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Specialty Skin Care Innovations

By: Leslie Benson
Posted: January 16, 2009

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For consumers treating specialty skin issues with traditional topical creams, sun protection as a dual marketing claim is growing in popularity. In April 2008, Merz Pharmaceuticals—the U.S. subsidiary of Germany-based Merz & Co. KgaA—introduced Mederma Cream plus SPF 30 to treat scar tissue and protect the skin from sun damage and discoloration.

“Dermatologists and other physicians routinely recommend that new scars be protected from the sun, because they are especially susceptible to damage and discoloration,” says Jessica Wright, senior brand manager, Mederma. “The increase in the number of diagnosed skin cancer cases has had an impact on the everyday use of SPF and its importance in various products—not just sunscreen for beach days.”

With Mederma’s formulas and marketing in line with consumer demand, the franchise has expanded its market share and secured a 60% sales increase since 2007, despite the current economic climate.

Though sun protection remains a steady market segment across the globe, perspectives on specialty skin care are not universal. According to Jean Runel, vice president, international, Murad, Inc., while consumers in the U.S. and in Europe may have similar buying habits in this segment, “In Latin America, more skin is shown, so there is an emphasis on products to maintain skin all over, such as anticellulite and stretch mark products.”

Abolishing Acne

Clogged pores can lead to acne in teens and adults, and is another major area of focus in the specialty skin care segment. “The real advancement in acne products has come from focusing more on skin health and inflammation than on just killing bacteria,” says Howard Murad.