High interest in ultra-gentle skin care is consistent with an overall category shift toward more products positioned as appropriate for sensitive skin and the figures appear to back this up.
In 2014 sensitive skin claims represent 25% of total skin care claims, compared to 15% in 2009. What's more, 71% of facial skin care users say they are interested in ultra-gentle products, according to the GNPD.
"While facial skin care products have typically highlighted the addition of ingredients such as vitamins and botanicals, the category appears to be moving toward highlighting what's not in the formula — fragrance, dyes, etc," says Shannon Romanowski, senior beauty and personal care analyst.
"This move toward gentle skin care is a reflection of consumers' desire for performance combined with increased concern and awareness regarding what is being put on their skin."
This move towards natural skin care is one we are seeing more of in the skin care sector, and one which the sales trends reflect too.
Mintel estimates that sales of sensitive/gentle skin care products are more than $202 million, with the majority of sales coming from the facial cleanser and facial moisturizer segments.
Sensitive and gentle skin care products are also capturing a greater percentage of facial cleanser and moisturizer sales.
The shift towards natural skin care products now sees one in four consumers seeking out products on the shelves which contain natural or organic ingredients.
One in five consumers look for product that are ‘free from’ certain ingredients and are designed for sensitive skin, meaning although not a majority yet, there is an opportunity in the market.
"While future growth is expected to remain slow, there are opportunities for more customized and convenience-driven product options. Value-added products that enhance health and wellness, extend usage occasions, or tap into the convenience-driven mindset of male and multicultural shoppers stand to gain," adds Romanowski.
"In addition, a consumer shift toward gentle skin care benefits also reflects an opportunity, especially among women and black consumers."