‘Prevention over cure’ is the buzz phrase currently doing the rounds in the beauty industry. According to a new report – published by Euromonitor International and in-cosmetics Global – the use of ‘dermocosmetics’ skin care products, which go beyond protection and into the realms of prevention, is on the rise.
According to the report, entitled Skin Health: The Evolving Landscape of Dermocosmetics, 25% of consumers listed ‘sun protection functionality’ as a reason for purchasing their facial moisturiser in 2017, up from 23% in 2015, while almost 15% of millennials purchase skincare to prevent signs of ageing. Other popular skin care benefits listed in the report include moisturising/hydrating properties, cited by almost 60% of consumers; suitable for sensitive skin; and contains added vitamins and improves texture/evens skin tone, to name a few.
Globally, according to Euromonitor International, the skin care market recorded a 7.44% growth from 2017-18, while hair care registered 4.61% in the same period. The fastest growing skin care sub-category was facial masks, with 14.36% growth from 2017-18, while conditioners and treatments led the haircare category with 5.64% growth in the same period.
The new report suggests that consumer focus has shifted from the basic concept of skin beauty towards a wider idea of skin health over external appearance. This is largely down to the growth in popularity of the healthy living trend, which consumers are increasingly seeking to replicate in their skin care routines.
Originally positioned as follow-up products for use after dermatological procedures, dermocosmetics have evolved as both a substitute and a complement to medical recommendation. As awareness of the long-term damage caused by external agents – such as the sun, pollution and antibacterial products for example – grows, consumer demand for products that can guard against this damage is growing rapidly. Not only must they be effective in living up to their claims, but they must also support the long-term health of the skin by addressing these external threats.
The report also highlighted an increased demand for skin care products suitable for sensitive skin. Awareness of – and a growing preoccupation with – skin sensitivity is a key growth opportunity for dermocosmetics, which tend to be segmented by skin type or condition. While skin sensitivity is not new per se, products that claim to alleviate certain conditions, such as rosacea, are becoming more specific.
Across all countries, instances of other epidemiological skin conditions, such as psoriasis and dermatitis, are also on the increase. This means it is expected that successful dermocosmetics will address the rise of these disorders by adding preventative elements to their formulations as consumers will be looking for products to help prevent occurrences or reoccurrences.
As with skin care, the report reveals that haircare product selection is closely tied to health-related issues. Over 20% of consumers purchase haircare products to address their concerns, indicating the key benefits they seek to improve their hair health, while 35% of consumers are primarily motivated to buy haircare products to improve the look or feel of their hair. Other top sought-after benefits include damage repair, hydrating / moisturising, scalp health, anti-dandruff and hair loss prevention.
According to the report, there is huge potential for the dermocosmetics category to both grow and spread into new markets, driven by consumer demand and external factors, as Keena Roberts, Senior Consumer Health Analyst from Euromonitor International explains: "External agents that cause skin damage like pollution are likely to increase in prevalence and intensity over the coming years. Correspondingly, dermocosmetic products that purport to prevent this damage will likewise continue to grow in popularity as consumer preferences continue to shift towards healthy living and long-term skin care."
There are also a number of other key factors set to boost demand for dermocosmetics; increasing consumer awareness of ingredients, thanks to a heightened focus on innovation surrounding the skin microbiome; the recognition that these brands seek to give consumers access to expertise at more affordable prices than the doctor; better education around the importance of more sophisticated daily skincare routines to prevent skin damage; and improved awareness around the belief that beauty starts with good healthy skin, rather than colour cosmetics to hide bad skin.
Roziani Zulkifli, exhibition manager for in-cosmetics Global, concluded: "Today’s consumers are particularly well informed when it comes to health and wellbeing. They know that living a balanced lifestyle is not just about adhering to a set of behaviours, and are demanding products that fit into their view of what healthy really means.
"At in-cosmetics Global, we are seeing a clear response to this trend from the skincare industry, with companies creating products focused on specific – rather than vague – skin health concerns and expect that this will continue at this year’s exhibition and beyond."