The rise of hyaluronic acid and cheaper supplies from China means that the anti-aging protein is now starting to be incorporated into a wider range of skin care products.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a mucopolysacharide that exists naturally in all living organisms. In humans it is found in larger concentrations in the articular joints, eye fluid and, most abundantly, in the skin. As the protein can hold up to 1000 times its own weigh in water it is known to play a vital part in the ageing process once levels are depleted in the skin. Maintaining levels of HA, whether it be through supplements, topical applications or injections, is said to reduce wrinkles caused by dehydration and general ageing.
Estee Lauder has been the first to launch a mass market version of the treatment, which first featured as a rather expensive injection filler treatment in the US and was approved by the FDA in early 2004. Since then production of HA has expanded significantly and now, with supplies of cheaper HA coming on line from China, the potential for the ingredient is expanding significantly.
The Perfectionist line first hit retail shelves in 2004, but priced at around $80 for the CP+ product, it certainly is not accessible to all consumers. However, cheaper supplies of HA have led to a growing number of more accessible products.
A look at Mintel's GNPD shows that three quite different anti-aging products containing HA have been launched on a worldwide basis recently, all of which area priced to be more accessible to consumers.
The first is from Japanese company Orbit, which is launching Super Essence Emulsion under the Kesho Wakusi brand. Priced at $11.60, this is a moisturizing skin care emulsion containing HA as well as extracts of mugwort and yuzo, vitamin E and lavender oil.
Smoothing Comfort Cream by Nina Ricci has been launched on to the French market, one of the world's leading for high-end skin care products. HA is said to help add moisturizing properties to the cream, which has been designed for very dry skins.
Priced at $48.46 for a 50 ml jar, this product is definitely aimed at the premium end of the market, but it is significantly cheaper than the Perfectionist line and it does contain a host of other important ingredients, such as oat kernel, cotton seed oil, avocado oil and lactic acid.
At the other end of the market, Avon has recently expanded its Avon Solutions skin care line in a host of European and US markets to include a facial skin care products that include HA in the ingredients.
Priced at under $10, the range includes an Alcohol-Free Toner for Dry Skin, Hydrofirming Bio6 Night Cream for Dry Skin and Clean Cream Cold Cream Cleanser for Dry Skin.
It again relies on HA to bring relief to extra dry skins, with the Bio 6 Night Cream promising to increasing skin hydration and firmness significantly. It also claims to retain moisture in the skin for up to eight hours after treatment.
This range of products is from a selection contained on Mintel's Global New Products Database .