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Skin care remains the most important category in value terms within beauty and personal care, comprising 23% of global sales in 2010. Yet while sales are still largely concentrated in mature Western regions, growth is slowing slightly due to consumers in mature markets streamlining their skin care regimes and cutting back on non-essential purchases. As a result, diversification has become a key trend among skin care players. Therapeutic skin care brands are increasingly moving beyond their traditional market of consumers who have problem skin and are positioning themselves to compete against mainstream skin care brands. The reverse is also happening, as many ‘standard’ skin care manufacturers are also creating therapeutically-positioned ranges.
In 2010, Beiersdorf launched several new products, including Eucerin Daily Skin Balance Skin-Fortifying Body Lotion and Eucerin Hand Creme. The body lotion retails at US$9.99, whilst the hand cream retails at US$5.59 in the US. Eucerin is best known for treating very dry, problem skin; however the most recent innovations are aimed at all consumers, for everyday use. Eucerin has also recently been extended into the lucrative anti-agers market with the launch of the Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler range. The tactic of using the brand’s good name in medically-positioned skin care to appeal to a far wider consumer base has enabled Eucerin’s brand share to successfully grow in North America.
In a similar manner, Carma Laboratories, Inc began to offer skin care products for everyday use in 2010, with the launch of Carmex Healing Lotion. Carmex, a brand traditionally associated with the relief of very dry, chapped lips, also began to offer skin care products for more everyday use in 2010, with the launch of Carmex Healing lotion. The diversification into other areas of skin care should help Carmex’s sales and grow awareness of its brand among consumers. As with Eucerin, the Carmex brand already has a good name among consumers for healing dry lips, so consumers are likely to trust Carmex products in other areas of skin care.
In contrast, Unilever has tapped into the therapeutic skin care industry, with its most recent product launch under the Vaseline brand, a range of “highly therapeutic” body lotions, introduced in November 2010 and called Vaseline Intensive Rescue Repairing Moisture, Intensive Rescue Soothing Moisture and Intensive Rescue Clinical Therapy. Vaseline is strongest in general purpose body lotions, but, with these launches, it is deliberately directly competing against therapeutic skin care brands; it claims that its new lotions will deliver more moisture than Eucerin Plus Intensive Repair Lotion.
The Japanese skin care player has branched out into therapeutic skin care in its home market with a new brand called Ihada. The range is aimed at treating dry skin caused by inflammation, and the prime target consumer group is stated by Shiseido to be women in their 20s, 30s and 40s. The line is on sale at Japanese drugstores as of March 2011.
This latest launch is part of Shiseido’s strategy in Asia of branching out from ‘standard’ premium-priced skin care, which has been the area of skin care it has traditionally occupied. In 2010, Shiseido also launched Senka, a range of masstige-priced skin care products, and readjusted the pricing of its formerly premium-priced Clé de Peau Beauté to be more in line with those brands typically seen in the super-premium space.
These new launches are indicative of a trend for skin care companies to shift towards more general, all-encompassing products that will appeal to the widest possible number of consumers, as opposed to the considerably narrower market of those with sensitive or problem skin types. A diverse product portfolio is key for growth in a still uncertain and erratic market.