Increasing Intensity: Sun Care as the Next Beauty Growth Engine*


*Adapted from Global Cosmetic Industry.

According to a recent report from NPD, consumers are seeking skin care and makeup with more intense sun protection. Indeed, sales of prestige skin care and makeup products with SPF protection reached $1.4 billion in May 2016—an expansion of 7% over the last two years.1

While SPF 15 represents the largest SPF segment in skin care and makeup, its growth is beginning to give way to gains in levels of SPF 30 or higher. In fact, higher SPF levels are growing at twice the rate of other levels.

Sales of skin care touting SPF 40-50 grew by more than $36 million, according to NPD. Makeup sales in the same range doubled sales during that time, totaling $14 million. This analysis noted the growth opportunity extends into facial moisturizers and foundation.

Meanwhile, sales of self-tanners have returned to growth among consumers seeking UV-free glows. This segment posted a 7% increase from June 2015–May 2016.

“Sun care looks to be the next beauty growth area to emerge, as consumers move from a singular focus on correction to a broader focus on care,” wrote Karen Grant, global beauty industry analyst for The NPD Group.

“From what they eat to what they put on their bodies, consumers are becoming more focused and well-versed in health and wellness. Consumers today are more proactive and less reactive when it comes to managing their well-being. This attitude also translates to the beauty consumer, whose emphasis weighs less on fixing an issue, and more on preventing one from happening in the first place.

She adds, “For more than a decade, all the news in skin care was about serums and technology but today the focus has shifted to cleaner, simpler and lighter products. The growth in products with higher SPF ties into today’s mindset and is connected to other emerging care formats including oil, water, milk and clay.”

Projections from Research and Markets concur with this assessment, anticipating the global sun care product market to grow at a CAGR of 6.12% between 2013 and 2018.2 Technavio, on the other hand, is more conservative, placing growth at around 4% between 2016 and 2020.3

According to Technavio, exposure to harmful UV radiation is the main driver behind growth, aided and abetted by excessive pollution and deforestation, which are slowly depleting the ozone layer and will eventually lead to more intense UV exposure.

Top R&D Trends in Sun

Technavio also highlighted4 three emerging trends in the development of global sun care:

  1. Advanced sunscreen technologies,
  2. Greater demand for private label brands, and
  3. More nanotechnology in product development.

The firm expects the growing popularity of multifunctional SPF products to continue as well.

"BB creams act as moisturizers, serums, foundation for makeup and sunblock, and are gaining popularity because of the convenience they offer," said Brijesh Kumar Choubey, Technavio’s cosmetics research analyst, in the report. "[We] predict a higher demand for such multifunctional products in North American and Western Europe."

Notably, vendors also are using claims such as "dermatologically tested" or "antioxidants present" to enhance label appeal, as well as launching products in convenient formats such as foams and sprays.


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