From ingredients to boost hair strength to
topical wrinkle smoothers, raw material
suppliers are rolling out an array of actives
for skin care and hair care formulators.
THE GREAT RECESSION was unkind to most consumer product categories; not even the popular anti-aging category—and all of the active ingredients that
make these products effective—was spared.
According to Kline & Company, in 2004,
sales of anti-aging products accounted for
37% of the $7.4 billion (retail) U.S. facial
treatment market. Last year, sales of anti-aging products accounted for 40% of the
$8.6 billion facial skin care market.
“There was a moderate slowdown in
the anti-aging segment in 2009,” noted
Karen Doskow, industry manager, con-
sumer products, Kline & Company, Little
Falls, NJ. “This development is mainly an
outcome of the recession. Facial treatments
experienced a slight sales decline for the
first time in several years.”
According to Doskow, who was a
speaker at HAPPI’S Anti-Aging Breakfast
Seminar in New York City last month, the
luxury and professional segments suffered
the most as consumers traded down to
mass-market products that are touted as
having substantial anti-aging benefits. In
fact, Procter & Gamble’s Olay outper-
formed the category with sales increasing
just over 7% for the year. This is mainly due
to the success of Olay Professional Pro-X
and Regenerist 14 Day Skin Intervention
lines with anti-aging benefits.
Despite the overall decline in facial
treatment sales, the future looks brighter
for anti-aging products as consumers are
returning to doctors’ offices to treat their
wrinkles and facial lines and for skin reju-venation in general.
“This means they will begin to replen-
ish their cosmetic shelves with products to
preserve these services,” said Doskow. “As
the economy starts to pick up we are ex-
pecting that sales for premium priced anti-
aging products will experience an uptick
alongside the continued strong perform-
ance from select mass-market brands.”
The enduring popularity of anti-aging
products is due, in part, to growing con-
sumer awareness about the need to pro-
tect skin from environmental stress.
According to Karen E. Burke, a New York
City-based dermatologist, environmental
oxidative stress on the skin is due to sev-
eral factors including sunlight, pollution
and smoking. Burke noted that smoking is
particularly bad for the skin, as it slows
wound healing, causes cancer and prema-
turely ages the skin.
And while she acknowledged that sunscreen is one of the best defenses for skin,
many consumers have problems with applying it. According to Burke, typically only
25% of the necessary amount of sunscreen
is applied and users do not apply it to all
exposed skin, especially eyelids, temples,
scalp and ears. Moreover, to ensure proper
protection, it should be applied every 1.5
“Sunscreen is not enough,”she told the
HAPPI seminar audience. According to
Burke, by including antioxidants in product
formulas, cosmetic chemists can enhance
photoprotection by creating a reservoir effect in skin, reversing photodamage and
even protecting skin from environmental
“Oral antioxidants do protect against
UV damage, but they are less effective than
topical antioxidants,”observed Burke.
When formulating with topical antioxidants, Burke recommended 5% d-alpha-tocopherol and 15% ascorbic acid.
Many active ingredients treat what New
York City-based dermatologist Diane
Berson calls“transitions in the skin.”At the
HAPPI anti-aging seminar, Berson catego-
rized aging as:
• Photoaging: wrinkles, blotchiness and
• Volumetric aging: loss of facial vol-
• Gravitational aging: sags, bags and
And while she noted that there is no
“magic bullet” when it comes to anti-aging
ingredients, she recommended a regimen
that includes sun protection, antioxidants,
retinoids and peptides to reduce the appearance of aging.
Some of the antioxidants Berson recommends include vitamins A, B, C and E
for their photoprotective properties and
their ability to reduce immunosuppression.