Up until now, peptides have been essentially used to provide firming and anti-wrinkle properties in anti-agers. However, they are now spreading beyond their core facial care market. Indeed, the sun care industry is thriving after regulatory modifications have led to ingredient innovation in sun protection, with Melanin Activating Peptides (MAPs) now gaining momentum in self-tanning thanks to their efficacy. However, ingredients manufacturers could increase their sales by promoting their use in multi-functional skin care products.
Self-tanning is a relatively small category. It accounts for only 5% of the global sun care market both in value and volume terms and is restricted to developed markets, with North America and Western Europe making up almost 80% of total sales. Unfortunately, its core geographical markets have been in decline for some years now.
To revive the category, manufacturers are choosing different paths, for example segmentation with regard to different body areas or needs such as sensitive or acne-prone skin, packaging innovations but also promising ingredients innovations.
Because of their properties in terms of stimulating the production of melanin, MAPs are finding a natural application in self-tanning. Although niche at the moment, we can expect a growing number of self-tanning products to include them in their formulations. Product manufacturers could capitalise on MAPs to improve the attractiveness of their products. Indeed, MAPs provide two major advantages. Firstly, they are supported by the health and wellness trend as they provide a natural looking tan and limit the effects of chronic UVA and UVB exposure. Secondly, a melanin boost is a great marketing claim as consumers are already familiar with the biological function of melanin.
Further opportunities in skin care
Self-tanning manufacturers are likely to be inspired by the cross-over with skin care initiated by sun protection manufacturers. In order to compete against other categories and brands, a common tactic for sun protection manufacturers has been to launch products which offer as many different functions as possible, from moisturising to anti-ageing benefits. Indeed, we have seen the use of sunscreens expand in a wide range of personal care products, with these multi-functional sun care products proving very popular.
Outside the core self-tanning category, skin care should offer the best future growth prospects for MAP ingredients. MAP manufacturers should then diversify their promotional efforts towards body care and facial moisturisers while targeting specific geographical markets.
Self-Tanning Consumption and Spending by Region in 2012
Source: Euromonitor International
MAPs are set to be successful in North America, Western Europe and Australasia where consumers value a year-round tan and therefore where self-tanning sales are already high. Developed countries are the only ones where consumers can afford to spend a large amount of money on beauty and personal care and self-tanning products in particular. And this point is important as peptides are expensive speciality ingredients.
As economies struggle, MAP and self-tanning product manufacturers will have to think outside the box to maximise their revenues. Seizing opportunities through associating themselves with skin care products should be the best way forward.