Skin Science

November 15, 2005

New formulas aim to deliver professional results, painlessly.

Women’s perceptions of aging are changing. Today, they want to feel as good as they look.

That’s the conclusion of “Age redefined: a frank perspective on marketing to women as they age,” a new study from Winston-Salem, MA based Frank About Women.

“The results of this study defy conventional wisdom about older women,” said Siobhan Olson, a director with Frank About Women. “While looking young and healthy is still important, (women) also care more about how they feel as they age.”

A majority of women in the study—55%— said “aging well” means looking great, but not necessarily younger: only 12% of respondents defined “aging well” as looking younger, Frank About Women executives said. And 25% of women in the survey said “old age” never begins.

In addition, WSL Strategic Retail’s The Pulse survey reported that people are spending less all-over time on frills. For example, 34% of female respondents said they spend less time on their makeup now than they did five years ago due to a much more hectic lifestyle, WSL executives reported.

Does all this spell disaster for the skin care industry? Certainly not. While the concept of “vanity” is taking a backseat, “health” has taken its place, and though a healthy glow really does begin on the inside, it never hurts to have a little outside help. Marketers are ready with the latest products that enhance rather than overwhelm, and fit the lifestyle of today’s busy woman.

The Skinny on Skin Care
According to industry experts, now is a good time for skin care to get a face lift. Sales of facial moisturizers were flat at $256 million in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) for the 52 weeks ending Jan. 25, according to Information Resources Inc. (IRI), Chicago. And the hand and body lotion category declined 2.57% to $779 million for the period, IRI executives said.

Skin care marketers are going a layer deeper by developing consumer-friendly products that mimic the effects of more drastic methods, such as dermabrasion, botox and some forms of plastic surgery. As skin products edge closer to dermatology, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is turning a more critical eye on the skin care market. The category has a guardian angel, however: the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA), which strives to keep options open for cosmetic formulators.

Last month, CTFA reported that it is preparing a legal memorandum in response to a Dec. 31, 2003 Federal Register notice requesting data on six categories of ingredients considered eligible for OTC review but not yet assessed. CTFA said it views the notice as a possible attempt to move responsibility for these products to the drug center as a new category called wrinkle removers. Cosmetic industry experts argue that AHAs, BHAs and aloe products simply reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

“What they’re looking at (is) that the mere presence of these ingredients would make the products drugs, and that’s like throwing down the gauntlet to this industry, because we would certainly fight the FDA at every turn,” maintained CTFA president Ed Kavanaugh. “Historically, you’re either a cosmetic or a drug based on the intended use and the claims you make for that product.”

While CTFA works to straighten out wrinkles in marketing claims, formulators are busy developing products that deliver what consumers want. This requires a complex balancing act between pleasing the consumer and avoiding the FDA’s ire. With all this activity, 2004 should be an interesting and revealing year for skin care, according to industry experts contacted by Happi.

At What Price Beauty?
“Which of us is older? Can you tell by our hands?” asked the 1970s television commercial. Today, however, consumers are more likely to reveal their age due to their spending habits, marketers insist.

The Baby-Boomer and mature categories generally have the greatest need for intensive skin care products, and these consumers have more cash to spend than other age groups.

Anti-aging products are more popular than ever as women—and men—shun cosmetic surgery in favor of gentler methods. Topical products also tend to be less expensive than a visit to the dermatologist’s office, though not always, industry executives said.

Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, OH, has a firm foothold in the skin care industry with brands that are touted as both effective and cost-conscious. Olay and Olay Complete held top spots last year, at $45.7 million and $35.1 million in sales respectively, according to IRI. This year, however, P&G unveiled a surprise: SK-II (“Secret Key”), acquired by the company in 1991 and a hit in Asia, was launched in exclusive U.S. locations this March, for $50 -$250 an item.

The line, developed around a $130, 5-oz. jar of facial cream, is aimed at the Baby Boomer demographic. It rolled out in 11 Saks Fifth Avenue stores across the U.S. in March.

SK-II has been available in Japan for 25 years. Part of its mystique is built around an exotic backstory: a “secret ingredient” was discovered by a Japanese monk who noticed that sake (rice wine) brewers had especially soft hands, according to company executives. The liquid from the sake fermentation process was then turned into a cream, called pitera.

Executives at P&G in Japan said SK-II is more expensive because pitera comes from a slow natural process that “combines the power of nature with the advances of science” and cannot be easily mass-produced.

