Skin care sales rose 4.2% to $3.7 billion, according to data from Information Resources Inc. (IRI) for total US multi-outlet (supermarkets, drugstores, mass market retailers, military commissaries and select club and dollar retail chains) for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 8, 2017. Facial cleansers jumped 15.8% to $1.3 billion, while facial moisturizers increased 6.8% to $488.1 million.
However, specialty items didn’t fare as well in mass. Facial anti-aging slid 3.7% to $1.0 billion while body anti-aging fell 6.7% to $18.1 million. Acne treatments slipped 1.6% to $575.9 million. Depilatories fell 4.1% to $153.9 million and fade/bleach decreased 12.8% to $71.3 million.
In contrast, Q3 skin care sales in US prestige beauty rose 10% to $1.3 billion, according to new data from NPD Group. Age specialist products bounced back after a double-digit decline last year, with sales up 7% in the third quarter. Face mask sales soared 28%, while sunscreen sales accelerated, surging 37% and self-tanning product sales rose too, up 13%, according to the report.
“Skin care continues to outpace the other beauty categories in 2017. The big story for the third quarter is the age specialist segment, which has been declining for several years and is now experiencing growth again,” said Larissa Jensen, beauty industry analyst for The NPD Group, Port Washington, NY. “Driving this turnaround are new launches entering the market that focus less on the anti-aging benefits that are inherent in these products, and instead on creating a story around ingredients, wellness and great skin at any age.”
Exfoliation, hydration or masking are no longer a regimen limited to women. Male grooming has undergone a dramatic change during the past several years to become one of beauty’s most dynamic segments, reaching $4.5 billion last year, according to Kline’s latest study covering the US male grooming market. According to Naira Aslanian, the report’s manager, a growing number of men are using anti-aging serums and masks as well as beauty devices.
Sheet masks are joining peels as a rising medium for skin care actives. According to Mintel, among US consumers who have used facial masks and peels, the top four skin concerns users are looking to treat are acne or blemishes (29%), followed by signs of aging (27%), fine lines and wrinkles (27%) and pore size (27%).
So, how do active ingredients enrich a skin care product? According to industry insiders, these skin care components do much more than initially thought. Kristy Watson, chief marketing officer, Erno Laszlo, New York, NY, told Happi, “They don’t just enhance skin care, they make it. It’s the most important part of the product when it comes to the product working and giving you the results you want to see.”
Active ingredients are the foundation of a skin care product story. According to Eugene He, CEO/founder, Ceramiracle Inc., Santa Monica, CA, “It can increase the customers’ perceived value of the product and at times can propel an unknown product to a bestseller status when the stars are aligned. From a formulation point of view, having good actives means better efficacy resulting in the need to rely on complex formulas. A product that uses ineffective actives will need to have exceptional sensorial experience and fragrance to be marketable.”
He knows a thing or two about commerce. Ceramiracle recently opened the first-ever beauty-inspired Ageless Café and Facial Spa, a 3,500-square foot flagship store in Asia said to provide the facial experience alongside more than 30 all-organic brews that deliver the double benefits of beauty and wellness, according to the company.
Sun care formulations are also built on active ingredients. At Coola, a popular sun care line sold at Ulta Beauty, mineral SPFs use titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as sun protectants, noted company founder Chris Birchby, Carlsbad, CA. These physical sun blockers sit on top of the skin, forming a barrier against the sun’s rays. They work immediately upon application, as opposed to non-mineral actives that take up to 30 minutes to activate, he explained.
“The best way to think of mineral active ingredients is that they form a physical shield over your skin. Ideally you want this shield to be as reflective and smooth as possible on a microscopic level—similar to a mirror,” Birchby noted. “Coola formulas are particularly unique because of the process we use to separate our mineral active ingredients so that they sit as evenly as possible on the skin. You don’t want the actives to overlap each other like fish scales, that is what can lead to a white and chalky application”.
Ivana Veljkovic, PhD, vice president, R&D, PCA Skin, Scottsdale, AZ, sees lots of value in the cornerstone moisturizing component, hyaluronic acid.
“I am most interested in novel ways to use and increase hyaluronic acid (HA) in the skin,” she told Happi. “PCA Skin’s Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum uses HA with a large molecular size that works to plump and hydrate the surface, hydrolyzed HA to penetrate deeper into the epidermis to hydrate within and HA Pro-Complex that is not HA itself, but stimulates the skin to produce more of its own HA. It is quite a comprehensive formula.”
Veljkovic added that another exciting ingredient to watch is snow algae.
“This is an interesting botanical found at high altitude in harsh perma-snow. It has evolved over time to survive with highly restricted nutrient and low UV. Once the seasons change and the sun returns, it returns to life and blooms a pink color. It has been shown to help facilitate cell detoxification and extend cell longevity,” she said.
PCA Skin’s HydraLuxe Intensive Hydration contains snow algae and other important key ingredients to provide therapeutic deep hydration and anti-aging benefits to skin.
