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BB Creams Surge in Popularity in U.S.

According to a new report by The NPD Group, Inc., BB creams—multifunctional products that combine the functionality of primers, SPF and moisturizers with the anti-aging benefits of skin serums and that are also referred to as blemish balms or beauty balms—have grown significantly in sales in the past several months. The relatively new product is quickly catching the fancy of a small segment of U.S. women, and in the 12 months ending March 2012, BB creams sold in U.S. department stores generated close to $9 million according to NPD BeautyTrends.

Women tell NPD that while they expect BB creams to provide skin care and makeup benefits, they want to understand more about the product and how it works. According to NPD, about 8 in 10 beauty shoppers like beauty products that offer multiple benefits, and that rises to just over 9 in 10 for BB cream purchasers. The top five benefits expected from a BB cream include: natural-looking coverage (52%), moisturizes/hydrates skin (47%), nourishes/treats skin (42%), provides SPF sunscreen protection (42%), and improves skin texture (38%).

Although the incidence of purchasing BB creams is currently very small (2% of total beauty shoppers) the majority of purchasers tell NPD they’re extremely or very satisfied with their last BB cream purchase, and 77% express positive repurchase intent. According to the report, almost 4 in 10 beauty shoppers overall say that they would consider buying a BB cream in the future.

“About half of all beauty shoppers are sitting on the fence, saying they may or may not buy BB creams in the future. Why does that matter? Almost 7 in 10 BB cream purchasers have replaced either a makeup or skin care product with a BB cream. Even though usage is low right now, as more brands enter the market and the category grows, cannibalization could become a much larger challenge,” said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group.

“Messaging that clearly distinguishes the benefits of and usage occasions for BB creams versus other facial products could help ensure the coexistence of various products in a women’s beauty regimen. Figuring that out could make the difference in whether BB creams gain traction more broadly or not,” ended Grant.

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