Mavens seek ‘free’ products for youthful skin

Benefiting from a heightened focus on healthier, youthful-looking skin and a flawless complexion, sales within the facial cleanser segment are on the upswing.

(For the complete category review, including data, click here.)

According to data provided by IRI, sales of facial cleansers are up more than 3% for the 52 weeks ended May 18 at U.S. multi-outlets.

It is no secret that beauty mavens desire youthful skin and a flawless complexion, and that truly begins with a healthier daily skin care regimen. Washing away dirt and makeup each night before going to bed is critical, and that message seems to be resonating.

Also fueling growth within the segment is the fact that many Gen Y women are paying closer attention to their changing skin.

“This group still has skin care concerns from their youth — like oily skin, breakouts and keeping acne at bay. But they also start to shift their focus toward preventing wrinkles and lightening their dark spots caused by sun damage,” said Karen Grant, VP and global beauty industry analyst for the NPD Group.

According to NPD, women ages 25 years to 34 years represent 18% of all facial skin care users in the United States, and use an average of three facial skin care products daily, with facial cleansers topping the list.

When it comes to shopping the category, beauty mavens appear to be most interested in those products designed for sensitive skin. It isn’t about what’s in the product, but rather what is not.

Mintel estimates that sales of sensitive/gentle skin care products are more than $202 million, with the majority of sales coming from the facial cleanser and facial moisturizer segments.

Furthermore, Mintel’s research revealed that nearly 24% of facial skin care users say they look for products with natural, organic ingredients. Twenty-two percent seek out products that are free from certain ingredients — such as parabens or fragrances — and 21% are interested in items that are designed specifically for sensitive skin.

In line with these findings, IRI data revealed that within the top 10 facial cleanser brands at U.S. multi-outlets, Unilever’s Simple is the biggest gainer with a robust 24.5% boost in sales. The U.K. brand launched in the United States in 2012 with 13 products — cleansers, moisturizers, eye care products and wipes — designed for sensitive skin.

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