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Beauty 2017-2018, Part 5: What’s Working in Skin Care & Hair Care

Contact Author Jeb Gleason-Allured, Editor in Chief
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CEW presented new data on the key trends in the beauty industry; photo credit: JF Productions.

Cosmetic Executive Women’s recent Global Trend Report event in New York provided a look at the trends that are reshaping the beauty industry, with expert insights provided by NPD, Mintel and Nielsen. Read the full series here: 4 Ways Industry Paradigms Are Breaking Down, The Makeup Money Machine, Beauty Gets Well, Where Consumers Shop and Fragrance – Good News/Bad News.

U.S. skin sales grew 2% in 2016, according to Jordan Rost, VP, consumer insights, Nielsen. Karen Grant, SVP, global beauty industry analyst, NPD, noted that, unlike other beauty categories, skin care’s mass sales growth outpaced that of the prestige segment, the latter of which rose by 3%.

She added that makeup-inspired skin care is on the rise, while anti-aging continues to stagnate. The category’s modest gains overall reflect its 2% decline in new product introductions.

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Hot categories in facial skin care grew by 8-84%, said Grant, though the overall women’s facial skin care segment rose just 1% in 2016. The overall segment saw gains in the natural/spa and clinical areas. In terms of formats, oil declined slightly while clay and paper rose by 7% and 14%, respectively.

Men’s skin care grew 4% in 2016, per NPD data, with key segments growing by 7% to 74%.

Retail Trends in Skin Care

Grant presented data that showed prestige skin care has the highest share of sales coming from online, compared to makeup and fragrance.

Rost noted that skin care consumers are heavy users of digital platforms for brand discovery, with the top sites including Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. In addition, using charcoal masks as an example, it is increasingly clear that search traffic closely tracks sales trends.

Top Performers

According to NPD data, the top skin care launch in terms of dollar volume sales was Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme+ (MSRP: $78). Grant noted that several skin care launches outperformed the market, including Chanel Sublimage La Crème Texture Supreme (1.7 oz, MSRP $400), La Mer The Perfecting Treatment (1.7 oz, MSRP $240) and Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrate Recovery Powerfoil Mask (4 masks, MSRP: $79.00).

Men’s skin care grew 4% in 2016, per NPD data, with key segments growing by 7% to 74%. Meanwhile, masking, which has some traction with men, exploded in the women’s market worldwide by 24-53%, depending on the market.

Top 5 Skin Care Brands for 2016*

  1. Clinique
  2. Estee Lauder
  3. Lancome
  4. La Mer (up from #5 in 2015)
  5. Philosophy (down from #4 in 2015)


Top Hair Care Performers

Grant highlighted several hair care brands that outperformed the general market, including Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast (7.5 oz, MSRP: $28) and Rita Hazan Root Concealer Touch Up 2 Spray (MSRP: $25).

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