Everything under the Sun – Sun Care Trends 7/24/2015
With rising awareness about the dangers of sun damage, including skincare issues like premature aging, excessive wrinkles and links to deadly diseases like skin cancer, consumers are finally getting the message about the necessity of protecting themselves from too much sun exposure. Beauty and skincare brands are responding by including sun protection in all kinds of products, even those whose primary function was not originally sun care like lip balms and cosmetics with added SPF, and hair protectants like Aveda’s Sun Care Protective Hair Veil.
These multifunctional products are becoming staples within the beauty and personal care categories with many skincare products featuring SPF. Gender specific moisturizers as well as BB, CC, and DD creams, more frequently contain SPF, further reinforcing the importance of sun protection to consumers and driving them toward products that offer it. In fact, continued innovation around the current $1.2B sun care category will ultimately drive sales and growth.
With that in mind, category innovation is heating up in a variety of ways.
Gender Specific Sun Care
Consumer segmentation in sun care was shaken up by the recent launch of Banana Boat for Men Triple Defense Sunscreen Lotion -- the first time male consumers were specifically targeted in this category. The product offers a masculine scent in sleek black packaging while maintaining its primary function as a sun block.
Another area of innovation focus and growth is with children’s sun care. According to Sun Safety Alliance, on average, children get three times more exposure than adults. Parents are the first line of defense in helping to prevent sun damage, and considering that just one blister-inducing sunburn can double a child's lifetime risk of developing skin cancer, they take the job seriously.
Brands are finding inventive ways to help them use sunscreen more frequently, while also recruiting new consumers to the category. For example, New brand Pure Sun Defense, launched by actor Hugh Jackman, takes a cue from Band-Aid brand bandages by driving usage through licensed characters.
Another area of innovation addresses increasing consumer consumption of sunscreen rendered useless by a lack of knowledge about how often to apply it. Considering less than a quarter of sunscreen users actually reapply sunscreen as directed, products that remind them, such as sunscreen bands or sunscreen stickers that change colors in the sun, are welcome conveniences gaining in popularity. Neutrogena re-launched its sunscreen with new packaging and a new marketing message under the name Neutrogena Cloud screen. Launched in Singapore in 2014, the product formulation itself hasn’t changed, but it’s become more relevant by communicating the necessity of protecting the skin even on cloudy days.
While the majority of consumers think a natural tan looks better than a sunless tan, sunless tanning products and innovation have not slowed down. One such popular product is St Tropez’s In-Shower Gradual Tan. This product is applied by the user in the shower creating a most convenient and efficient way for consumers to tan without the sun damage. PHD Skincare’s Never Miss a Spot™ spray wand allows sunless tan users to apply product without the mess or hassle in hard-to-reach spots on the body.
Spotlight on Ingredients
While natural sunscreens are gaining momentum, especially among parents who are concerned about the ingredients that come in contact with their children’s skin, mainstream adult usage remains stalled as many of the active ingredients that physically block the sun’s rays can leave skin looking whitened.
Dry oil sunscreen sprays with essential oils such as tea tree oil or argan oil are also gaining in popularity as oils are added to various beauty and personal care categories such as skin care, hair care and cosmetics.
Sunny Skies Ahead -- Retailer Opportunities
As sun care products gain momentum across both national and private brands, private brands have the advantage as consumers see little to no quality difference between them but recognize the value of purchasing private brands. Some examples of private brand innovators include Shoppers Drug Mart’s Coconut Lime Scented Continuous SPF30 Spray found in their Life brand, providing a tropical fragrance for users while adding some fun into the functional product.
Domestic Retailers such as Wegmans and CVS and global retailers such as Boots have found so much success with their sun care program that it reserves a majority of prime real estate placement on-shelf for these products.
Innovation in the category will continue to grow in a variety of forms, including education, segmentation, delivery method, product enhancements, etc.