Skin care – self preservation society

Published: 14-Jul-2010

Having survived the recession relatively blemish-free, skin care manufacturers are taking a more inclusive approach to product development, demonstrating that the key to good skin comes in many guises. Emma Reinhold reports

Having survived the recession relatively blemish-free, skin care manufacturers are taking a more inclusive approach to product development, demonstrating that the key to good skin comes in many guises. Emma Reinhold reports

Ask the average woman how many products she uses in her daily skin care routine and the answer is surprising. From surgery-inspired wrinkle fillers and brightening serums to firming face masks and supplements that promote younger, smoother skin, the approach to good skin maintenance has come a long way from a simple cleanse, tone and moisturise.

“Consumers are demanding more from their skin care products than ever before,” explains dermatologist Howard Murad. “In my view, today’s skin care market is more of a marriage between medicine and aesthetics; health and beauty – it’s much more targeted.”

Our obsession with achieving the universally coveted beauty trait of glowing, youthful skin has not waned even during the recession, where a general rationalisation of consumer spending has affected many consumer markets. However according to Euromonitor International the global spend on skin care did slow from 5% in 2008 to 3% growth in 2009, to reach an overall figure of €58, 256.8m.

“Women are more careful with their money, spending less impulsively and are less likely to treat themselves to something they don’t need,” explains Nica Lewis, head consultant – Beauty Innovation, Mintel. “Despite this attitudes to personal care have not changed as a result of the economic crisis, suggesting that spend on beauty and personal care products is non-negotiable.”

“For skin care it’s an interesting time,” adds Noella Gabriel, director of product and treatment development, Elemis. “Much as the recession has brought about doom and gloom, people are returning to loyal, trustworthy brands. There is a lower spend but this is pushing brands to really keep their clients but pushing creativity. Even in the recession people want good products but they want value.”

Table 1: Global skin care market by country, 2009 (€M)
Source: Euromonitor International

Table 2: Leading skin care brands by ranking, 2009
NiveaBeiersdorf AG
ShiseidoShiseido Co Ltd
AvonAvon Products Inc
L’Oréal ParisL’Oréal Groupe
OlayProcter & Gamble Co
CliniqueEstée Lauder Cos
Estée LauderEstée Lauder Cos
AmwayAmway Corp
LancômeL’Oréal Groupe
Source: Euromonitor International

One effect of the recession has seen manufacturers revisit their product portfolios and focus particularly on basic products such as cleansers. Elemis for instance launched Pro Radiance Cream Cleanser containing anti-ageing peptides.

“We are putting more sophistication into bread and butter products and educating people about ageing,” explains Gabriel. “Age maintenance starts with washing and by providing the consumer with a greater choice of cleansers you get a bigger spend in earlier.”

Similarly, consultant dermatologist Nick Lowe has introduced Anti-Ageing Lifting Cream Cleanser, a wipe away cleanser containing hyaluronic acid, vitamins A,C and E, and the Anti-Age Cranley Complex that is claimed to strengthen the skin’s connective tissues, helping to smooth and lift the skin.

<i>Targeting specific skin care complaints such as pigmentation has become a big focus for brands</i>

Targeting specific skin care complaints such as pigmentation has become a big focus for brands

Elemis has also looked to its spa offering and identified the need for more recession-friendly treatments as consumers are still willing to spend on skin care luxuries, albeit at a lower price point than 12 months ago. The hour-long Modern Skin Facial claims to to leave skin renewed and rebalanced and is priced with accessibility in mind.

“Facials have become very long but the spend right now is considerably less than it was,” explains Gabriel. “Women are looking for more for less and there was definitely a gap in the market for this facial. We are not reinventing the wheel but we took a very conscious decision to launch Modern Skin Facial.”

The derm term

While consumers may be rationalising their spending, the pace of anti-ageing product launches is showing no sign of waning. According to, anti-ageing facial skin care editorial has increased by 12% for female targeted products over the last year, while Euromonitor says that the category was still the star performer in 2009, up 7% in sales on the previous year.

