“The big story for the third quarter is the acceleration in skin care, which is growing more than twice the rate of fragrance and 15 times faster than the rate of makeup. We continue to see natural brands and entry price categories fuel the skin care category, but the big shift this year is the renewed interest in new products from legacy classics in the anti-aging category. With consumer confidence breaking records, the two highest priced beauty categories of skin care and fragrance may be reaping the benefits of a bigger wallet. Despite the success of its sister categories, makeup continues to struggle,” Jensen said.
Within skin care, natural brands accounted for more than one-quarter of skin care sales, and also grew the fastest in Q3 (+24%), according to NPD’s number crunching. Age specialist products grew 14% in sales, an acceleration of growth over Q3 of 2017, said NPD.
Face mask sales rose a solid 12% in Q3, though that is growth has slowed compared to last year, said NPD.
When it comes to forms and texture, the fastest growing in Q3 were water/tonic, paper/patch/wipes and serum, noted NPD.
In makeup, total face, the largest segment in makeup, grew its sales by 2%, driven by concealer, powder and tinted moisturizer. Lip color sales declined 10%, while lip gloss grew 4%. Eyebrow makeup grew 7% and mascara, 2%; however, eye shadow sales were down 6%. And although a small, $13.5 million piece of the market at just $13.5 million, sales of false eyelashes grew 30%.
The fragrance market was driven by a 9% increase in fragrance juice sales. Women’s sales increased 8% and men’s sales rose 12%.
“Heading into the holiday season, attention will center on value, newness and fun. Skin care sets tend to perform well every year during holiday. I expect sales of skin care face masks and minis will be strong as the low price-point and fun packaging encourages the add-on gift purchase. Travel sized makeup products have experienced double-digit gains throughout 2018, so I anticipate the strong performance will spill over into holiday. In fragrance, launches during holiday can make the category,” said Jensen.