The worlds of beauty and health, cosmetics and dermatology, are increasingly operating in the same sphere.
Consumers have access to high-performing ingredients previously only available through your GP or dermatologist. Scratch beneath the surface and there’s a huge opportunity for growth in this sector.
Consumers are increasingly looking for products that enhance their wellbeing in addition to their looks.
It’s not always enough to simply mask a skin condition – people want a product or treatment that has a tangible benefit to the part of their body seen on an everyday basis.
As such, people are becoming more savvy to the alignment between health and beauty; they aren’t separated in the mind of the consumer, which means products that bring clinically proven, near-medical ingredients and devices to the high street shopper are increasingly sought after.
Industry experts predict this market will double in value over the next few years
This has led to rapid expansion in the dermo-cosmetic sector – a quasi-medical category of ‘expert skin products’ that exists between prescription drugs and beauty. This growing category focuses on helping to treat increasingly common skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, reactive skin and extreme sensitivity. It’s a response to the increased incidence of allergy and lifestyle-related skin complaints.
The market is small in comparison to skincare, but dermo-cosmetics has seen tremendous growth globally as UK consumers discover skincare products that have a significant impact on skin health.
The UK is the fifth biggest global market for skincare at around €2.2 billion, but industry body Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) recorded a decline in 2014/2015 of 0.9%.
In contrast, the UK dermo-cosmetic market ranks 28th globally, with a market size of £72 million (excluding online sales). The key difference is the market is expanding at a rate of around 18% (IRI). In fact, industry experts predict this market will double in value over the next few years.
This growth hasn’t gone unnoticed by major retailers either. Boots has identified the Medi-Beauty category as a key focus for 2016, with a plan to roll out its own specific skincare offering under the ‘Skin Experts’ banner in 120 stores.
Consumers have greater access to health information than ever before and are subsequently demanding products that genuinely improve their skin condition as well as their appearance. This market shows no signs of slowing and it’s an opportunity not to be missed.
 Kantar Worldpanel / CPTA