In addition to the launch of SK-II, P&G is revving up its tried-and-true (and more economically accessible) Olay brand with Olay Moisturinse In Shower body lotion, in normal to dry and extra dry versions. According to a P&G spokesperson, Moisturinse tackles a common problem: while many people have dry skin, some find a daily all-over body application of lotion to be burdensome. Moisturinse arrives on mass retail shelves in June. It retails for $4.99 for an 8.4-oz. container or $6.99 for a 15.2-oz. container.
Nivea has beefed up its product lines with new launches for both face and body.

The Names You Know
Other well-known brands in the skin care industry are creating new products to fit every consumer’s need.

Nivea puts on a fresh face this year with additions to Nivea Visage, a facial skin care line.

“At Nivea Visage, we know what the skin uses to keep itself healthy,” said Susan Savoie, vice president, marketing, Nivea Visage. “Thus, every new and existing (Nivea Visage) product works with the skin in its own unique way to deliver a variety of results ranging from anti-aging benefits and wrinkle reduction to daily protection, gentle cleansing, moisturizing and toning.”

New products include Multiple Results All In One Anti-Aging treatment; Simply Glowing; All Around Protection lotion SPF 15 and All Around Protection creme SPF 15.

Also for the body, Nivea has extended its Silky Shimmer lotion line with Medium to Dark Skin, as well as the original product which has been re-named Nivea Body Silky Shimmer lotion for Light to Medium Skin. Also new is Nivea Body Renewal Night lotion, an extension of the Nivea Body Restorative Night Hand creme line.

Neutrogena, which holds three of the top 10 spots in facial moisturizers according to IRI, is aglow with the Healthy Skin Radiance system. The system contains an Exfoliating wash, a Moisturizer SPF 15 with UVA and UVB protection and Skin Radiance Eye Boost cream.

According to Neutrogena executives, the three Healthy Skin Radiance products work best when used together on a daily basis. Along with non-comedogenic, gentle moisturization, the Moisturizer gradually builds a touch of color, company executives said.

Neutrogena also offers a new cleanser in an on-trend delivery system: nonwoven towelettes. The nonwoven wipes are opthalmologist, dermatologist and allergy tested, according to the company.

Avon is going high-tech too. The company introduced Anew Clinical Line and Wrinkle corrector, Anew Clinical 2-Step Facial peel and Avon Solutions Cellu-Sculpt for beauty from head to toe.

Avon also relaunched its highly successful Retroactive+ Face cream in the first quarter of 2004. According to Lisa Borak, director, global skin care marketing, Avon, customers want “the latest technology, performance for value and convenience, (as well as) natural ingredients. Trends are driven by consumer desire for value-added products.”

You Old Softie
Women remain the primary consumers in the skin care industry, but men are showing their softer sides too, according to executives contacted by Happi.

Anthony Logistics for Men is embarking on its most significant launch since the brand was introduced in October 2000, according to company executives. The line, called Solution Based, comprises three anti-aging products and four anti-acne items. It opened in 475 domestic and 75 international doors last month.

Solution Based executives said that men’s personal care is a part of the market that’s “in demand and growing.” Products in the line include Vitamin A Facial treatment, with carrot root to renew and replenish; Vitamin C Facial serum, with grape seed extract to smooth and firm and Continuous Moisture Eye cream, with jojoba oil and vitamin E. The anti-acne line includes One-Step Cleansing bar, Acne cleanser, Spot Therapy and Nighttime Acne treatment.

At an average price of $27 a product, Solution Based has a higher retail price point than Anthony Logistics’ core collection. However, Mr. Sosnick insisted that a high concentration of active ingredients at a lower cost than comparable products will make Solution Based a hit. The company predicted $2.5 million first-year wholesale sales globally.

Nivea is also treating men gently with its Nivea for Men line. For sensitive facial skin, Nivea for Men now includes Fresh Cooling aftershave and Fresh Cooling Shaving gel.

“Men are looking for a solution to their skin problems, such as soothing skin after shaving, revitalizing the skin and protecting the skin,” said Catherine Lair, marketing director, Nivea Body and Nivea for Men. “They are not so much interested in how the product works, but in the end result.”

Regardless of how they come to the decision to make a skin care purchase, “More and more men (are taking care of) their faces,” Ms. Lair insisted. “And sophisticated men look for more sophisticated products.”

