BEAUTY CARE

With peak sun care season in full swing, FDA looks to revise sunscreen product regulations

BY Allison Cerra

SILVER SPRING, Md. — One month after the observance of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, the Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday it is taking measures to assure all sunscreen products are safe and effective.

By next year, the FDA said, all over-the-counter sunscreen products will be required to meet certain standards. For example, sunscreens may be labeled as "broad spectrum" if they protect against both ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B radiation, and pass a broad spectrum test developed by the FDA. UVB is primarily responsible for causing sunburn, while UVA contributes to sunburn, skin cancer and premature skin aging. Additionally, for sunscreen products that are labeled with sun protection factor values of 15 or higher, but not as broad spectrum, the SPF value only will indicate the amount of protection against sunburn, the agency noted.

Also among the proposed regulations: Sunscreen products that have SPF values higher than 50 will be labeled as "SPF 50+." The FDA said that it does not have adequate data demonstrating that products with SPF values higher than 50 provide additional protection, compared with products with SPF values of 50.

What’s more, manufacturers that tout such sunscreen product claims as "waterproof," "sweatproof" or "sunblocks" will be required to remove these claims because they overstate effectiveness, the FDA said.

The changes were lauded by the Skin Cancer Foundation, which said that updating regulations associated with sunscreens was much needed.

"Although science and technology has advanced over the past several years to dramatically improve the efficacy of sunscreens, there has long been a need to update the governmental regulations associated with them — particularly in the areas of UVA protection and product labeling," the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Photobiology Committee chairman Warwick Morison said. "This announcement is a significant advancement for the FDA, which brings awareness to and acknowledges the importance of UVA protection in the prevention of skin cancer."

Additional information about these regulations can be found here.

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NPD, SymphonyIRI unveil Q1 beauty sales trends

BY Antoinette Alexander

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — Total U.S. beauty sales in both the food/drug/mass and prestige channels experienced similar trends in first quarter 2011, according to market research providers NPD and SymphonyIRI, although makeup sales fared slightly better within the food/drug/mass channel.

According to the results of the research firms’ partnered product, the Beauty Cross Channel Monitor, total U.S. beauty sales in the prestige and food/drug/mass channels realized similar gains in first quarter 2011 (January through March), up 5% and 4%, respectively. But while makeup sales similarly trended upward, a slightly different story was told, with the food/drug/mass channel faring better than prestige due in part to the double-digit sales in the $127 million nail segment.

The Beauty Cross Channel Monitor is the U.S. beauty industry’s first and only point-of-sale tracking product that looks at sales performance in department stores (prestige) and the food, drug and mass market, excluding Walmart.

"Despite the current economic situation, the beauty industry continues to trend upward, showing growth for the fourth consecutive quarter in both the food/drug/mass and prestige channels," NPD beauty president Diane Nicholson said. "After a positive yet cautious 2010, it’s encouraging to see consumers continue to embrace newness and innovation in the beauty space."

According to NPD’s Economy Tracker, 35% of consumers planned to maintain or increase their spending in cosmetics and fragrances for first quarter 2011, up two percentage points from last year. This is despite the fact that consumers also are dedicating a larger percentage of their wallets to gas and groceries, as prices of these categories rise.

In fragrance, the prestige market (roughly five times larger than the food/drug/mass market) grew by 6% during the first quarter 2011 versus flat sales in the food/drug/mass channel. The increase in prestige fragrance is due to the positive performance in top existing brands, as well as strong sales from 2010 fragrance introductions.

In skin care, the food/drug/mass channel is triple the size of the prestige channel, yet prestige trended better, up 6% versus 3% in food/drug/mass. The face, sun care and gift set segments were key drivers in the growth of prestige skin care.

"Now more than ever, as the beauty consumer evolves and channel shifting continues, the Beauty Cross Channel Monitor is a valuable resource for understanding beauty trends across the prestige and mass markets," SymphonyIRI VP beauty vertical Victoria Gustafson said. "Capitalizing on the dynamics between these channels is a critical component to maximizing brand strategies."

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When it comes to health and beauty purchases, social influence trumps TV ads

BY DSN STAFF

MT. KISCO, N.Y. — Increasingly, social media is leveling the playing field for small- and mid-sized brand marketers, opening new, more affordable and more effective avenues to communicate with consumers versus such traditional media as TV and radio. And new research suggests the balance of power already may be tipping in favor of social marketing, particularly in certain categories and definitely among certain consumers.

According to a survey of more than 1,500 U.S. adults ages 18 years and older — conducted in May by VeraQuest on behalf of marketing/public relations firm Robin Leedy & Associates — consumers said that friends and TV are equal in terms of their ability to influence an over-the-counter or a health and beauty product purchase (49%).

Factor in the influence of such social networking sites as Facebook (7%) — really just another way to measure “friends” — and the impact of social influence is even more significant. “The socially wired world is emergently and unmistakably impactful,” said RL&A president Robin Russo. “This is undoubtedly significant for all the companies that don’t have robust TV ad budgets, or any budget, for advertising, at all.”

A deeper dive into the research revealed that the influence of friends is even more pronounced among women (52%) — particularly among women ages 30 to 49 years (55%), and even higher among women ages 18 to 29 years (58%).

“In the new world of social networks, it makes sense that friends’ opinions are growing in importance,” Russo said. “And that is a compelling reason for brands to market on Facebook, Twitter and the like, where consumers become immediate brand ambassadors spreading their influence to all those in their sphere of social influence and engagement.”

The third biggest influence of OTC and HBA purchases overall was spouses/partners (36%); however, this differs sharply among men (45%) versus women (27%). A look at other key influencers suggested that, in general, digital media trumps traditional media, including online product reviews (27%) versus consumer magazine ads (24%); online articles (16%) versus newspaper articles (13%); and online video (7%) versus radio messaging (3%).

Blog reviews are another area that ranked as sources of greater influence among younger women (14% of women ages 30 to 39 years versus 6% overall).

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