Facial powders represent the next subcategory to embrace the current hybridization trend and brands can offer new functionality, formats and usage occasions to boost consumer demand.
Brands could explore botanical ingredients – superfoods and flowers, for example – to bolster facial powers’ efficacy and natural positioning. Growing concerns over pollution and the environment could also be taken into consideration to promote pollutant-specific products, stressing convenience and ease of re-application in pollutant-rich areas.

Supporting role in daily make-up routines

Facial powders – more commonly known as ‘loose’ or’ finishing’ powders – currently make up the final step in many consumers’ daily cosmetics routines. They typically play a supporting role in the make-up routine, as they are usually used to enhance the effects of other, more prominent make-up products, such as foundations, creams and concealers. While these products have so far achieved only moderate success in China with over 25% penetration, consumers note that their usage more than doubles when preparing for a special occasions.

Silk-translucent-powder

Makanai Cosme Sakura Cherry Blossom Silk Translucent Loose Powder with Gold Leaves features silk and golden leaves for an elegant shimmer. It contains fermented rice bran, camellia oil and licorice root extract.

From day to night

Facial powders have the potential to tap into different usage occasions and brands like Bare Minerals have started to play around with this concept with the launch of their Pure Transformation Night Treatment.

In China, the term ‘goodnight powder (晚安粉)’ is used colloquially to describe a powder product ideal for both day and night usage. Launches from Japan such as Maquillage Snow Beauty Powder and Albion Exage White Conditioning Powder fall into this category, adopting versatile, multi-use positioning.

Brands could expand their repertoire of skincare claims to drive segmentation and usage. They could explore oil control powders aimed at younger consumers and anti-ageing powders for their senior counterparts. Transformative textures, such as lotions or gels, can also help to provide a unique usage experience.

Bare-Minerals

Snow-beauty

Bare Minerals Pure Transformation Night Treatment works in harmony with the natural circadian rhythms of the body to repair, restore, and re-energise the skin during the night. Recommended for all skin types, this mineral powder is claimed to instantly diffuse imperfections, replenish and firm the skin for a more even, healthier-looking complexion.
MAQuillAGE Snow Beauty III Powder can be used either as a finishing powder in the daytime, or as a skincare powder at night. 

Natural ingredients strengthen skincare image

Natural and botanical ingredients can play a leading role in helping powders to strengthen their skincare image. Local Chinese brand Xie Fu Chun’s Snow Lotus skincare powder, which launched in August 2016, contains fine pearl powder and moisturizing ingredients, including extracts of snow lotus and coconut.

Botanical face powder from popular Taobao brand 尉心私语 YUXINSIYU contains buckwheat flour and extracts of camellia and lilac, and claims to improve complexion without the need for make-up remover.

Exploration of botanical ingredients should be the main focus for powder brands, with superfood hero ingredients and technological innovation being the key to driving growth.

Anti-pollution claims boost usage

The top-ranked environmental concerns among Chinese consumers include PM2.5, vehicle exhaust and second-hand smoke. The growing concern over pollution and the environment means that traditional benefits, like moisturising and antioxidant claims, are no longer enough to pique consumers’ interest.

Rather than adopting an anti-pollution stance, brands could provide pollutant-specific offerings to better resonate with consumers.

The Japanese launch of Mary Quant Studio’s Day to Night Powder is a prime example of this, claiming to provide protection against tobacco smoke and dust while brightening the complexion.

Day-to-night

Mary Quant Studio Day to Night Powder contains moisturizing ingredients and vitamin C derivatives to naturally conceal imperfections. Provides a glowing complexion while protecting against tobacco smoke, dust and dryness.

 

Laurie Du is a Senior Beauty Analyst, Asia Pacific, based in Mintel’s Shanghai office. With a long career in BPC market research, Laurie has worked with brands including Shanghai Jawha, L’Oréal, Kao and Amore Pacific, giving her a unique perspective of the Chinese market, its key players, consumer behavioural trends and new product development.

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