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Cosmeceuticals Inject Innovation Into Anti-aging
By: Diana Dodson
Posted: July 23, 2008, from the August 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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The market is also benefiting from manufacturers’ attempts to broaden the consumer base for anti-agers. The growth in products designed to prevent the skin from aging, rather than those that claim to turn back the clock on more mature skin, has attracted consumers in their 30s and 40s to the market. Men’s anti-agers have also become a small but vibrant segment.
It is not only volume sales that are on the rise, however; value sales are also achieving strong growth. Efficacy is of prime importance in this market, and price is seen as a key determinant of quality. Premium brands do well in the anti-aging segment, and five of the 10 leading global brands are prestige labels. Increasingly, too, consumers are trading up to exclusive, niche anti-aging brands. And even mass brands are contributing to unit price rises, with labels offering products at a price not far below those of premium alternatives.
The emergence of advanced cosmeceutical brands is one of the key developments to come out of the demand for progressively more efficacious anti-agers. A cosmeceutical is a product that is marketed as a cosmetic but reputedly contains biologically active ingredients and claims to have drug-like benefits. Some of the ingredients that have become big sellers in the anti-aging market as a result of this trend include retinoids, which can be so powerful that products containing them are actually classified as medicines; alpha hydroxy acids, which strip the skin of the dead outer layers to reveal fresher skin underneath; and collagen-promoting peptides. As cosmeceuticals gain momentum in the anti-aging market, the variety of ingredients used and range of skin aging problems they claim to solve are multiplying fast.
Anti-agers that purportedly offer transdermal delivery of skin-plumping ingredients, such as collagen, are among the more recent developments in the cosmeceuticals market. Other products claim to replicate the effects of professional antiwrinkle products.
The most advanced—and controversial—anti-aging cosmeceutical to come onto the market to date uses stem cell technology. The resulting products claim to transform aging skin from the inside by stimulating the generation of new skin cells while repairing DNA, and it has not taken long for other brands to pick up on the technology, with more stem cell wrinkle creams appearing in the marketplace.