“US personal care market surpasses pre-recession levels in 2011,” says Kline

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Kline US personal care market report

Related tags Market researcher Skin care Cosmetics

According to the market researcher, the cosmetics and toiletries market surpassed pre-recession levels in sales with a robust growth of 4.2 percent, exceeding $38 billion at the manufacturers' level last year.

Innovation in application techniques in nail care, dramatic eye looks, and the appeal of limited edition scents were said to be the drivers as makeup sales exceeded the industry average growth rate by a near 30 percent growth of the nail polishes subcategory in 2011, according to the report.

The magnitude of this growth was partly caused by the emergence of new trends, including bold colors and special effects that attracted women of all demographics​,” it highlights.


Trends in the ‘smoky-eye’ look boosted eye shadow, eye liner, and mascara sales while the report also notes growth in the fragrance for women area as more consumers opted for an affordable indulgence, after several years of declining sales.

The luxury trade class in particular experienced above-average growth of over 10 percent, where niche fragrances were a new trend and celebrity scents saw substantial declines​.”

In the area of skin care, the market researcher reveals facial treatments dominated and remain the largest.

Men's skin care is also highlighted as seeing the best growth in several years as its product lines continue to expand and create solutions for men such as concealers, products free of parabens, and added fragrances.

"The comparatively low growth in the professional class correlates with the greater trend we're observing with consumers' relatively moderate expenditure on professional services​," explains Nancy Mills, Kline's consumer practice industry manager.

"And yet, driven by 'frugal-fatigue' and a rising financial confidence, consumers are compensating by purchasing premium products as affordable luxuries driving sales in the luxury and mass trade classes,” she adds.


Looking at the usage of cosmetics and toiletries by specific demographic groups, Kline found that a higher percentage of Hispanics use perfume or cologne regularly, at 56 percent of all Hispanics, as compared to 32 percent of the non-Hispanic population.

Furthermore, the report states that about half of African Americans use perfumes or colognes regularly, as compared to one-third of Caucasians and Asians in the US.

Looking ahead

The market researcher projects skin care and makeup to maintain high growth over the next five years. Moreover, Mills expects the dominating drivers in personal care to be multi-functional products that deliver promised results, a gradual replacement of harsh synthetic chemicals with more natural-derived products, and an adoption of a more overt environmentally responsible profile.

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