Under the skin

10 September 2018

The global skincare market was valued at $116 billion in 2017, with a compound annual growth rate of 4.6% for 2017–22. This vast and healthy industry is undergoing a wealth of change, in terms of the social movements inspired by young people and the urgent need for environmental action. These are combining to create varied opportunities for cosmetics packaging, encompassing innovative formats and materials to best present the new product ranges. Here, GlobalData looks at the regional markets and some of the major factors influencing cosmetics.

Across all regions, Asia-Pacific sits firmly atop the cosmetics packaging market, reaching $66.7 billion in value last year – three times that of the second-largest position. And while other regions are expected to see only moderate growth over the next few years, Asia-Pacific is forecast to reach $90.9 billion by 2022. This represents a predicted volume increase of 1.8 billion units, and huge cosmetics packaging opportunities.

In contrast, although Eastern Europe holds a relatively small portion of the market, it has the second-highest value growth rate, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.6% for 2017–22. This is partly due to the expectation that its biggest market country, Russia, is likely to recover economic stability, which will result in an influx of consumer spending. After registering a negative growth rate up to 2017, Russia is now expected to regain strength, supported by double demand for value products amongst the general population and luxury goods for the country’s significant millionaire population.

In terms of countries, China appears to offer the greatest prospects in cosmetics products and packaging, being the biggest market for skincare and make-up combined in 2016, with a value of $34.3 billion and a CAGR of 7.1% for 2016–21, which promises steady, consistent development. However, it is only the third-fastest growing country. India tops the chart in terms of growth rate by value with a huge CAGR of 10.6% for the same period, followed by Brazil (8.2%) and Russia (7.0%).



Looking at the sectors, as ever, facial skincare is significantly outstripping all others, being the largest by value ($94.5 million) and volume (12 million units) in 2017.Iit is also the fastest growing segment in skincare, with an estimated CAGR of 4.8% for 2016–21. However, when considering the global outlook for cosmetics, nail make-up has a higher growth rate of 5.5% for the same period. This may be due to the popularity of nail art on social media, the ability to use any product irrespective of skin tone or complexion and the emergence of products suitable for a new consumer base, such as water-permeable formulas that can be worn by Muslims. Broadly, Asia-Pacific and Eastern Europe are expected to record a significant increase in the skincare sector, while the Middle East, Africa, the Americas and Western Europe will record a rise in make-up.

With facial skincare topping the sales, it’s no surprise that rigid plastic is the most popular material in the global skincare packaging market, taking an enormous 50.5% of the share, and it’s expected to keep growing at 4.2% through to 2022. Because of this, sustainability and lowering production costs are the top concerns for manufacturers. Flexible packaging is a long way behind at 35.5%, but a CAGR of 3.4% shows it is gaining strength. [image OGSC page 118]

Skincare packaging formats remain dominated by bottles and tubes (38.4 and 31.2%, respectively), with all other formats combining to make up just over a quarter of the share. Looking ahead, the most popular pack type in 2022 is predicted to be specially made containers, which are forecast to overtake the humble bottle by a massive 5.6 billion units.

The current popularity of bottle packaging explains why closures are led by screw tops (38.4%) and flip or snap tops (34.9%), which are expected to grow at the same rate as bottles. And while the vast majority of skincare products have no secondary packaging (71.7%), folding cartons remain the preferred choice of those that do (27.7%).

Europe will lead innovation in packaging materials over the next five years, according to a survey of global executives in the packaging industry. As biodegradable materials are a top concern for consumers, the biggest opportunities are thought to be in bioderived and microfibrillated cellulose. It is believed that companies are willing to pay a 2–5% premium – and that benefits can be gained in learning how to harvest more materials from recycled goods.




Market motivations


For many regions, rising employment rates and large numbers of women entering the workforce means a higher level of disposable income. Women still lead the sales of cosmetics, but this gap is narrowing. And today, people of all ages identify as image-conscious and are seeking out new cosmetics.

Modern consumers actively read labels, paying attention to ingredients and shunning chemical names. Clean labelling, now widespread in the food and drinks market, will be useful for cosmetics by way of using simplified ingredient names. For instance, tocophero sounds impressive and medical, but the more familiar name of vitamin E sounds natural and non-toxic. And the rising use of out-of-home application is increasing the popularity of single-use blister packs, sachets and dosing formats in the skincare sector. Manufacturers are also focusing on the wider use of spray-on and roll-on applicators for effective coverage and maximum convenience.

