France leads the way

According to Mintel, the value of the facial skincare market in the five key European markets (France, Italy, Germany, UK and Spain) reached 6.1 billion euros in 2009 - up from 6 billion euros in 2008. France represents more than 36% of this market, with facial skincare sales reaching 2.2 billion euros in 2009.

France is closely followed by Germany, where retail sales reaches 1.3 billion euros, and Italy with almost 1.2 billion euros. The UK ranks fourth with consumer spending amounting to over 1 billion euros (854 million pounds) in 2009. Eventually, Spain represents the lowest value with total retail sales of 371 million euros.

The combined market value in these five countries is expected to grow even further to exceed 6.5 billion euros by 2013.

Overall, the need to respond to a growing number of European women seeking to target signs of ageing has been at the heart of European product innovation and retail figures prove that it has been worth the investment,” commented Nica Lewis, Head Consultant Mintel Beauty Innovation.

Focus on wrinkles

Nearly two thirds (62%) of French women use anti-wrinkle products, Mintel reveals. “However, wrinkles are not just an issue for French women. Italian women are not far behind, with 60% using anti-wrinkle products, followed by Spanish women (55%), the UK (51%) and Germany (49%),” adds the market research firm.

Fine lines and wrinkles are the top ageing concerns for women in all countries surveyed, with French and Spanish women (63%) coming top, compared to UK (62%) and Italy (59%). This compares to under half (47%) of German women who said that they were concerned with these aspects.

However, although lines and wrinkles remain the biggest concern when it comes to ageing, many other aspects trouble European women. For instance, almost half of British (49%), Spanish (47%) and French (46%) women are concerned about dark under-eye circles and sunken eyes. Sagging skin worries up to 43% of German women and stretch marks upset 45% of Italian women.

New product developments

France and Italy have been the most active countries in Europe in product launches in the face and neck sub-category, accounting for 81% each, followed by Germany and UK with 78%, and Spain with 68% in 2009. In contrast, Spain led the way in the lip care sub-category, accounting for 25% of new product developments in the facial skincare sector, compared to Germany and UK with 12%, France with 9% and Italy with 7%.

Furthermore, according to Mintel, the consumer’s interest in facial skincare products is leading to new product developments with more and more scientific claims, including stem cell technology, ever-lengthening peptide chains, sirtuins and DNA repair.

As we have previously predicted in our beauty trends, cosmetic science continues to capitalise on advances in biochemistry and medicine. This trend for Turbo Beauty features more quasi-medical results and ‘mix-it-yourself’ solutions, such as at-home kits, cures and gadgets. In anti-ageing launches in 2010 there has been emphasis on gadgets and glycation,” Nica Lewis concludes.