SPF+: Anti-aging, anti-pollution and green formulations rising in sun protection

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

Worldwide sun protection product sales amounted to €11.6bn last year and will rise 5% this year alone - photo: Getty Images
Worldwide sun protection product sales amounted to €11.6bn last year and will rise 5% this year alone - photo: Getty Images

Related tags: Sun protection, Sunscreen, UV protection, Sun care products, Anti-aging skin care, Anti-pollution skin care, Green marketing, Spf, Packaging, Sun care

The global sun protection market will surge 7% CAGR over the next ten years and continue branching out beyond UV into multiple protective attributes to fulfil consumer demands.

Last year, 1 billion units of sun protection products were sold worldwide, generating revenues of around €11.6bn, according to market research firm Fact.MR. In its recently published report on sun protection products, it said sales would rise an estimated 5% this year and by 2029 grow at a CAGR of 7%, fuelled by “rampant growth”​ in the rate of urbanisation.

Currently, high-to-moderate SPF sun care products made up around 75% of overall sales in volume terms, with growing popularity of SPF ranging from 30 to 70.

Beautiful beyond UV protection

As the market continued to grow, Fact.MR said there would continue to be a shift in the type of product offerings on the market.

“While protection remains at the heart of preferences, of both consumers and market players, it is highly likely that the sun protection products market will continue to witness innovations that revolve around the multiple facets of protective attributes of sun care products,”​ the research firm said.

The “traditional approach”​ of sun protection had already witnessed extensions beyond UV protection, sunburn prevention and skin cancer, it said, towards products that delivered anti-pollution and anti-aging effects through novel formulations. 

“The demand for sun protection products with additional benefits, such as dark spots reduction, anti-aging, and anti-blemish is expected to rise in the future.”

From a consumer standpoint, this was being driven by a rise in wellness and beauty products and increasing desire to look attractive and younger, Fact.MR said. Industry would therefore likely “direct a sizably large portion” ​of R&D investment towards fulfilling these needs – something already being seen in Western Europe. 

Green formulations and smart packaging will also be important for growth - Getty Images
Green formulations and smart packaging will also be important for growth - Getty Images

A greener glow?

There was also a “growing popularity”​ in green labelled sun care products among consumers, the research firm said.

“Considering numerous offerings and various forms of sun protection product, it’s true that the market is highly competitive, and manufacturers are focused on developing natural and organic sun protection products to attract existing and untapped consumer bases.”

Demand for sun protection products made using raspberry seed oil, wheat germ oil, hazelnut oil and carrot seed oil, for example, were rising.

However, use of natural ingredients in sun protection was “reaching the peak of its popularity”, ​Fact.MR said, and region-specific regulatory frameworks on UV filters limited use of certain ingredients.

Regulations remained the “longstanding challenge for manufacturers looking to introduce flexible product ranges, targeting untapped regional markets,”​ it said.

Packing a diverse punch

Innovation around packaging would therefore also be important for sun protection firms looking to secure solid growth in the future, Fact.MR said.

Demands for compact packaging were growing and worth targeting, for example, along with prominent, attractive or regionally-designed packaging. Stick packaging was also trending among millennials.

Targeting “an expanding male consumer pool” ​would also be worthwhile, Fact.MR said, as well as other demographics beyond the female consumer - sun protection’s largest shopper globally.

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