Despite a weak U.S. economy, mass skin care sales grew 3.4% to $1.5 billion for the 52 weeks ended Feb. 23 in food, drug and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart), according to Information Resources Inc. (IRI), Chicago.
Increased consumer education had a hand in the growth, according to many skin care marketers. An increase in the number of baby boomers reaching for anti-aging products also contributed to the sales growth.
Certain segments of the category were more popular purchases than others. For example, facial cleansers and moisturizers declined in mass, down by 0.9% to $534 million and by 1.7% to $258 million respectively in food, drug and mass merchandisers. On the other hand, acne treatments bloomed 12.9% to $262 million, while skin fade/age/bleach creams also grew an impressive 12.9% to $360 million, according to IRI data.
And according to NPD Group, Port Washington, NY, prestige, always the lion's share of skin care, fared impressively with $1.9 billion in sales during 2002-up 3% from the previous year.
To maintain this growth in either mass or class, even the big guys need to stay on their toes. Witness Procter & Gamble, which garnered $105 million in facial cleansers and $88 million in facial moisturizers for the year ended Feb. 23, according to IRI. But it's not enough to be a household name, according to P&G executives; continuing innovation is the key to staying on top in this competitive category.
For instance, although P&G has been the top skin care marketer for decades, the company fell somewhat short in the cleansing area-until it introduced Olay Daily Facials.
"When we launched Olay Daily Facials cleansing cloths (three years ago), we were No. 6 in cleansers," revealed Michael Kuremsky, marketing director, Olay skin care. "Daily Facials took us to the No. 1 spot in facial cleansing in mass, and we've held that position for the last three years."
This spring, Daily Facials got a facelift. "We reinvented our Daily Facials line with a customized approach," said Mr. Kuremsky. "A lot of cloths have come onto the market since we launched Daily Facials, but we're the only line that offers a customized cleansing based on skin type."
This change was prompted by new information from dermatologists indicating that "improperly cleansing the face is the second leading cause of skin damage," second only to sun damage, Mr. Kuremski said. The cloths cater to either dry, combination-oily or sensitive skin.
Olay also offers new products in the moisturizing category. The brand launched Regenerist, a "technological breakthrough" that includes an amino peptide ingredient, Mr. Kuremsky said. A penta-peptide (chain of five amino acids) "works at the cellular level and transforms skin without having to do something more invasive, like a treatment in a doctor's office," he explained. "The product is very high-end and sophisticated; it's for the highly-involved skin care user. This customer is willing to pay for significant benefits and is really interested in the process of how her products work."
Olay's Total Effects got a lift as well, with new Total Effects 7X, an upgraded formulation to the original moisturizer line. "We've added an expanded ingredient package in the formula, so now we have seven vitamins and minerals in the product," Mr. Kuremsky said. The product entered stores in March.
P&G also expanded a much older line: Noxema cleansers. Still a cleansing favorite, Noxema now offers Triple-Clean.
|Estée Lauder's DayWear Plus addresses skin-defense needs.|
"We focused Triple Clean on younger women-college-age or young adults-among whom cleansing is the primary focus," Mr. Kuremsky explained. "Triple-Clean is antibacterial and delivers a very clean rinse, so it doesn't overdry or clog pores." An astringent and pads round out the family of Triple Clean products, which entered stores this spring. Mr. Kuremsky insisted that P&G has more surprises up its sleeve, however. "We make innovation a real priority," he said, "so our customers will continue to see new products from us in the near future."
The skin care category is enormous, encompassing moisturizers, facial and body cleansers, fade creams, depilatories and acne treatments, to name just a few.
So where do marketers start when appealing to their customers to try something new? Typically, with a good cleansing routine.
Executives at Simply Skin, Reno, NV, said that cleansing is often an overlooked aspect of skin care. The proper cleanser is critical to taking care of the skin, according to Lori Carlile, president and founder.