On the topic of actives from the earth, He of Ceramiracle is seeing success with plant actives. He explained, “We are constantly sourcing for and working with natural plant derived actives with a high technology angle. Since Ceramiracle focuses on products that address multiple signs of skin aging, we are extremely keen on multifunctional actives that are stable and easy to incorporate into formulas.”
Fermented botanical actives seem to be the rage and most brands have included them in their formulations for at least one product this season, noted He. Brands are also jumping on the “essence/serum” bandwagon featuring multiple K-beauty influenced ingredients to achieve glowing skin.
In tune with keeping the face fresh, skin discoloration is also a growing aesthetic concern right now.
According to Megan Manco, global scientific director for SkinCeuticals, New York, topical ingredients proven effective in treating pigmentary disorders are lacking in the industry.
“Tranexamic acid (TXA) has recently been introduced as a topical therapy aimed to reduce pigmentation in melasma and hyperpigmentation. Inflammation caused by environment (i.e. UV), prescriptions, inflammatory skin conditions and/or high energy cosmetic procedures damages the skin and can result in local inflammation releasing inflammatory mediators which modulate melanocyte activity, ultimately leading to the development of unwanted pigmentation. TXA controls pigmentation by deactivating inflammatory mediators involved in melanogenesis,” she explained.
Hyaluronic acid and retinoids may not be new, but there is renewed interest in these actives due to the visible benefits they provide, according to Anna De La Cruz, director of brand development, Glo Skin Beauty, which is based in Denver, CO. “Because many of us are so busy and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon, multifunctional skin care products are more popular than ever. And anti-pollutants are becoming very hot and buzz-worthy.”
Salicylic acid is a familiar ingredient to formulators, and for good reason. According to De La Cruz, it stimulates exfoliation, clears follicles and promotes new cell growth. In addition, it can be used all over the face, not just as a spot treatment, so you’ll find it in everything from cleansers to serums to moisturizers, most often at 2% or less, as in Glo Skin Beauty’s Clear Skin Cleanser which pairs 2% salicylic acid with gentle synthetic wax scrubbing beads to clear the skin.
From mass to prestige, skin care is brimming with innovation by way of masks, crèmes, salves, serums and cleansers.
NeoStrata Company, Inc. is introducing its most potent serum to date with the launch of NeoStrata Skin Active Tri-Therapy Lifting Serum. The supercharged serum is said to volumize slack skin, renew tone and smooth skin with a proprietary triple anti-aging complex of Aminofil, gluconolactone and hyaluronic acid.
“Skin Active Tri-Therapy Lifting Serum with Aminofil represents a cosmeceutical paradigm shift with a novel molecule designed as a treatment for sagging skin, fine lines and wrinkles,” said Patricia Farris, MD, a leading dermatologist and recognized authority on topical skin care. “Studies show that patients see visible lifting and firming in difficult to treat areas with continued use of this product as part of their daily home care.”
Meanwhile, a new breakthrough at professional skin care brand NIA24 is an Intensive Moisture Double Serum features isolated aqueous- and lipidic-phase formulas, allowing for the inclusion of key ingredients for optimized performance. At the push of a button, the two phases combine to intensely rehydrate and visibly re-plump skin. Moisture is delivered to skin instantly, then locked in for sustained hydration, so clients can enjoy the benefits of two products in one, according to the company which sells products online and in select dermatologist offices.
Every day, eyes experience more than 10,000 natural micro-movements, better known as blinking, which equates to walking five miles a day. As the first in the cosmetic industry to study the impact of periorbital skin micro-movements, Estée Lauder research reveals that these repetitive movements cause stress and irritation, contributing to visible aging around the eyes.
Based on this discovery, Estée Lauder launched Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix, a multi-repair skin strengthening, ultra-nourishing formula with an innovative 360-degree matrix technology that provides a cushion of plumping support against the effects of micro-movements. Together with exclusive ChronoluxCB Technology, the matrix dramatically reduces the look of all key signs of aging, including the appearance of lines, wrinkles, under eye puffiness and dark circles. Used day and night with a custom-designed 360-degree massage applicator, the delicate eye area is fortified and intensely rehydrated with lasting, 24-hour moisture, said the company.
Targeting the loss of collagen and radiance, Bioelements rolled out new products that tackle the source two of consumers’ biggest concerns.
Bioelements Collagen Rehab collagen, amino acid and mango emulsion mask is billed as an “ingenious fusion” of collagen-supporting amino acids, softening mango and moisture-builders that rehabilitate aging, lined and exhausted skin. Amino acids support collagen and elastin performance, so lines appear filled, skin looks firmer, and acts years younger. Plus, vitamin F and fatty acid-infused lipids mimic skin’s natural ability to maintain elasticity.
Bioelements Radiance Rescue white truffle, caffeine and murumuru butter crème face and eye mask is a stimulating, instant-radiance treatment to rescue skin worn down by age, stress and lifestyle, said the company. Rare white truffle helps increase skin’s elasticity and moisturization, as it helps reduce the look of lines and puffiness around the eyes. Caffeine wakes up skin’s microcirculation and restores youthful resilience. Plus, shea butter delivers fatty acid-rich moisture to keep skin soft and elastic while strengthening the barrier.
