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Professional Skin Care Market Bounces Back

Posted: April 8, 2011

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Most marketers typically segment facial products into four main categories: anti-aging, hyperpigmentation, rosacea, and acne. In order to better distinguish the image of their brand, some manufacturers’ place greater emphasis on treatment of a specific skin care concern. For example, French-based brand Anne Sémonin focuses more on research and development of anti-aging products, while the focus of another French brand Payot has been in developing treatments for intolerant and sensitive skin. Additionally, due to strong competition from mass-marketers of skin care products, as well as an increased level of consumer knowledge, manufacturers of professional skin care products are forced to compete on grounds of uniqueness. This has resulted in their introduction of new ingredients into products, including diamond, caviar, or pearl extracts, in order to create their own technology and trademark.

Looking ahead

An influx of new customers will undoubtedly continue to raise the hopes of a long-lasting recovery to the global market, which registered substantial declines in 2009. The markets in both Europe and the United States have seen positive gains in 2010. Europe has recovered posting a 3.0% increase following a 3.3% decline in 2009, and sales in the United States have increased by 2.7%. Japan’s growth remained flat at 0.1%. The market in Japan has suffered, as consumers have remained reluctant to buy relatively expensive professional skin care products. Strong competition from mainstream skin care brands including Shiseido, or Kosé impedes market growth for professional skin care. Additionally, in comparison to Europe and the United States, new product activity from leading marketers has also been relatively lukewarm in Japan.

While beauty institutes and salons will remain the largest purchase channel in most regional markets in Asia and Europe over the next five years, the medical care providers channel is likely to see the greatest growth across all three regions examined by Kline. This is due to increasing demand for more non-surgical skin care procedures as well as an increasing number of medical care professionals who will turn to selling skin care products at their offices. In Japan, the medical care providers channel is expected to see a 3.5% CAGR over the next five years. In Europe and the United States, growth in this channel will be even more promising, reaching CAGRs of approximately 7.0% and 10%, respectively.

Growth will depend on a steady increase in customer traffic and on a growing number of brands entering and expanding their presence in the various retail channels. More than ever before it will be essential for manufacturers’ and outlets of professional skin care products to deliver on the promise of their products superior results. Whether marketers can regain the loyalty of consumers who have returned to professional skin care after the recession as well as the new customers will depend on their ability to provide solutions catering closely to the needs of the savvy and well informed consumers of today’s new economy.

By Karen Dowkow, Industry Manager, Consumer Products, Kline