Even with the mainstreaming of cosmetic surgery, not everyone wants to take such drastic anti-aging measures.
“Companies are tapping into this market by creating products that simulate the effects of nip-and-tuck,” says Find/SVP analyst Vicki Stafford. “Faux tox” products are being offered by major high-end players such as Estée Lauder, Clinique and Lancôme, as well as by mass marketers L’Oréal and Olay, which is a subsidiary of Procter & Gamble, but the real growth has been in so-called “doctor brands;” i.e., skin care lines by dermatologists and plastic surgeons.
“Dermatologists’ products have credibility with consumers,” noted Ms. Stafford. The success of products like StriVectin-SD and lines by Fredric Brandt, Erno Laszlo and N.V. Perricone, among others, has meant 10% growth per year for this segment, stimulating a private label market for companies that help doctors develop their products, which include ingredients like green tea, retinol and Indian Chaulmoogra oil. And retailers have begun to stock more of these lines to help boost sales and expand their customer base. A host of celebrity clients hasn’t hurt either.
However, while these products simulate cosmetic surgery—reducing lines and plumping up tired skin cells—the results are temporary, so consumers may eventually opt for more permanent measures or move on to the next fountain-of-youth-in-a-bottle. In an increasingly crowded market, major players have better margins, and at retail, sales staff need to be educated in selling these more complex product lines.
While familiar brands such as Lancôme, Juvena, L’Oréal, La Prairie and Avon have already catered to the trend, some companies to watch among the dermatologists’ lines are Dr. Brandt, DDF Therapeutic, Murad, Dr. Gendler Skin Appointments, Erno Lazlo, N.V. Perricone, RéVive and StriVectin-SD, a stretch-mark product that registered sales in excess of $30 million in sales as a wrinkle cream.
While Sephora was one of the first chains to capitalize on doctor brands; Nordstrom, Henri Bendel, Blooming- dale’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Lord & Taylor, which is part of May Department Stores, are among those following suit.