Sometimes it’s not about what’s in your beauty products but what isn’t—and this seems to be especially true of the skin care sector. High interest in ultra-gentle skin care is consistent with an overall category shift toward more products positioned as gentle or appropriate for sensitive skin. According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD), thus far in 2014, sensitive skin claims represent 25% of total skin care claims, compared to 15% in 2009. What’s more, 71% of facial skin care users say they are interested in ultra-gentle products.
Sales trends also reflect this move toward natural skin care. Mintel estimates sales of sensitive/gentle skin care products are more than $202 million, with the majority of sales coming from the facial cleanser and facial moisturizer segments. Sensitive and gentle skin care products are also capturing a greater percentage of facial cleanser and moisturizer sales.
“While facial skin care products have typically highlighted the addition of ingredients such as vitamins and botanicals, the category appears to be moving toward highlighting what’s not in the formula—fragrance, dyes, etc.,” says Shannon Romanowski, senior beauty and personal care analyst. “This move toward gentle skin care is a reflection of consumers’ desire for performance combined with increased concern and awareness regarding what is being put on their skin.”
Consumers seem to be big fans of the pared down approach, as almost a quarter (24%) of facial skin care users say they look for products with natural, organic ingredients. Twenty-two percent seek out products that are free from certain ingredients like parabens or fragrances, and 21% are interested in items that are designed specifically for sensitive skin.
“While future growth is expected to remain slow, there are opportunities for more customized and convenience-driven product options. Value-added products that enhance health and wellness, extend usage occasions, or tap into the convenience-driven mindset of male and multicultural shoppers stand to gain,” adds Romanowski. “In addition, a consumer shift toward gentle skin care benefits also reflects an opportunity, especially among women and black consumers.”