Additionally, consumer desire to reduce household waste from packaging will spur manufacturers to focus on sustainable offerings, such as recycled materials and paperboard, as well as biodegradable plastics to reduce the amount going to landfill. Although the ethical trend is enduring, only half of consumers are influenced by environmental and social responsibility, according to the 2016 Q3 global survey. [image from TTSC page 11]

Instead, the top motivator was for products that match the individual’s well-being and holistic lifestyles (69%), while the drive for personalised products and efficacy tied at 68%. So in addition to packaging reduction, recycled or recyclable materials, and natural credentials, there is a need for labelling that informs consumers how products are suitable for specific needs and not a one-size-fits-all solution. For instance, consumers are becoming more interested in age management rather than anti-ageing, and concerns over the impact of pollution on appearance have overtaken that of sun exposure, indicating an opportunity to target city dwellers seeking all-natural skin protection ingredients in small, convenient packs. [image from TTSC page 16 on pollution versus sun exposure]


Health and fitness is a primary concern for younger demographics, and the sportswear market is predicted to grow by a massive 20.4% over the next four years, fuelling enthusiasm for tailored on-the-go products. As more consumers are attracted to products that fit their lifestyle (66%) rather than their gender (63%) or age (55%), it is evident that there is a demand for portable personal care and cosmetics in handy, simple formats. New products focused on prolonged hydration that won’t melt in the heat will be popular, as will multifunctional offerings, such as moisturising or antibacterial applications that also warm or cool muscles. Athleisure is being embraced by all demographics, not only image-conscious men, or men who frequently go to the gym. It also appeals to older people, who are not yet purchasing but are interested in the concept. As such, packaging should be designed for maximum inclusivity and accessibility. It should highlight product functionality over gender and age to entice those who are not yet consumers. [image from TTSC page 15]

Social media is dramatically changing how brands interact with consumers, and although it has incredible potential for connecting to people, it can also make it near impossible to escape criticism. Almost half of global consumers say they buy brands that represent their values, but they’re also willing to boycott those that don’t. This is especially prevalent in the Middle East and Africa, where 63% of consumers are prepared to protest, along with 47% of all millennials. This indicates that young people in the Middle East and African regions are extremely passionate about social values and have a significant influence. Here, packaging should be designed with this consideration in mind, while garnering trust by promoting culturally aligned values and heritage. [image from TTSC page 45]




The active-life style


Athleisure combines serious gym gear and general comfort, so specific training clothing is being overtaken by attractive and functional sportswear that can be worn throughout the day. The trend is apparent in Europe and North America, influenced by social media stars such as the Kardashian family, and the rise of luxury gyms with on-site restaurants and nightclub-style fitness classes. Working out has become a social occasion, so it’s important to look good while doing it. This calls for new make-up and skincare products with high demands: sweat-proof, humidity-proof, anti-pollution and providing sun block. As such, modern consumers need multifunctional products in robust, convenient packs that can be carried throughout the day without damage or spillages occurring. It’s also prompting a rise in the use of dosing packaging across many sectors. [image on TTSC pages 5, 7 and 48 ]

The health and well-being trend is as powerful as ever, with 90% of global consumers saying that eating healthy foods creates a sense of well-being. As of 2017, Latin America is the largest region (80%) interested in natural skincare and make-up products. The top ingredients thought to be effective are green tea (68%), fruit extracts (63%) and vegetable extracts (63%), as well as fermented foods and probiotics. Therefore, for consumers in Latin America, North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, products using food-derived ingredients will tap into two major drivers: aligning healthy lifestyles with healthy products, and the desire for feel-good ethical purchases. Cosmetics and skincare can use pre and post-consumer food waste to imbue products with vitamins, minerals and other ingredients, while combating excessive food waste. Emphasising this through clean and clear packaging and labelling will be a major point of difference, and the addition of use-by dates and instructions to refrigerate cosmetics will reinforce the freshness of the ingredients and their efficacy.

Nearly two thirds (63%) of global consumers are interested in products that make the fresh or raw claim, and 3% look for vegan options (North America is claimed to be around 10%), so raw foods will support these desires.

