In a recent presentation given by Leigh Anne Rowinski, director of client solutions at Information Resources, new market information shows that the US Health & Beauty market grew by $382m in 2007, a significant fall compared to the growth figure for 2006, which stood at $910m. However, despite the figures showing that growth rates are slowing for the industry, Rowinski's presentation also demonstrated that core segments in the mass skin care category are still reporting strong growth. As a whole the US total skin care market (for which IRI also includes hair care) is currently valued at $15.1bn and grew by 2.9 percent in 2007, but breaking down the category into its individual segments reveals some far more dynamic statistics. Facial skin care leads the pack The face segment, which accounts for 20 percent of the total skin care category - a total of $3bn - proved to have the highest growth, registering a gain of $202m, which was 7.2 percent higher than last year. Undoubtedly this growth is attributable to continued interest in increasingly sophisticated and technically advanced facial skin care products that focus on anti-aging properties and are often as not positioned as premium products. Interestingly Rowinski points out that for the core anti-aging and facial moisturizer products, the higher the price and the positioning of the product, the greater the growth rate currently appear to be. This suggests that the premium rated products in this segment are proving to be more popular, in line with consumer desires for functional products with proven efficacy and quality. Top facial skin care launches in 2007 And the top three facial skin care launches in 2007 were Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Ageless, with sales of $20m, Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Treatment, which had sales of $17.2m and Garnier Nutrionisted Skin Renew Moisturizer with sales of $17m. Likewise the body wash segment has also shown healthy growth. It accounts for 12 percent of the total spend in the skin care segment, and grew by $126m in 2007, the same level as the year before. However, the highest rate of change was registered in the sun care segment, which currently represents 6 percent of the total skin care category. Increasing awareness of the dangers of too much exposure to the sun means that sales of sun care products have been positively impacted, translating to segment growth of $67m, a figure that was 8.3 percent higher than in 2006. Finally, looking at the additive ingredients that make up the skin care segment, the presentation showed that the biggest growth trend is for vitamins, closely followed by SPFs, oil-free formulations, antioxidants, sala acid and retinol.