Body care – Objects of desire

Traditionally body care has been viewed as less lucrative and less innovative than skin care. But the sector is increasingly developing 'must have' products promising extra moisturisation, soothing effects, anti-ageing effects and targeted body sculpting. Botanical claims remained popular while body oils underwent something of a renaissance. And in the depilatories segment at-home hair removal went from strength to strength.

The body care sector must contend with irregular usage and a perceived lack of wow factor. But brands are responding with products promising smooth skin and toned contours, says Julia Wray

Body care is undergoing a makeover. For too long the sector has been eclipsed by its sexier, more expensive sister, facial skin care. Data from Euromonitor International shows that the global body care market grew 3.9% to just under $16bn in 2011 – no small sum but one that pales in comparison to the company’s 2011 figures for facial skin care, up 4.8% to a massive $78bn.

Part of the problem is that facial skin care has become assimilated into consumer’s daily rituals while body care use is more sporadic and often depends on available time, which in turn makes it difficult for consumers to gauge product efficacy. It is just not viewed as a necessity in the way facial skin care is.

As Alexandra Richmond, senior beauty and personal care analyst at Mintel, explains: “It [body care] is probably not seen as a must have because generally people don’t see your body but they do see your face. Scaly legs can easily be covered with jeans or tights.”

So what is the industry doing to alter this? Creating sophisticated, skin care led body care products targeting those issues that concern women the most, if new launch activity is anything to go by.

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