Anti-pollution has been a massive trend in the Asia Pacific region for some years now, but in Western markets it’s still a relatively new phenomenon. However, this is one of the first pieces of solid evidence that the trend is now starting to take a grip.
The UK is one of the fast-moving beauty and personal care markets in the world, so analysts and trend experts often watch this market for the first signs of new or emerging trends.
A market valued at £3.1 million
According to NPD, the market for anti-pollution women’s skin care in the UK is now firmly on the radar, with a current estimated value of £3.1 million.
Although this is a relatively small figure, if the category continues its current growth momentum it won’t stay that way for long.
Crunching the data down a little reveals that the fast-growing sub category is anti-pollution masks, which according to NPD saw a 112% increase in sales, compared to the same six months of the previous year, while anti-pollution moisturiser sales were up 62% for the same period.
But experts have also noted that the anti-pollution trend in the West is emerging as a quite different beast, when compared to the more established and larger market in Asia Pacific.
Protect and defend the skin
This is underlined by the fact that products that protect and defend the skin against anti-oxidants, while also containing SPFs are most popular, with terms such as ‘city skin’, ‘shield’ and ‘environment’, proving the most popular.
In Asia Pacific, particularly in the India and China markets, the more popular claims have focused on providing protection against industrial environmental pollution, reflected the huge problem faced by many city-dwelling residents where pollution levels have a direct impact on health.
“The trend for anti-pollution skincare emerged a couple of years ago and has made a significant impact in the prestige beauty market,” said June Jensen, Director, NPD UK Beauty
“At first, just a few brands launched targeted anti-pollution products, but now, as the market develops we are seeing more brands introducing products that are specifically designed to protect the skin from pollution.”
The importance of detoxification
The NPD research also notes that in addition to products bearing SPF claims, anti-pollution claims in the UK are also stressing qualities such as 'cleanse' and 'protect'.
In particular, face masks and cleansers are being marketed with these types of claims, while stressing the fact that cleansing the face thoroughly is an essential part of detoxifying the skin and ridding it of grime related to pollution.
Underlining this trend, NPD’s data shows that face cleansers grew by 7% during the same six months to an estimated value of £1.2m, while the value of face masks, although not necessarily always stressing anti-pollution, grew by 42% to reach £2.2 million during the period.