In recent years, sun protection has become a part of consumers’ holistic wellness routines, with multifunctional products becoming increasingly relevant. As a result, the beauty and personal care industry has witnessed a wave of new hybrid products, particularly SPF moisturisers, primers, and lip balms. Euromonitor International expects to see premiumisation and elevated claims in skin care and sun care, as they increasingly compete for the same target consumer.
Consumers actively seek out protective and preventative beauty as skin health awareness grows
There is increased interest in protection from sun damage with consumers paying greater attention to their skin health, fuelled by the global growth of skin cancer, governments and organisations running awareness campaigns, as well as companies introducing innovative products. Consumers are more aware than they were five years ago of the sun’s significant role in skin damage and ageing.According to Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Consumer: Beauty Survey, fielded June-July 2022, 13% of respondents in Germany indicated “anti-ageing” as one of the main desired functional features for a skin care product—up by 28% from 2021—with “sun-protectant” ranked as the fourth-most desired product feature.
Multifunctionality demands among consumers contribute to growth of SPF moisturisers
At the same time wellness is becoming more top-of-mind, many consumers have returned to their busier pre-pandemic lifestyles and, in the process, streamlined and simplified their beauty routines.The demand for multifunctionality is also influenced by financial factors. As consumers grapple with higher costs of living, they are looking to purchase fewer, but more functional, items suitable for daily use. These trends have contributed to the rising demand of SPF moisturisers in Western Europe, which consumers use as a substitute for sun protection and aftersun.Moisturisers, which are already established as daily-use products, have an edge over traditional sun care. Although there have been improvements in formulation, sun care historically struggled with negative consumer experiences (white cast, scent). SPF moisturisers have the chance to fill that gap with a more premium, skin health-positioned product.
New SPF moisturisers promise prevention, but at higher price points
Brands are either launching new products or innovating their existing offer. Clinique, in March 2023, updated one of its signature moisturisers, the Clinique Facial Moisture Surge, to feature SPF25. Skin care brand Byoma launched its first SPF moisturising product in March 2023; Moisturizing Gel-Cream SPF 30. Retailers are also doubling down. In April 2023, Boots in the UK introduced a collection of products focused on skin ageing, including “No7 Future Renew Day Cream” with SPF40. US sun care disruptive player Supergoop entered Western Europe en masse through Sephora in March 2023.
Such a shift presents an opportunity for beauty brands, not only to gain or protect their share, but to boost their revenue. In fact, SPF moisturisers boost a higher price tag compared to their sunscreen counterparts. Other comparisons include La Roche-Posay, a Hyalu B5 range SPF moisturiser for 100ml at GBP69.03, while the average for Anthelios sun protection is GBP27.20.
Comparing leading beauty brands, the average unit price for 100mL of a Q10 range SPF moisturiser is GBP29.67, while Nivea Sun sunscreen retails for GBP11.47
Source: Euromonitor International Via
Other comparisons include La Roche-Posay, a Hyalu B5 range SPF moisturiser for 100ml at GBP69.03, while the average for Anthelios sun protection is GBP27.20.Average prices were taken from the following product ranges: Nivea moisturisers with “SPF” from the Q10 product range; Nivea sun protection from the Nivea Sun range; La Roche-Posay moisturisers with “SPF” from the Hyalu B5 range; La Roche-Posay sun protection from the La Roche-Posay Anthelios range; Vichy moisturisers with “SPF” from the Vichy Liftactiv range; Vichy sun protection from the Vichy Capital Soleil range. For “SPF” Moisturisers, only SKUs with “SPF” indicated in the SKU name were included for analysis.
The next area of competition for SPF moisturisers will be at the higher end, such as SPF50+, while also educating consumers on the different sun-related claims (UVB/UVA) and their importance for daily usage. Ingredient players are currently working with brands to introduce pigmented products better suited for darker skin tones, as there are still challenges in developing protective formulations and using ingredients, such as zinc oxide, while avoiding the usual white cast effect.
Sun protection adopts beautifying features and natural claims to better compete with new entrants
In the face of the growing threat from SPF-added skin care, the reaction of sun care manufacturers has been to add more “skinified” properties and ingredients to their ranges. Beautifying features and specific benefits, such as deep hydration, reducing dark spots and fine lines, minimising pores, or creating matte/dewy/glowing skin are expected to become popular.
Sun protection is also becoming more naturally friendly, prompted by the clean beauty trend that sways consumers away from products that contain ingredients suspected to harm human health or that of the environment.
Ingredient-related claims are growing fastest with claims, with “Reef/Ocean Safe”, “No Oxybenzone” and “Vegan” recording respective growth rates of 36%, 32% and 21%
Source: Euromonitor International Product Claims and Positioning, Western Europe 2020-2022
Future outlook: Greater scrutiny of ingredients as lines continue to blur
The clean beauty movement has made the biggest impact on chemical sunscreen, where the majority of main active ingredients, such as avobenzone, octinoxate and oxybenzone, have been under scrutiny by the European Commission and the US Food and Drug Administration. This scrutiny has permitted mineral sunscreen with main active ingredients of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which are recognised as safe, to flourish and gradually take over the sun protection space. On the other hand, government review has not deterred all consumers from using chemical sunscreen. SPF powders, serums, gels, primers and moisturisers still leverage chemical filters to achieve a desired, lightweight consistency popular with consumers.
The lines between skin care and sun care will continue to blur. Although newness and wellness were key drivers of those hybrid products pre-pandemic, the current cost-of-living crisis adds another factor to the growing competition between these two categories.
Read our article Keeping Beauty Clean to learn more about skinification and clean beauty in other regions.
Read our article Skinification and the Influence of TikTok in the US to learn how self-care trends on social media platforms are influencing skin care, and to learn more about trends in sun care, read our Sun Care in the United Kingdom report.