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Saving face in Europe with new skin care.

THE FACIAL SKIN CARE MARKET in the Big 5 has had a fairly static year with no real notable gains or losses for the most part. France, Germany and Italy all recorded declines, while Spain posted a slight growth overall. The UK, on the other hand, made a solid value gain of 4.5%, showing some promise in an otherwise uneventful year.

According to data from SymphonyIRI France, the total facial skin care mass market there was worth $363.4 million in 2010, a decline of 1.3%. Volume, however, fared slightly better, inching up 1.2% to 36.58 million. The normally popular category of moisturizers fell by 1.3% while the anti-wrinkle and anti-aging skin care category had a value gain of 3.5%.

However, despite these declines, there has been some launch activity in France worthy of note.

Niche French brand Pomarium had a successful year with its Esprit de Pomme line, in particular, its star product Serum Elixir Concentre, which uses apple polyphenols for their antioxidant and anti-wrinkle action. The product actually won a Victoires de la Beaute award for 2010-2011, judged by a panel of 4,400 consumers, while the brand scooped two prizes in Beyond Beauty's Challenger Awards, held in Paris recently.


Meanwhile, serums are among the hottest products in French anti-aging ranges, as they are lightweight yet packed with highly active ingredients. Lancaster's latest scrum, Cellular Elixir Intense, is claimed to have a direct repair action on the main DNA damage caused by UV rays, pollution and stress. The formula features a liposome containing four enzymes that are said to act directly on DNA, resulting in smoother, firmer, regenerated skin.

Facing Facts

Sales weren't so solid in Germany, as the market there fell 1.3% to $791 million last year, according to the latest data from SymphonyIRI Germany. Volume wise, things were even worse as volume fell 3.3% to 10.11 million liters. In Germany, facial creams accounted for 72.4% of the market in value terms, compared to 27.6% for facial cleansers. However, when it came to volume, the story was somewhat different. Facial cleansers ruled the roost here, dominating the category with a 64.2% market share compared with 35.8% for facial creams.

In terms of new products, natural was still big business in skin care, as Weleda launched its new Pomegranate Firming Day Cream and Pomegranate Firming Night Cream, both of which utilize the power of the antioxidant pomegranate to encourage skin cell renewal. The products are also said to help combat fine lines and wrinkles with prolonged use.

Weleda's organic pomegranate comes from the fertile valleys of the Icel coastal region in Turkey and makes use of an ethical fair trade partnership with local growers--reinforcing its ethical credentials.

Staying Static

Industry body Unipro reported that the Italian facial skin care market slid 0.3% in 2009, even though its total market worth stood at a healthy $1.6 billion. However, the category of cleansing wipes did see a very healthy growth, putting on 5.6% to $57 million, while anti-aging creams also scraped a small gain of 0.9% supplying a bit of light in an otherwise dull year for the sector.

However, the fact that sales of both facial masks and whitening products fell 4% was a sign that Italian manufacturers might have something to worry about if this downward trend continues.

Italian company Santangelica launched an entirely new skin care range based on its sericin complex, which is said to be suitable for all age groups. Sericin is a natural glycoprotein, extracted from silk, which creates a protective film on the skin. This, in turn, causes a regenerating action on the skin, which promotes an anti-wrinkle function, according to the company. This range has proved popular with Italian consumers who are big advocates of any ways to look younger.

Smooth Operator

Things in Spain have taken an upward tangent, as the market grew 3% last year to $810 million, effectively bucking the common trend.

Spaniards have cut back in many areas, and have switched from premium products to the much cheaper own label versions, but facial skin care seems to be one area where they have refused to cut back.

Selective facial creams in Spain can easily top $130 and these high priced products seem to be holding their own.

When it came to volume sales there was also quite positive news as the market grew from 8.60 million units in 2009 to 10.85 million units in 2010.

And, of this total, women's cleansers accounted for a 70.8% market share--while in value terms it was women's creams and gels, which took top billing with a 74.3% share.

Looking Rosier

The UK facial skin care market proved it could battle even the worst of recessions by continuing to show impressive growth. Women in the UK may have turned away from other cosmetics and toiletries sectors, but loyalty is strong with the skin care category. The market worth, according to Kan-tar Worldpanel, is now valued at $1.2 billion, a 4.5% growth from 2009 while volume sales also put on 4% to 210.84 million units. The overall market rose 7.7%, with sales of anti-aging products increasing 3.7%. But it was facial moisturizers that demonstrated the most recession-defying results, jumping by an impressive 19.5%.

When it came to new products launched in the UK, consumers there were happy to lap up the variety of new skin care products on offer. Drawing on the popularity of plant stem cells in anti-aging skin care products, spa brand Elemis launched its new Pro-Intense Eye and Lip Contour Cream in 2010. The cream, part of a new skin care segment for the brand, contains active plant stem cells from Edelweiss, which is said to protect the shape of skin cells, tighten the collagen network and hydrate skin throughout the day. The result is firmer, plumper skin with a visible reduction in lines and wrinkles, according to the company.

While it was definitely a mixed bag for the European facial skin care market, the main thing to guard against would appear to be apathy. This sector is normally one of the mainstays of the whole cosmetics and toiletries market, along with fragrance and color cosmetics, so when some results stayed static it does cause concern.

Manufacturers need to up their game in order to hold consumer interest, otherwise there is a danger of sales falling by the wayside.


Katie Middleweek

Editor, European Cosmetic Markets

European Cosmetic Markets is published monthly by HPCi Media Limited. It provides in-depth data and analysis of the European cosmetics and toiletries market. For subscription details contact HPCi Media Limited.

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Title Annotation:EuroTrends
Author:Middleweek, Katie
Publication:Household & Personal Products Industry
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Feb 1, 2011
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