Natural formulations have become central to the facial skin care and anti-aging market, as major brands and niche brands alike now feature natural claims on product packaging. What’s more, consumers are interested in milder, more natural formulations, as well as those that shield against pollution; one in seven (14%) agree that pollution impacts the appearance of their skin.
Consumers also view lifestyle as an important factor in their skin’s appearance, with many agreeing that factors such as hydration (44%) and diet (36%) impact skin’s appearance more than using skin care products (26%). Another 38% agree that stress impacts the appearance of their skin and, as such, 30% of consumers look for anti-aging products featuring anti-stress claims.
As highlighted by Mintel’s Global Beauty and Personal Care Trend report, interest in natural beauty and personal care ingredients is on the rise, and natural product trends—paired with the strong association between diet and skin—are driving the emergence of food-based and probiotic facial skin care.
Consumers are most likely to use or are interested in using products with vitamin C (85%), fruit-based ingredients (78%), oatmeal (78%) and honey (76%). Further supporting this trend, 72% of consumers use or are interested in using products featuring probiotics.
“Consumers are embracing healthy, holistic living, and our research shows that these lifestyle changes are driving the facial skin care and anti-aging market. In such a saturated marketplace, products featuring natural formulations are standing out to consumers who trust identifiable and natural ingredients,” said Shannon Romanowski, category manager, Health, Household, Beauty and Personal Care at Mintel. “The link between diet and skin is evident, and as consumers increasingly associate their lifestyle with their skin’s appearance, product formulations with added food-based ingredients and vitamins stand out among the competition.”
Mintel research revealed that saturation in the facial skin care and anti-aging market is occurring as benefits in traditional moisturizers, anti-aging products and specialized products blur category segments. Products such as daily use moisturizers now integrate anti-aging benefits, leading to a decline in sales of strictly defined anti-aging treatments. In fact, while anti-aging is still the largest segment in the category, it saw sales decrease 6.3% 2014-15, according to Mintel. Further, 21% of consumers do not use and are not interested in using anti-aging products, compared to 18% of consumers who do use them.
While lip balm has been one of the most dynamic and fastest growing segments of the category, with sales increasing 55% from 2010-14, the segment faltered in 2015 as sales declined 3%, due in part to competition from cosmetics (e.g., tints, gloss, lipstick) with moisturizing and protective qualities undercutting sales. Reported usage of lip balm took a slight dip from 2014-15, dropping from 52% to 49% of consumers using these products.
Meanwhile, facial cleansers continue to gain market share from the anti-aging segment. The cleanser segment is currently the fastest growing in the market, increasing sales 4.6% 2014-15 to reach $1.8 billion. Anti-aging products are also losing market share to moisturizers, which experienced an uptick of sales of 2.9% 2014-15, amassing $765 million.
“After burgeoning for the five years leading up to 2015, the lip balm segment stalled as saturation set in and competition from cosmetics with moisturizing and protective qualities and the trend toward bold lip color undercut the segment’s sales,” said Ms. Romanowski. “At the same time, sales of facial cleansers and moisturizers are on the rise, driven by younger consumers who have greater facial cleansing needs brought on by active lifestyles, specific skin concerns and elevated interest in new formulations.”
As the facial cleanser segment increases market share, no-rinse cleansers are poised for growth. Mintel research indicated that while just 8% of adults currently use cleansing waters (also referred to as micellar waters), this increases to 14% of consumers age 18-34. Consumers view cleansing waters favorably, with many agreeing that they are refreshing (45%), safe for sensitive skin (43%) and more gentle (39%) than rinse-off cleansers. However, there are barriers to usage: nearly half (46%) of consumers perceive these products as more expensive than rinse-off cleansers and one quarter (28%) agree they have confusing usage instructions.
The overall facial skin care and anti-aging market experienced a 1.4% decrease in sales in 2015, falling to $6.6 billion, with limited engagement from the aging Baby Boomer population impacting the entire category. Consumers age 55+ are the least likely to report usage of nearly every facial skin care product surveyed by Mintel, with one third (32%) not using any of the surveyed products (vs. 19% overall).
“While the facial skin care category has experienced tepid sales over the years, in 2015 we saw declines for the first time in five years,” said Ms. Romanowski. “Moving forward, the category’s success will rely on younger consumers and the growing facial cleanser segment, with an emphasis on natural, recognizable ingredients and innovation like ‘waterless cleansing.’ To broaden the appeal of these products, brands should be proactive in addressing concerns surrounding cost and usage instructions.”