A great review
After each project our team get’s together and shares opinions and feedback regarding the previous process. I guess you would call it a classic retrospective-meeting. At the end of said meeting we look at the first press and consumer reviews of the launched products and so far this has always been a hugely motivating experience.
In our last retro we discussed a product line we developed for a client which was launched in the beginning of 2023. One of their focus was a super light SPF50+ sun protection solution for the face. The task was to create a special consistency that absorbs particularly quickly and leaves the skin feeling pleasant, without any greasy residue. For the formula we used nourishing aloe vera and antioxidant active ingredients to provide intensive protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays and environmental influences. The product turned out a great success within the range and the reviews are great. This is one of the reviews we read to the team:
This sunscreen absorbs very quickly, leaves a wonderful glow on my face, smells lovely and blends well with my makeup! Very happy I finally found the perfect protection.
Now you can imagine that it takes quite a while to get to this point.
Reading great reviews is really the very last scene in a play that can have several acts. And that is really one of the first things we discuss with brands when considering the launch of suncare products. It takes some time to get them done and there is a number of reasons for that.
Shortage in supply
The process of manufacturing sunscreen products is not as simple as one might think.
The primary raw materials used in suncare products are sunscreens, which are compounds that absorb or reflect UV radiation. The most commonly used sunscreens are chemical sunscreens such as avobenzone, octocrylene, and oxybenzone. In addition to these, there are also physical sunscreens such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These compounds are critical components in suncare products as they protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation. The demand for these materials has increased significantly over the years, leading to a shortage in supply. This is due to a variety of reasons but there is one prominent one:
A shortage of raw materials
There is a shortage of raw materials needed to produce sunscreens. Many of the raw materials used in sunscreens are derived from natural sources, and obtaining these raw materials can be challenging. For example, the production of titanium dioxide, a mineral filter which provides protection in the UVB and UVA range, requires the mining of titanium ore, which can be difficult to obtain in large quantities.
Additionally, the production of zinc oxide, a mineral active ingredient that reflects light off the surface of the skin where the sunscreen is applied back into the environment, much like a mirror, requires the use of zinc, which is not always readily available.
The shortage of raw materials has already had an impact on the suncare industry. The difficulty to obtain the necessary raw materials is making it almost impossible to keep tight schedules.
Product launch in 2024? NOW is the time to get started
Our partnering laboratories are working towards finding alternative sources of raw materials to ensure the continued availability of suncare products and new innovations are not far away. But if you are considering a suncare product launch in 2024 now is the time to get started.
3 key points to consider when planning your suncare launch
You are aware of the lengthy process and that a product launch in 2024 should be planned well in advance. But there are other factors to take into account when thinking of your brands suncare product to come:
Eco-friendly suncare and ingredients
Suncare has been relatively slow in becoming clean and eco-friendly, as its key fundamental driver is to protect skin from UV damage.
However embracing ethical and eco-friendly values is not only good for the environment. It will help strengthen consumers’ emotional bond with suncare.
42% of female suncare buyers in the UK aged 16-24 would be interested in suncare products that are ocean-friendly.
39% of US consumers aged 25-34 are making more efforts to buy suncare products that aren’t harmful to the environment. And a study conducted by the market research company GfK in 2020 revealed that around 39% of German consumers considered sustainability and environmental friendliness as important factors when purchasing beauty products.
It is a fact that consumers are getting more informed and educated. The „beauty activist“ is no longer just a marketing persona on paper. So brands must avoid false claims and greenwashing. The latter seems to be an increasingly common practice where companies present themselves as environmentally friendly and sustainable, while their products and practices may not align with these claims. These practices can mislead consumers who are genuinely seeking eco-friendly options and undermine efforts towards genuine sustainability in the industry. When revealed, and it usually will be sooner or later, greenwashing will impact a consumer’s experience negatively with a brand.
Make sure to communicate clearly about your efforts to protect the environment. Consumers don’t need another brand that takes advantages of grey areas.
It is also essential to be clear about ingredients in suncare products. As of now (June 2023) there is no such thing as a ‘natural’ sunscreen. All sunscreens must contain some form of chemical, whether it is organic (octocrylene) or inorganic (i.e zinc oxide) that has been altered in a laboratory to block UV rays. For this reason, claiming a sunscreen is all ‚natural’ is simply false. In the past 24 months our labs have worked on fantastic formulas with the latest UV-filters which allowed us to get rid of many nonessential ingredients popularly used.
We consult brands on what is possible and how they can contribute to a more sustainable and mindful approach.
Brands are experimenting with different formats and textures based on their customers personal preferences, skin types, and the intended application area.
The more common textures you will find are creams, lotions, gels, sprays, oils, sticks and powders. Newer innovations we have seen on the markets are for example sun patches.
Before brainstorming on what texture and ingredients you want for your product it is a good idea to check your markets regulatory framework. Some things are not possible in Europe. Other things might be not compliant with the FDA in the US.
Another consideration: multifunctional products. Consumers like a beauty benefit to their suncare product. Recent launches use serum textures and an array of skincare ingredients (eg prebiotics, tulip complex). Others use DNA repair enzymes to mitigate damage or ingredients to hydrate skin, lighten dark spots or to improve the overall appearance of the skin.
Health and wellness at the forefront of suncare
To make suncare products more relevant, brands can focus on improving overall skin health instead of just UV protection.
The suncare category has made significant technological advancements, and consumers trust that their basic needs and functions are being met.
However, there is an opportunity to reignite their interest by incorporating new skincare ingredients, catering to different skin types and addressing various benefits.
Given the current focus on health and well-being, it’s crucial to avoid short-term strategies that undermine the value and profitability of the suncare category. Instead, it’s time to emphasize the tangible benefits of these products and create a sense of premium quality.
This is resonating with you and your vision? Get in touch to start the conversation about your private label suncare products.