Following P&G's success with Daily Facials, a rash of cleansing cloths appeared on the market, but these copy-cat versions don't always stack up, according to Ms. Carlile. "People gravitate toward skin cloths and cleansing pads because they want a quick fix," she said. "This concept isn't new, but it bypasses the whole skin care routine that the average person needs. Some pads can be harsh and drying to the skin."
In response, the skin kicks up its oil production, causing some consumers to think they don't need to follow up with a moisturizer. "It's a Catch-22," Ms. Carlile said.
|Olay Daily Facials were the first skin-specific cleansing cloths on the market. Today, the cloths are available in three different formulas to cater to the consumer's individual skin care needs.|
Simply Skin offers a full range of cleansers, toners, moisturizers, creams, masques and essential oils to cover all skin care bases. But the routine is kept simple, with a goal of keeping skin in peak condition utilizing as few products as possible, Ms. Carlile said.
The company's website, www.simplyskin. com, offers products for purchase, as well as skin care tips, and consumers can e-mail Ms. Carlile with questions. "What consumers need is more education about skin care, as a system rather than individual products, like a cleanser or a moisturizer," she said.
PH Beauty Labs, Beverly Hills, CA, takes cleansing seriously too, but puts a playful spin on the process to encourage consumers to get that all important clean.
The company introduced four new SKUs to its Totally Juicy line. Tangerine Crackly clay masque "crackles" as it dries. The Mango Taffy pore strip dispenses at an angle so that the consumer can apply it only to the areas where it's needed. Limon Foaming face slougher and Fruit Breeze Tingling facial scrub round out the newest Totally Juicy offerings.
In the midst of subdued consumer spending, pH Beauty Labs' Jill Freeman-Bucksbaum said the company's playful approach paid off. "We fared well (in 2002)," she said. "We don't have typical moisturizers and cleansers per se; we have very targeted items that are fun and interactive."
Some consumers need more than the standard cleansing; oily skin, skin eruptions and acne (both teenage and adult forms) are common complaints among consumers. In fact, 80% of all Americans are afflicted with acne at some time during their lives, according to data from At Last Naturals, Valhalla, NY.
To combat this problem, At Last Naturals offers Sul-Ray Acne Treatment soap, formulated with aloe vera to allow the skin to heal. The soap is fragrance-free and contains no added colors.
|DermaNew's microdermabrasion system is available in salons and spas.|
Also available from the company is Sul-Ray Acne Treatment cream, a greaseless, tinted cream that blends into the skin to heal existing acne and help prevent new acne from forming.
New York, NY-based emerginC introduced deglaze, a line that helps the skin achieve a healthy pH level without over-drying it, according to emerginC executives. Deglaze includes an antibacterial cleanser containing balsam and usnic acid; a camphor-, clove- and peppermint-containing toner; a clay based mask; Crude Control hydrating emulsion; Dessicator drying lotion in regular or tinted formulas and Matt Velvet Dust, a powder for oily and problem skin.
Ellen Lange Skin Science, Springfield, NJ and Highland Park, NJ, developed Dab Away, a fast-acting spot treatment for oiliness and clogged pores, as part of its Daily Maintenance program. Dab Away contains willowbark extract, witch hazel, salicylic acid and allantoin. The company also launched Oil Control cleanser to gently purify pores and reduce excess oil with salicylic acid and witch hazel distillate, while aloe, lavender, chamomile and panthenol work to soothe and balance the skin.
Catering to salon and beauty spa professionals, DermaNew, Beverly Hills, CA, offers the Acne and Oil Balancing system. The system features AC.net, an exclusive ingredient complex, which is applied with the DermaNew resurfacing tool, to fight breakouts by reducing inflammation, bacterial proliferation, oil production and cell buildup. DermaNew executives said the system reduces comedones by more than 30% and decreases the number of skin lesions by 35%. It also reduces overactive sebum production by 44%.
"This personal microdermabrasion system gives (the spa professional's) clients a new way to control their most common problems: acne and oily skin," said Amby Longhofer, founder, DermaNew. "In addition, this kit provides a wonderful opportunity for cross-selling services in the salon and spa by doing dermo treatments during downtime." The kit retails for $79.99.
|Boscia products deliver "beauty from the inside out." The company offers a full range of products.|
A Youthful Outlook
According to industry experts, today's consumer is more active than ever, and for a longer period of time; "middle-aged" is becoming an outmoded term as individuals stay physically active and young at heart well into their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond.
