The COVID-19 era’s new stay-at-home consumers see less reason to use suncare – but it is a key selling function of skin protection in the market now. Dialling up education on the need for skin protection even when indoors and reducing the focus on sunblock and sun protection imagery can help reposition suncare and other skin protection products as a daily must-have.
Brands should look to innovate as opportunities lie within blue light protection formulas and multi-functional products, which will find a natural audience with price-conscious Indian consumers.
Build the need for skin protection from indoor pollution
A key barrier to wearing sunscreen is that consumers believe they don’t need it, as they stay indoors most of the time. It’s time brands move beyond the usual SPF positioning and adopt a more holistic approach to skin protection.
Brands can educate consumers on indoor pollution and how it damages the skin. Increase communication around different kinds of indoor pollution such as UVA rays that enter through a home or office windows as well as dust particles that collect at home and blue light that emits from devices like mobile phones and laptops.
Moreover, dust is a perennial problem for Indian homes. Being a warm tropical country with rainfall limited to only the monsoon months, pollution and dust is an unending problem. This dust that collects at home can also affect the skin, causing it to be dry and itchy and leading to acne and breakouts in worse cases.
As consumers spend more time at home due to COVID-19 restrictions, another recent development to indoor pollution is blue light from devices, which similarly affects the skin, making it imperative to use suncare and skin protection products daily.
Targeted education can teach consumers about such indoor pollutants that can affect the skin and cause ageing, therefore increasing the need for preventive products.
Secure them in the category with anti-pollution claims
Pollution is a growing claim globally in suncare. According to Mintel Global, New Products Database (GNPD) from 8% of suncare launches with a pollution claim in Nov 2015-Oct 2016 to 32% in Nov 2019-Oct 2020. Brands can expand this in India and build the need for skin protection at home by focusing on dust and its effect on the skin.
Indian women aged 25-34 have used both face cream (54%) and body cream (52%) with anti-pollution benefits and they intend to use these products in the future.
What can brands do?
Brands need to play the role of educator and increase focus on the wider set of aggressors (indoors and outdoors) that can damage the skin. Steering away from communication synonymous with sun protection, brands can amp up communication around indoor pollution or dust protection, which are equally prevalent in homes. Moreover, bolstering suncare with additional skincare claims will be essential to move the category forward and can take inspiration from facial skincare ingredients, textures and formats to innovate.
Finally, beauty brands can explore relatable dust protection innovations and blue light protection. Given increasingly online lifestyles, especially during COVID-19 lockdowns, brands can expand claims of protecting skin from blue light. Mintel predicts that blue light protection is a claim to watch for.
Hear about skincare and anti-pollution products live
Mintel is in-cosmetics Asia’s Spotlight On partner this year and will be presenting on protection and anti-pollution at the Marketing Trends Theatre in November. The Spotlight On product display area is designed to help cosmetic manufacturers easily find the latest ingredient innovations at the show. This year, you’ll have the opportunity to discover ingredients that work against air pollution, environmental toxins, free radicals, blue light, infrared and UV rays for future skincare and haircare formulations.
Every year, the Spotlight On area focuses on the hottest topics in the industry. For 2021, we’ll be shining a light on:
As the fight towards sustainability transcends all industries, cosmetic manufacturers increasingly focus on the careful selection of renewable raw materials used in the formulation phase of a product’s life cycle.
With consumers increasingly demanding more from their cosmetic products, manufacturers strive to deliver multiple relevant, targeted and functional benefits in one multifunctional product.
Air pollution, environmental toxins, free radicals, blue light, infrared and UV rays are all current concerns cosmetic manufacturers strive to protect against when formulating for skincare and haircare product ranges.
Stay tuned to our updates to learn how to participate.