Suncare Feels the Heat

November 8, 2011

Suncare is feeling the heat – female usage of suntan and sun protection products is down year-on-year reflecting a weak climate for overseas holidays. In order to bolster the highly promotional category, brands may need to think beyond the typical tropical sun, sea and surf image and adapt their product portfolios to the needs of staycationers as the economic environment remains gloomy.

  • Brid Costello, Senior Beauty Analyst

For more information, see Mintel’s report Suncare Preparations – UK

What we’ve seen

  • In June, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new requirements for sunscreens sold in the US. Products claiming to offer broad spectrum protection will have to undergo standardized FDA testing and only broad spectrum sunscreens of SPF 15 or higher will be able to claim to reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin ageing.
  • L’Oreal is bringing a smidge of glamour to sun protection with a line fronted by Jennifer Lopez. The actress/singer will appear in in TV and print ads for Sublime Sun, which will launch in the US in February 2012.
  • In June 2011, St. Tropez, the self-tanning behemoth, introduced St. Tropez Naturals + Vegetan. The three-unit line is based on a naturally derived, Ecocert-approved tanning agent and Melanobronze, a melanin stimulator.

Figure 1: Suncare launches by subcategory, Jan 2008-Aug 2011


Suncare Launches

Source: Mintel GNPD


What it means

  • Fewer women are using suncare products, but those who do use them are using products with higher SPFs. This indicates awareness among sunseekers that protection from the elements is required. It is possible that those holidaying at home do not feel that sun protection is a pressing matter, given the country’s temperate climate. Further education on this point may be necessary to encourage usage while holidaying in the UK.
  • Brands could tap into the “staycation” market by developing products that cater to holidaymakers in the UK. Formulations could be labelled with weather conditions (such as warm but cloudy) as well as SPFs, for instance, to drive home the fact that blistering sunshine is not required to cause sunburn.
  • As women turn to higher SPFs, it may be necessary to increasingly communicate the need to reapply product throughout the day. A higher sun protection rating may give women a false sense of security and encourage them to apply product less frequently than recommended.

For more information, see Mintel’s report Suncare Preparations – UK


Ina Woitalla
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