Opportunities for Better Skin Care

Beauty consumers are constantly seeking products that help their skin look younger, but what factors beyond the shelves are they not considering? In her blog post “The Dirty Truth,” The NPD Group’s directory and beauty industry analyst Larissa Jensen points out additional skin care risk factors that beauty consumers should address.

“We all have a general idea of what makes our skin look older. Anything from environmental aggressors like the sun, to the more emotional aggressors like stress, can deepen the lines on our faces,” Jensen writes. “But, what about the air around us? I’m a born and bred New York City girl, and while I’ve since moved to the suburbs, I return frequently to Manhattan for business, so I understand pollution and dirty air. Just walk through the madness of a typical crowded city street and you are assaulted with innumerable pollutants, which, by the way, are silently aging you.”

Pointing out that this isn’t just a city problem, Jensen explains, “Air pollutants are not new news, and their harmful effects are not limited to city dwellers. (Yes, even our rural friends need to worry about pollutants in the air and their effect on the skin.) So, how can we protect ourselves from this seemingly innocuous aggressor? First, diligent daily face-washing. While close to 9 in 10 facial skin care users do this already, the other 10% needs to recognize this as an important step in their anti-aging regimen. Next, and equally important, is to incorporate antioxidants into that daily routine. While we can find antioxidants in many of the things we eat, this protective ingredient can also be found in certain skin care products. In the prestige channel, this is still a small segment of the skin care market—there are only about 70 prestige products available with antioxidant benefits. But the growth of these products is notable, almost tripling in size over the past four years, reaching $13 million in 2014.”

And in addition to behaviors consumers should try to adopt and ingredients they should try to look for, Jensen recommends, “Beyond product development and innovation, there is clearly an opportunity for the skin care industry to educate consumers. Almost half of facial skin care users consider ‘evening skin tone’ to be an important skin care benefit. But most consumers don’t realize that air pollution doesn’t just contribute to premature skin aging—there are scientific studies that show it is also a driving force behind pigmentation.”

She concludes, “Regardless of a woman’s age, recognizing how to counter [air’s] effects is an important first step in maintaining a youthful complexion. Making consumers aware of the dirty truth about airborne pollutants, and the power of antioxidants as a tool in helping to combat those pollutants, is an opportunity for today’s skin care industry to get the attention of today’s consumers.”

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