This Won’t Hurt a Bit
Industry sources say both men and women are becoming less shy about seeking cosmetic procedures such as chemical peels and botox injections in the continuous fight to stay youthful and attractive.

But while those numbers are growing, the majority of consumers are still wary of a drastic change, industry experts told Happi.

The doctor is in for consumers who desire a subtle improvement in their appearance, using gentle methods. Some of the latest products and treatments in skin care are headed by MDs, or have a basis in up-to-the minute technology.

CosMedix, which sells its products and treatments to dermatologists’ offices, spas and salons, takes a scientific approach to skin care. The company recently introduced the Chirally Correct Medical skin care line.

The term “chiral” comes from the Greek word for “hand” and has its basis in the idea of right- and left-handedness, according to company executives. They maintain that, like our hands, the molecules that make up our DNA, proteins, sugars and amino acids are also chiral, with some molecules being “right-handed” and others being “left-handed.” Depending upon their orientation, molecules can behave very differently.

If it sounds complex, that’s because it is—but a “chirally correct” product can make all the difference in everything from drugs to skin care, CosMedix executives said.

The Chirally Correct Medical skin care line includes Refine, a trans retinol system that improves the skin’s texture, firmness and smoothness; Lightening, a skin-lightening agent; Eye Believe, a collagen-stimulating and repairing eye serum; Timeless Peel, an overnight skin peel; Clarity acne serum, said to block hormonal stimulation; Pure Enzymes exfoliating mask and Reflect, a “spray and go” full-spectrum sunscreen.

CosMedix is science-based, but there’s more to it than that, according to Ben Johnson, MD, chief executive officer of the company. “We believe you should start from the inside out,” Dr. Johnson said. “The skin definitely absorbs a number of ingredients, and you can make changes topically, but the reality is that aging also happens through diet, stress and nutritional deficiencies. So our approach is to present a nutritional support system to help heal the skin from the inside out.”

A combination of appropriate dietary changes along with the use of CosMedix’s products and treatments can produce dramatic results, Dr. Johnson said. It’s all a matter of supporting what the skin does naturally.

“The skin works 24/7 at remodeling itself,” he pointed out. “We’re always in a state of repair. So if we reduce the stress load on the body from internal as well as environmental factors, the body functions better; it repairs itself better.”

MD Skincare, available at upscale retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman and Nordstrom, also has a physician’s backing. Dr. Dennis Gross is behind the MD Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Face 2 Step peel, formulated for at-home use.

MD Skincare has already been successful at destination and day spas, company executives said. Though on-location treatments can offer both the expertise of an esthetician and the luxury of being pampered, most consumers would like to be able to perform the company’s treatments themselves, company executives insisted.

Dr. Gross’ product system “leaves nothing to chance,” according to the company. The MD Skincare regimen comes in a two-step procedure. Step #1, a ready-to-use pad, exfoliates and cleanses, while Step #2 soothes and neutralizes any reaction using vitamins A, C and E, green tea extract and genistein. The Alpha Beta Daily Face 2 Step peel retails for $68 for a 30-day supply. A collection of 30 individual travel packettes retails for $75.

A Natural Glow
Natural ingredients are as popular as ever, and seemingly stand on the opposite end of the spectrum from physician’s office-type treatments. But according to skin care marketers contacted by Happi, there’s no need to choose one over the other. Botanicals have come a long way toward acceptance by the scientific community. And an ingredient doesn’t have to have a Latin name to be considered “natural.”

Lamas Beauty mixes nature and science with its new Lamas Botanicals skin care line.

Take, for example, such ingredients as vitamin C ester, co-enzyme Q 10 and alpha lipoic acid. All can be used safely along with botanicals in “natural”-type product lines, according to Peter Lamas of Lamas Beauty.

Mr. Lamas embarked on a tour last month to help launch the new Lamas Botanicals line in natural and health food stores across the U.S.

The Lamas Botanicals line is available in Whole Food stores in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Louisiana, Kansas, southern Florida, New York and Massachusetts. It will expand into Whole Food locations in the Midwest this month, the Northeast and California and September and will eventually hit the Wild Oats and Henry’s Market chains, company executives said.

