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The Sun Care Market



Consumers remain split between wanting products offering protection and ones offering a better tan, despite warnings about the danger of sun exposure.



Published November 8, 2005
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Sun care products are like rigged elections. But rather than voting early and often, consumers should apply sunscreen early and often. That’s because 80% of sun exposure occurs before the age of 18 and just one bad blistering sunburn during childhood can double the risk of cancer later in life. Research has shown that regular use of sunblock with a SPF of 15 or higher during the first 18 years of life can lower the risk of certain types of skin cancer up to 78%.

Consumers today are more aware of damage the sun can do to their skin. And marketers are responding to this awareness by offering products that have high SPF levels for babies while offering self-tanners at the prestige counter so consumers can have the tan they desire without facing the danger of sun exposure.

In the sun tanning category, dollar sales rose 8.4% to $483 million for the year ended Jan. 2, 2000, according to Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), Chicago. Schering-Plough’s Coppertone brand sits atop the category with sales of $70 million, up 11.5% from last year. Second place Banana Boat’s sales rose 17% to $61 million. Neutrogena ($50 million), private label ($32 million) and Hawaiian Tropic ($27 million) round out the top five.

Category leader Coppertone remains on top due, in part, to new products developed at the Coppertone Solar Research Center (CSRC) in Memphis, TN. “CSRC tests product efficiency in sun care products and substantive SPF claims,” said Patricia Agin, research director. “The CSRC is a state-of-the-art building that enables the company to rapidly turn around new products on an expedient basis. We can check formulas on a quicker basis, saving costs as well as time.”

This year, Coppertone is concentrating its new products launches on kids through a program co-sponsored with the American Camping Association (ACA). “We currently have a school program with the American Association of Dermatologists (AAD) called Buck the Sun that highlights the damage the sun can do to the skin,” said Ms. Agin. “This program was very well received. Since the summertime is when children are most exposed to the sun, we expanded the program.” The ACA, which is associated with more than 2,200 camps in the U.S., will deliver the message that sun care needs to be done year round, most importantly in the summer.

Wacky World
New products from Coppertone center on two themes: convenience and fun. “We are extending our childrens’ products to include foams that are white and have colors. We are also offering sprays as well as mousses that are easy and fun to use,” explained Ms. Agin.

The Coppertone Kids Wacky Foam sunblock is a colored foam that disappears when rubbed in. These waterproof sunblocks last six hours and keep children protected from the sun’s burning UVA and UVB rays with a SPF rating of 40. The foam protects with a non-greasy, mousse-like fluffy texture and is available in four scented colors: tropical smash scented white, burstin’ berry-scented purple, mango mania-scented orange and kiwi krush-scented green.

With the popularity of sprays growing, Ms. Agin said the company is offering Coppertone Kids Colorblock Jammin’ Kiwi Scent Disappearing Spray SPF 30. The new spray pump is said to be perfect for daily use with quick and easy application. All consumers have to do is point, spray and rub on.

The company is also offering its sport line in two new forms. Coppertone Sport sunblock stick SPF 30, “is the first ultra-sweatproof, waterproof stick on the market that offers quick and easy protection for sunburn prone areas such as the ears, nose, lips and face,” stated Ms. Agin. Sport Sunblock SPF 15 has a spray delivery system that allows the sweatproof formula to bond to the skin, providing long-lasting protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

“Our new Water Babies product is also convenient,” said Ms. Agin. Coppertone Water Babies lotion spray, offered in SPF 30 or 45 levels, was specifically developed for young children because their skin is vulnerable to the damaging rays of the sun. “The spray is designed to make application quick and easy for parents,” she said.

No Second Banana
Although it’s the No. 2 brand in the category, Banana Boat is not allowing its rival Schering-Plough to make the sun tanning market its own. Banana Boat is launching a sport stick, new entertaining products for kids, tanning oils with UVA and UVB protection and a novel scalp protectant this year.

