While the Food and Drug Administration waffles over the Sunscreen Monograph, sales within the category continue to cook and marketers have a complete menu of new product offerings for 2011. According to data from SymphonyIRI Group, sales of suntan lotion and oil jumped more than 10% last year to $685.2 million (see chart).
In fact, according to Mintel estimates, sales of sun protection and sunless tanning products increased nearly 50% since 2005 in food, drug and mass merchandisers. In a nod to recession-weary consumers, sales of private label products led the way, with sales last year surging more than 28% to $106.4 million, according to SymphonyIRI. In an effort to hold on to the No. 2 spot in the category and give fast-growing private label products a formulating challenge, Coppertone (a Merck brand) has several innovative products making their debut during the next month or so.
Chief among them are Oil Free Foaming Sunscreen Lotion SPF 75+ and Water Babies Sunscreen Foaming Lotion SPF 75+.
“We’ve done something innovative by creating two new foams,” explained Patricia Agin, a fellow at Coppertone’s Solar Research Center. “There is a continuing trend to create products that have a convenience feature to them.”
According to Agin, the foams offer an alternative to consumers who don’t want to use alcohol-based sprays or traditional lotions which can be more difficult to rub in compared to foams.
“We experimented with emulsion systems and came up with one that works well, is compatible with sunscreen ingredients and has a delightful feel,” she explained.
For those seeking high performance in an ultra high SPF, the company is launching Coppertone Sport High Performance Sunscreen Lotion SPF 100+. The waterproof sunscreen is specially formulated for active adults and is ultra sweat-proof, so it won’t run into eyes and sting. It also contains antioxidants for extreme conditions.
“We’ve had SPF 100 in our Water Babies line and in our Continuous Spray format, but we found that with the Sport line there are people who like a lotion foam,” explained Agin. “They don’t want a spray, they want a lotion to apply and reapply. They want a high SPF and they want it in a moisturizing lotion without the alcohol.”
Coppertone isn’t neglecting its Water Babies line in 2011. New Water Babies Sunscreen Foaming Lotion SPF 75+ promises to be soft and gentle for babies’ skin and offers broad spectrum, waterproof sun protection. Water Babies Pure & Simple Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 provides tear-free, broad-spectrum sun protection in a 2oz. size that Coppertone maintains is ideal for the diaper bag. The formula is oil- and fragrance-free and is said to be extremely gentle to babies’ delicate skin and eyes.
At Hawaiian Tropic—another top player in food, drug and mass—sun care 2011 is all about shimmer. New Shimmer Effect Lotion Sunscreen is available in SPF 20 and SPF 40, as well as an aftersun lotion. Hawaiian Tropic calls them the only sunscreens that give skin instant radiance while providing broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection. The sunscreen lotion and after sun lotion both contain mica minerals to add a soft, subtle sheen. The formulas also include island botanicals, antioxidants and moisturizers.
Avon, too, has an innovative sun care offering this summer. New Anti-Aging Sun Care with RepairShield Technology is designed to repair skin cell sun damage, while providing broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection. According to Avon, RepairShield Technology—the result of 10 years of research—is designed to help stimulate skin’s natural antioxidant defense system to help fight superoxides and to activate skin’s natural repair process. It works by boosting skin’s own antioxidants to fight free radicals and repair skin cell sun damage by creating an optimal environment for cell recovery.
The Anti-Aging Sun Care with RepairShield Technology lineup includes Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 45, which promises to dramatically reduce the appearance of wrinkles and visible discolorations while effectively protecting the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. The Sunscreen Body Lotion SPF 30 is said to make skin feel dramatically tighter and more toned, as it protects skin from sun damage with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Each retails for $34.
New from Aveeno is Hydrosport sunblock. It contains Active Naturals, which provide naturally derived water repelling technology for long-lasting, broad-spectrum protection, according to the brand. The line includes sprays (SPF 85 and 50) and lotion (SPF 85).