And manufacturers, inspired by the procedures of the dermatologist’s surgery, are responding with innovative products designed to treat more specific skin complaints. The language used to market these products in particular has taken on a more dermatological element.

“You might have a hormonally aged person with dry skin but who also suffers from lateral pigmentation – they would need a product that targets these three issues,” explains Murad. “Consumers have become much more interested in real science and medicine, not just fluff in a jar.”

“We are always looking to our dermatologist friends to see what the issues are for them and to get their medical pulse about what's on their patients minds,” adds Shauda Swackhamer, vp product development, GoodSkin Labs. “Lately it's injections of things like Restylane to augment surgery or pre-surgery. There's a huge influx of information on young celebrities getting injections to replump around the jaw line. It's injection mania basically – there’s no lack of things that people are fixated on.”

Skin care – self preservation society

Swackhamer refers to a recent article in the New York Times which talked about the trend for a more natural appearance, moving from full surgery to maintainence with injections. “We decided we had to do a topical product to address this.”

The result is Filextra Facial Revolumising Treatment with Collagen, a moisturiser that targets the ‘mid-face sink’, which can give a hollow, sunken and dull appearance to the cheek area. The product promises to plump up the skin, improve skin tone and replace lost radiance thanks to a cocktail of ingredients including two Lauder exclusives – HyActive and Aqualance, which help boost collagen production and replenish water levels in the skin, to leave it looking revolumised.

Also from the Lauder stable, Origins’ Starting Over Age-erasing Moisturizer has been marketed as ‘nature’s alternative to injections’. The cream contains mimosa tree bark extract, said to help skin boost its own collagen production, leaving skin plumper, smoother and more uniform.

And L’Oréal Paris’ new Dermo Expertise Collagen Mircro-Vibration Eye product combines a cream enriched with collagen-boosting ingredients with a gentle micro-vibration tool which is designed to be massaged around the under-eye area, and is claimed to kick-start the skin’s micro-circulation, encouraging natural drainage and thus reducing the appearance of dark circles and wrinkles. Bremenn’s Upper Eyelid Lifter too promises to come close to recreating the effects of a surgical eye lift, helping to leave eyes looking brighter, bigger and fresher thanks to a blend of functional botanical extracts, biomolecules, peptides and amino acids.

Similarly, StriVectin’s new Instant Moisture Repair uses language heavily borrowed from the world of dermatology, promising to rebuild and re-inflate ageing skin. The cream is said to work above and below the skin surface and combines osmolytes, which help bind water to the skin with oligopeptides, which encourage the production of derm-elastic fibres that provide a cushioning effect to the skin, leaving it looking plumper. And Payot’s new answer to anti-ageing, AOX is described as creating a cosmetic barrier to preserve the skin. The formula is said to work at a cellular level to prevent oxidation, a major contributor to wrinkle formation. The result is plumper, protected skin says the brand.

Increasing water content in the skin is also the primary aim of Dior’s new Hydra Life line, developed for 30-something skins. The nine sku range is infused with an anti-ageing serum, composed of three plant extracts and is said to stimulate aquaporins in the skin, which encourage the movement and circulation of water between cells. The result, says Dior, is plumper, fresher, more hydrated skin.

Oriflame’s new Aqua-Rhythm line meanwhile contains Hydro-Protect complex, which is claimed to restore the moisture level in skin cells, protecting the skin’s barrier and intensively moisturising the skin. The complex is made up of Furcellaria lumbricalis, a Swedish red algae, which helps soften and revive dehydrated skin; and trehalose, an extract of Rose of Jericho, which binds water to the skin and maintains its elastin and collagen production.

Although there has been a strong trend towards opting for topical alternatives over more invasive treatments, the number of surgical procedures actually grew in the UK last year.

According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), the number of procedures undertaken jumped 6.7% in 2009, with a particular rise in brow lifts, eyelid surgery and nose surgery, suggesting patients are looking for cheaper and more targeted rejuvenation procedures.

Interestingly, a survey conducted for the programme MyFaceMyBody, found that more than 5% of the UK’s working population has resorted to cosmetic surgery in a bid to boost their career prospects, with one in ten people admitting they would resort to going under the knife in order to get ahead in the workplace. And in a climate where job security has never been so valued, it seems that both the topical and invasive approach to anti-ageing still represents a profitable market to the industry.

