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Facial masks creep on to the radar for U.S. beauty consumers

By Simon Pitman , 04-Dec-2013

They have long been on the beauty shopping list for Asian consumers, but U.S. consumers are now also starting to pick up facial masks, claims major manufacturer Taiki.

Japan-based Taiki currently estimates that it manufactured approximately 125 million beauty masks in 2012, a figure that the company says makes it the number one manufacturer in the world in a category that is continuing to grow every year.

Previously growth was said to be mainly driven by the mainstay markets in the Asia Pacific market. Now though, the company says that the US market is starting to show definite signs of growth, albeit from a smaller base.

Consumer perception of masks is the No. 1 challenge

One of the challenges to further expanding into the US market is the perception of the product, with the most vital element being how to effectively get the message across to the consumer that facial masks can be used to enhance a skin care routine.

“US consumers are not experienced with facial masks,” explained Stacey Calhoun, who is the marketing director for Taiki USA.

“In fact, it’s not until they see this  global trend that they gain interest. Ultimately, facial masks are a spa-like experience, so consumers are going to have come round to the idea of taking the time to pamper themselves by applying the mask to see results.”

It is the enhanced results of skin care products when applied in unison with the company’s Aquatic masks which really gives the product the advantage that consumers are looking for.

Clinical trials underline enhanced efficacy of skin care products

According to Calhoun, Taiki has conducted clinical studies supporting a far more intense delivery and absorption rate for a variety of skin care products, overriding the fact that an estimated 30 - 40% of traditional moisturizers evaporate under regular application.

The other advantage is the easy application of the mask and the fact that it can be worn around the house, leaving the wearer free to undertake a variety of other tasks while it is on.

Furthermore, the Aquatic mask also sidesteps criticism about waste and carbon footprint impact due to the fact that it mostly consists of cotton, a naturally sourced material that helps to make it biodegradeable.

Calhoun adds that the company will be ramping up its campaign to increase distribution of its face masks in the U.S. over the course of the next two years by launching it in all beauty retail channels and as well as specific spa related retailers.

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