Most sun care purchases occur on mass-market shelves, but there are some consumers who seek advice from their dermatologists.
In May, La Roche-Posay will roll out Anthelios 50 Mineral, which contains titanium dioxide along with something called Cell-Ox Shield, a patent-pending antioxidant complex featuring Senna Alata. The plant extract has a self-defense mechanism to protect against cell damage, according to the company. The SPF 50 product will retail for $31.95.
Obagi, another derm-based sun care brand, has added a sunscreen to its Nu-Derm line. Obagi Nu-Derm Sun Shield SPF 50 contains 10.5% zinc oxide and 7.5% octinoxate and retails for $45.
Obagi’s and La Roche-Posay’s prices are higher than those of traditional mass products, but there are more than a few consumers out there who are willing to pay more. A recent study by Unity Marketing found that affluent consumer confidence, the Luxury Consumption Index (LCI), improved by four points to reach 76.1 in the first quarter of 2011. The survey was conducted January 6-13, 2011 among 1,237 affluent luxury consumers (average income $308,700; median net worth $861,000; age 43.9 yrs; 42% male and 58% female).
“The uptick in this quarter’s LCI reveals a more positive outlook among affluent consumers about the economy at large, as well as increased optimism about their personal economic situation,” according to Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing.
High Priced Protection
If the Unity Marketing data holds true, that bodes well for sun care companies competing in the high end of the sun care market. S&G Hampton Sun LLC is one such firm. Its line of products retail from $30 to $65 and president and owner Salvatore Piazzolla insists that he is trying to bring glamour back to the sun care category.
After a soft launch in 2005 in 12 New York City doors and the Hamptons, the posh, celebrity-filled summer retreat on Long Island, Hampton Sun quickly expanded into hotels, resorts, cruise ships and spas. Today, the company has more than 400 points of distribution. Piazzolla told Happi that he expects to sign a contract with a big U.S. retailer in the near future and expand outside the country too.
“Our products are for the person who takes sunbathing seriously and wants a high-end luxury product,” explained Piazzolla. “We use all natural, organic oils to replenish natural nutrients in the skin.”
The Hampton Sun lineup includes 17 products, including Continuous Mist. An SPF 55 mist debuted in late 2010 and SPF 15 and 35 variants are reaching shelves now. All three contain Polyester 8, which is a film-former and skin conditioner. The SPF 55 variant recently received a Cosmetic Executive Women Beauty Award nomination in the prestige sun category.
“Our business was up 33% last year and based on the new SKUs, I believe business will triple this year,” said Piazzolla. “Our goal is to take ownership of the luxury sun care market. The name is powerful, the packaging is classic and the formulas are brilliant—nothing is sticky or tacky. It is very silky and the epitome of luxury.”
Holly Thaggard, founder of Supergoop!, a line of sun care products, insists that the goal of her company isto educate consumers about the importance of proper sun care. The beauty industry veteran started the company in 2007 after a friend was diagnosed with melanoma and, as a new mom, she worried about the effects cumulative UV radiation would have on her blonde-haired daughter. After toying with the idea of forming a non-profit group to create a public health campaign, Thaggard decided that formulating a sun care product that the entire family could use would be the most effective way to spread the word about sun safety.
“We wanted to provide a product solution for kids and their parents,” she recalled. “We didn’t want one formula for children, another for adults and another for active people. It’s just Supergoop! We steer clear of suggesting that a product is for a different age group because when you go that route consumers may outgrow their sun care habit.”
Supergoop! may be a one-for-all and all-for-one product, but the company puts a lot of emphasis on what ingredients don’t go into the formula. In fact, if a material is on the International Chemical Secretariat’s SIN (Substitute It Now) list, you won’t find it in Supergoop!, according to Thaggard.
“There are safer choices out there,” she insisted. “The list gives our partners, such as Healthy Child, Healthy World, the confidence to promote our products.”
