US cosmetics and toiletries sales outgrow recession levels

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Skin care, At-home skin care, Cosmetics, Marketing, Skin

Rising consumer confidence, aggressive promotional activity, and technological advances have helped sales of cosmetics and toiletries in the US to rise above pre-recession levels, according to market research company Kline.

According to recently released data from Cosmetics & Toiletries USA 2010​, sales figures for the market have grown 2.4 percent to reach $36.5bn in 2010 at the manufacturers' level, compared to a 0.8 percent decrease in 2009.

In 2010, skin care has remained the largest product class, accounting for 25 percent of total industry sales.

The industry front-runner was make up, which registered a 4.4 percent growth. Lending a strong hand to the success of the make up category was nail polishes, which was up by 20.4 percent in 2010 due to new product activity adapted to achieving at-home salon results and easy application.

Consumers influenced by economic uncertainties

Kline states that while the industry showed signs of recovery, consumers influenced by economic uncertainties continued to scrutinize their spending and shopped at venues with competitive pricing, and sought out products on sale.

The increased willingness to spend was attributed to those products offering extra value. According to the study, skin care kits, priced more favorably than individual products, and multi-functional products were among the core trends of 2010.

All trade classes registered a certain level of growth in 2010, with the specialty trade class posting the strongest gains, providing a good sign that consumers are back out and shopping again, whilst the professional channel, encompassing salons, spas, and physician offices, registered the lowest overall increase of 1.9 percent.

Beauty-at-home trend

The professional beauty slump is suggested to have been brought about by the beauty-at-home trend. According to Kline, in the skin care segment, a host of products were introduced during the year that compared their results to those obtained at beauticians or a doctor's office.

For example, at-home skin care devices used to treat fine lines and wrinkles, as well as tone and cleanse skin, have seen a significant growth in popularity, prompting Kline to launch a new research study, At-home Skin Care Devices 2011: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities, to explore this fast-emerging trend.

"This hunt for additional quality has been spearheaded by marketers' extensive innovation efforts,"​ explains Carrie Mellage, director at Kline's Consumer Products Practice.

"Advancements in skin care have included bioelectric technology to help stimulate the natural renewal process of the skin and DNA enhancement formulas found in power-serum products."

Related topics: Market Trends

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