Study: Most consumers desire 'ultra-gentle' skin care products

CHICAGO — Sometimes it’s not about what’s in your beauty products — but what isn’t. And this seems to be especially true of the skin care sector. According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database, thus far in 2014, sensitive skin claims represent 25% of total skin care claims, compared with 15% in 2009. What’s more, 71% of facial skincare users say they are interested in ultra-gentle products.

Sales trends between Jan. 1 and April 1 also reflect a move toward natural skin care. Mintel estimates that sales of sensitive/gentle skincare products are more than $202 million, with the majority of sales coming from the facial cleanser and facial moisturizer segments. Sensitive and gentle skincare products also are capturing a greater percentage of facial cleanser and moisturizer sales.

“While facial skin care products have typically highlighted the addition of ingredients such as vitamins and botanicals, the category appears to be moving toward highlighting what’s not in the formula — fragrance, dyes, etc.,” said Shannon Romanowski, senior beauty and personal care analyst. “This move toward gentle skin care is a reflection of consumers’ desire for performance, combined with increased concern and awareness regarding what is being put on their skin.”

Consumers seem to be big fans of the pared-down approach, as almost a quarter (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, like parabens or fragrances, and 21% are interested in items that are designed specifically for sensitive skin.

“While future growth is expected to remain slow, there are opportunities for more customized and convenience-driven product options. Value-added products that enhance health and wellness, extend usage occasions or tap into the convenience-driven mindset of male and multicultural shoppers stand to gain,” Shannon said. “In addition, a consumer shift toward gentle skincare benefits also reflects an opportunity, especially among women and Black consumers.”

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