To match a younger mindset, most consumers wish to have a young appearance, and anti-aging products are more popular than ever before.
"Looking toward the future, what we will see is a lot of anti-aging products," said Ms. Freeman-Bucksbaum of pH Beauty Labs. "That's where consumers are going right now, and marketers are giving them what they want and need."
With that in mind, pH Beauty Labs created Botopical, a new skin care line that includes Eye Repair, a brow and forehead smoother and a lip treatment. The formulas plump up creases immediately with an advanced microfusion complex, revealing a smooth surface in a flash.
Pro-Med, a line of dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic products, is new from Abbe Cosmetic Group International, Farmingdale, NY. Pro-Med's SKUs feature retinol and retinyl palmitate (vitamin A) in two active serums, a light, moisturizing eye cream and a sheer, emollient face cream. Completing the line are the Anti-Bruise cream, containing arnica montana, emu oil, vitamin E, gamma linolenic and gamma linoleic acids, and a Microdermabrasion cream and gel.
In the prestige channel, Orlane has added B21 Extreme Line Reducing Extract, the fourth product in the company's Extreme treatment collection. The product incorporates a proprietary compound called Memoxyle, which includes isoflavone extracted from clover for protein synthesis and beta glucan to counter free radicals.
The discerning consumer can spring into skin care with Chanel's latest offerings. The company plans a wealth of new products, including Eye Patch Total, a hydrating treatment that contains ginseng extract, scutellaria extract and marine proteins to diminish the appearance of fine lines and puffiness. The patches will arrive in-store next month.
Also in June, Chanel will unveil a reformulated version of the Le Corps Actif line, including Multi-Hydroxy body moisturizier and Hydroxy hand cream.
Already on-shelf from Chanel is Précision Ultra Correction Eye Anti Wrinkle Restructuring eye cream, a rich, hydrating cream formulated to correct signs of aging around the eyes.
Babor Cosmetics, which is available through spas, salons and the company's website, www.babor.com, introduced Lifting Complex. "It's a very intensive elasticity repair," explained Terissa Moulder, marketing coordinator for Babor. "It was clinically proven to show a 70% improvement in elasticity in three weeks."
Lifting complex offers a four-fold approach: it moisturizes and tones; it stimulates cell regeneration; it safeguards against free radicals and it helps prevent the formation of new lines and wrinkles.
Babor also developed a shower gel with green tea and ginkgo biloba. Both new products went on-shelf this spring.
Valmont Labs executives agreed that business in skin care was booming. "We've only been in the U.S. for three years," said Charlotte Controu, U.S. marketing director for Valmont, "so we're into the phase where we're opening new accounts now. We keep on growing."
Valmont's high-end products "are really technical," Ms. Controu said. "We have a trainer and a training program so that these products can be sold and used correctly." In March, Valmont launched the Radiance line, which blends vitamin C with GLA. "Radiance has already been a huge success," Ms. Controu commented. "It really gave a boost to our business." Valmont will continue to innovate new combinations and concentrations of clinically proven ingredients. For example, last September Valmont launched the Eye Collagen treatment and Lip treatment, and in December, it introduced the Cellular DNA complex, a major innovation in skin stimulation, Ms. Controu insisted.
"We are a very high-end line," Ms. Controu said, "but the cost of any product is only justified by the innovation and technology that went into it. We have our own plantations to make sure the plants we integrate are of the best quality. We thoroughly research our products. Once our clients try our products, they stay with them. We offer products that give real results."
There is no shortage of new releases in the prestige skin care category, either.
