The skincare sector has been considered the cornerstone of beauty and personal care for the past 15 years, according to Euromonitor — it even grew during the global recession. This sector is forecasted to reach $16.3 billion by 2016. Facial skincare is the sweet spot, set to account for 86% of this growth spurt, while other categories are relatively small in comparison.

But new ingredients, advanced technology and delivery systems are not the only parts of the skincare equation worthy of attention. Nicole Tyrimou, Analyst in Beauty and Personal Care for Euromonitor, says, ‘Consumers are now more willing to pay for convenience, with ‘experience’ also becoming increasingly important in the value equation. Thus, more and more companies are focusing on how consumers experience their brands and services’ 1.

Multi-tasking products

Demonstrated by the explosion of BB and CC creams, consumers are seeking innovative products that provide multifunctional benefits. All-in-one skincare solutions rank high with beauty buyers who are eager to save time and money. Brands are jumping on the BB cream bandwagon and creating one-size-fits-all and multi-purpose products. BB creams (i.e. blemish balms or beauty balms) originally hailed from Korea, and have given rise to BB concealers, lip glosses and other line extensions. Now CC creams (colour correctors or colour control) are considered the next generation of BB creams, and this category is topping the list for one of the big trends for 2013.

Formerly referred to as ‘kitchen sink’ products, we are seeing more multi-taskers on the market that do more than just moisturise or exfoliate. Women no longer have the time to layer on a dozen products to get ready every morning; they want formulations that perform well and do double or triple duty. The biggest benefits eagerly sought after are SPF, hydration, oil control, brightening, anti-redness and anti-wrinkle. And this trend doesn’t stop at skincare. Foundation with broad spectrum SPF 30, concealers that brighten dark circles, lip glosses that hydrate, repair and plump, hair conditioners with UV filters that prolong colour, and more are making their way into premium and drugstore brands.

These anti-ageing all-in-one products with a twist are also perceived as providing better value for money, which speaks to the frugal consumer who may not be able to afford quarterly visits to a skincare clinic for chemical peels or microdermabrasions.

A natural consequence of this trend, however, is the blurring of lines between categories as skincare benefits are being incorporated into other categories, such as cosmetics, body care, and hand and nail care.

Innovation rates high

As competition intensifies among skincare marketers, new ingredients and technologies have the capability to establish unique selling points. For example, one of the biggest trends in skincare is the addition of plant stem cells and growth factors, signalling peptides and retinols. Premium anti-ageing ranges, as well as professional skincare lines, have benefited from the incorporation of cell stimulators to add value and justify higher prices.

Launches of specialised serums and topical creams targeting specific skincare issues are also on the rise. For example, DNA repair serums are turning up as a way to reverse photodamage.

Is there a doctor in the house?

[pull_quote align=”right” ]Formerly referred to as ‘kitchen sink’ products, we are seeing more multi-taskers on the market that do more than just moisturise or exfoliate.[/pull_quote]

Consumers are more empowered today to take their beauty regimens in their own hands. They want to look after themselves, and due to job uncertainty and hectic schedules, they are happy to prolong the time in between clinic visits when they can. The growing arsenal of anti-ageing and skin perfecting home-care devices has made this possible. We are continuing to see more clinical treatments that mimic what can be achieved at the dermatologist’s office, and they are getting better and better; for example, peel kits, microdermabrasion devices that have suction to clear out pores, hyaluronic acid patches, light treatments for acne, hair growth, hair removal, teeth whitening and more beauty tools under development.

The next crop of home-care devices will be able to resurface the skin so that consumers can help maintain their results after in-office laser and light-based procedures. According to Dermatologist Brian Biesman in Nashville, TN, ‘We will soon have home-use devices that will be able to work at energies that are typical of office-based devices, but that will not be able to give as intense a treatment. We don’t know what else we can do with these systems yet, but using them in combination with topical agents looks very promising.’