The culture of going to the beauty salon is well established in France and Spain, where women like to go for regular facials or manicures, but less so in the UK and Germany. According to Kantar Worldpanel, more than 25% of British women say they are not interested in pampering themselves, compared to just 13% of women in France and 11% in Spain. This disinterest in self-pampering is evident in the small percentage of Germans and Brits who have received a professional beauty treatment in the past six months, which stands at 25% and 28%, respectively. In contrast, 45% of Italians and 44% of Spanish have indulged in a professional beauty treatment. Hair removal is by far the most popular professional treatment taken by 25% of all European women and peaking at 42% of Italians, who are also more likely to pay for pedicures and manicures than their European cousins.
Spas and salons are an important point-of-sale for home use spa products, according to GlobalData, whose 2016 Q4 global consumer survey noted 31% of Europeans can’t find these products anywhere else. A further 28% said that beauty products purchased from a spa are more effective or are of better quality. This presents a potential opportunity for beauty brands looking to focus on spa terms in order to boost the efficacy credentials of their products.
Spa is becoming a more sought-after claim among Europeans. Mintel recorded a 10% increase in European beauty and personal care launches containing “spa” in the product description during the January-July 2017 period. Two-thirds were in skin care products, followed by soap and bath items.
Recent spa-inspired beauty product launches use unusual ingredients and fragrances in order to emphasize their luxurious and pampering properties. For example, Mintel has recorded the Czech Republic launch of Avon Planet Spa Radiant Gold Body & Massage Oil with Gold & Oud, which carries claims such as aromatherapy, brightening/illuminating and moisturizing/hydrating. The Douglas Home Spa collection includes the Harmony of Ayurveda line offering rich formulas with botanical oils to deeply regenerate and rejuvenate skin. The soothing bath oil is formulated with almond, sesame and Indian mango oils. Decléor Facial Pilates Spa at Home Ritual collection draws on the fitness aspects of spa with a set of facial skin care products combined with self-massage tips to help plump and firm skin as well as a youth-boosting juice recipe.
GlobalData records other innovative examples, including Sephora’s Argan Hand Mask, launched in the Czech Republic, consisting of treatment-soaked gloves designed to soften and smooth the skin and minimize signs of aging. In Germany, Dove launched a well-being cashmere body lotion as part of its DermaSpa range, which is intended as a deep treatment for very dry skin, promising a “luxurious care experience.”
“This bodes well for retail spa/salon brands as they offer a viable alternative to potentially time-consuming and often costly visits to professional spas or salons,” explained Jamie Mills, analyst, GlobalData.
Mills identifies an opportunity to embed conventionally longer spa/salon-inspired treatments into consumers’ routines using accelerated treatments that save on time (and money). One such approach is through quick, spa-inspired treatment functions that can be seamlessly added to regular beauty routines without increasing time spent on appearance. An example is Dior Capture Total Dreamskin 1 Minute Mask, whose peeling action claims to work in 60 seconds, and is designed to be used as many as three times a week.
Replicating the spa experience at home has been made easier by the advent of tech-validated solutions, such as electrical beauty devices and smartphone-enabled apps. According to GlobalData’s 2015 Q4 global consumer survey, 37% of Europeans find beauty/grooming products inspired by clinical treatments appealing and these are believed to be the reason for the growth in electrical beauty products. A recent launch is the Illuminage Youth Activator launched in the UK and endorsed by US dermatologists. The device uses a combination of radio frequency, red and infrared lights to activate the production of collagen in the skin, as well as to reduce fine lines and wrinkles while firming and toning.
Recently, there has been a trend for smaller versions of full-size beauty devices. Smaller devices mean lower prices, which opens the market to more consumers. Examples include Clarisonic’s Mia Fit, a compact and lightweight version of the original cleansing brush. Foreo’s Luna Play is a small sonic face cleaner and Luna Go is a facial brush and anti-aging device, which are both designed as an affordable introduction to the full-sized version, but offer the same T-Sonic technology.
Apps are becoming a major contributor to the growth of spa-inspired beauty solutions; they help identify skin conditions and monitor change over time through the use of beauty devices and products. In GlobalData’s recent report on “Innovation Trends and Opportunities in Beauty Devices and Apps,” research confirms an increase in consumers who are including devices in their beauty routines and even beginning to view them as personal care assistants. In particular, Millennials are a key target as they tend to be interested in smartphone-connected tools and devices.
“Smart professional style devices which can track treatment results, usage patterns and diagnose skin needs through connected smartphone apps will become the norm,” predicted Mills.
Such innovations could pose a threat to professional spa/salon businesses but are more likely to create an opportunity to increase the number of home-use customers, especially if they are able to create a personalized experience.
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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.