Catch Some Rays

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | March 9, 2010

With anti-aging formulations and botanical ingredients, sun care marketers are having their moment in the spotlight.

The days of slathering on thick, white, impossible-to-spread sunscreen are fading fast. The newest sun-blocking products are trendier and easier to apply than their predecessors—they’re infused with anti-aging ingredients like rose apple leaf extract or soothing botanicals such as chamomile.

In fact, the marketplace for sun care is on the rise. Total sales of suntan lotion and oil rose 2.8% to $618.8 million for the year ended Dec. 27, 2009 in supermarkets, drugstores and mass-market retailers excluding Walmart, according to Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), a Chicago, IL-based market research firm. Private label brands reigned supreme—leading the category with a 19% rise in sales to $82.2 million.

“Let’s face it: no one loved the texture and grease of older sunscreens, but people used them because they needed to protect their skin from the sun,” noted Taya Tomasello, senior beauty analyst for Mintel Beauty Innovation. “The latest sunscreens offer protection in more appealing, easier-to-use ways.”

“Broad-spectrum, high SPF protection, convenience and easy application are also big for 2010,” added Carrie Mellage, director, consumer products, Kline & Company, Little Falls, NJ. “Fear of premature aging, scarring and blemishes, and skin cancer has made sun care products indispensable items for consumers. We see increasing year-round use.”

Nielsen Homescan Consumer Facts reports a different story. Despite industry efforts to warn about the dangers of too much sun, just one American household in five (20%) uses sunscreen or sunblock to help guard against cancer, according to Nielsen Homescan Consumer Facts data for the 52 weeks ended June 27, 2009. Another 3.2% use lotions or oils; merely 0.5% use sunburn aids, according to the report.

Still, despite room for increased usage, these are all valuable customers: the average dollar amount spent per trip in this category approaches $10 ($9.24 for sunscreens/sun blocks; $8.49 for lotions/oils; $6.26 for sunburn aids), said Nielsen’s data.

Coppertone’s new Kids 50 spray
with an antioxidant vitamin blend.

Turn Back the Clock

Most folks may not apply sunblock, but many consumers do use skin care products with UV protection. As a result, more and more sunscreens now offer skin care-like benefits like anti-aging formulations.
“Sunscreen faces tough competition from skin care and makeup enhanced with UV protection,” said Tomasello of Mintel. “In the past 12 months, one in 10 new cosmetic and skin care launches contained sun-blocking ingredients. Especially now as people try to save on personal care, products that offer multiple benefits have an upper hand. Manufacturers must show that their sunscreens provide the best UV protection, while being fun to use, convenient and good for the skin.”

Meanwhile, skin care marketers are making the foray into sun care. One of the biggest launches this month is Shiseido Suncare, a line of “multi-defense, anti-aging sun protection that preserves the health and beauty of the skin,” according to the company. The sun protection creams and lotions for face and body, ranging from SPF 38 to 60, contain rose apple leaf extract, an antioxidant shown to effectively prevent DNA damage and the chain reaction of oxidation caused by UV rays. The products are also formulated with scutellaria baicalensis root extract, a popular Chinese herb that prevents damage caused by UV radiation.

“Consumers are searching for the same thing in their sun care products that they are in their skin care and cosmetics products—multiple benefits within one product with great aesthetics,”said Michael Marquis, group brand director, Aveeno, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Company, Skillman, NJ. “They don’t just want sun protection in their sunscreen, they want other skin care benefits—for example, anti-aging ingredients.”

Beyond Coastal’s sun care contains
“good for you” botanical ingredients.
Aveeno’s latest rollout is its Positively Ageless Sunblock Lotion SPF 70 and 90 for Face and Sunblock Lotion SPF 55 for Body. Formulated with EnviroBlock triple defense technology, the formulations, which contain an antioxidant complex, help neutralize skin-aging free radicals, according to the company.

