L’Oréal CEO: Daily UV protection to be 'one of the important growth drivers in the future’

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

L'Oréal is heavily invested in advancing UV protection offerings, including for consumers with dark skin phototypes [Getty Images]
L'Oréal is heavily invested in advancing UV protection offerings, including for consumers with dark skin phototypes [Getty Images]

Related tags L'oréal Sun care UV protection Uv rays Uva protection Uvb COVID-19 Skin care Skin health Consumer trends

Daily-use products with UV protection will be a key driver of global beauty growth in years to come, as changes to the weather and consumer knowledge push it into a very real daily need space, says the CEO of L’Oréal.

Earlier this year, the beauty major unveiled its UVMune 400 filtration technology​, designed to protect all skin types and phototypes against ultra-long UVA rays known to penetrate the epidermis. The result of ten years of research, the technology had since been rolled out across several of its La Roche-Posay sun care formulations.

Speaking to analysts during L’Oréal’s third quarter (Q3) 2022 earnings​ call last week, where sun care sales were up 30% for the group, Nicolas Hieronimus, CEO of L’Oréal, said whilst seasonal sun care had been strong, the daily UV protection segment was rising fast.

The rise of daily-use UV protection

“When you think about sun care, you probably think about, you know, the creams you put on [at] the beach. But the reality is that the biggest part of the market in UV protection is actually accounted for in facial skin care; it’s daily UV protection, which is, in reality, probably the most effective anti-ageing,” ​Hieronimus told analysts.

Whilst L’Oréal had reported a “fantastic season”​ for sun care products this year, it had also reported “very good sales” ​across its La Roche-Posay and Vichy daily-use protection products worldwide in Q3, and its L’Oréal Paris and Garnier daily-use protection products in Asia.

“These are really more and more used by consumers, of all ages, on top of their skin care routines, because this is what protects them from everyday more harmful UV rays that create spots on the skin,”​ he said.

Moving forward, the CEO said daily UV protection would continue to be an increasingly important segment in skin care, and L’Oréal’s science know-how would give the company a “strong edge” ​because it was a category “where technology is really making a difference”.

On top of L’Oréal’s recent UVMune 400 tech launch, the beauty major had also been busy with patent filings, the latest being an international patent for a high coverage tinted sunscreen for dark skin phototypes five and six​.

And Hieronimus made clear that L’Oréal would remain focused on daily UV protection for some time.

“…I’m predicting that this category of UV protection will be one of the important growth drivers in the future, because the weather out there is not going to get nicer for our skin and for our users,”​ he said.

And with “more and more skin pathologies”​ created by the environment or stress, including age spots from UV rays, he said daily UV protection would continue to hold an important place in the wider skin care.

Protective beauty opportunities

Earlier this year, Mintel said opportunities in the protective beauty space had shifted​, with multifunctional products now key to success, especially products that offered both beautifying and protective properties.

Anna Keller, senior beauty analyst at Mintel, told CosmeticsDesign-Europe: “Living through a pandemic has made consumers think more about overall wellbeing, and multifunctional products will gain more attention and support. At the same time, consumers expect more advanced skin care benefits from their products.”

And this demand for multifunctionals, Keller said, was closely linked to the broader ‘skinimalism’ trend where consumers were reducing beauty routines to meet shrinking budgets and environmental goals.

Global Data consumer analyst Carmen Bryan also acknowledged the rise of UV protection claims across a wider range of products and categories, including makeup and hair care.

“People actively want products that offer more – and protection against environmental factors is a big part of this,”​ Bryan said.

Last year, Mintel’s associate director of global beauty and personal care Andrew McDougall said the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had certainly carved out fresh opportunities in the protective beauty market​, including in the sun care market.

“An ongoing trend in this protection conversation is consumers looking for SPF in their skin care products. This is definitely something we saw five years ago or so, this idea of having skin care products with SPF, but we’re now beginning to see this is still the case,”​ McDougall said.

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