Every month, various beauty industry analysts from The NPD Group write blogs about the latest trends being seen in beauty, based on the firm’s market information and insights. Through a partnership, Beauty News will publish NPD’s blog the day it’s posted to keep you in-the-know. Please see NPD’s latest post on clinical ingredients in skin care.
Skin care, by its very nature, is a clinical category. Consumers expect efficacy, which can only be achieved by formulating and testing both ingredients and finished products in a controlled environment. In recent years, however, natural ingredients and a very large focus on wellness have driven the category to astronomical growth. NPD data shows that in the first half of 2019, 70 percent of prestige skin care’s U.S. sales gains were attributed to natural brands. While natural brands continue to be incredibly successful, others are helping redefine what it means to be clinical.
Clinical brands focus their product lines around laboratory-tested benefits and ingredients, and typically have roots in the fields of medicine, chemistry, pharmacy, aesthetics and apothecary. In the past, efficacy was at the heart of these brands, and active ingredients promoting skin transformations was the product focus. But in today’s environment, with consumers voicing concerns over ingredient safety, these brands are blurring the lines between clinical and clean (brands that focus on safe synthetics and naturals).
According to NPD, nearly half of the U.S. prestige skin care market makes use of clinical ingredients, or those that have been created and/or modified in a lab. Superstars such as retinol, collagen and hyaluronic acid are examples of clinical ingredients commonly found in skin care products. Clinical brands making public statements on clean ingredients are growing by 100 percent. These brands create products that forgo harmful synthetics, while maintaining a clinical ethos.
Consumers will always look towards experts to gather information. A doctor/dermatologist is among the top five information sources reported by U.S. consumers in NPD’s Women’s Facial Skincare Consumer Report 2019. As we navigate through the changes taking place in beauty, and as we continue to define what clean beauty really means, new opportunities will unfold for the industry.