Placing the ‘ B’
Back in Beauty
Body care and brighteners are at the forefront
of 2008 ethnic skin care product rollouts
ETach ethnic skin product strives to shine out competition.
ODAY’S FACE OF BEAUTY comes in many colors—
from deep mahogany to pale alabaster skin.
With that, more and more personal care companies are focusing on the ethnic consumer, traditionally known as African-Americans in the
health and beauty care market but now including those of Latin, Middle Eastern and Asian
descent. Different levels of melanin in ethnic
skin often correlate with distinct issues pertinent to daily personal care, such as quenching dry, ashy
areas or fading pigmentation spots—making an innovative
Timothy Dowd, a senior analyst for market research firm
Packaged Facts, Rockville, MD, forecasts that ethnic skin
care sales would reach $257 million by 2012—an 8% rise
from the previously reported estimate in HAPPI last year.
This includes $198 million of basic skin care and $59 million in shaving products—as sold in mass, prestige, beauty
and barber ( B& B) and online outlets, according to Mr.
Sales of the ethnic skin care category in U.S. supermarkets, drugstores and mass merchandisers—excluding Wal-Mart, Club Stores, HBC Specialty Chains or Gas/C-stores—
totaled $40.9 million, according to an Information
Resources, Inc. (IRI) report that ended July 20, 2008—up
5% from last year’s figures. E.T. Browne’s Palmer’s Cocoa
Butter Formula skin care topped the list again at $24 million, followed by Johnson & Johnson’s Ambi at $6.6 million
and Hain Celestial’s Queen Helene at $5.8 million.
So, what’s the secret of a successful product targeted
toward ethnic skin? According to Jennifer Leonard, senior
product manager, E.T. Browne Drug Co., Inc., Englewood
Cliffs, NJ, it’s all about fulfilling consumer expectations.
“Many ethnic skin care needs are universal skin care
needs—soft, smooth, healthy, even-toned skin,” she said.
“Ideally, we all want skin that looks hydrated and radiant.
But there are some concerns that are more prevalent for an
ethnic consumer. Some of these include dry, lackluster
skin, uneven tone and dark spots.”
Dr. Andrew F. Alexis, director for the Skin of Color Center
at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital and assistant clinical professor of dermatology, Columbia University College of
Physicians & Surgeons, New York, NY, said that the leading skin concerns in the darker-skinned patient population
include acne, dyschromia (including hyper- and hypo-pig-mentation) and pseudofolliculitis barbae (razor bumps).
Dr. Kenneth Howe, consulting dermatologist for
Lubriderm, Johnson & Johnson, Skillman, NJ, agrees that
different ethnicities encounter unique skin issues and problems, thus requiring specific treatments, as seen in his company’s product line.