Sun care continued to grow in 2019, driven not only by its use in protecting consumers from the sun’s rays, but also as an aid to anti-ageing or helping to maintain a pale complexion. However, its performance in 2019 was hit by bad weather in some countries (eg Japan, Taiwan), while 2020 has seen Coronavirus (COVID-19) having a major negative impact on demand. Sun care will also continue to see competition from productslike colour cosmetics and skin care with UV protection.
Sun care sales in Asia Pacific resolutely remained on a positive growth path in 2019, as they had been throughout the historic period. The increase in sales was particularly strong in China, the biggest market, with most other countries also seeing a positive development. The products are in demand not only for sun protection purposes, but also to help keep skin white and prevent it from ageing.
While most countries in the region were seeing positive growth in 2019, Japan and Taiwan were recording declining sun care sales, with the performances in these countries hit by bad weather during the year. Japan had a long rainy season and fewer sunny days in 2019, while consistently rainy and cloudy days in Taiwan meant people were going to the beach less and limiting their outdoor activities.
Sun protection is very much the dominant category in sun care, with much lower demand for aftersun and self-tanning products, with the latter not helped by the popularity of maintaining a pale complexion in many Asia Pacific countries. Baby and child-specific sun care remains a very small product area, with parents likely to use the same sun care products on their children that they use themselves.
The increasing use of skin care and colour cosmetics with a strong UV protection function has continued to cannibalise sales of sun care. People see such products as a convenient way to avoid spending on sun care. Sun care players will therefore look to focus on producing added-value products that can justify the additional spending on sun care.
Travel restrictions and lockdowns during 2020 have put a major dent in sun care sales across the region, although a return to healthy positive growth rates is expected from 2021 as society begins to normalise in the post-pandemic period.
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