Skin care giant Estée Lauder has evolved with the times to remain on top in the prestige category. According to company executives things have changed since 1995, when Lauder first introduced DayWear Protective Anti-Oxidant complex, the first skin care product scientifically proven to protect the skin from environmental assaults. Now, "the environment has changed," a Lauder spokesperson said. The stratospheric ozone has thinned, while pollution has increased. In response, Estée Lauder introduced DayWear Plus Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Mois-turizer SPF 15, with a combination of potent antioxidants and intense hydrators in addition to enhanced SPF. The product is available in oily, normal/ combination and dry skin formulas.
Lancôme's Absolue Eye replenishing eye treatment is "a true eye opener," company executives said. The treatment combines wild yam, soy and sea algae to aid in restoring moisture, improving the skin's firmness around the eye, diminishing the appearance of fine lines and reviving skin clarity and radiance. In addition, light diffusers help deflect imperfections.
|Sea buckthorn, a time-tested ingredient, has been updated by HR Labs, New York.|
Lancôme's Vinéfit line received a new addition this year as well: Vinéfit Cleansing Bar Fresh facial cleanser with grape extracts. The bar contains vitamins and grape extracts to help skin feel smooth and refreshed.
Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) offers Age Expert, "a cosmetic alternative to DHEA," company executives said. DHEA has been at the center of attention for its skin benefits, but can potentially enter into the hormone transformation process, executives claimed.
As an effective alternative, Age Expert contains Graction Ganodérique, composed of patented ganoderic acids that have a structure similar to DHEA. Age Expert activates the skin's own resources, making the skin appear renewed. YSL executives said that in just four weeks, the number and length of many wrinkles can appear significantly reduced, leaving the face visibly rejuvenated.
YSL also offers Hydra Feel to enhance skin hydration. Hydra-Feel contains the Vital-H fraction, a patented complex created with the fractionized extract of the desert shrub Myrothamnus.
Hyaluronic acid is combined with these plant proteins to enhance hydration, while rice peptides help stimulate, energize and oxygenate the skin. Finally, specially-coated pigments emit two different-colored reflections to reflect light rays, visually "resculpting" undesirable curves.
An intense focus on science has been balanced by a return to natural products in today's skin care offerings, and in many cases, together develop new formulations in skin care.
Boscia, an 18-SKU line, was introduced last year by Fancl Corp., Irvine, CA. Products include a basic skin care line; treatment products such as Restorative Amino-3P firming treatment, Enlivening Amino-AG eye treatment and Antioxidant Recovery treatment C; "specialty helpers" such as a facial polish and fresh blotting linens and supplemental items, including Moisture Replenishing and Clear Complexion therapy.
Boscia has been highly successful, according to company executives. The brand focuses on educating the consumer on cleansing, moisturizing and UV protection rather than simply offering the products themselves, company executives said.
"Many facial moisturizers still do not contain adequate UVA and UVB protection," said Sara Parker, a spokesperson for Boscia. "Women may be opting to use a sunscreen-only product as their daytime protection. If moisturizers have an SPF, that is an added benefit and needs to be advertised."
Tuscon, AZ-based Reborn Holistic Skin Care takes a serious approach to skin care, company executives said. For instance, the company has introduced Reborn 24-Hour Anti-Aging cream. The product is all-natural, containing ester C, vitamins A and E, a special blend of Reborn's organic essential oils, primrose, emu and squalene oils and aloe vera. The product defends against premature aging, according to Judi McMahon of the company.
The company also introduced Reborn Skin Renewer, for both women and men. Skin Renewer is available in 0.5-, 1- and refillable 1/3-oz. traveler sizes.
"Reborn Skin Renewer is made from my special formula of 11 essential oils including neroli, helichrusum, carrot seed, Roman and German chamomile in a base of rosehip seed oil," Ms. McMahon explained. "It contains no water, chemicals or preservatives-just unadulterated essential oils that renew the skin's elasticity and moisturize on a cellular level."
Future projects will include a Foot Mender cream, which will contain anti-fungal agents. Products are available through the company's website, www. rebornangel.com.
HR Laboratories, New York, NY, combines back-to-basics ingredients with modern sensibility, company executives said. New from the company is Sea Buckthorn Professional Skin Therapy. "Due to its unique chemical composition, sea buckthorn has been used for centuries to heal wounds and burns, delay skin aging, smooth, cure acne and moisturize dry skin," insisted Victoria Barsky of the company.
