Kline: Once again, professional skin care market sees boost

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The professional skin care products market realized a 5.3% gain in 2011, according to a new report from Kline.

In the latest "Professional Skin Care Global Series: Market Analysis and Opportunities" report,  Kline found that sales for the European market came close to pre-recession peak levels, rising 4%, while China and South Korea posted growth of 9.3% and 9.5%, respectively, within the professional sector.

Klien said that spas, salons and medical care providers were stimulating traffic by modernizing facilities and implementing new communication tools, such as social networking, and tablet devices that enable therapists to complete medical questionnaires or recommend products without interrupting the treatment. The increase in the number of locations through franchised networks or chains, particularly in Europe, and increasing skin care product distribution through other professional-type outlets, such as hair salons or medical care providers, is successfully increasing revenues, the report noted.

Spas and salons, which is the largest channel in the United States, did experience a sales decline as spas continued to reduce the number of brands carried, underperforming spas were closed down and more salons and hotels divested their spa business to refocus on their core businesses. Another factor, a surge in at-home beauty devices, reportedly has impeded business in the spas channel, Kline said.

Kline also noted that while sales through beauty institutes and salons — the largest purchase channel in Europe, representing almost 60% of the market — increased by 3.7% in 2011, the strongest growth was seen in the medical care providers channel in both Europe and the United States.

"What's interesting to note is that professional products in South Korea are sold comparable to the U.S. market through the Internet and home shopping channels, where especially local brands actively develop e-commerce by operating their own online shopping websites, as well as entering larger platforms run by Internet home shopping channels, such as G Market and GS Home Shopping," Kline industry manager Karen Doskow said. The channel posted nearly 18% growth in 2011.

Meanwhile, the European market was highly fragmented with leading brands Guinot and Clarins. The U.S. market is relatively consolidated, with the top five brands accounting for a 38% market share. Brands entrenched in the medical care providers channel, such as SkinCeuticals and SkinMedica in the United States and Dermaceutic and Pangaea Laboratories' Medik8 in Europe, posted the strongest gains in 2011.

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