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Tea is stirring up the skin care market

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Tea is stirring up the skin care market
As tea-based skin care products provide “an excellent source of antioxidants, and for its anti-ageing and skin-soothing benefits when ingested”, we explored the trend sweeping through China with Laurie Du, Senior Beauty & Personal Care Analyst, China, at Mintel.

Global intelligence company, Mintel, revealed that tea-based skin care is seeing enjoyed popularity as it enters beauty supplements​.

Green tea (unfermented tea) is the most familiar skin care ingredient in China as it comprised over 50% of tea-based skin care products in 2016, according to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD)​.

1. Why has tea entered the cosmetics space?

Tea has had a long history and an established culture in China. Tea has long been used as a relaxing herbal drink in China and is now recognised worldwide as an excellent source of antioxidants, and for its anti-ageing and skin -soothing benefits when ingested.

It is only natural that the beauty and personal care industry has adopted this trend.

2. Is it the latest example of how the food and cosmetics space is merging?

The use of tea in the beauty has been around for quite a  few years. That said, the trend will continue to grow in popularity.

3. How are brands actively overcoming safety concerns relating to using tea?

With a growing awareness of ingredients, brands need to clearly communicate the safety of tea. They need to prevent consumer concerns by explaining the origin of ingredients, the growing methods (ie organic or small batch), as well as the processing and production methods.

4. Who are the leading tea-based skin care advocates in China?

South Korean beauty brand, Innisfree, is a popular one in China. There are some local emerging brands such as Lu Ming Tang — a brand owned by Laboratoires du Palais Royal, affiliated to the Osim Group — as well as Tea Beauty — a brand from Shanghai Jahwa.

5. Is tea-based skin care forming part of a larger multifunctional claim or is stated as the ingredient and selling point?

Tea has been used both as a claim as well as an ingredient or selling point.

In addition to the familiarity built as part of its long, entrenched culture, Chinese consumers have been educated well by beauty and personal care manufacturers on tea’s benefits on the skin.

6. How is this trend set to develop in 2018?

In the coming years, tea will definitely be widespread in the beauty and personal care industry, be it as a concept or as part of a formula.

Furthermore, due to demand for more sophisticated varieties by consumers, we will see more updates to the use of tea in the industry.

These will include the further exploration of tea varieties including specifies and origins; the highlighting of new technologies to maximise benefits; communication-based on emotional ethos (CSR-related, protecting the environment, fair trade, sustainable growth; or transparency in communication (purity of tea ingredient, molecule level extraction from tea).

Sharing how best skin care producers can evolve the segment, Mintel reveals: “Brands need to introduce different varieties of tea into skincare products, and clearly communicate their unique benefits.”

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