Another Johnson & Johnson brand, Neutrogena, is also targeting facial use with Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunblock Fluid SPF 55 and 70—two new lightweight, water-like formulas for daily wear. Formulated with two exclusive Neutrogena technologies, Dry-Touch and Helioplex, the sunblocks feature a sheer, matte finish and provide long-lasting photostable UVA/UVB protection.

“Products with multiple benefits and additional protection are becoming popular,” agreed Peter Foltis, L’Oréal USA, director, scientific affairs, sun care,Clark, NJ. “In particular, antioxidants have been keyentries in the market. Natural antioxidants seem to be the hottest ingredients.”

Foltis noted thatAnthelios SPF 45’s Cell-Ox Shield, a patent-pending cocktail of senna alata extract from the candle tree, in combination with UV boosters and UV filters, possesses photoprotective effects against both UVBand UVA radiation. In fact, its antioxidant photoprotection benefits may last longer than theUV filter effect, he added.

Payot Paris—the French skin care line owned by Puig—is capitalizing on the sunflower with its latest launch, Benefice Soleil. The four-SKU line ranges from an Anti-Aging Protective Cream SPF 30 for Face and Sensitive Areas to an Anti-Aging Repairing Milk for Face and Body. The products’ sunflower oil, and especially the oleic acid it contains, fights oxidation by preserving collagen and elastin in the skin. Sunflower milk, also a main ingredient, soothes redness due to sun exposure.

Some brands turn to classic ingredients like aloe for skin-fortifying benefits in UV protection. SleekSkin Spa’s Skinblock Defend SPF 30 Cream features an aloe-based moisturizing formula with lipoic acid and green tea antioxidant extract. According to the company, the sunblock boasts the newest nano and biotechnologies to deliver high UV protection with Botox-like wrinkle-reducing peptides to reduce fine lines and delay the signs of aging. Broad-spectrum UVA and UVB block with intensive oil-mattifying active ingredients.

Banana Boat’s latest release, Ultra Defense Lotion SPF 100, is enriched with aloe vera and vitamins A and E. According to the company, this “ultra moisturizing” formulation helps prevent premature skin aging and is ideal for sensitive skin.

Aveeno is also reaching for the top this season with its highest SPF offerings yet—SPF 85 and SPF 100+ in its Aveeno Continuous Protection line and an SPF 90 in its Aveeno Positively Ageless collection.

CellCeuticals Biomedical Skin Treatments also targets those seeking to fight the signs of aging with PhotoDefense Anti-PhotoAging Daily Skin Protector SPF 55—an “ultra-light” hydrating daily use formula for the face that helps combat premature skin aging and reverse the signs of aging while providing broad spectrum protection against the sun’s strong rays.

According to the company, the sun care product contains patent pending Photoplex—a photostable complex with exclusive Cellular Excited Energy Quenchers (EEQ) Technology.

“Many other sun protection products that contain avobenzone as a UV filter are unstable and therefore degrade in sunlight, but with PhotoDefense, we were able to develop a proprietary combination of screening agents that give the product photostability,” said Paul Premo, co-founder and chief executive officer of CellCeuticals, Van Nuys, CA.

A Green Type of Tan

In addition to anti-aging skin benefits, today’s sunscreens are going au natural. New sun protection products claiming “botanical” or “herbal” have steadily increased in prevalence since 2005; so far in 2009, these claims have appeared on nearly one in three launches tracked by Mintel Beauty Innovation.

Coppertone is capitalizing on the “healthy” angle in sun care with a variety of new products this season. Its Coppertone Kids Continuous Sprays SPF 50, 70+ and Sunscreen Lotion SPF 70 with Protective Vitamins contain a “specially selected” antioxidant vitamin blend to supplement the natural defenses of children’s skin, according to the company. The brand is also going back to basics with zinc oxide in its Coppertone Sensitive Skin Sunscreen Lotions SPF 50 for Faces and Body as well as Coppertone Kids Pure & Simple SPF 50—both new for 2010.