Inner health for outer beauty is an aspiration for consumers across all regions, as more than half (56%) of global consumers say they use beauty and grooming products to gain a healthy appearance, rather than to hide imperfections. And while many are convinced of the benefits of eating complexion-enhancing foods, others aim to achieve a healthy glow by using specialised cosmetics. Dullness is emerging as the latest no-go skin concern, with 19% of global consumers actively concerned and buying products that address this. Trends such as ‘glass skin’ in South Korea have given rise to greater interest in gels, oils and glosses that provide high levels of hydration and reflective shine, as well as layered products such as toners, which can be used around seven times to purify and not damage skin. Packaging that claims to provide vitality from within to match this level of purity – in appearance and ingredients – will win out. So too will buildable make-up products, such as those containing non-colour shimmer pigments to replicate a natural glow.

Attitudes towards gender and racial visibility are having a dramatic impact on cosmetics markets, particularly driven by younger consumers. While some countries are still capitalising on men only and pink products, almost all regions are experiencing a demand for inclusive cosmetics and skincare to some degree. This has two streams: firstly, the colour range of make-up products (foundations, powders, etc.) has always been lacking, prompting several new brands to emerge that promote racially diverse make-up, such as Rihanna’s Fenty. Secondly, with increased visibility of nonnormative lifestyles, larger numbers of men are buying make-up, which opens a previously untapped market; there are already several brands targeted at male or non-gender make-up lines, like Jecca and Sleek. To fully embrace these social movements, cosmetics packaging should shift towards non-gendered, neutral styles and colours, using inclusive language on labelling, and models that represent a wide range of ethnicities, ages and gender identities. [page 48 TTSC – male grooming ]





Hygiene on the go



Kruidvat Solait Facial Treatment Serum delivers intense moisturisation and cooling for sun-parched skin. The cardboard box contains seven 2ml glass ampoules of serum, giving a premium feel to this private-label brand. The convenient minis can be used at any time for instant relief. 

Little Dome Hollywood Star toothpaste comes in a rigid plastic ball with pump dispenser. It is visually striking compared to the usual tubes, there is no screw cap to lose, and the pump ensures it is mess-free and dispenses the correct amount.

Schick Hydro silk refill razor blades are offered in a multipack unit with a hook for hanging in the bathroom. Rather than a rigid plastic compartment box, the perforated container means individual blades can be torn off for use on the go, and the heat-sealed, flexible film cover protects the razors’ moisturising strips.

Waterless Gillette Venus is a premium disposable razor sold in single packs. There is a lubricating soft gel built into the squeezy bottle handle, which is dispensed onto the skin via a sponge pad. The small, handy pack is made of firm plastic casing with a board backing card for total visibility.

The new cream from Pacific Shaving is unusual as it comes in a resealable, flexible pouch. Each pouch holds 40 water-soluble mini pods, more typically used in laundry detergents, to control dosing, save the mess of foams and oils, and to allow for small amounts to be carried around with no canister or bottle needed.

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores is an example of creative primary and secondary packaging working together. The outer packaging is a cardboard box with an image of the standard tube at the front and cutout holes at the back. Inside, there is a blister pack of four tear-off pods, each with 5ml of the face mask, which protrude out of the holes. Showing off the pods adds intrigue for the shopper, and the blister pack, with its sealed tear-off plastic film, keeps the product fresh. It saves waste and can be kept in the fridge for a cooling effect.



Ethical beauty



Physicians Formula Charcoal Detox Cleansing Stick is a strong example of ethical well-being trends. The rigid-plastic twist-up tube holds the stick of product, much like a traditional deodorant stick, which is  unusual for a cleanser. It contains charcoal – a key active ingredient for natural skincare – and is claimed to be vegan. Also, the solid format means it contains less water. The twist-up packaging is simple, aligning with the eco-natural claims of the brand.

L’Oreal Botanicals Fresh Care haircare products use botanical ingredients and clearly signify this on the front of the packaging label in order to target the health and well-being market. To complement the formula, the bottles are made from 100% PET recycled and recyclable rigid plastic.

Yves Rocher I Love My Planet shower gel is concentrated to lower the amount of water used in the product. The label states that you will get 40 washes from the bottle, and there is a dosing valve in the lid to ensure this. The smaller size means plastic is reduced, to match its buyer’s lifestyle choices.

