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Dermatology’s Critical Role In Product Development



Innovative ideas at prestige skin care counters and on drugstore shelves can often be traced back to the doctor’s office. Here’s a closer look at how dermatology and professional skin care impacts the mainstream.



By Imogen Matthews, In-Cosmetics



Published January 1, 2014
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Dermatology’s Critical Role In Product Development

Many of the technologies found in skin care today can be traced to the professional skin care market. This is unsurprising, given that brands such as Clarins and Decleor have a strong presence in each of these growth categories. Like mainstream skin care, the professional skin care sector has emerged from the economic downturn in good shape with above average growth in many countries.

According to Kline Group, the professional skin care market was valued at $9.3 billion in 2012 at retail and was expected to grow by 5.4% in 2013.

“The Chinese economy has rebounded, so Asia is fairly strong,” said Karen Doskow, industry manager, consumer products, Kline. “We are also seeing a resurgence in the US, while Brazil and Eastern Europe, especially Russia and Poland, are coming through strongly.”

She noted that while professional skin care is not as fast moving as skin care, good technology has trickled down into the mainstream.

“Many major skin care companies own professional brands, such as P&G’s DDF and L’Oréal with SkinCeuticals, La Roche Posay, Decleor and Carita,” Doskow explained.

The distribution of professional skin care varies by region. In the US, it is sold in medical channels, such as through physician’s offices, whereas elsewhere it is available in pharmacies or in specialist department store distribution. For example, in the UK, Selfridges sells Dermalogica in its Beauty Workshop area.

As in retail skin care, anti-aging is a very strong trend in the professional skin care sector and most brands now have anti-aging serums in their portfolio. Sun care products are also growing fast from a small base. At the recent International Spa Association’s (ISPA) annual conference in Las Vegas, there was a big emphasis on peels and innovative at-home beauty devices.

“Consumers will mix and match and will happily buy a SkinCeuticals serum and a cleanser from Sephora,” stated Doskow.

Professional Peels
Leading professional skin care brand Dermalogica has tapped into the trend for peels with its Active Resurface 35 treatment that launched last year. It is a professional treatment that is customizable to individual skin requirements, using Dermalogica’s Face Mapping skin analysis along with a thorough consultation. The hero formulation within the treatment is the Exfoliant Accelerator 35, an AHA-BHA concentrate containing active skin smoothing lactic acid and salicylic acid, along with proteolytic enzymes and peptides to boost exfoliation for ultra smooth skin. A key claim of the treatment is the lack of inflammation, tissue damage and peeling generally associated with intense resurfacing treatments.

Spa brand Jan Marini offers so-called “lunch-time” glycolic peels that are quick treatments and makeup that can be applied immediately after the peel. The AHA Glycolic Peel is derived from sugar cane and is said to be more effective at penetrating the skin than other alpha hydroxy acids. Apart from sloughing away dull rough skin, Jan Marini claims that scientific studies have found that acid plumps up overall skin texture and cellular activity, slowing the aging process and reversing damage caused by the sun. The peel is also said to help reduce cell buildup and even reduce the appearance of scarring.

Jan Marini also has a Bioglycolic home treatment range, containing seven products for the face, hands and body, based on glycolic acid. The formulation maximizes bioavailability for optimal results and each product is optimized for pH and acid combination and concentration.

Professional Anti-Acne Products
“Acne is an important area in professional skin care,” affirmed Doskow, who has noticed a trend toward the treatment of different kinds of acne, such as hormonal, adult onset acne and teen acne.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin concern in the US, affecting 40-50 million Americans. The AAD states that by their mid-teens, more than 40% of adolescents have acne, often severe enough to require medical attention.

In October, Dermalogica launched Clear Start, a nine-SKU acne treatment range aimed at teens and young adults which was developed to both prevent and treat symptoms of mild to moderate acne. The range replaces its previous teen product line Clean Start, by addressing teen and young adult skin breakouts more directly than the prior concept.

L’Oréal-owned SkinCeuticals Adult Anti-Acne is a three-step regimen formulated to reduce sebum and improve fine lines. Glycolic acid and salicylic acid are incorporated into the LHA Cleansing Gel to unclog pores and smooth irregularities. LHA Solution is an exfoliating low pH toner to remove excess residue and surface cells to decongest pores. Blemish + Age Defense oil-free serum is formulated to prevent the formation of acne.

At-Home Devices
“At-home devices are a high growth market around the world. It varies region by region, but is very strong in the US. Europe is smaller, but there is a lot of potential for growth,” observed Doskow. She explains that in the US, anti-aging devices are the most popular, followed by hair removal, whereas hair removal is the leading concern for European consumers. Anti-aging also plays a big role in the Asian at-home device sector.

Doskow recalled that Olay was an early adopter of cleansing brushes, which didn’t take off. P&G has recently introduced a new micro-dermabrasion brush into the Olay range, which is identical to one by its sister brand, DDF, but at a fraction of the cost.

Salon brands are launching devices for home use, their justification being that it helps to prolong the good effects produced from a professional treatment. At the ISPA show, there was a number of new at-home electronic launches, reflecting strong growth in the category. Forea introduced a transdermal sonic cleansing device called Luna; NuFace, a showcased an attachment of its Trinity device called ELE (Eye Lip Enhancer), designed to treat fine lines around the eye and mouth areas; brand leader Clarisonic extended its reach into foot care with its new Pedi product.

The synergies and similarities between professional and mainstream skin care will continue to drive trends and determine future growth opportunities.


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