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US Cosmeceuticals See Double-Digit Growth

The US cosmeceutical industry is growing by between 10 per cent and 15 per cent a year, almost doubling the pace of the cosmetic industry, according to a recent report by Health World Online.

Cosmeceutical skin care sales alone are growing by up to 10 per cent annually, up from $980 million in 1995 to $1.5 billion in 1999. Combined US and Western European sales of anti-ageing skin care products are estimated at between $140 million to $150 million in 2001, according to analysts at Kline & Co. in New Jersey.

This rapid growth reflects an ageing population's desire for a youthful appearance along with the health-enhancing benefits of natural ingredients. Educated consumers are increasingly opting for skin, hair and sun care cosmeceuticals that satisfy both beauty and health needs.

Since it was established in 1989, Avalon Organic Botanicals of Petaluma, California, has become the fastest growing US cosmeceutical skin care brand, according to current data from California-based marketing information specialist SPINS.

"We take ingredients that are known and recognised as reliable supplements and transfer them into quality dermal delivery," said Melissa Jochim, Avalon's director of training and education. For example, Avalon's Therapeutic Hand & Body lotion is infused with vitamins A, B, C and D and a variety of herbs, many of which are organic.

According to the report, in the anti-ageing creams category, vitamins (especially A, C and E) account for some 65 per cent of the total active ingredients (Co-Q10 accounts for about five per cent), while enzymes, botanicals, proteins, hydroxy acids and polysaccharides are other important ingredients. Enzymes may play a bigger role in skin care in the future because of their antioxidant properties and for their cell regenerative role. For example, Avalon, which has just launched its Co-Q10 wrinkle defence system, saw annual sales grow more than 129 per cent.

Kinetin, a cytokinin antioxidant found in the human body, is now making its way into Revlon and Body Shop products. California-based Senetek, which supplies the patented ingredient for skin care, saw sales of $8.1 million in 2001 from this ingredient alone.

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