The Lamas Botanicals line includes a four-step system that both men and women can benefit from, according to Mr. Lamas. Restore, with Eye Recovery complex, firms and lightens. It contains Embilca fruit and is said to lighten dark circles, age spots and skin discoloration. Repair contains DMAE, C-ester and alpha lipoic acid, as well as co-enzyme Q-10 and hyaluronic acid. Protect contains Daytime Hydrator, vitamins C, A and E, hyaluronic acid and retinyl palmitate. Finally, Defend, with Soy Nourishing moisturizer, fortifies the skin during sleep, according to company executives.

Corrective Skin care, Salt Lake City, UT, takes on the problem of rosacea with botanicals. The company also addresses whiteheads, blackheads and pimples using natural-based ingredients. Corrective Skin Care products are custom blended and, like the CosMedix line, are chirally correct.

Rosacea typically appears around the age of 30 across one’s cheek and nose area, causing flushing, Corrective Skin Care executives said. It can also progress, eventually forming nodules, especially on the nose area. “Anything that raises the blood closer to the skin’s surface, such as spicy food, caffeine, alcohol and exercise (can trigger rosacea),” said Gayle Roberts, owner of the Corrective Skin Care line.

The line includes new products such as Tea Tree scrub; L-Lime Aid, a moisturizer that heals breakouts and helps prevent new acne lesions from forming; Berry Bliss cleanser and Tea Tree Acne gel. Also new from the company are Ice Caffe Eye gel; Licorice mask; Green Tea mask; Berry Bliss spritzer and Tea Tree scrub.

“People are looking for a system for their skin, rather than using different product lines,” Ms. Roberts observed. “My clients are looking for the most active ingredients that make a difference in their skin.”

Clinics and Spas and Salons, Oh My!
While many consumers want do-it-yourself regimens, some marketers insist that a session at a reputable skin care clinic is the best way to diagnose and treat skin care woes.

Nuvo International is the first medical cosmetic company to launch a chain of retail skin care clinics in shopping malls throughout the U.S., according to company executives. Nuvo launched clinics in Beverly Hills and Walnut Creek, CA and in Portland, OR last month. Between May and October, 18 more locations will open in California, Nevada and Washington.

The clinics offer progressive anti-aging treatments and top-quality products in a comfortable, educated environment that does not intimidate customers, Nuvo executives said. Personable, one-on-one customer service and a team of medical and cosmetic experts enable visitors to experience such treatments as Pulse Light RF, microdermabrasion, Foto-Facial, photo rejuvenation, botox and collagen treatments.

In addition to receiving cosmetic medical skin care treatments, Nuvo clients can also purchase a range of prescription-strength, hypoallergenic skin care products. The products boutique includes the Nuvo Forever Young Skin system, the Nuvo Even Tone Skin system, Nuvo Super C Medley and Nuvo Young Eyes, to name just a few.

East-coasters are privy to special treatment, too. The Sea Change Healing Center in Manhattan “leaves your body glistening, your heart singing and your head clear of any stress or worries,” according to executives.

The location has introduced a number of new treatments, including the Sea Change Musical massage. Sea Change visitors can also receive a Pumpkin Whip Facial peel to help heal blemishes and balance oil production; the Sea Change Body polisher, a cleansing and exfoliating polish that utilizes herbs and antioxidants and a Sea Go facial, designed to get on-the-go New Yorkers in and out in 30 minutes, company executives said. A full line of massage and cosmetic treatments is available.

New Yorkers can also stop by the Mezzanine Medical Day spa in Manhattan for a Skinprint session. Skinprint uses ingredients and delivery systems that send a signal to skin cells to perform better, improving the condition and appearance of the skin, executives said.

Skinprint certified analysts perform tests during the Skinprint process. Results are usually visible within four to six weeks, with more substantial results in three to six months. The session comes with a Skinprint guarantee. Each 30-minute session costs $75.

Skin Food
Treatments and topicals can help reduce the signs of aging that already exist. Other products help protect the skin from damage in the first place. Some marketers are “feeding the skin” with vitamins and ingredients to help boost its own natural defenses, restore a smooth appearance and lock in moisture.

The Plano, TX-based Laura Mercier line introduced the Night Nutrition collection last September; in April, the company’s Multi-Vitamin serum debuted.

Ms. Mercier, a renowned makeup artist, said the Laura Mercier skin care brand was launched in September of 1999 in response to anti-aging, acne and rosacea concerns, among others, “because the line is very efficient, but not full of harsh ingredients,” she explained.

Ms. Mercier envisions a future where intensive products will be more pampering than ever. “I definitely see technology going toward being more gentle to the skin, and being even more efficient and less abusive,” she said.