“The trend at the moment is for a more natural appearance, looking more like yourself, but most people right now are into instant gratification, which is why they opt for surgery – they are not prepared to wait,” explains Murad.

Super serums

Using a serum to boost the efficacy of a skin care regime is not a new concept but the latest batch of super skin boosting serums to hit our shelves are enabling brands to claim greater results than ever before.

Dior’s new Capture Totale One Essential, for instance promises to provide a double anti-ageing performance by helping the skin increase its ability to repair itself and increase the efficacy of the skin care products applied afterwards, while Priori’s Cellular Recovery Serum is described as a “super boosting serum designed to boost the results of your current anti-ageing regime”. The serum contains a DNA Enzyme Complex that harnesses three enzymes from botanical (blue/green algae and mustard seed) and microbial (bacteria) sources said to be virtually identical to the body’s own DNA support mechanism. Along with key antioxidants and hyaluronic acid, the complex is said to help to reverse free radical damage and enable better cellular repair.

Similarly, Dr Nick Lowe’s The Secret Is Out Lifting Super Serum promises to smooth, tighten and lift skin thanks to an antioxidant blend of acai and goji berries, linseed extract, a peptide complex and vitamins A,C and E.

“I felt there was a need for a serum with very strong actives,” explains Lowe. “The ongoing task for skin care is to get more active ingredients in products but also to deliver them better.”

Vichy meanwhile has developed LiftActiv CxP Total Serum, combining vitamin C and monosaccharide R, which work together to target fibroblast cells and help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, increase skin firmness and boost radiance. The brand says the innovative gel base formula contains 15% emollient ingredients for faster visible results.

<i>The language used to describe the latest batch of skin care products has taken on more of an inclusive theme</i>

The language used to describe the latest batch of skin care products has taken on more of an inclusive theme

And Dr Andrew Weil for Origins’ reformulated Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Advanced Face Serum is now said to advance the potency of the original formula, working at a heightened level to strengthen skin, reduce skin sensitivity and redness and help prevent the appearance of premature ageing.

Elsewhere Crème de la Mer has launched Regenerating Serum, a new treatment said to contain a very high concentration of the brand’s signature Miracle Broth, along with a Regenerating Ferment derived from marine plant stem cells. Continued use is claimed to help skin support its own production of collagen, helping to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

The use of plant stem cells in the fight against ageing was the big skin care story of 2009 and their presence is continuing to creep into anti-ageing products this year. !QMS Medicosmetics’ new Cellular Marine cream contains stem cells from the plant tissue of sea fennel, which is said to help prolong the skin’s ability to regenerate itself and help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, whilst plumping skin and protecting it against environmental damage. Similarly, dr.brandt’s new pores no more anti-ageing mattifying lotion contains stabilised retinol and apple stem cells, which help treat the visible signs of ageing, whilst controlling shine and reducing pore size. And Elemis will launch Pro Intensive Eye and Lip Contour Cream with Edelweiss plant stem cells later this year.

Industry opinion on the use of plant stem cells remains mixed however.

“It indicates that we can learn from nature about how it protects itself and how we can bring this into skin care,” says Steve Barton, cosmetics formulation development director, Oriflame. “But if people are putting actual plant stem cells into products then there are clear challenges, not least penetrating the skin barrier.”

“The problem with plant stem cells is that most of the science has been done in vitro – in the final formula you are never quite sure what is working,” adds Lowe.

Gabriel prefers the term ‘chaperoning of skin cells’ when discussing the topic. “Watch this space,” she tells SPC. “Right now the trend is all about preserving skin cells; the language of skin care is changing and now we are talking about keeping it functioning for as long as we possibly can.”

Come back brighter

<i>Skin care products such as AOX by Payot are investing in protection just as much as intervention</i>

Skin care products such as AOX by Payot are investing in protection just as much as intervention

Serums have also been a popular format for the burgeoning brightening movement. This trend has seen a particularly strong take-up rate amongst younger consumers, according to Mintel whose January 2010 US report found that younger women aged 18-34 are more likely to believe claims about evening out skin tone or reducing hyperpigmentation.

