Demand for anti-aging products is strong the world over, but gains are particularly buoyant in Latin America. According to Euromonitor International, global anti-aging product sales grew 44.5% during the past five years (2007-2012). Sales in China and the US, which hold the top spots, grew 162% and 36.4%, respectively in this period. But the gains in Latin America were nearly as impressive. For example, sales in Brazil, which is the biggest market in the region and the seven in the world, rose 45.1% during the five-year period and Mexico, the No. 2 anti-aging market in Latin America, posted a 50% gain in sales.
What´s driving the Latin American anti-aging market?
It’s the emerging middle class in Brazil that has contributed a lot due to these consumers widespread use of aesthetic treatments, according to Dr. Carolina Assed, dermatologist and researcher of Brazilian Society of Dermatology. In addition, Brazil is dominated by a cult of beauty, which demands these kinds of investments, as well as the fact that it is a tropical country with many beaches, which affords plenty of opportunity for women to bare their skin.
Dr. Tatiana Jerez, dermatologist and a member of Brazilian Society of Dermatology, noted that more and more young women are seeking anti-aging treatments preventively, which is really ideal. The concern with aging comes early, often before a woman reaches her 30s. Brazilian women in general prefer products with a light texture that won’t leave the skin sticky. They also want products that have several functions, such as moisturizer with sunscreen facilitating their daily use.
Regarding active ingredients, retinoic acid is the No. 1 treatment, followed by alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid, which has anti-aging and lightening properties. In fact, glycolic acid peels in a concentration of 30-70% are also widely used. Brazilians are well aware that ample use of sunscreen helps prevent age spots, premature aging and skin cancer. Still, whitening treatments including formulas with hydroquinone, azelaic acid, kojic acid, vitamin C and glycolic acid, are very popular.
According to these doctors, the most common aesthetic procedures in Brazil are botulinum toxin, hyaluronic acid filling and superficial peels. The toxin quickly improves the appearance of wrinkles without impacting the patient’s daily activities; hyaluronic acid treatments usually present no adverse reaction, stimulate collagen and attenuate grooves; superficial peels renew the skin and soften fine wrinkles with little or no downtime.
A Regional Study
“The Survey of Skin Beauty” project also identified the main habits, knowledge, attitudes and expectations of Latin women on facial skin care. It was driven by the Peruvian company Belcorp (which is present in 15 countries in Latin America and in US and had sales of $1.7 billion in 2012), the Colombian Society of Dermatologic Surgery, the Mexican Foundation for Dermatology and the Peruvian Society of Dermatology.
The questionnaire was developed by Ipsos Apoyo, a research company which relied on face-to-face, at-home interviews to conduct the study. Respondents were women aged 25 to 55, from the primary cities of Colombia (Bogota, Medellin and Cali), Mexico (Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey) and Peru (Lima and Trujillo). The interview subjects were selected because they represent Belcorp’s major markets. Ipsos Apoyo interviewed 800 women from each country, and included women from medium, medium-high, high and high-high economic levels. Among the biggest concerns of these women are age spots, expression lines and wrinkles. Most women said that the aging process is accelerated by drug and cigarette use. Other factors that they said lead to premature aging include alcohol, anxiety, stress, sun exposure and environmental pollution.
Regarding sun protection, Colombian women are the biggest users of UV protection products with 86% of subjects mentioning them, followed by Peruvians (81%) and Mexicans (63%). However, these women aren´t used to going to the dermatologist regularly (less than once a year). The most common reason for consultation is skin disease (70%), followed by spots, allergies and acne. A smaller group goes for treatment of dry skin, wrinkles, eye bags and sagging. Around 50% said they began to care for their facial skin to feel good about themselves. Another major reason to care for their skin was to bring about changes to it.
It is notable that in Mexico and Peru specialized non-surgical facial procedures are not common. However, in Colombia, at least one in five women have had at least one procedure. The most common, according to women, are mud masks and skin peels.
The Biggest Player
Renew, launched by Avon 20 years ago, was the first brand to bring alpha hydroxy acid to the mass market. But much has changed during the past two decades.Today, the brand has seven product lines to address different ages with their specific skin care problems: Clinical (suitable for all ages), Vitale (ages 25 and up), Reversalist (35 and up), Ultimate 7S (45 and up), Platinum (65 and up), Genics (suitable for all ages) and Renew Solar Advance , a sunscreen that is said to be specifically designed to prevent the effects of aging. Brazil is one of Avon’s biggest markets.
The best sellers in the Brazil are the products that target women from ages 35 to 45, corresponding to the lines Renew Reversalist and Renew Ultimate 7S. This year, one of the most important launches in Brazil was the Renew Clinical Dermocosmetic anti-wrinkle, which marks Avon’s entry into the dermocosmetic segment. The line promises an anti-aging care deeper than the other Renew lines. It has an unprecedented technology with the molecule A-F33, inspired by research that won the Nobel Prize in Medicine and was patented by Avon in partnership with NeoStrata.
The Latin American anti-aging market has great growth potential—even outside Brazil. Marketers and suppliers that develop the right communication tools to support their novel formulas, have ample opportunities for growth.
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.