Hybrid sun care: Anessa to launch multifunctional skin brightening sunscreen in response to changing pandemic needs

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Shiseido is set to launch a new multifunctional sunscreen under the Anessa brand. [Shiseido / Anessa]
Shiseido is set to launch a new multifunctional sunscreen under the Anessa brand. [Shiseido / Anessa]

Related tags Sunscreen protective beauty Shiseido

Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido is set to launch a new multifunctional sunscreen under the Anessa brand that has skin brightening properties as a response to the changing consumer needs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anessa’s Brightening UV Sunscreen Gel is described as a ‘medicated’ brightening sun protection product that can be used for brightening and moisturising care.

The new launch is set to debut in Japan under a limited release from June 21 onwards.

Anessa is Shiseido’s dedicated mass market sun care brand that is primarily available in pharmacies and drugstores.

According to Intage’s Nationwide Retail Store Panel Surveys, the brand has retained the biggest market share in terms of sales for 20 consecutive years since 2001.

Shiseido claims that the new product contains 50% skin care ingredients, including m-tranexamic acid, a skin brightening active that has featured in several products from Shiseido brands such as SHISEIDO, HAKU and SENKA.

The active helps the product suppresses the production of melanin to prevent spots and freckles. Additionally, the formula also contains glycyrrhizate, an active ingredient used to prevent skin roughness.

Furthermore, the waterproof formula is tinted with a wash of colour to even out the skin tone and contains anti-pollution properties to protect the skin from Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5).

COVID-19 fallout

The sun care market was hit hard by the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand dropped as people found fewer reasons to venture outdoors because of work-from-home practices and city lockdowns.

The pandemic impacted Anessa greatly. Its net sales fell by 24%, largely due to the impact of the pandemic. In the fourth quarter of 2020, Anessa’s net sales fell by a whopping 46%.

Anessa’s latest product was developed in response to the changing consumer lifestyles and behaviours that have arisen in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The company believes that it had become “more and more necessary”​ for sunscreens to have skin brightening and skin toning properties.

This is being driven by the consumers' demand for multi-functional products that have skin care proprieties as well as skin beautifying effects.

Along with Anessa’s Brightening UV Sunscreen Gel, Shiseido recently released a hybrid foundation cushion compact under HAKU, which contains whitening actives, ultraviolet and blue light protection.

Despite the tough environment for sun care brands, Shiseido is certain that Anessa – one of its eight key brands – would recover as the lockdown restrictions eased.

To counter the poor performance of Anessa as the pandemic raged on, the company collaborated with Nintendo’s Pokémon for a region-exclusive collection for Japan, China and travel retail markets.

According to Shiseido, this attempt to boost the performance of the brand during the slump was a success.

This limited-edition collaboration, which launched in March, attracted new consumers and contributed to sales and market share growth for the brand.

This led to an improvement for the brand in the first quarter of 2021, which reported that Anessa’s net sales were still falling but only by 3%.

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