“There is still a big need in this area,” explains Barton.“It’s a new area for anti-ageing. We’ve gone from addressing wrinkles to sagging and now pigmentation and how this correlates with ageing.”

“It’s where anti-ageing is going,” agrees Gabriel. “We’ve done plumpers and fillers but now we need an effective finishing product.”

Emphasis in recent months has been placed on working on texture as much as tone in order to reduce hyperpigmentation and promote a brighter, more uniform complexion.

SkinCeuticals’ new Retexturing Activator has been developed to combat dry, rough skin by providing a unique exfoliating and hydrating action. A blend of hydroxyethanol urea, kombucha and hyaluronic acid helps smooth skin, leaving it softer and more radiant. The results, says the brand, surpass the standard 20% glycolic acid daily treatment.

Exfoliation also forms the heart of NIA 24’s new Rapid Exfoliating Serum. The leave-on product is said to gently loosen and dissolve dead skin cells on the skin surface, whilst simultaneously strengthening the skin’s barrier function, helping to reverse imperfections caused by sun damage. The formula is said to help reduce the appearance of enlarged pores and brown spots, whilst promoting new cell turnover.

Pigmentation has also been a focus for Philosophy and its new anti-ageing line, miracle worker, promises to target wrinkles, discolouration, dehydration, uneven tone and rough texture. The three products contain a high-performance retinoid (hpr), claimed to support natural collagen production, and derived from the vitamin A family. The products include retinoid pads, comprising a liquid and a set of pads, which are activated when the liquid is added.

Skin care – self preservation society

Clinique too has addressed hyper-pigmentation with the development of two new products. Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturiser SPF20 promises to reduce the appearance of excess pigment in the skin, whilst preventing the formation of future dark spots through a broad spectrum SPF. And to provide a more customised approach, the brand has launched Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, Clinique’s first clinically tested treatment serum to claim results equal to a leading prescription pigmentation treatment. The serum contains a patent pending CL-302 complex said to match hydroquinone in terms of performance without any reddening or irritation side effects. Clinical tests show a 53% improvement in skin tone after 12 weeks’ use.

Murad’s new Active Radiance Serum also claims clinically proven brightening and renewing properties thanks to a Resilient-C complex containing a vitamin C derivative that is said to deliver 50 times more potency than ordinary topical vitamin C.

The power of the clinical test has been well documented in recent years and more brands are promoting the results of their tests in a bid to provide greater diversity on shelf.

“A consumer likes the assurance that their product has been clinically trialled and this reassurance comes at a time when the spend is more important than ever,” explains Gabriel. “There will always be a place for clinical testing as consumers become more savvy but it’s got to deliver – consumers only try things once.”

“Scientific proof has to make a difference – consumers today are asking ‘what does that mean to me?’” adds Murad. “If in a trial 90% of people say they enjoy the product, we need to know why. Are the 90% enjoying the packaging, the product or the effects?”

In addition to topical care, Murad has launched a new partnership with UK healthy eating distributor Soulmatefood to create a bespoke anti-ageing health food plan. The Murad Inclusive Health Menu incorporates a ten week menu of prepared foods and supplements with anti-ageing benefits, which are said to give a youthful boost to skin, increase sleep patterns, improve mood and promote an overall feeling of well-being.

Despite the market’s maturity, new opportunities are presenting themselves to manufacturers. But while consumers are prepared to look beyond the traditional cleanse, tone and moisturise routine, fail to deliver in your product at your peril.

Skin care – self preservation society

Iconic revelation
Unilever’s skin care classic Vaseline petroleum jelly, originally launched in 1870, has a new look.
“The redesign will give it a fresh contemporary look and bring it in line with the rest of the Vaseline range,” says brand manager Georgina Edwards. “The product is a staple in every bathroom cabinet and is a multipurpose must-have beauty essential for shoppers. The relauch is expected to reignite interest in the classic brand which will help drive growth in the skin care category.”
This is Vaseline’s first makeover since the 1970s.

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