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Functional ingredients are known to scientifically deliver benefits and offer tangible proof of efficacy in the skincare category; however, consumer awareness of beauty ingredients remains low. New research from Mintel, the experts in what consumers want and why, reveals that 28%* of Thai consumers say they are not aware of any beauty and personal care ingredients. Meanwhile, the majority (70%) of consumers are aware of only three (out of 10 surveyed) functional BPC ingredients: Peptide (44%), Ceramide (41%) and Retinol (38%).

Despite the fact that the majority of consumers claim some awareness of certain functional beauty ingredients, new product innovation is lagging behind, indicating white space for brands. Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) highlights that only 10% of skincare products launched February 2020-January 2021 in Thailand included Ceramide, 3% included Peptide (3%), and just 1% Retinol.

“The key to unlocking growth in Thailand’s skincare industry is building ingredient awareness. Brands need to play the role of educator and bridge the gap to create ingredient fluency among target consumers. It is important for brands to leverage the right touchpoints to build consumers’ ingredient knowledge one step at a time. 

“While Peptide, Ceramide and Retinol are the functional ingredients with the highest consumer recall value, the number of skincare product launches featuring these ingredients is low. This highlights an opportunity to accelerate the rate of penetration of these ingredients within the Thai beauty market in order to capitalise on awareness and interest. Brands must also have consumer safety as a top priority, with transparency and education key tools for better communication with, and conversion of, consumers.”

New skin concerns open opportunities for emerging ingredients

The pandemic has created new, or enhanced existing, skin concerns for many Thai consumers. Mintel research highlights that 70% of consumers agree that acne caused by wearing a face mask is a persistent skin issue, whereas consumers identify pollution (37%) and blue light (16%) as an ageing factor. Furthermore, over one-third (34%) of Thais agree that scientific ingredients can best address unconventional skin concerns.

Evolving environmental conditions introduce new beauty enemies, while the pandemic causes lifestyle changes that create new skin problems. As new, unconventional skin concerns, such as ‘maskne’, skin irritation from pollution, and photoaging from blue light, develop, consumers are seeking unconventional solutions. Brands can focus on these unconventional but emerging skin problems to encourage consumers to rethink their product choices. Brands should consider shining a spotlight on ingredients as the hero solution.

While traditional solutions are reconsidered based on whether they are effective at tackling these new, unconventional problems, functional ingredients that have been scientifically developed can help fill the gap and gradually play a more significant role in modern beauty categories.” 

* 2,000 Thai internet users aged 18+