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Mavens seek ‘free’ products for youthful skin

BY Antoinette Alexander

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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Stopping the clock

BY Antoinette Alexander

When it comes to skin care, facial anti-aging potions still reign, as women continue their quest for younger, healthier looking skin. However, the mass market continues to face fierce competition, thanks to the flood of new products and affluent consumers migrating to premium solutions.

The economic downturn had prompted some affluent consumers to trade down to more affordable mass-market solutions and lower-income consumers to buy on discount or switch to private label but, with the lift in the economy, the pattern has seemed to shift in recent years.

“Consumers returned to premium products in 2011 and continued to do so in 2012. While advanced anti-aging technology increasingly is incorporated into mass-market products, many consumers believe that premium anti-agers still hold a performance edge over mass-market brands,” Mintel stated in its 2013 report, “Skin Care in the U.S.

That shift is evident in the most recent 52-week sales data provided by IRI, in which sales of facial anti-aging products decreased 2.8% at U.S. multi-outlets.

Meanwhile, the NPD Group recently reported that sales of prestige anti-aging products rose 4% to $436 million for the 12 months ended January 2014

Looking to remain competitive, mass-market brands continue to step up their game with formulas that tout new active ingredients and multi-functionality. Meanwhile, retailers continue to enhance their beauty departments to better compete with specialty beauty retailers and department stores. For example, Rite Aid’s revamped Beverly Hills store, which recently celebrated its grand re-opening, features an expanded beauty department with several new prestige cosmetic and skin care lines. Also new to the store is a Rite Aid Beauty Advisor specially trained to assist shoppers through demonstrations and education.

Target also is proving that it’s serious about beauty, staffing hundreds of its stores with beauty advisers, revamping the look and feel of its beauty department and now has stepped up its offerings by adding premium skin care products to 749 stores in the United States. The brands include Vichy, La Roche-Posay, MD Complete by Dr. Brian Zelickson, Laneige, 29 by Lydia Mondavi, Own Skin Health and Borghese Age Defying Cellulare Complex.

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Anti-aging below the neck

BY Antoinette Alexander

Lift, smooth, de-wrinkle and firm. This is the desired effect of not only facial anti-agers, but also those formulas for the body, as aging women yearn to turn back the hands of time below the neck.

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

The body anti-aging segment may not be as robust as those products designed for the face, but that’s not to say that women aren’t interested in such offerings. In fact, IRI data revealed that sales of body anti-aging products rose more than 5% during the 52 weeks ended May 18 at U.S. multi-outlets.

Helping to fuel the growth of these products is that some women want results but cannot afford a pricey professional option. According to consulting and research firm Kline & Co., the injectibles market continues to drive overall market growth in professional aesthetic products, with body contouring and cellulite reduction being the most dynamic addressed skin concern. Kline noted that injectibles accounted for more than half of total market sales, but body treatment products experienced double-digit growth in 2013, due in part to good alternatives now offered to liposuction.

The fascination with anti-aging solutions shows no signs of slowing, and those manufacturers that continue to innovate and deliver effective, cheaper at-home solutions will reap the benefits.

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