Milk Make-up Toner and Serums tick many eco boxes, as they are vegan, cruelty free and talc-free. They are supplied in solid blocks to reduce water content and packaging. This negates the need to apply them using cotton wool pads or balls. The clear, rigid plastic ‘push-pop’ tube is attractive and the screw cap is convenient. The serums can be applied throughout the day to clear skin and reduce shine. Emphasising the ingredients such as matcha, watermelon and sprout associates them with recognisable health foods and natural remedies.

La Prairie Line Interception Power Duo comes in an attractive premium bottle that has two compartments, for day and night cream. Each has a separate press button to pump either serum as required. This gives control and value, and saves space and materials for two products.

SunBrush Mineral 50+ SPF is a powered sun protection product. The coloured-mica mineral powder is held in a plastic tube with a built-in brush, with holes for the powder to be delivered to the brush for application. It combines high levels of protection from the sun and pollution, and provides light make-up coverage, as well as being water resistant and biodegradable. It conveniently offers a new method of sun protection and combines several products into one package.

Zao Essence of Nature Matt Eyeshadow makes a striking difference in cosmetics. The luxury-look product is vegan, organic and natural. The hinged compact case is made of bamboo cane for an earthy aesthetic and premium feel, and the halves are held together with two magnets. The eye shadow tray is also held in place with a magnet, making it easier to pop it out and refill the compact. Instead of a plastic case, it comes in a cotton bag with a ribbon drawstring. 





Inclusive beauty



Sleek Lifeproof Foundation is packaged in a standard plastic squeezy tube with a twist off lid at the base. Its design is simple, and the product is visible through the transparent section – the neutral black, white and grey colours of the tube remove any suggestion of gender. This marries with the brand’s campaign against gender bias – offering the same product to all people and not labelling it as ‘for men’ or using pink tones for women.

Making the current trend of facial tissue masks applicable to men has been achieved subtly, highlighting the use of soothing botanicals for shaven skin, and the M Skin Care Men’s Facial Sheet Mask Post-Shave Cooling does just that. The pastel blue hue with stark typography doesn’t appear to be aggressively ‘for men’ but is delicate and calming to match the product.

Preserve Triple Razors are reusable handles with two blade cartridges in a carry case. The key aspect being that the razor handle itself is rigid plastic from recycled yogurt pots, while the PET, rigid display clam case is made from 100% post-consumer waste. The paper information leaflet encourages recycling and is printed with soy inks. It is branded for men and women, which is rare in this sector, and is BPA-free and not tested on animals.

Jecca Correct and Conceal Palette is unisex and comes in an elegant, neutral design. The pack is intended for use by transgender individuals, but uses sleek, simple colours and designs in its packaging to help it appeal to any person wanting to wear concealer as part of their daily make-up routine or to cover blemishes.




Pampering products



Miss Spa Himalayan Salt Exfoliating Scrub comes in a 35ml flexible pouch with a screw cap. In contrast to the standard tube, this pack is lighter, making it better for transport and distribution, and stands out on the shelf. The Himalayan salt is familiar as a pale pink ingredient among foodies and is popular with health-food and gym enthusiasts due to its restorative properties. The clean packaging design conveys the natural aspects of the product, emphasising pharmaceutical well-being over dynamic style.

Patchology Flashpatch Hydrating Lip Gels are a new mask product specifically for lips. Face and body mask products are often drying and not suitable for lips. This is unique, being a moisturising gel to apply for five minutes, instead of a lip balm in a stick or pot. It has green tea extracts as antioxidants to revitalise lip skin and appeals to consumers desiring lip soothing, smoothing and plumping. The product comes in a single-dose sachet with notches to indicate where you can tear off the top to open.  

The CliniqueFIT range covers skincare and beauty cosmetics specially made for use when working out. The products are available in clean, fresh-looking packaging and include humidity-proof foundation and sweat-proof mascara. Elf Cosmetics has a similar range offering multiproduct palettes, combining eyebrow and mascara wands, as well as cheek and lip palettes to minimise the number of products being carried.

Romy Paris Detox Poetry Fresh Cleanse is a skincare ‘treatment’ to detoxify skin following lifestyle excesses. The carton is designed to look like a medical prescription box, effecting efficacy, and contains ten plastic pods with a foil-seal film. These pods protect the 94% natural ingredients and are to be kept refrigerated and used within 10 days. This reinforces the natural and nutraceutical aspects of the product.

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