Supergoop! can be found in Sephora, Nordstrom, SpaceNK and Barney’s. The product line includes 14 different items. New for 2011 are Sunscreen Serum, which contains Uniprotect PT-3, a complex of ingredients that enables skin to produce vitamin D even as it is being protected from UV damage.
“Our consumer is the educated parent,” explained Thaggard. “When we launched the company in 2007 it wasn’t an ideal time due to the recession, but at the same time, parents were becoming savvier about their ingredient choices for the family. There was a big wave of parents who are very concerned about everything that they put on their child.”
Executives at Elemental Herbs insist that they too are concerned about what they put in their sunscreens and lip balms. The company, which markets 16 SKUs, was founded by herbalist Caroline Duell, who created All Good Goop, a soothing salve based on five herbs to soothe cuts, scrapes and abrasions. The organic, petroleum-free salve contains calendula, comfrey, lavender, plantain and yarrow.
Elemental Herbs’ sun care business is comprised of three sunscreens: Sport SPF 20, Kids SPF 20 and Sport Tinted SPF 22 and two sunsticks that debuted this year.
“We use as much zinc oxide as possible in our products,” explained Burr Purnell, co-owner and director of marketing. As a result, the sticks contain 20% ZnO and sunscreens contain 25% ZnO (non-nanoparticle).
“A lot of our customers don’t like the whitening properties of traditional zinc-based products, so creating products with the right texture and feel was critical,” explained Purnell.
But creating natural sun care products and balms isn’t cheap. A 1oz jar of All Good Goop retails for $8.50, the zinc sunsticks retail for $7.99, lip balms are $3.50 while the 1oz sunscreen retails for $8.99 and the 3oz costs $19.39. The sunscreens contain organic green tea leaves and organic rose hips infused in organic extra virgin olive oil, organic jojoba oil and organic shea butter.
“Our products are more expensive than others, but we don’t shy away from that because we use more expensive ingredients.” explained Purnell. “Our customers are more discerning and will pay more for quality.”
Who is the Elemental Herbs’ customer? Women ages 27 to 60, who are athletic, which may explain the popularity of another product in the company’s lineup—Herbal Cool all-natural sore muscle spray.
Elemental Herbs’ products are available in 600 West Coast stores from Seattle to San Diego, as well as in Hawaii and Colorado. On the East Coast, products are available in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Expansion plans this year include increasing distribution in Colorado and establishing business in Texas, according to Purnell, who notes that revenues have doubled every year since the company was formed.
Of course, not everyone needs sun to get a tan. There are plenty of sunless tanners on the market, each promising the look of a natural tan without any of the damage associated with UV rays.
Fake Bake executives insist that they have the largest range of self-tanners anywhere.
“We are different than other self-tanners, because we have no dyes in our products,” explained Tamara Czartoryski, senior communications director at the company. “Our products work on our pigmentation and DNA.”
The brand, now 13 years old, is available in 300,000 salons and stores. In January, the line was rebranded in the U.S. to match offerings in other parts of the world, creating a uniform, more youthful look, according to Czartoryski.
“We want people to see our package and remember it,” said Czartoryski. “It is youthful and sensual we want it to become a household name.”
At the same time, all of the Fake Bake self-tanners contain vitamin D for those consumers who worry that a lack of UV on their skin may lead to a vitamin D deficiency.
Last year, sales rose 40% on the strength of being a favorite among celebrities such as Sandra Bullock, Britney Spears and Kelly Ripa. Czartoryski expects another gain in sales this year thanks to the rebranding and the launch of several new products. For example, Bronzing Gel Unisex Self-Tan is a fast-drying, non-sticky gel emulsion that is said to glide on and is ideal for oily or sensitive skin. It contains concentrated blends of vitamins C & E to combat free radicals.
Flawless self-tan liquid and professional mitt contains triple active tanning agents to create an intense, longer-lasting tan, according to the company.
