Beauty Store Business magazine - January, 2020

NPD Report Shows How Clean Beauty and Clinical Skincare Lines Have Blurred

In new a report from The NPD Group, natural ingredients and a very large focus on wellness are recognized for having driven the skincare 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. But how has this impacted a category that's efficacy has been determined by clinical ingredients? While natural brands continue to be incredibly successful, others are helping to redefine what it means to be clinical, the report says.

Until the rise of naturals, clinical brands focused their product lines around their 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.

However, things have changed, the report notes. In today's environment, with consumers concerned about 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 skincare market makes use of clinical ingredients, or those that have been created and/or modified in a lab. Clinical ingredients such as retinol, collagen, and hyaluronic acid are commonly found in skincare products. Clinical brands are now more frequently making public statements on these clean ingredients (growing by a combined +100 percent). In essence, these brands create products that forgo harmful synthetics, while maintaining their clinical ethos.

Consumers will always look towards the experts to gather information. Doctor/dermatologists are among the top five information sources reported by U.S. consumers in NPD’s Women’s Facial Skincare Consumer Report 2019.

As we define what clean beauty really means, new opportunities are unfolding in the industry.

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