SPF-containing products may lose popularity in the US

By Katie Nichol

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Ultraviolet, Sunscreen

Although Asia should remain a strong market for the growing number of cosmetic and skincare products with an SPF claim that are being launched, their future popularity in the US may be less certain.

According to Nica Lewis, director of Beauty Innovation at Mintel, in the Asian market, consumer demand for products that offer UV protection (outside of sun protection ranges) is strongly linked to the trend for skin lightening products.

As the Asian skin-lightening market is well-established and continues to grow, the market for products with an SPF claim is also likely to remain strong.

Backlash in US?

Despite the market for SPF-containing products in the US also appearing strong, (according to Mintel there were 1577 launches of such products in the combined haircare, skincare and colour-cosmetics categories in 2009) Lewis said she believed there to be the possibility of a movement away from SPF-containing products.

“I think that in the US, there is a growing movement and perhaps even the beginnings of a backlash against SPF”, ​she told CosmeticsDesign-Europe, adding that this is occurring as a result of some medical professionals warning against a vitamin D deficiency due to consumers using too much sun protection.

Products with an SPF claim form part of the Pro-tech’t trend for products that defend skin and hair from UV rays, which Mintel predicted to be one of the four major trends in the prestige beauty market for 2010.

“With the pro-tech’t trend, there is a desire to protect yourself, but we have to question whether that protection is so strong it is keeping the goodness out,” ​Lewis said.

She added that although the increased product launches and statistics recorded by Mintel in 2009 indicated robust sales in the US, it is unclear as to whether consumers are buying products because they contain an SPF, or because of their other benefits.

Colour-cosmetics embrace SPF claim

According to Mintel global statistics, product categories claiming SPF and UV protection that saw the most growth between 2007-2009 were those in the colour-cosmetics category.

In 2009 alone, there were 3733 product launches of colour-cosmetics containing an SPF, and Lewis said that the category with the biggest number of product launches was lip care, followed by foundation.

Although there were more foundation than lip care launches, the percentage increase in lip care with these claims was greater, Lewis said.

However, the number of launches for lip colour products with SPF claims was down, suggesting that companies are putting more emphasis on lip care rather than colour, she added.

Lewis also identified that a category in which the SPF claim is being increasingly used is that of mineral powder foundation due to the presence of titanium and zinc oxide. Also occurring in bronzers, this increase is in part being driven by the growth in the mineral make-up trend, she noted.

Related topics: Market Trends

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