Banana Boat Hair and Scalp Protector SPF 15 is billed as a revolutionary leave-in spray that helps prevent hair from becoming brittle and sun-damaged and protects the scalp from sunburn. The light, oil-free formula provides protection from UVA/UVB rays, which can burn the scalp and damage color-treated or permed hair. Containing panthenol and vitamins C and E, the formula keeps hair soft, healthy looking and manageable while aloe vera moisturizes the scalp.

The product is sprayed on to hair before sun exposure, massaged into the scalp and combed through the hair for full coverage. It can be applied to wet or dry hair and does not interfere with styling, according to the company.

Sport Sunblock is now available in a stick form with SPF 30 protection and a spray with SPF 25 protection. According to the company, the products were specifically designed for those on the go, providing portable protection for sun-sensitive areas exposed during outdoor activities. Both are waterproof and sweatproof. The stick comes in a convenient clip and the light spray sunblock offers a convenient spray bottle for quick, effective coverage. Both products offer UVA/UVB protection and are enriched with moisturizers to help prevent peeling and dryness.

For kids, Cool Colorz Vanishing Foam sunblock lotion SPF 30 is offered this year in a groovy grape flavor. This mousse-like sunscreen gives kids a fun way to apply sunscreen. The disappearing foam is colored to ensure full coverage.

Banana Boat is combining the lubricity and tropical scent of tanning oil with UVA and UVB protection. The new formula, Banana Boat Protective Tanning Oil SPF 15, includes vitamin A and beta carotene, a natural antioxidant that helps keep skin healthy. The blend of exotic oils, enriched with aloe vera and vitamin E, moisturizes the skin and helps prevent peeling and dryness for a longer-lasting, deeper tan. The company is also offering a Thick and Rich Dark Tanning Oil. Although the product does not provide UV protection, the thick formula eliminates runs and drips common to most tanning oils.

Hawaiian Happiness
Tanning Research Laboratories, Inc., the company known for its tanning oils, is branching out, offering new products to protect babies and provide glitter. The company’s Hawaiian Tropic products for the coming year include extensions in the Carrot Tan Amplifiers line, Splash 30 SPF sunblock, Baby Face SPF 50 and Tan2 Max.

Shelly Coluccio, executive director of marketing, Tanning Research Laboratories, said that the Carrot Tan Amplifier with glitter meets the needs of her company’s consumers. “The target demographic for amplifiers are young children and glitter has been a strong trend for the past 2 to 3 years in this demographic,” Ms. Col-uccio said. “They want glitter so that they sparkle while they are in the sun.”

The company’s Carrot Tan Amplifiers line has been extended with two new products. Tan Amplifier Glistening Gel (SPF 4) is fortified with beta carotene, carrot seed extract and amino acids to moisturize and provide intense tanning power. The oil-free glistening gel is non-sticky and non-staining to most fabrics. A touch of gold glitter works with the sun to create a shimmery glow. Tan Amplifier Carrot Oil (SPF 0) is a light oil that absorbs quickly and leaves a nice feel on the skin.

Soothing Aloe Vera Gel combines aloe vera with chamomile and vitamins A, B and E to create a clean, clear and soothing moisturizer. “Consumers want products that are more pure,” said Ms. Coluccio. “The consumers are attracted to the clear bottle showcasing the gel with its bubbles.” The after sun protectant can be used every day to help replenish and maintain the skin’s moisture balance.

To gain a bigger share of the children’s market, Hawaiian Tropic is introducing Splash 30 SPF sunblock. “Splash SPF 30 responds to the damage the sun can do to young children,” ex-plained Ms. Coluccio. “Colors did not work for us and we have decided to let Schering-Plough be the leader in the children’s color category. Our products are still cool and fun with a great fragrance that larger companies are starting to incorporate.”

The first application of Splash SPF 30 provides waterproof protection that lasts up to eight hours. The no-gimmick product contains absolutely no dyes or artificial colors so it won’t stain kids or their clothes. Ms. Coluccio said that the product is pediatrician-tested and recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation.

