Facing Facts in Europe

By Katie Middleweek, Editor, European Cosmetic Markets | February 4, 2010

When it comes to skin care, the past year has been, by and large, a successful one for the Big 5 countries of Western Europe, with all (apart from Italy) registering growth within the facial skin care sector—and in some cases, this growth was quite strong. Italy slipped slightly in value sales but still enjoyed a steady launch pace and spirits remain high for the coming year.

While not mirroring the success it experienced in 2008, the German facial skin care sector did make value gains in 2009 of 2.6% to more than $907 million in the first nine months of last year, according to data from IRI Germany. Breaking this down, the facial creams portion accounted for 67.1% of the market while facial cleansers took the remainder. The ever-popular German naturals movement also gathered pace, growing 19.3% in the first nine months of last year.

German stalwart Schwarzkopf & Henkel launched a host of facial products in the past year. In July, the company added a new day cream in the Diadermine Lift+ range, the company’s anti-aging range for consumers 30 and over. This SKU contains Kollagen-Strukteur (collagen structure) complex with two soy extracts that stimulate the production of collagen proteins and boost collagen contraction. It is said to increase the firmness and elasticity of the skin. The product also contains a dill extract that helps to reposition the skin’s elastin fibers. According to Schwarzkopf & Henkel, with increasing age, fibers no longer lie vertically but horizontally, which makes skin lose its elasticity.

In September, Schwarzkopf & Henkel added two new products in Diadermine’s Falten Expert 3D range. Falten Expert 3D Tiefe Falten Tag is a day cream with Hyaluron-Mikro-Füller, a hyaluronic acid complex that is said to help smooth out deep wrinkles from within. The product also includes Relaxan-M-Komplex, a grape wine extract that is said to relax the microstructure of the skin to prevent deep static wrinkles. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and prevent UVA-related damage to the skin. The cream is said to penetrate skin quickly without leaving a sticky film on the surface.

The UK facial skin care market enjoyed a rosy and prosperous 2009, according to data from TNS Worldpanel. Sales increased 5.1% to nearly $1.2 billion. Volume wise, the story was even better, as unit sales increased 6.6% to just over 206 million units. Of the overall total, facial moisturizers accounted for 56.7% of sales, while cleansers took the remaining 43.3%.

The UK consumer has always been a dabbler when it comes to premium priced products and this was no different in the past year. Topping the high end of the premium skin care was La Prairie’s Anti-Aging Day Cream SPF 30, which is a cellular protection complex that also protects the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

The cream is accompanied by an Anti-Aging Night Cream, which is said to renew the skin while the body is at rest, provide additional moisture and enhance the longevity of skin cells. Adding another string to its bow, La Prairie also launched the Cellular Treatment Gold Illusion Line Filler. The product uses a silk peptide with micro particles of gold to give the skin a shimmery glow.

Losing Direction

Although facial skin care sales rose in most of Europe, that wasn’t the case in Italy, where sales slipped 0.4% to $1.4 billion, according to industry body Unipro. However, despite this apathy, some sectors did show promise—cleansing wipes alone grew by 4.9% to $48 million while anti-blemish products also grew by an impressive 6%.

Despite this mixed bag of results, launch pace was high in Italy. In 2009 Avon Italia launched Anew Reversalist, noting it is the first line based on new Actinovil technology. This new range comprises Avon’s Anew Reversalist Regenerating Night Cream and the Anew Reversalist Regenerating Serum. The latter has the benefit of also offering a possible solution to the problem of dyschromia, a discoloration or pigment disorder of the skin. With this new range, Avon promises results in just two weeks with regular application, thanks to the Actinol Age-Reversal Technology the products incorporate. The product is said to stimulate Activin production, a fundamental molecule when it comes to skin regeneration.

In 2008, Leocrema launched a skin care range based on pearl extracts and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule that stimulates cellular renewal by releasing energy that is also said to favor the natural regeneration of the skin. The pearl extracts are said to ensure skin hydration, brightness and softness, and each product in the range combines these pearl extracts and ATP to rejuvenate the skin. The lineup features a night cream, an eye contour gel and Crema Giorno Idratante Anti-Rughe, an anti-wrinkle, hydrating day cream. Leocrema also launched a specific serum for the delicate skin of the neck, which is said to tone the face and décolleté area.

Keeping Up Appearances

In 2008, the Spanish facial skin care sector increased in both value and volume terms, according to AC Nielsen. Value increased by 4.5% to $346 million while volume sales were also on the rise, growing 1.9% to 31 million units. In the selective channel alone, facial care sales accounted for $344 million, although this actually represented a 4% drop on the previous year’s figures. In terms of the most successful categories within facial skin care, eye care and intensive skin products were the most sought after by Spanish consumers.

To maintain momentum, Spanish manufacturers turned to the most lucrative market segment—anti-aging—to launch new products for this age group. There have been a few launches of this ilk in the past year. Mass market leader Dermo-Expertisehas heavily promoted its Nutrition Intense line, a new formula for the Age Re-Perfect line which is based on royal jelly and pro-calcium to nourish and firm the skin of the older women. In similar mode, Dermo-Expertise’s Collagen Replenishing Cream is said to combat aging skin for women over 35.

According to Mintel, the French skin care market kept its head well above water in 2008, gaining 4.7% to $2.8 billion overall, which represented a rise of 4.7%. In terms of retail, while perfumeries and department stores continued to be the most popular channel, pharmacies really upped their game, nearly matching the level of their competitors. Meanwhile, according to IRI France, the hypermarket and supermarket channels couldn’t replicate that success, as volume fell 0.6% to 36.47 million units.

The mature French consumer has always been a key part of the market and manufacturers have responded to this accordingly. Vichy recently extended its Neovadiol range for women 50-plus to include the Soin Ultra-Densifieur Éclat Anti-Taches, which reportedly helps prevent the formation of age spots and Contours Levre et Yeux to help smooth eye and lip contours.

Meanwhile RoC has refreshed its range for this important consumer category with the new Multi Correxion Crème Anti-Age Hydratante and Crème Yeux Anti-Age which reportedly significantly improve radiance, firmness and smoothness while decreasing age spots and the appearance of wrinkles.

Even with the exception of Italy, which remained a fairly static market, all other countries in the Big 5 have gone into 2010 with blossoming complexions and a fresh faced outlook—time will tell how this year pans out but it looks like the facial skin care sector in Europe can always be relied on to come up trumps.

About European Cosmetic Markets
European Cosmetic Markets is published monthly by HPCi Media Limited. It provides in-depth data and analysis of the European cosmetics and toiletries market. For subscription details contact HPCi Media Limited, Tel: (44) 0207 193 7447 • Fax: (44) 20 7549 8622