Boston-based Fresh, part of the LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton group, launched a sweet line of products inspired by the application of sugar in remedies to speed the healing process. The collection, Sugar Blossom, debuts this month. It includes Body treatment with brown sugar and floral acids, Hand treatment with hibiscus flower acids, alpha hydroxy acids, sugar and hydrating oils, as well as a companion fragrance.

Wilma Schumann Skin Care maintains a clinic, but also offers products via retail channels.

Coral Gables, FL-based Wilma Schumann Skin Care is a clinic where skin conditions are assessed and training is performed. The professional line offers both retail products and treatments. The company produces Collagen 2000, an all-purpose moisturizer that also attracts moisture from the environment into the skin.

Wilma Schumann Skin Care also offers a Moisturizer with SPF 20 as well as vitamins A and E and green tea, a free radical scavenger. “We’re about to launch an SPF 45 version of the product,” said Barbara Schumann-Ortega, vice president and chief educator, Wilma Schumann Skin Care. “It is more occlusive and is more for medical use.”

The company also plans on launching an ampoule rosacea treatment to calm and soothe. And to complement its serum-based gel line, plans are in the works for a new cream to be released soon. “The new cream is a vitamin-based, anti aging environmental shield to be used on top of our serum-based gels,” Ms. Schumann-Ortega said.

Also available are Oxy Blue, for people with circulation issues; a Liposome gel; DNA and DNA Plus, from salmon roe. “Trends are going toward more professional treatments,” Ms. Schumann-Ortega said. “People have really started taking care of themselves, and for a while, they were moving toward medical, aggressive treatments. But that has scared people to an extent, so now people are moving toward preventative maintenance. They’re coming back to us.”

But Wait...There’s More
As if all this weren’t enough, prestige cosmetics lines are delving more deeply than ever into the development of products that pamper.

Yves Saint Laurent introduced Ideal Defense Rejuvenating Multi Protection Care SPF 8. In addition to UVA and UVB filters, the Ideal Defense formula offers the skin a second shield, composed of protective particles the company calls Sérilisse-P. The particles are coated with acacia gum to form a supple, cohesive film on the skin’s surface that helps deflect the sun’s harmful rays while smoothing the skin.

Yon-Ka Paris has enhanced two of its products, Elastin Jour and Elastin Nuit, with marine collagen. Elastin Jour also contains coconut oil, lactic-citric acids and a 6% hydrading complex. Elastin Nuit contains wheat germ oil, amniotic liquid, glycoproteins and vitamin C. Both creams include marine source collagen as well as elastin, 21 amino acids, shea butter and squalane.

Elysée Scientific Cosmetics, Madison, WI, launched Lift ‘N Go Wrinkle Smoothing serum, an intense, temporary lifting and skin-tightening concentrate that immediately diminishes the appearance of lines and wrinkles, company executives said. The formula includes pentapeptide, argireline and marine plant algae.

Primordiale Optimum Visibly Smoothing moisturizer SPF 15 is new from Lancome Paris. The formula is said to reverse the first signs of aging in just five days. It contains a vegetal extract blend called Duplex Vecteur, stimaggrine and a micro-sea plant extract and the company’s Thermo-Control.

Expansion in the skin care industry comes not only via new formulas this year, but good backing. HDS Cosmetic Labs, which markets Doctor’s Dermatologic formula skin care, sold a controlling interest of the privately-owned company to North Castle Partners LLC, a Greenwich, CT-based private equity firm. North Castle’s portfolio of investments includes Equinox Holdings Inc., Elizabeth Arden Salon Holdings Inc. and Avalon Natural Products. The company plans to expand the 13-year-old cosmeceutical brand, founded by dermatologist Dr. Howard Sobel, and the partnership will help DDF fund its recent purchase of an additional 80,000 feet of space for new manufacturing facilities.

Through the Looking Glass
The wealth of new advances in skin care can seem overwhelming, but marketers insist they are all in response to consumer demand for products that will help achieve or maintain a youthful look.

Is beauty really only skin deep? Despite the well-known saying, skin care marketers believe there’s more to a woman’s healthy glow than what is seen on the outside. From herbal ingredients to medical-quality treatments, there’s more to today’s skin care than ever before.

Looking for a new ingredient to incorporate into your skin care product? A list of them can be found in the print version of Happi.