Cosmetics that cool the skin have made an impact on the Japanese market, a trend that Mintel researcher Vivienne Rudd believes could have a more widespread impact on the industry, alongside color cosmetics that take on skin whitening and UV protection properties.
"As we've seen in the fast growing BB Creams category, the color cosmetics is becoming much more blurred with the skin care category. It's not necessarily anything new, but it is being taken to far greater length with the latest generation of product launches that we're seeing on the market," said Rudd.
At last month's in-cosmetics Asia event in Bangkok, Thailand, Mintel were showcasing a number of groundbreaking products that are tipped for greater things in the coming months. One of these was a color cosmetics powder from Japanese cosmetics player Harbo that has been designed to have cooling properties.
So cool there may be no need for air-con...
"I think this product is amazing. It was created in response to the Japanese Tsunami disaster a
fter the government asked consumers to cut back on energy consumption, as there were significant power shortages after the Tsunami struck, and one of the ways to respond to this was to cut back on air conditioning," Rudd explained.
"Cosmetics companies responded by coming up with products that contained soothing sensations. Harbo developed what is called moisture release technology in a loose powder form. When you touch your finger in the powder you get an instant sensation of coolness combined with moistness, even though it's in powder form. That disappears when you put the powder on the skin, but it's that instant sensation and the pyschological impact that it has which is important."
Rudd believes that this idea could be developed into a a global launch, particularly as most cosmetic companies bring out seasonal collections.
"So for a spring summer collection or a micro limited summer collection, what better than to have face or eye make-up that makes you feel cooler and refreshed, immediately after application?"
Make-up that offers skin whitening properties
Rudd identifies two other significant trends in the Asian color cosmeitcs segment, which she believes will continue to grow and shape the category in the future.
"One of these trends is that face make-up, as in foundations and powders, is increasingly being offered with whitening properties, so they're not just cosmetically lightening the skin, they are actually physically lightening the skin as well," Rudd said.
"The other trend is adding that extra layer of fairness in color cosmetic formulations. An increasing number of products, particulary in Japan, and now moving into China, are offering UV protection with fairly high SPF and UV protection ratings."
For the lightening effect, Rudd points out that formulators are using natural-based ingredients, such as licorice and vitamin C to help give lightening properties.
Although she does not believe that such products are likely to replace skin care lightening and whitening lotions, she indicates that there is likely to be a place for them to be marketed as 'lightening top ups', specifically designed for Asian complexions.