While a “healthy tan” is still popular, many sun-conscious consumers report they are concerned about the damaging effects of the sun on their skin, according to latest research from Mintel Beauty & Personal Care. In the big five European countries, nearly half (49%) of consumers use sunscreen when spending a whole day out in the sun and around a quarter (29%) use it to prevent premature skin aging. Spanish consumers are among the most sensible about suncare in Europe, according to the report. Half of them use sunscreen to avoid the risk of burning or developing cancer, the highest percentage within the Big 5. And 19% use sunscreen to avoid tanning altogether, more than twice the average for the UK (8%), France (7%), Italy (6%), and Germany (4%).
“Greater media coverage and health education programs are helping to improve consumer awareness regarding the dangers of too much sun. As awareness grows of overexposure to the sun’s UV rays, more consumers across Europe are taking extra care by using sun protection products when they are out in the sun, and not just when they are on their holidays,” explains Nica Lewis, Global Skincare analyst at Mintel.
Meanwhile, the UK continues to dominate launch activity for new self-tanning products. Between 2009 and 2011 the country saw a 30% increase in the number of self-tan launches. Anti-oxidant claims in sun protection are another growing trend. According to Mintel GNPD (Global New Product Database), 30% of new suncare products launched in the Big 5 last year (2011) promoted antioxidant benefits, a 36% increase in only one year (2010/2011). This reflects brands' strategy to meet consumers’ desire for fighting premature aging. Mintel GNPD also shows an increase in facial care launches with UV protection. In France alone there was a 43% jump in the number of new face creams with SPF between 2011 and 2010. "This reflects further sun savvy as consumers incorporate sun protection into their everyday skincare routine," says Lewis.
In Europe, amongst the Big 5 European countries, France remains the largest market for sun care products, followed by Italy, UK, and Germany. In Spain, sales of suncare products are forecast to grow 4.1% this year (2012), ahead of France, Germany and Italy. With high usage rates, high penetration and both women and men switching to higher SPFs, the Spanish market is highly competitive.