The extract has been used for more than 2000 years, but "sea buckthorn fruit extract and its many properties remain fairly unknown in the U.S. market," said Ms. Barsky, "so HR Laboratories has become an innovator in introducing the consumer to this new, natural anti-aging technology."
The company has also been busy with other projects and has an aggressive long-term product pipeline. Two new products will appear this fall: a Sea Buckthorn body mist and Sea Buckthorn moisturizing facial mask. HR Labs plans to roll out two new products each year and will even include a "from the inside out" concept with Sea Buckthorn Fruit Extract Softgel capsules.
A down-to-earth approach is evident in Cowgirl Skincare, a nine-year old company that produces such user-friendly products as Ranch Hand cream.
To get its message across, the company is "currently working on better placement in stores and new packaging designs" rather than developing new products, according to Alexis Mayne. Ms. Mayne, self-proclaimed "head wrangler" of Cowgirl, was recently handed the reins by her mother, Donna Baase, who founded the company.
Some consumers want to get down to a bare-bones basic skin care regimen; others desire natural ingredients, while still others demand scientific proof that products will work.
Skin care marketers are now offering that proof from solid studies, and are advertising products that do more than just moisturize the skin.
French company RoC's tagline, "We keep our promises," is reinforced in the company's new Age Diminishing Daily moisturizer. In a 12-week double blind study, more than 85% of women who used the product saw a visible improvement to their skin in just two weeks, RoC executives said. Age Diminishing Daily moisturizer is gentle, fast-absorbing and contains soy complex, proven to help even out the appearance of melanin.
MD Formulations, San Francisco, introduced the Alpha/Beta customized peeling system, and the company has the numbers to back it up. Four-week independent clinical studies were conducted on women with moderately photo-aged skin.
Results show that the peel alone demonstrated a 34% reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, a 35% reduction in hyperpigmentation and a 39% reduction in overall photo-aged damage. With the addition of the Anti-Aging Intensifier, a 41% reduction in lines and wrinkles and a 47% reduction in overall photo-aged damage were observed. With the Illuminating Intensifier, the peel revealed 40% reduction in pigmentation and 43% reduced overall photo-aged damage, while the Clearing Intensifier increased the peel's effectiveness with a 35% reduction in inflammatory acne lesions, a result not demonstrated by the peel alone, executives said.
Harrison, NY-based Doctor's Dermatologic Formula (DDF) delivers quality skin care through doctors and esthetic professionals, according to company executives.
DDF's extensive and very specific line includes such products as Glycolic Toner 5; Medicated Skin Cleanser 10% BP with Tea Tree, Pumice Acne scrub, Ultra Barrier cream and EFP (environmentally-damaged cellular degeneration) C3 serum.
DDF products address six common skin concerns: acne/problem, sensitive/allergic, hyper-pigmentation/discoloration, environmental damage, cellular degeneration and scarring/stretch marks. DDF recently introduced the 7-Day Radiance Peel kit, a dermatologic blend of acids in a mix of vitamins; Luminous Moisture Shelter SPF 15 and Tinted Matifying SPF 15.
A Cost-Conscious Compromise
Of all the current products in the skin care market, industry experts agreed that one trend is consistent: bringing visible results to the public without necessitating more costly, out-of-home procedures. "There has been a significant increase in cosmetic procedures in the past few years," said Olay's Mr. Kuremsky, "but penetration of these methods across the U.S. is comparatively small. Not as many women as you would think have actually had a (surgical) cosmetic procedure."
P&G aims to make quality skin care affordable-and non-invasive. "We're always innovating," said Mr. Kuremsky. "We're starting to close the gap between topical home products and what you can get in a doctor's office."
With a focus on clinical trials and consumer input, cosmetic companies strive to deliver high-quality results at a lower cost. With continued innovation, the skin category will keep glowing.
Looking for a new ingredient for your skin care product? A list of them can be found on p. 134 in the print version of Happi.