"Baby-boomers have more disposable income so the high-end side of the skincare business has been very healthy. Taking the best of science and combining it with the practicality of dermatology is a major new trend," said president of Estee Lauder Dan Brestle.
The latest NPD research shows that the upper end of the US market has advanced considerably, with products that cost more than $70 making up 14 per cent of total skincare sales in 2003.
Anew - Avon's anti-aging line - has proved to be very successful boosting the company's quarterly profit by 35 per cent.
"Because of the aging population and the fact that these products do perform at a level consumers desire, they will continue to grow. Our plan is to continue to be very aggressive and launch innovations," said Avon's global marketing president Bill Susetka.
As the anti-wrinkle competition heats up cosmetics companies are increasingly relying on the medical profession to help formulate and develop cosmeceutical brands. Estee Lauder's Prescriptives for example recently signed an agreement with high-profile dermatolgist Karen Grossman to promote its new at-home microdermabrasion products.
However many remain skeptical about the claims attatched to new anti-aging creams and formulations.
Shiseido - Japan's largest cosmetics company - calls its Future Solution anti-aging cream, 'a perfect formula in every possible way, with unprecedented potential for erasing signs of time', likewise pharmaceutical firm Klein-Becker has recently launched its StriVectin-SD cream, which is advertised as 'Better than Botox?'.
"A lot of the claims are beyond-beyond, because very few of these companies show clinical studies, while anti-aging products may be good for the skin's surface appearance, very few compounds have been shown capable of actually penetrating the skin to the necessary 14 layers," said president of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine Dr Ronald Klatz.
According to NPD sales of anti-aging products will continue tio rise over the next 10-15 years.