France is the biggest spender on facial skin care in Europe, with French women spending €2.2bn on such products in 2009, according to market research company Mintel.
In the five key European markets of France, Spain, Germany, the UK and Italy, the facial skin care market reached €6.1bn in 2009 compared to €6bn in 2008, and is expected to hit €6.5bn by 2013.
“Overall, the need to respond to a growing number of European women seeking to target signs of ageing has been at the heart of European product innovation, and retail figures prove that it has been worth the investment,” said Nica Lewis, head consultant at Mintel Beauty Innovation..
Power of pharmacy distribution channel in France
Some 62% of French women claim to use anti-wrinkle products, compared to 49% of women in Germany, and 77% regularly use a facial cream or lotion, with skin care playing an important part in mass retail, perfumery and department store distribution channels.
Lewis told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com that widespread acceptance of the need for regular visits to a dermatologist in France, and the fact that many of these visits are funded by the French government, also helps to create an educated female consumer base when it comes to skin care.
“The category is helped by the extensive network of independent and chain pharmacies across the country [that] derive a considerable proportion of their revenues from pharmacy skin care brands, which carry an image of expertise backed by the advice of the pharmacy staff,” she said.
Emphasis on glycation in 2010
According to Lewis, while 2009 saw a renaissance for hyaluronic acid and hydration linked to anti-ageing, 2010 is witnessing an emphasis on collagen-boosting actives, collagen in skin care and anti-glycation claims.
“In 2010, glycation is one of the most-discussed topics in blogs, online forums and magazines in Japan,” she said. “Some of the first natural and organic brands are mentioning the claim in France and it is also starting to emerge in new sun care and hair care products in the US and Japan.”
Recent product launches featuring anti-glycation claims include Dr Weil for Origins Mega Mushroom Skin Relief serum which contains Mangifera leaf extract (mango), and Dermal Renu’s Sunshield Daily Wear Sunscreen, a mineral-based sunscreen containing anti-glycation agents such as carnosine, green tea and pueraria mirifica extracts.