Three of the world’s top five suncare markets are in Asia (China, Japan and South Korea); while consumers in these countries are eager sun protection users, there are virtually no aftersun care products in the market.
According to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), there have been a few products launched in Asia that claim to soothe the skin, but launches positioned as aftersun-specific remain largely untapped. In fact, they accounted for just 5% of all suncare launches in Asia between 2014 and 2016.
Asian consumers are increasingly concerned about UV skin damage caused by climate change. What’s more, many countries in this region are experiencing record temperatures and longer summers, while an increasing number of consumers are participating in outdoor activities more often. As a result, there is a definite opportunity for an aftersun market in Asia.
Formulate with local botanicals
Natural ingredients are seen as solutions to care for and soothe irritated, sensitive skin, making them ideal for use in aftersun products. Aloe has globally been the ‘star’ ingredient to date, and is found in nearly half of aftersun launches around the world, according to Mintel GNPD.
In the aloe-focused aftersun market, a fresh new ‘local’ take on naturals could help brands differentiate their product positioning. For example, potato paste, cucumber, bamboo sap and green tea extracts are all ideal candidates for aftersun care, and the levels of usage and recognition of these ingredients vary depending on country and region. Brands can also add brightening and energising botanicals, fruits and flowers to replenish sun-parched skin.
[row][one_half]Tonymoly The Chok Chok Green Tea Essential Soothing Gelis an antioxidant-rich, cooling, hydrating and soothing gel that has been formulated with 100% pure, fermented green tea extract.
[/one_half][one_half]The Saem Fresh Bamboo Soothing Gel 99% is a multi-use, ultra-hydrating gel that contains bamboo extract that claims to deliver essential minerals and effectively soothe skin.
Innovating around different product formats
Traditionally, the textures and formats of aftersun products have been limited to gels packaged in tubes or bottles, as they are easy to apply to skin and give a cool, fresh feeling. However, the aftersun sector could adopt facial masks, which are already a familiar format among Asian consumers. In fact, Mintel’s report on China’s facial masks market reveals that 94% of Chinese females aged 25-29 have used sheet masks.
The single-use, high-dose format of sheet masks or capsules fits well with aftersun product positioning as it allows the application of a controlled amount of product as and when it is needed. Brands can link its high dosage of soothing ingredients and instant absorption to aftersun benefits, and also increase cool-down effects by storing them in the refrigerator. This format can be readily adopted for hair and body.
[row][one_half]Leave-on capsule mask: Innisfree’s Leave-In Capsule Recipe Pack is a single-use, leave-on facial mask packaged in a capsule that is said to deliver soothing aloe, green tea and bamboo sap to skin. It is available in 12 variants.
[/one_half][one_half]Natural sheetmask: ekél’s Super Potato Natural Essence Mask is a sheet mask made with potato extracts that claims to soothe, protect, moisturise and purify the skin.
Jane is a Beauty Analyst at Mintel based in the dynamic city of Seoul, which has become the epicenter for beauty innovation. Jane provides insightful in-depth analysis of beauty, retail, and consumer trends in Korea and the wider Asian market based on 10 years’ experience acquired as a marketing and brand manager for major beauty and FMCG marketers.