The market research company was also pessimistic about the future predicting that growth will be hampered by the maturity of the market while price pressure from mass retailers such as Wall-Mart will squeeze margins. Opportunities remain Nevertheless the market is not entirely devoid of opportunity with a number of market niches showing considerable promise. Euromonitor said sun care, baby care and men's grooming products are expected to show the highest levels of growth in the years ahead. Within the male market anti-aging was tipped to be the niche with the greatest potential for growth. Information age Beyond product categories, increasing access to information and greater possibilities for sharing views on product attributes are general consumer trends that are influencing beauty buying habits. At the beauty counter this means that stores such as Sephora and Ulta, which offer both self-service and beauty advisors on demand, are proving particularly popular. The information age is also making consumers more demanding about the ingredients that are used in their products fueling the popularity of natural and organic cosmetics. Specialist manufacturers such as Lush and Pangea Organics have benefited enormously from this movement which is also starting to influence large players. Major acquisitions of organic and natural firms such as Clorox's purchase of Burt's Bees in November show how big companies are waking up to the long term potential of the trend. Acquisition is also a buzz word beyond natural and organics with many leading firms looking to pursue growth through expansion. To gain competitive advantage in the highly developed US market Euromonitor said firms were turning to acquisitions and mergers. Of particular note is the series of buys that L'Oreal has made over the past year in the high growing hair salon market and its recent purchase of YSL Beauty.