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WEB EXCLUSIVE: Skin Care's Multifaceted Evolution

Nicole Tyrimou September 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
Skin care market

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  • Accounting for one-fifth of global beauty and personal care value, skin care remains the leading category.
  • In Asia-Pacific, where sales are more than double those in Western Europe, the predisposition toward multi-step skin care regimes has served the category well.
  • China’s strong momentum is expected to add a further $7 billion to the global skin care market by 2017.
  • Indonesia, India and Thailand are quickly gaining status as the next skin care markets to watch.
  • While the multifunctional trend is not expected to fade anytime soon, targeted solutions will continue to push unit prices upward.
  • Increased availability of devices has raised consumer awareness of these products, and recent launches indicate the device segment is moving toward anti-aging and more salon-style treatments.
  • Anti-aging, the fastest growing category in skin care over the last five years, is showing signs of stagnation.
  • Anti-aging claims, however, are being made in other categories, and with the median age of the female population nearing 40 and rising in North key markets, anti-aging is expected to only strengthen its presence within other categories.

With sales of nearly $100 billion in 2012, equating to one-fifth of global beauty and personal care value, skin care’s dominance remains unbreakable. But the category’s prevalent trends currently play on opposite sides of the spectrum. On the one hand, an increasing focus on status and individuality is driving a greater need for products, services and experiences tailored to the individual. On the other, a one-size-fits-all approach has triggered demand for more convenient and quick-fix solutions. How are these conflicting trends affecting the market, and how will the future shape up for skin care?

Asia—The Knight in Shining Armor

With almost half of global skin care sales coming from Asia-Pacific—where sales are more than double those in Western Europe—the region’s predisposition toward multi-step skin care regimes has served the category well. Japan, the leading global market in terms of skin care, has had its first year of positive growth in 2012 after five years of decline, with both the premium and mass segments growing. China, which displaced the United States in 2011 to become the world’s second-largest market and which continues to mount the pressure on Japan, posted a 14% value compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the last five years. Its strong momentum is expected to add a further $7 billion to the global skin care market over the forecast period, with the country assuming the number one spot from Japan in 2017.

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