The company is also looking to protect the very young at the beach with Baby Faces SPF 50 now in an easy-grip bottle. “The new bottle was effective in other company products and we decided to expand it to the Baby Face SPF 50 line,” said Ms. Coluccio. Baby Face SPF 50 is one of the highest SPF products on the market for young children, according to the company and it provides “stay-on-the-kids” protection against the sun’s burning UVA, UVB and damaging infra-red rays. The formula is gentle, doesn’t sting tender skin and is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

While most of the company’s products provide protection from the sun, Tan2 Max is aimed at tanning salon enthusiasts. A common complaint reported to the company was lotion leftover after inside-use when consumers would begin to tan outdoors. “They can now use the rest of the product outdoors to finish the bottle after getting their base tan indoors,” said Ms. Coluccio. “But it is primarily an indoor tanning product.” The oil free indoor tanning formula is enriched with tyrosine and riboflavin to maximize the skin’s natural tanning potential. It is available in a spray or lotion.

Adding Protection
While Hawaiian Tropic products offers both sun protection and sun tanning products, Solar Cosmetic Labs’ 2000 program will concentrate on sun protection products to complement its No-Ad line of sun care products. Adding convenience to its popular value-priced line, No-Ad has introduced two new SPF 30 sunscreen products in easy-to-use spray bottles, No-Ad Easy Block spray lotion and No-Ad Kids Easy Block. No-Ad’s lightweight, non-greasy formula has been combined with an easy-to-use, non-aerosol spray for a convenient, more even application. Both products are PABA-free, hypoallergenic and enriched with aloe vera and vitamin E to counter the sun’s drying effect while protecting the skin.

No-Ad Kids SPF 30 Easy Block is specially formulated with a bubble gum fragrance and zinc oxide. “It’s important for children to begin wearing sunscreen at an early age and we wanted to make this product fun for them to wear,” said Marisa Dottori, director of marketing, Solar Cosmetic Labs. “The bubble gum fragrance is sure to make this a popular item for kids and will make it easier for parents to get their kids to wear sunscreen.”

Neutrogena is touting its Sensitive Skin UVA/UVB Block SPF 17 and 30 as a breakthrough in physical blocker sun protection. Providing high level protection against aging UVA and burning UVB rays, the specially formulated titanium dioxide formula absorbs quickly into skin. Its fragrance and oil-free formula will not clog pores.

The company’s Sunless Tanning Foams, Deep and Extra Deep, and Instant Bronze Tinted sunless tanner for the face provide safe alternatives to tanning and gives the consumer a natural-looking color without the damaging effects of the sun. According to the company, these products are easy to apply for a fool-proof, completely natural-looking tan. Fast-drying in less than five minutes, the tanning foam uses dihydroxyacetone (DHA) plus erythrulose, which work together to provide a deeper, darker more natural-looking tan. The Instant Bronze Tinted sunless tanner provides visible results as the consumer’s sunless tan develops.

Direct Care
Instead of starting slowly, Avon is launching a whole new line of sun care products. According to Robert Kalafsky, director of global personal care, research and development, Sun-So-Soft is a new, eight SKU line of products for the entire family that lets everyone have fun in the sun. “Consumers usually look to use two different products, one that allows them to achieve a deeper tan and one that protects them,” said Mr. Kalafsky. This line offers a variety of products from high level SPF lotions that offer broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection featuring Parsol 1789 to lower level SPF products that enhance tanning while protecting skin. The products, available this June are Sun-So-Soft Lotion SPF 15, Sun-So-Soft Lotion SPF 30, Sun-So-Soft Lotion Spray SPF 8, Sun-So-Soft Lotion SPF 40 for Kids, Sun-So-Soft Lotion Sun Block Stick SPF 25 and Sun-So-Soft SPF 15 Lip Balm.

“Sun-So-Soft is a general reaction to consumers trends,” said Mr. Kalafsky. “The reason for a line of six products versus a slower building of the line is that consumers have different wants and needs.” Key ingredients in the new line of products include vitamin A and aloe vera that allow the products to provide consumers with protection and moisturization.

Mr. Kalafsky said these products are offered to consumers for their different needs. Sun-So-Soft Lotion Spray SPF 8 allows consumers to achieve a deeper tan while Sun-So-Soft Lotion SPF 15 and SPF 30 products provide greater protection from UVA-UVB sun rays. Stick and lip products are convenience items for consumers to cover unprotected areas such as ears, nose and lips.

