We miss spending time outdoors and as the peaks of the pandemic are overcome in different countries and we are returning to a “new normal”, it is important to do so safely, taking into account social distancing along with adequate measures to protect the skin from the sun and environmental conditions.
A recent GCI post from August presents a sunscreen market projection by Allied Market Research of US $ 2.9 billion by 2026, with a CAGR of 3.7% between 2019 and 2026. The After-Sun category will play an important role in this growth since it projects a CAGR of 4.1% in that period.
How does the pandemic affect the sun protection category? In the future, will we see a trend towards local production or globalized products? Which are the new needs for the consumer?
Vitamin D. Los Angeles Times published a relevant article on august indicating that vitamin D could protect people from coronavirus, as low levels of this vitamin are linked to Covid-19 infection and hospitalization, according to a study carried out in Israel. Doctors evaluated about 8,000 patients for risk factors for infection, and a constant marker was low levels of vitamin D in the blood, which may be due in part to the general confinement of the population.
In the July / August issue of the Journal of Cosmetic Science, Antony Young presented an article about the comparison of skin photoprotection by pigmentation and sunscreens, which reveals an interesting point of view in times of pandemic. Melanin, in people with naturally pigmented skin, offers a high level of photoprotection against the adverse effects of UV radiation and, in contrast, has a modest inhibitory effect on the synthesis of vitamin D, while tanning in light-skinned people offers relatively low photoprotection. The threshold dose for vitamin D synthesis is much lower than that for sunburn, so vitamin D synthesis is still possible with the correct application of sunscreen. This could be a field of interest and research for the cosmetic industry in the immediate future. We will see more scientific findings in relation to vitamin D, its possible protective effect against Covid-19, and new vitamin D synthesis studies with different sun protection levels.
Glocal and Regulation. In suncare category, the pandemic has also changed consumption patterns and the brands that distribute products in several countries have also been affected by local and regional blockades. Local production of ingredients and products is emerging as a trend. In sun protection, harmonization has been seen as an opportunity in pre-pandemic, but at this time each country is trying to take its own measures and this is reflected in local innovations. In the following table, we see a comparison in the maximum concentration of solar filters in different regions and we can conclude that developing global formulations may require unprecedented technical efforts, in addition to the impossibility of complying with certain claims in some regions, precisely due to the lack of harmonization.
Comparison of the concentration of suncare filters in different regulations
|BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE (AVOBENZONE)||3||5||5||10||5|
|OCTYL METHOXYCINNAMATE (OCTINOXATE)||7.5||10||10||20||10|
|PHENYLBENZIMIDAZOLE SULFONIC ACID (ENSULIZOLE)||4||8||8||3||8|
|TEREPHTHALYLIDENE DICAMPHOR SULFONIC ACID||10||10||10||10|
|DIETHYLHEXYL BUTAMIDO TRIAZONE||10||10||10|
|ETHYLHEXYL DIMETHYL PABA||8||8||8||10||8|
|METHYLENE BIS-BENZOTRIAZOLYL TETRAMETHYLBUTYLPHENOL (BISOCTRIZOLE)||10||10||10||10|
|DISODIUM PHENYL DIBENZIMIDAZOLE TETRASULFONATE||10||10||10|
|BIS-ETHYLHEXYLOXYPHENOL METHOXYPHENYL TRIAZINE (BEMOTRIZINOL)||10||10||3||10|
|DIETHYLAMINO HYDROXYBENZOYL HEXYL BENZOATE||10||10||10||10|
The new outdoor. The challenges that the sunscreen industry has due to new trends and consumer needs are related with meeting the demand for claims such as mineral sunscreens, reef-safe, ocean-safe, prebiotic, probiotic and posbiotic sunscreens, plastic-free sunscreens, vitamin D promotor, surfer–approved and energy visible light (HEV) or blue light, visible light (VIS), and infrared radiation (IR) protection. Digital care is also presented as one of the priority areas for this category due to the new consumer habits during the pandemic.
Inclusive suncare. We will see greener sunscreens on the market, while the fight for racial justice demands a more inclusive sunscreen industry. In a July report, Mintel indicates the importance of formulating products for the needs of BIPOC consumers (black, indigenous and people of colour).
New formats. Innovations in the market such as sprays, cushions, multifunctional products, genderless, fluid formulations, ampoules, glittering effect, 100% mineral, touch-free, hair & scalp sunscreens, biodegradable packaging, luxury hand suncare, tanning booster, mousse…
The new suncare… The pandemic presents a great chance for creativity and innovation for the cosmetic industry and this is the opportunity to strengthen the concept of protection in a more comprehensive way. Needs change, the world is facing the pandemic in different ways and while some countries are already emerging, others are waiting for the peak and the expectation is that the cosmetic industry offers innovative solutions including caring for the planet in a sustainable way.