Drastic Action Needed For Older Consumers

By Imogen Matthews | September 4, 2013

An aging population determined to hold onto their looks has driven growth of anti-aging products across Europe. Non-surgical procedures, such as Botox, chemical peels and dermal fillers are on the rise, a trend that is also reflected within the skin care market, where consumers increasingly expect cosmetics to produce noticeable results.

According to The Good Surgeon Guide, the independent cosmetic surgery review website, Botox and other facial dermal fillers top the list of most requested non-surgical procedures. Cosmetic medical professionals, who have contributed to the survey, confirm that many patients ask for non-surgical slimming treatments and anti-aging reduction procedures to other parts of the body where traditional major invasive surgery was once the only choice. The survey records non-surgical body sculpting as the third most requested procedure so far this year.

It is not just non-surgical procedures that are on the increase. According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), there has been a 26% increase in surgical procedures carried out between 2008 and 2012, bringing the total number in the UK to 43,172 in 2012. During this period, brow lifts jumped 80%, eyelid surgery rose 33% and face/neck lifts increased 24%.
Mintel maintains the increase comes on the back of increased accessibility to procedures. The trend is all the more significant against the backdrop of the economic downturn and signals factors at play other than cost. Mintel cites the boost to self-esteem as being the key incentive in the decision to go under the knife.

Yet, horror stories about the possible side effects of having Botox and fillers, such as the familiar “frozen” look sported by many celebrities, have led consumers to turn to skin care for anti-aging results. Kantar Worldpanel 2012 data shows that 34% of women in the Big 5 European countries are using a facial moisturizer with anti-aging properties. This trend is strongest among French and Spanish women and weakest among those in the UK. Age is a determining factor in the use of anti-aging skin care, with nearly 75% of European women over 45 using anti-aging moisturizers.

Chasing Youth
According to Datamonitor, the anti-aging segment is one of the fastest growing within the skin care category due to aging populations across Western and Eastern Europe. Only a few exceptions are experiencing moderate or negative growth due to the current economic conditions.

Between 2011 and 2012, Germany dropped back 1.1%; Spain, 2.1% and Greece, 4.5%. However, the outlook to 2017 is largely positive, with anti-aging sales in Hungary expected to grow 12% CAGR and Russia 8% CAGR.

“Anti-aging products are gaining in popularity as women want to stay younger looking for longer and are willing to pay for products they believe work,” explained Stuart Cameron, associate researcher for Datamonitor. “The Baby Boom generation, increasing life expectancy around the world and consumers looking for prevention as well as cures are all factors resulting in the anti-aging market seeing strong growth.”

In 2012, Mintel recorded a 30% increase in anti-aging facial skin care launches, compared to a 23% increase for total facial skin care.

“This year, communication in anti-aging facial skin care has become increasingly scientific,” remarked Christopher Lindsley, skin care expert, Mintel. “Consumers are becoming more interested in a customized approach to anti-aging which is a key trend this year, with launches jumping from only two in 2012 to 30 in 2013. This number is projected to increase further.”

Mintel has noted that product communication is based around items that can be used in conjunction to offer an individual regimen for consumers, such as French Filorga’s Professional Skin Perfusion sub-range. Another example is Sepai’s Tune It, which offers targeted solutions to counteract all possible causes of aging, including genetic, metabolic, lifestyle and environmental.

“Anti-aging product launches claiming to be clinically tested have seen big increases in recent years and while growth is expected to continue another related angle has emerged in 2013,” explained Lindsley.

“Links to aesthetic medicine have increased with a growing number of launches offering an alternative to or ancillary products to aesthetic procedures. When considering skin care brands including mention of links to aesthetic procedures, launches in 2013 are already twice that seen in all of 2012.”

He cited Laboratoires Filorga Interventional, Cellcosmet and Gatineau Renew 7, which have all helped increase launches by 67% so far in 2013 and further launches expected this year.

Buzz Around Anti-Aging
Brands with a more scientific or clinical approach often rely on established ingredients such as peptides. Synthesized peptides are said to be able to switch on collagen and elastin production and even inhibit nerve messages to muscles, as a kind of topical Botox.

Other technologies are used to support popular trends, such as products offering optical benefits to even skin tone. Mintel is projecting an increase of 50% in brand launches communicating a soft-focus effect. This is often supported with established ingredients like micas and powder polymers, but new ingredients are also reaching the market. BeautyLab’s Black Diamond range is one example, with its products using rare black diamond particles that are designed to settle in wrinkles and subtly illuminate a blue glow that lessens the appearance of wrinkles and discoloration.

Communication around biology and cellular activity is also common in anti-aging facial skin care launches. The latest buzz ingredient is mannose, a sugar monomer, whose job it is to reinforce the moisture barrier to help prevent water loss. It is used in a number of L’Oréal brands this year and looks set to increase in use across the sector.

L’Oréal has also raised the bar with its breakthrough compound glycanactif, a glycan-based ingredient used in Yves Saint Laurent’s Forever Light Creator Skintone Corrector Serum. Controversially, the best results occurred in women under 45, which could lead to a big push to target younger women before their skin shows signs of aging.

Skin care companies are becoming much bolder in their anti-aging claims, reflecting a growing demand from consumers who want to stay and look younger for longer and are therefore willing to pay for the products they believe work.

Imogen Matthews
Headington, Oxford UK
Tel: +44 1865 764918

Imogen Matthews is a respected consultant, journalist and researcher focusing on trends in the beauty industry. She regularly contributes to many of the world’s foremost beauty trade titles. Every year in April, she publishes The Premium Market Report, focusing on trends in the UK premium beauty markets.

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