations such as Hawaiian Tropic’s Ozone Ultimate Continuous Clear Spray, with SPF 80 and La Roche Posay’s 50+ protection fluid are now becoming the norm, while manufacturers have all but stopped development of sun protection products with an SPF lower than 10.

In Western Europe, the European Commission recently simplified its categorization of SPF products. Now only four segments exist: very high protection (50+ SPF); high (30 or 50 SPF); medium (15, 20 or 25 SPF); and weak protection (6 or 10 SPF). Both mass and premium brands anticipated this change and tweaked their ranges accordingly—Avene by Pierre Fabre, for example, replaced its 40 SPF sun protection with a 30 SPF.

Convenience is Key to Success

Other than protection, one of the main selling points in sun care was convenience, which resulted in the ongoing development of spray at the expense of the majority of other formats. Sprays makes the application of sun protection faster and does not leave a greasy residue. Bottles that can be used upside-down have emerged as a new trend, as well. Other formats still secured a large proportion of value sales in sun protection but were less dynamic in 2009.

Non-greasy Formulations Lead the Way

Responding to the trend toward higher protection factors and demand for lighter textures, L’Oréal introduced Garnier Ambre Solaire Light & Silky, a sun protection “milk” that absorbs more evenly and faster in comparison to standard products. Similarly, Garnier Ambre Solaire offered differentiated products for the winter such as UV Ski, available in sun protection creams and sticks.

Antiaging a Key Focus

Consumers are increasingly paranoid—not just about skin cancer, but also the aging effects of the sun. In response to these fears, brands have continued to offer more sophisticated sun protection products with cosmetic claims, such as antiaging or age-spot preventing properties. L’Oréal Paris Solar Expertise expanded its line with the addition of Solar Expertise Active Anti-Wrinkle & Brown Spot.

Year-round Protection