This trend has been combined into the now well established but still fast growing anti-ageing category, leading to a raft of new products on the European market catering to these demands.
Anti-ageing products tend to focus on skin care, where anti-wrinkle cosmetics are now taking the market by storm. Euromonitor International estimated that the total market for skincare products is valued at $38.3 billion globally, a figure that is second only to the hair care sector.
In terms of growth, the figures for skin care stormed well ahead of any other in the cosmetics industry. In the period 2002 to 2003, it was by far the fastest growing sector, with global growth running at 6.7 per cent.
However, breaking this down for products specific to the anti-ageing market, the figures are even more dramatic. For products that target specific age-related conditions, the global market was estimated at $6.9 billion in 2003, indicating a growth rate of 11.4 per cent.
Hoping to take advantage of this kind of growth, the first product from the GNPD is a budget offering from Tesco. Sun Protection SPF forms part of the British retailer's best-selling 'Value' range, but despite being a low-end product it still incorporates vitamin E as well as providing comprehensive UVA and UVB protection. Additionally it has a cell protection system which is said to help prevent premature ageing and it is water resistant.
The next product also provides an SPF 15, but incorporated into a skin care, rather than a sun protection product.
In Turkey, Avon is launching a facial care range which also relies on Vitamin E and an SPF 15 to help maintain skin protection and fight ageing. The Transforming Lift Eye Cream and Day Transforming Lift Cream also contain gold, copper and magnesium minerals as well as a variety of other vitamins. The manufacturer claims that the product can help eliminate dark circles and blotchiness as well as vastly improving skin elasticity and firmness to give a younger looking skin in four weeks.
Avon's product relies heavily on mineral extracts as a primary means of fighting ageing, which is a route the next product launch has also taken.
In the Czech Republic pH Beauty Labs has launched Freeman Botopical Instant Wrinkle eraser. It claims to have been formulated with a micro fusion complex that fills in forehead wrinkles, enabling brow lines to disappear. The manufacturer says that copper extract helps to firm the skin, while the anti oxidant properties green tea extract provide moisturizing protection as well as helping to prevent damage from environmental exposure.
On top of SPFs and minerals, vitamins are also playing an increasingly important role in new product launches for the skin care category. In particular vitamin E, which is known to have oxidisation properties that fight ageing and help to protect the skin, is growing increasingly popular.
In Germany Mauritius Cosmetics is launching Kamill Body Lotion, a new skin care product that uses chamomile extract, combined with natural moisturizers and amino acids to protect from drying. The product also contains Vitamin E, which the manufacturer claims will help the skin to regenerate and protect it against UV related skin ageing.
This diverse range of new skin care product launches shows how vitamins and minerals are creeping more and more in to a range of products - including those for the mass market - that are being used to provide anti-ageing properties.
The market for cosmeceutical products - those fortified with vitamins or minerals - is now proving to be a small but rapidly growing niche category. In France cosmeceuticals were estimated to be worth €300 million in 2002 by cosmetic trade show Cosmeeting. Germany's market was worth €216 million but both fall far short of the €710 million in the US and €1.2 billion in Japan.
The small but fast-growing market points towards the growing trend towards natural ingredients in cosmetic products that have preventative rather than restorative properties. This is evinced by the growing number of skincare products that incorporate SPFs as well as vitamin E - which is known to have significant oxidization properties necessary to maintain skin health and vitality.
With the growth in the skin care market still providing the cosmetics and personal care industry with the greatest market potential, combined with the growing demand for natural-based products that provide anti-ageing properties, the continued growth of this market looks certain.