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Top 10 Professional Skin Care Industry Trends for 2014

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: December 4, 2013, from the December 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

In the past five years since the beginning of the economic recession, looking to the future has been difficult due to the amount of focus skin care professionals had to place on the present. In 2013, the industry enjoyed a slow-but-steady improvement, allowing many skin care professionals to get a break from survival mode and start thinking about growth. Proof of this improvement was seen in the International SPA Association’s (ISPA) 2013 U.S. Spa Industry Study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which presented data evidencing an increase in total revenue, spa visits, revenue per visit, total number of employees and total number of spa locations over the previous year.

According to ISPA, the upward momentum of the spa industry has positively impacted the overall United States economy. In addition to generating $14 billion in revenue in 2012, the industry employs more than 343,000 individuals in the United States. The total number of spa visits increased to 160 million and the average client spent $87 per visit.

As skin care professionals start to look toward a brighter future, they need to find their place in the ever-changing world of skin care and beauty, which is not the exclusive, behind-the-doors-of-a-treatment-room experience that it used to be. Skin care is changing, as are prestige and mass market skin care formulations and availability. The line between professional and consumer brands is not the stark black-and-white that it once was and skin care professionals need to find ways to stand out from the crowd in order to ensure that their businesses and careers stay lucrative. Following are the top 10 trends shaping the current state of the spa industry. Also, don’t miss Suppliers Speak: Top Trends of 2014 on Page 38! Are one or more of these the key to your future growth and success?

1. Anti-aging: Younger and younger

Age-prevention is not just for baby boomers anymore. More and more people in their 20s and 30s are beginning to understand that great skin care can never start too early. Larissa Jensen, director and beauty industry analyst with The NPD Group, a leading market information research company, recently wrote the blog post “Don’t Smile, It Ages You,” sharing her perspective on how aging can affect the perception of beauty, and how this perception shift is occurring younger than ever.

According to Jensen, “Gen Y, or women age 25–34 years old, are a key age demographic in the world of anti-aging skin care. Thirty-nine percent of the Gen Y demographic considers anti-aging benefits to be important, a significant leap from the 19% of 18–24 year olds who agree. And this demographic is low-hanging fruit. She is new to the world of anti-aging and not yet jaded by the sometimes over-promises of many anti-aging creams. Only 33% of Gen Y skin care consumers agree that they ‘find many anti-aging products to be ineffective,’ compared to the 44% or more of women over 35 who agree with that statement.”

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