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Saving Face

By: Carrie Lennard
Posted: March 26, 2010, from the April 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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Many skin care firms are working to attract women who are coming to accept they are aging and are looking only to bring out the best in their mature skin. For consumers aged 55 and older, brightening products are a more realistic option to traditional wrinkle-erasing anti-aging products, bringing health and youthful radiance to dull and aged skin.

Color cosmetics

While inroads have been made by skin care to boost beauty industry figures, it was a rather different story in many countries for color cosmetics. Euromonitor notes that sales were particularly badly hit in key mature markets such as the United States and the United Kingdom, where consumers shunned department stores and the lure of premium beauty counters. In the United States, for example, sluggish value growth of just above 0.5% during 2007–2008 in color cosmetics had strong implications for the global growth of the category, because the United States alone accounts for 20% of global color cosmetic value sales.

It was not all doom and gloom for color cosmetics, however. Facial makeup—foundations and powders—put in a respectable performance, with the category still managing to register 5% value growth during 2007–2008 in recession-hit Western Europe, according to Euromonitor.

This is largely linked to the concept of facial color cosmetics being an extension of skin care. With many foundations now promising sun protection and anti-aging benefits, the line between skin care and color cosmetics is becoming increasingly blurred. Furthermore, due to the fear of wearing a foundation that does not match their skin tone, many consumers refused to trade down to cheaper options and continued to opt for premium-priced products, many of which are now formulated to automatically match skin tone.

The dwindling sales of color cosmetics in mature regions were offset to an extent, however, by double-digit growth in emerging regions such as Eastern Europe and Latin America. Euromonitor notes that, with 10% and 11% value growth, respectively, during 2007–2008, these regions should be high on the agenda for players in color cosmetics in the coming year.

Positive outlook