As with other sun care companies, Avon is targeting kids market with its Sun-So-Soft Lotion SPF 40 for Kids. “This product is for children whose parents want to protect them. As information is more widely known showing the differences proper protection can make early in life for the onset of cancer, wrinkles and lines, parents want to protect their kids,” said Mr. Kalafsky.

This is the second line of sun care products from Avon. The Avon Sun line was launched two years ago and was geared more to the higher end as it incorporated skin care technology into a sun care line.

“The marketing team was a driving force behind this launch,” said Mr. Kalafsky. Existing products in the Avon Sun line include Age-Fighting Protective Sun Cream SPF 15 and 30, Age-Fighting Protective Sun Gel SPF 6 and Sunless Tanning Cream SPF 8. On the market since April 1998, it is a multi-benefit sun care system combining the ultimate in sun protection with skin care. “Sun-So-Soft is more of a line the Avon buyers use, value-priced products that deliver excellent protection to the consumer,” said Mr. Kalafsky.

Consumers want multifunctional products. Avon is capitalizing on this with Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus IR 3535 Insect Repellent SPF 30 Moist-urizing Sunblock Lotion. “The product feels elegant when applied to the skin; it’s very light like a sunscreen,” said Mr. Kalafsky. “Bug Guard is the first product to use both sunscreen and repellents at the same time.” Avon is the only company allowed to formulate with IR 3535, which offers a high level, broad range insect repellency, coupled with skin moisturizing benefits and waterproof SPF 30 protection. According to Mr. Kalafsky, IR 3535 has a long history of use in Europe. The PABA–free lotion provides SPF 30 protection from UV rays and is waterproof up to 80 minutes in water.

Prestigious Products
On the prestige end of the market, Elizabeth Arden and L’Oréal are offering products that concentrate on the self tanner market. “Self tanners are a very small percentage of the category, maybe 5%,” said Hillary Fox, director brand marketing, skin care, Elizabeth Arden. “But sun products are the No. 1 influence for healthy skin. Consumers want to find an alternative to achieving a healthy glow.”

Elizabeth Arden is introducing Sun 2000, a five-product collection of sun care products with beauty benefits this month. Quick Spray Oil-Free Self-Tanner for the body and Daily Bronzer Self Tanning Boost for the face are Arden’s two newest entries into the bronzing category. Both contain the company’s patented self-exfoliating technology. These exfoliators, TDS and retinyl linoleate, are said to eliminate streaking. However, most retinyl formulas cause skin to be sun sensitive. According to the company, retinyl linoleate is as efficacious as retinyl without causing sun sensitivity. “The exfoliating technology allows for an even glow from head to toe,” Ms. Fox said.

Daily Bronzer offers three benefits in one product. “The Daily Bronzer can be considered an entry-level self-tanner,” said Ms. Fox. “It is positioned as an alternative to receiving a tan in the sun. Daily Bronzer gives a little glow that eventually builds over time to a natural looking tan.” Acting as a makeup alternative with sheer tints, Daily Bronzer moisturizes skin without oil and gives a light self-tan that is buildable with continued use. Quick Spray is quick drying and streak free with additional benefits of skin-smoothing vitamins A, C and E. Oil-Free Self Tanning Lotion for face and body joins Sun 2000 from the existing Arden sun care line.

“Two years ago we had nothing in terms of a sun care line and it’s critical for us to build a sun brand,” Ms. Fox said. “We wanted to build up our portfolio with oil-free products due to the fact that women tend to perspire more with oil products. We started this transition with the Modern Skin line. We wanted a much broader line so we brought it under the Sun 2000 line and changed its graphics to incorporate this move.” These two products are the Triple Protection Oil-Free Face Block SPF 30 and Triple Protection Oil-Free Sun Block SPF 15. Revamped versions of Arden’s former SPF 15 and 30 products, they have increased benefits with the inclusion of Parsol 1789. “We upgraded the line to include the Parsol 1789 ingredient,” she said. “Now it’s a triple protection product that includes antioxidants.”