For those who aren’t ready to commit to a faux tan, there’s Golden Faux Flo in Shimmer Medium and Matte Medium. The washable formula is removed easily with soap and water, and yet is transfer-resistant. Finally, new Gelee Daily Wash is billed as the perfect cleanser to extend a tan. The formula contains vegetable glycerin and a mild sugar coconut-based cleansing agent.
While consumers, NGOs and FDA authorities may have a lot of questions surrounding sunscreens, marketers agree that sun care sales will continue to rise in the future, as consumers grow increasingly knowledgeable about the dangers of too much sun.
“The key issue remains convenience and skin feel,” maintained Agin. “Consumers want to have a form that is easy to use, reapply and feels good going on their skin, regardless of whether it is a spray lotion or some other form.”
As a result, explained Agin, manufacturers are looking beyond SPF and UVA to create formulas that make products attractive to consumers.
With consumer interest in UV protection still heating up, it’s a good bet that marketers and their suppliers will be cooking up new sun care products that are easy to apply and offer broad-spectrum protection for years to come.
When Will the Monograph Get Finalized?
As the 2011 sun care season heats up in the U.S., nearly every observer has just about given up trying to determine when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will issue its final ruling on the Sunscreen Monograph. Industry sources had suggested that the ruling would get released last fall, but Autumn came and went and no ruling was issued. Moreover, there are still several active ingredients that must be addressed by FDA.
“There are seven ingredients that have been buried at the FDA for 4 to 7 years now and (they represent) the only way we can achieve 4-star, high SPF UVA ratings,” explained industry consultant and Happi columnist Nadim Shaath, president of Alpha Research & Development.
Regarding the Time and Extent Application (TEA), he noted that the FDA has once again extended its deadline, this time to April 2011. At the same time, FDA has issued a “to be determined” deadline for new proposed rules for sunscreens combined with insect repellent.
“Well at least they are honest by saying, ‘to be determined,’” observed Shaath. “I have given up on the business of predicting what the FDA is going to do.”
One thing is for sure, consumers seem to be more confused than ever these days. Beauty Stat, a leading online interactive community and social marketing expert for the beauty industry, recently asked its more than 30,000 followers: “Do you know the difference between the protection that sunscreens are said to provide (UVA and UVB)? Do you believe whole-heartedly that sunscreens do, in fact, prevent UV damage?”
They heard back from a few of them and here is what they had to say:
Tammy: “I developed hyperpigmentation on my face after using a sunscreen on my face. Prior to that summer, I had never used a sunscreen on my face and had no problems and after using the sunscreen that summer the hyperpigmentation developed.”
Katja: “I know people hate sunscreens—bad for environment, bad for skin. But they do prevent me from bursting into flames and I appreciate that.”
Jamie: “Well, I’ve been using the same UV protection facial cream for the last 12 years and so far so good! I can only hope that it’s doing its job!”
Stephanie: “UVA causes aging (dark spots, collagen breakdown, wrinkles) UVB causes burning which may lead to skin cancer and actinic damage years later. Use a broad-spectrum block that protects against both. Reapply every couple hours. Don't forget to include your ears, back of your neck and hands...and scalp if also exposed.”
If the Beauty Stat audience is a microcosm of the total consumer views on the subject, it’s clear that more work remains to be done to educate consumers about the topic.
Sunscreen Symposium Set for September
The personal care industry’s biggest event devoted entirely to sun care, The Sunscreen Symposium, will be held Sept. 15-17, 2011, at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club, Disney World, Orlando, FL. The event will include an educational course and golf outing that will take place on Sept. 15. In addition, there will be supplier exhibits open during the two days of technical sessions, Sept. 16 and 17. Finally, the symposium will feature a poster session and cocktail reception.
More info: www.flscc.org/sunscreensymposium
Sun Protection All Over
Board-certified dermatologist Amy Derick, MD of Barrington, IL discusses the keys to sun safety, in light of the many choices available on the market today to suit different skin types, exposed areas of the body/face and personal preferences.