The global pandemic has helped European skincare brands thrive, reflecting consumers’ desire to stay healthy and take care of themselves. The pandemic has also given rise to two important trends: skincare products that promote healthy skin and the growth of products designed to act on the skin microbiome.
These trends helped European facial care sales grow 8% in 2021 to $21.4 billion, according to GlobalData. The market research firm forecasts a gain of 4% to $22.2 billion in 2022. The top five European facial care markets are Germany ($4.1 billion), France (3, $6 billion), the United Kingdom ($3.2 billion), Italy ($1.9 billion) and Russia ($1.4 billion). GlobalData expects sales in these markets to grow 2% to 5% in 2022.
Hydration tops the list of claims cited by European consumers in GlobalData’s 2021 Third Quarter Consumer Survey – Europe results.
“The ‘moisturizer’ claim signals that dryness is likely a significant concern,” said Elise Robson, associate analyst at GlobalData. “Seventy-four percent of European consumers found this statement ‘very/somewhat’ appealing.”
This goes against brands that promote a multi-product regimen, some with powerful actives, as they can cause skin problems from overuse and too-frequent exfoliation.
Countering the trend of strong assets is Byoma, a new British brand. Byoma got its start during the initial Covid-19 lockdown when “people were playing chemist in their bathrooms and experimenting with super potent actives with less than desirable results,” according to Byoma founder Marc Elrick on the Company Website.
Protecting the skin barrier is a priority to promote healthy skin. There have been several European launches specifically targeting the microbiome. Made in Wales, Oskia Rest Day Barrier Repair Balm contains colloidal oatmeal, lupine seed, amino acids, probiotics, ceramides and bio-mimetic actives. A multi-purpose matte balm for dry, damaged or stressed skin, it is designed to protect and support the skin’s vital barrier function.
Like Byoma, U Beauty The Barrier Bioactive Treatment aims to streamline and reduce complicated diets. Intensive Overnight Repair Mask contains Vitamin B6, AHAs, Salicylic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Shea Butter and Purified Oat Extract to restore dull, dry and weathered complexions supple and shiny condition.
Another overnight leave-in treatment is Allies of Skin Molecular Barrier Recovery Cream, also known as The Bandage Balm for fast skin barrier repair. It is recommended for use before and after non-invasive procedures such as laser treatments, chemical peels and micro-needling.
Key ingredients are 2% Adaptogen, Oat Protein, Panthenol, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-8, Ceramide and Niacinamide to help soothe and repair compromised and post-procedure skin.
“Consumers are increasingly aware and informed of the importance of skin health, helped by the rise of digital lifestyles, particularly since the onset of the covid-19 pandemic,” says Robson.
“Over the past couple of years, many beauty and skincare experts have taken to digital platforms to share their insights and recommendations with consumers.”
YouTube, TikTok and Instagram have played a particularly big role in the growth of skin health issues, with experts using these platforms to pitch in-depth tutorials to millions of consumers.
The success of Gallinée, the French skincare range, has sparked consumer interest in the microbiome.
More and more buyers understand the importance of the skin microbiome. As a result, more and more mainstream beauty companies are launching skin care formulas that incorporate prebiotic, probiotic and postbiotic ingredients.
“With an abundance of external factors such as blue light, pollution, UV rays, and face masks affecting our skin, many consumers are now actively seeking products that will help maintain the health of their skin microbiome,” Robson explained, which highlighted two new European launches of the GlobalData database. Aurelia London Revitalize & Glow Serum has a super lightweight formulation containing probiotics to help calm the skin’s natural immune triggers that can be irritated by pollution and stress to promote healthy, radiant skin.
Atelier Rebul Pre + Postbiotic Hyaluronic Serum (Turkey) is formulated with pre+probiotics, shea butter, avocado oil and vitamin E to help balance the “good bacteria” in the skin.
GlobalData reports an increase in European launches containing fermented ingredients. These new products are making their debut, although fermentation is an unfamiliar concept to many consumers.
Brands such as Drunk Elephant use fermented extracts to help support the health of microorganisms in the skin microbiome.
For example, Florena, the brand owned by Beiersdorf, offers a range of fermented skin care products, including moisturizing and anti-aging masks and creams, brightening masks, illuminating and replenishing facial oils and serums. .
Revolution Beauty Ltd, Hydrating Moisture Mist (UK) is enriched with polyglutamic acid (PGA), derived from fermented soy to help bind water to the skin.
And, Beauty Pie Triple Hyaluronic Acid Lipopeptide Serum (UK) was developed in Switzerland and is formulated with alteromonas ferment acid, a hyaluronic acid with three levels of plumping technology.
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Imogen Matthews is a respected consultant, journalist and researcher who comments on trends in the beauty industry. She is a regular contributor to many of the world’s top beauty professional titles, has served on the board of Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW UK) and has won the prestigious Cosmetic Executive (UK) Achiever Award. Founded by Imogen in 1993, The Premium Market Report remains the only in-depth report to examine trends in the premium cosmetics, skincare and fragrance industries.