According to Dr. Patricia Agin from the Coppertone Solar Research Center in Memphis, TN, it’s all about “good for you” ingredients in today’s sun care. “Companies are going beyond SPF to provide additional skin care benefits such as moisturization,” she told Happi, citing “workhorse ingredients” such as the active form of vitamin E, tocopherol.

Hawaiian Tropic is embarking on a global brand relaunch for 2010 with a new twist on its classic coconut fragrance with an enhanced version of the original featuring hints of peach, jasmine and rose. The relaunch will also introduce a new line of crème lotions. The range includes everything from a Baby Crème SPF 50 to a Tanning Crème Lotion in SPF 2 or 10 infused with shea, mango and cocoa butters.

Hain Celestial is also bulking up its sun care offerings with launches in both the Jason and Alba Botanica collections. Jason’s new Sunbrellas Sun Care collection is specifically designed for individual skin care needs—from a tear-free Kids Natural Sunblock SPF 45 specially infused with chamomile to the Sport Natural Sunblock SPF 45 with açai extract. The Mineral Based Natural Sunblock SPF 30 features a blend of chamomile and marigold (calendula) extracts to help calm sensitive skin.

Alba Botanica’sVery Emollient and Hawaiian Natural Sunblock collections also feature new sun care innovations for 2010. As part of Alba Botanica’s Very Emollient collection, the paraben-free range features SKUs such as the Very Emollient SPF 45 with Organic Lavender, a water resistant formulation that offers broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection to shield against damaging sun exposure along with the benefits of organic lavender to soothe skin.

The Hawaiian Natural Sunblock Collection from Alba combines tropical fruit and flower extracts with botanical oils and certified organic aloe vera. The range features everything from a Hawaiian Green Tea SPF 45 with ginko biloba to Hawaiian Aloe Vera SPF 30, a rich lotion with certified organic aloe vera, hibiscus and papaya.

Beyond Coastal, another natural sun care brand, has added an Active SPF 30 Sunscreen and Kids Natural SPF 30 Sunscreen to its line. The Active Daily 30 SPF contains pro vitamin B, shea butter and rose hip oil to moisturize and help maintain skin cell balance while natural antioxidants from yerba mate, green tea and algae extract, scavenge free radicals and restore skin tone. The kids’ formulation has an SPF rating of 30 and “natural” actives zinc and titanium. Extra shea and cocoa butters help keep skin soft.

And, for those who want to zap little pests in the summertime, Badger is introducing its SPF 30 Sunscreen and Anti-Bug Insect Repellent—a dual use product that combines the best of its original SPF 30 sunscreen with the essential oil blend from its anti-bug balm in one easy effective application. Zinc oxide is combined with castor oil and essential oils.

Get the Glow

With a proposed tanning tax working its way through Congress, those craving the tropical look may be more likely to turn toward self-tanners for bronzed skin rather than visiting UV beds at the salon.
St. Tropez recently launched a range of formulas that provide an instant glow: Wash Off Face, Wash Off Body, Wash Off Mousse and Wash Off Shimmer Stick. In just minutes, each of these dihydroxyacetone (DHA)-free formulas leave skin with a natural-looking finish that is easily removed with soap and water. However, the biggest news at St. Tropez this season is scent—according to Michelle Feeney, chief executive officer of the London-based company.

“We tackled the major issue in all self tanners and was able to successfully remove the lingering smell in all of our self tanning products,” she told Happi. “Developed by CPL Aromas, the new Aromaguard fragrance (which features hints of powdery iris roots, fresh fruits and violets) effectively banishes the odor associated with self-tanning by reducing the smell by a minimum of 70%, leaving a subtle yet refreshingly exhilarating fragrance.”