L’Oréal is launching two products in its Ombrelle sun care franchise for two different segments of the sun care category next month: Ombrelle Sunless spray SPF 12 for medium and dark glows without sun exposure and Ombrelle for Kids Sunscreen Spray SPF 28. According to the company, the sunless spray creates the look of a natural, golden-bronze tan with the added benefit of advanced broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. Specially formulated to deliver a quick-drying, healthy-looking sunless tan, the product offers a convenient alternative to conventional self-tanners for the face or body. Developed with dermatologists, the spray helps protect the skin from premature aging factors with the added benefit of vitamin E.

Ombrelle for Kids Sunscreen Spray SPF 28, with patented technology for advanced broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection, is formulated for kids’ delicate skin needs, according to the company. The hypoallergenic formula contains vitamin E and sunflower seed oil for extra skin softening benefits.

Inside Power Moves
Power Tan products concentrate on tans produced in tanning salons. The company’s newest product, Black Velvet, is a dual-performance tanning lotion, combining non-reddening tanning maximizer with self-action tanning for the deepest, darkest all-over bronze, said Ken Dion, company president and chief executive officer. Black Velvet’s tanning solution provides maximum tanning while the self-action tanning enhances the natural process for even greater color.

“Packaging and fragrance are the most important things in getting a product noticed,” said Mr. Dion. “Our Black Max and Black Velvet products are offered with a pouch to carry customers’ personal belongings. Power Tan packaging has hot stamped gold lettering that gives it a more upscale look and the boxes contain information about the product and company.” Power Tan, Scottsdale, AZ, developed Black Velvet incorporates an oil-free formula that uses an advanced Swiss formula, Unipertan P-2002, to accelerate the tanning process.

Product Priorities
Every executive who spoke to Happi noted that protecting a child before they turn 18 is the top priority of any sun block being used today. “Protection is what consumers want,” said Ms. Coluccio of Tanning Research Laboratories, Inc. “Many parents are starting to realize the effect early sun exposure had on them and are trying to prevent the same thing from happening to their children. This has led to growth in the kid’s segment.”

Whether a product’s goal is to protect or accelerate tanning, Coppertone’s Ms. Agin believes the delivery of the product is key. “Our studies have shown that convenience is the consumers No. 1 issue while products being messy or hard to apply are consumers’ chief complaints,” she said. “There are no excuses for them not to be protected if we continue to offer convenient packaging.”

The fear of what the sun can do to the body compounded with the desire to still have a tan has lead to the rise in self-tanners, said Ms. Coluccio. “Most consumers are too busy or can’t sit out in the sun but still want to have a tan,” she said.

Ms. Fox of Elizabeth Arden stated that women are looking to the prestige market for this convenience. “Although there is a lot of crossover between mass and prestige, a need for self-tanners has not been fulfilled,” she said. “Women want a natural, healthy glow without baking in the sun and exposing themselves to the dangers of the sun. They want a balanced look, whether it’s natural or applied.”

Mr. Dion of Power Tan sees the growth of indoor tanning continuing. “Indoor use grew 8% last year,” he said. “Packaging and fragrance are most critical in this category. Problems with the staining of hands from the product are being ironed out with better formulations and odor elimination.”

Avon’s Mr. Kalafsky said that novelty items show the area for largest growth. “Products with color and mousses, which is really an old concept being reincarnated, are two product trends. We are trying to develop a colored product that is an insect repellent and sunscreen in one.”

But what manufacturers should concentrate on is producing the best formulation, said Mr. Kalafsky. “The race for higher SPFs has gotten to the point where too many chemicals are used in a formulation,” he said. “The key to having a good product is to have a good formulation and maximizing its benefits.”

There is also a split on what consumers want from the sun tanning products from years past. “There is a much bigger split of those who go tanning to those looking for protection,” he said. “Some companies are even trying to get around the government bans on accelerators.”

But one government intervention may prove to be hazardous to consumers skin. “To be effective, a product must be 30 and above; we are hoping that the FDA realizes this and will address this on their own,” said Ms. Coluccio in regards to the FDA proposal to limit the SPF claims to 30 plus. “We know that higher SPF products are needed and are effective.”


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