Whether it’s to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, whiten skin or protect against UV radiation, skin care is an important concern of people around the world. Regardless if it’s a department store counter in Canada, a supermarket in Uruguay or a website in Vietnam, skin care is a very competitive market where a brand’s success often depends on the frequency of product launches, an ability to keep up with trends, adoption of new technology and formula improvements, and educating consumers through intense advertising campaigns, for which market participants need substantial investments.
In Latin America, skin care is still dominated by multinational companies, such as Avon Products and Beiersdorf, but some domestic companies are growing in prominence. One of them is the Peruvian company Belcorp, which had sales of $1.7 billion in 2012 and expects 2013 sales to reach $2 billion, in 15 countries in Latin America and in the US.
Brazil is the No. 1 cosmetics market in Latin America, and Belcorp began operations there at the end of 2011. Belcorp executives rightly consider it one of the most important company projects, as its goal is to be one of the three largest players in the Brazilian market within the next five years. The growth of the middle class facilitated the start of operations in the country. At present, 20% of the company’s products are manufactured through partnerships with local companies, but by 2015, Belcorp will invest $200 million in Brazil, and may build a factory in the country.
Belcorp, through its skin care brand L’Bel, has launched the Lederm line, which promises to treat the facial skin as a whole, acting simultaneously in all layers and not separately. The treatment line was created by a team of French dermatologists, led by Philippe Humbert, with help from Dermaconcept and Labosphere Laboratories. Lederm’s formula was developed according to cellular homeostasis principles, also known as skin’s functional balance. According to this concept, the aging signals begin when the skin’s natural balance is lost due to cellular oxidation and other stressors, which begin to accumulate in skin by age 30. Therefore the formula has different active ingredients to act according to age (35+, 45+, 55+), for all skin types. Its promise is to nourish and to restore the skin, regaining the balance, in just seven days. The line includes day cream with SPF, night cream and eye contour treatment.
Mexico’s Genomma Lab Internacional SAB is growing quickly throughout Latin America. Its brand, Asepxia, which includes anti-acne and cleansing products, has helped change the way young people handle acne problems. Genomma’s campaign urges prevention of acne rather than treatment to combat facial blemishes. This strategy convinces consumers to use more products even when they do not have an immediate need for them.
Genomma’s products also respond to specific needs, such as leg pain, extreme dryness and prevention of stretch marks. Its other skin care brands include Cicatricure, a line of anti-aging, firming and cell-regeneration body creams; Goicochea anti-cellulite products; Tío Nacho body cream; Teatrical facial and body cream; and SilkaMedic foot care products.
Natura dominates its home market of Brazil, but the company also has a growing presence in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Bolivia. Last year, Natura spent more than $70 million on new product development. This month, Natura will launch SOU, a pioneer line that proposes smarter consumption, less consumerism and less excess. It invites users to consume in a new way, by combining the quest for individual pleasure with regard for the planet’s safety. Fragrance plays a key role in SOU’s aesthetic appeal and the single scent for men and women was created in-house. It opens with fresh herbs and includes florals and creamy, intense notes on the drydown to bring a level sensuality to SOU.
SOU’s lineup of hair and body care products was developed from a smart process to reduce material use. It is the latestexample of Natura’s commitment to sustainable development. The SOU formula uses fewer ingredients, and is said to be free of preservatives and artificial color. The packaging, inspired by a raindrop, uses 70% less plastic, emits 60% less CO2 and results in three times less waste than conventional packaging.
The good performance of Natura’s skin care brands in the region are explained by investments, including ad campaigns that take place all the year round, and products targeted to specific age segments.
Premium brands are becoming more visible in Latin America in general and in Brazil in particular, as brands increase distribution and as consumers tell friends about the good results from these products. This category also includes dermocosmetic brands, which are aimed primarily at women 30 and older who belong in the upper and middle class. In the past, these consumers went to the dermatologist for their skin care products. But now, they can find efficacious formulas and attractive packaging on store shelves.
L’Oréal’s Active Cosmetic Division, for instance, has created specific products to Brazilian market. La Roche-Posay recently rolled out Effaclar Concentrated Gel Soap to cleanse oily skin. Meanwhile, Vichy introduced Normaderm Soap for oily skin, Dercos Energizant Anti-Fall Conditioner, Capital Soleil Ultra Dry Texture and Vichy Serum 10 to Brazil. At the same time, Innéov reworked its successful Nutri-Care range and introduced it in Mexico.
As consumers become more sophisticated and formulas more effective, skin care sales in Latin America will continue to grow.
Daniela Ferreira is a marketing and communication professional in both consumer and B2B cosmetic markets. With a degree in social communication and postgraduate work in business administration, her expertise includes managing and launching products, communication planning, market studies and analysis, and identifying new business opportunities. She also has beauty blog (www.circulodabeleza.com.br), and is a makeup artist and image consultant.