Almost half of US women are seeking more natural skin care products

By Austyn King | Published: 22-Sep-2017

A new study from The NPD Group reveals opportunities for brands to tap into customer demand for more natural and organic ingredients

Almost half of US women are now actively seeking skin care products with more natural ingredients, a new study has revealed, which may provide opportunities for beauty brands.

Research company The NPD Group reported in its Women’s Facial Skincare Consumer Report 2017 that out of those surveyed, 40-50% of women in the US look for products with natural or organic ingredients, as well as those free from fragrances, parabens, phthalates, sulfates and gluten.

Correspondingly, there has been an increase in the usage of products free from these ingredients which may be seen as harmful.

With more women now perceiving their skin as sensitive – 48% of respondents, compared to 44% in 2015 – 50% said they typically use skin care products that are specially formulated for sensitive skin, hypoallergenic and fragrance-free.

Meanwhile, 48% look for products made from natural or organic ingredients, while 40% usually buy products that are free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates and/or gluten, compared to 33% in 2015.­

Larissa Jensen, Executive Director and Beauty Industry Analyst at The NPD Group, said: “Current trends across industries, from the food we eat to the clothing we wear, have been geared towards natural and safe ingredients; the same holds true when it comes to consumers’ purchase criteria for skin care.

“Consumers today are expecting transparency and full disclosure, and it is critical for brands to clearly state their position on such issues such as ingredient usage and product testing.”

Expanding the skin care regimen

In line with these findings, prestige skin care brands with an environmental focus have grown substantially in the last year, now accounting for almost a quarter of total skin care sales.

Sales of prestige brands promoting wellness or natural ingredients increased by 13% in the 12 months ending July 2017, outpacing the overall skin care market which grew by 5%, NPD's retail point-of-sale data revealed.

While women are becoming more selective of their products, they are also now more willing to expand their skin care regimen.

More than a fifth of US women now use four or more facial skin care products in a typical day, with facial cleansers, lip products and moisturisers the most commonly used products.

The increase may be linked to the rise in complementary skin care products, most notably face masks, NPD suggested.

30% of women are now using face masks, making this the fastest-growing segment in the skin care market with a 37% increase in face mask sales from prestige beauty brands.

 “The fact that consumers are open to expanding their skin care routine presents an opportunity for brands to look beyond the basic regimen of a cleanser and moisturiser,” said Jensen.

“By adding supplementary products such as masks, consumers can engage and experiment with a brand in new ways, which generates more excitement, translating to more sales, for the skin care category.”

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