Known for its salon spray formulations, Mystic Tan now offers an “easy-to-apply” lotion. According to the company, its Sunless Tanning Lotion Face + Body includes the same trusted ingredients as its spray counterpart. Using a vanishing indicator system, this lotion gives guidance to the user by changing from bronze to clear upon application, guaranteeing streak-free, even application. It is packaged with a tan applicator mitt that aids in application. Aloe vera and green tea extract help to create smooth, even color while hydrating the skin.

“We found that consumers are tired of the ‘sunless tanning’ scent and want color that looks natural,” noted Ricky Croft, founder of Mystic Tan and vice president of marketing for MT Industries, Los Angeles.

And, due to launch in 2010, Xen-Tan will introduce its most luxurious product to date, Dark Lotion Absolute Luxe. According to the company, rich instant color provides immediate back-from-the-beach bronze with the “scent secure” technology of zeolites—high-capacity molecular sieves that provide effective removal of a large range of molecules, including aliphatics, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, amines and aromatics.Dark Lotion Absolute Luxe also contains trimethylpentanediol/adipic acid copolymer that provides time release of the DHA along with longer staying power.

The Final Countdown

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had not yet made a final decision on the Final Monograph at press time.According to Rita Chappelle, a spokesperson for the FDA, “We are working diligently to finalize the new sunscreen monograph.”

The industry is anxiously awaiting the culmination of more than 30 years’ worth of work regarding this crucial set of guidelines for the creation and marketing of sun care products.

According to Dr. Nadim Shaath, president of the consulting firm Alpha Research & Development Ltd., White Plains, NY, and Happi columnist, “Government regulations have a major impact on businesses in sun care. I know of several that have not launched until the FDA issues the final regulations.”
For example, the use of photostabilizers to quench avobenzone with ingredients that are active UV absorbers yet they are listed under inactive ingredients.

“The use of the terms chemical filters’ and ‘natural’— all are confusing without final regulations,” he noted. At press time,Shaath was circulating a petition to be signed by scientists and dermatologists and other organization to send to the FDA.

“As the final monograph publication by the FDA is nearing,westrongly feelthat theneed to address UVA protection in sun care product is long overdue,” said Foltis of L’Oréal.

And it impacts the marketplace overall.

“Regulatory issues directly impact the ability of U.S. companies to develop and market sunscreen products with the most advanced technologies,” agreed Premo of CellCeuticals.

“For example, certain sunscreens and sunscreen combinations available in other parts of the world are not approved by the FDA. As a consequence, companies developing next generation sun care products cannot develop global formulations.“Similarly, other countries and regions have systems for communicating degrees of protection from UVA and photostability. Delays in finalizing the final FDA monograph to reflect this information putsU.S. consumers at a disadvantage,” he added.

On the Horizon

Kline projects the sun care category will grow at a CAGR of 6.6% through 2013 as the market overall appears to have weathered the recession.

“We did not see the category affected greatly by the economic crisis,” noted Mellage.“We also expect to see sun care products offering more skin care benefits. We expect natural sunscreens to continue to gain ground and perhaps improve their efficacy.”

For 2011, the next wave of sun protection could come in powder form, said Tomasello of Mintel.
“Featuring well-established sunblockers like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, new powdered sunscreens are trendy, convenient and lightweight on the skin,” she noted. “This format is currently seen from just a few brands like Bare Escentuals and Peter Thomas Roth.”

Future trends will include new sunscreen ingredients and combinations that are photostable, provide greater UV protection and formulations that may not interrupt the body’s natural synthesis of vitamin D, suggested Premo of CellCeuticals. Also, topical application of vitamin D in sun products provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and helps to regulate cellular activity in keratinocytes.
“There is also some impressive and encouraging research with oral supplementation and photo-protection that I think will see more progress,” he said.

“Lastly, the industry still needs to better educate consumers of the fact that nothing ages skin faster than exposure to sunlight—365 days year,” added Premo. “The need to protect skin from exposure to sunlight is not just seasonal, so applying sun protection every day should be a critical part of daily health care, just like brushing your teeth."