Rodial’s Snake Oxygeating Cleansing Bubble Mask is a unique deep cleansing charcoal sheet mask that generates O2 bubbles to remove dirt, dead skin cells and excess oil revealing a brighter looking complexion. Purifying bamboo charcoal deeply cleanses and unclogs pores for fresher, smoother-looking skin while a rich blend of collagen, ceramide, vitamins A and E, and peptides leave it revitalized. Syn-Ake dipeptide helps to freeze the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid plumps and moisturizes the skin.
At CVS and drugstores nationwide, the new La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Serum is infused with water to smooth away dehydration lines. A diluted lipidic phase gives a non-greasy and non-sticky effect. Hyaluronic acid and La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water are combined with arginine and aerine, which are excellent at trapping water for intense rehydration, said the company. When infused with water, the skin is immediately plumped up.
Also in mass, Olay Eyes Deep Hydrating Eye Gel is a hit with consumers. Its cooling hyaluronic acid formula is said to instantly hydrates eyes for a wide-awake, refreshed look. A fast-absorbing formula, supercharged with hyaluronic acid, peptides, pro-vitamin B5, witch hazel, and cucumber extract, quenches skin for long-lasting hydration.
J&J’s skin care leaders Aveeno and RoC are adding active-fueled products for Winter. This month, Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 hits stores, while after the new year, RoC Retinol Correxion Max Daily Hydration Crème and Aveeno Positively Radiant Targeted Cream Dark Spot Corrector join the lineup.
The latest innovation in cleansing is L’Oreal’s Pure Clay Cleansers. The brand’s first daily clay-to-mousse cleansers are activated with water to transform into an airy-mousse. According to the company, three different formulas remove everyday impurities such as dirt, oil and pollution, and are enhanced with key, naturally-sourced ingredients, such as charcoal, red algae and eucalyptus, to provide different skin care benefits. Also, new from L’Oréal Paris is a Pure-Clay Mask Clear & Comfort mask. After immediate use, 95% of consumers said their skin was left perfectly clean and clear, and over time, 89% of consumers reported purified and healthier looking skin, according to the company.
L’Oréal sister brand Garnier is adding SkinActive Micellar Foaming Cleanser to its line. This all-in-one foaming gel face wash is said to be powerful, yet gentle on the skin. In one easy step, it gently foams to remove makeup and impurities leaving skin perfectly cleansed and refreshed, without harsh rubbing. It will be available nationwide next month at drug, food and mass market retailers.
The Next Layer
While the share of natural active ingredients in the total market is currently 25-30%, it is expected to double by 2023, triggering a series of technological innovations aimed at countering the inherent instability of biological ingredients, according to data from Frost & Sullivan’s report, Global Personal Care Active Ingredients Market, Forecast to 2023.
“The preference for natural ingredients is particularly strong among consumers from India and China, who have been exposed to traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines,” said Frost & Sullivan visionary science principal analyst Raghu Tantry.
Active ingredients application in personal care is expanding beyond moisturizing and sun protection in body care to anti-pollutant and antioxidant protection in hair care, said Tantry. Furthermore, ethnically diverse regions are presenting new opportunities to active ingredients and cosmetic manufacturers; for example, there is a rising market for halal beauty products in the Middle East and skin whitening ingredients in Asia-Pacific.
“The market is witnessing the rise of several regional players; however, most of them are looking to compete against the majors on price rather than innovation,” observed Tantry. “To stay afloat in such a competitive market, active ingredient manufacturers have to focus on R&D, establish effective distribution channels, and collaborate with personal care product manufacturers to better understand their pipeline of new products.”
Jane Scher, a registered nurse at Skintight Medspa in New York City, told Happi that consumers should be on the lookout for growth factor serums, potent antioxidants and peptides, all great for skin rejuvenation, in the new year.
“They improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while improving skin tone and texture,” she said. “In 2018, we should expect to see more products and procedures meant to increase collagen production, rebuilding and restoring skin without removing layers.”
Environmental skin aging is a research topic currently garnering a great deal of attention in skin care, added Manco of SkinCeuticals.
“We now know that the sun isn’t the only atmospheric factor impacting the quality of our skin. Ozone pollution levels have never been higher, and this is having a significant impact on our skin. Visible light is gaining more relevance as the effects of visible light on the skin are becoming more clearly elucidated,” she said. “Environmental aggressors generate damaging free radicals that prematurely age skin.”
Veljkovic of PCA skin is watching the merging of anti-aging medicine and the health of skin as a development focus in 2018.
“Much research is being done to try to prevent the aging of skin (and the body, as well) rather than finding new strategies to correct damage. Many of the areas of scientific study around the prevention of age-related diseases can also be applied to preventing skin aging. This as well as finding ways to customize people’s skin care to address their specific genetic needs. There is much more research needed, but they are highly interesting areas of study,” she said.
Birchby of Coola is looking forward to what’s ahead in active ingredients; he expects continued interest in multifunctional skin care and innovative natural ingredients.
“We’re always looking for new applications, textures and delivery methods that make incorporating healthy sun protection into everyday life as convenient as possible,” he explained.