Pursuing agelessness in South Africa

Pursuing agelessness_in_South_AfricaAt a presentation in Johannesburg, Clem Sunter described South Africa as being at its ‘second tipping point’ economically. Could the same be said for the anti-ageing skin care market? Consumers’ desire to look forever young is a key driver in pushing anti-ageing skin care products increasingly closer to the boundaries of truly ‘therapeutic’ activity. The last five years have seen the development of extremely potent active ingredients, which are designed to reduce the visible signs of ageing and we’ve seen equally novel marketing concepts created to support them.

Globally, anti-ageing skin care treatments can be subdivided into three main categories: natural solutions, hi-tech propositions and dermo-cosmetics – all of these appealing to different sectors of the marketplace, depending on their necessarily different key drivers. These global categories are equally reflected in South Africa, although microcosmically so, given the demographics of the country where these types of products are typically accessible to consumers in LSM 7+ groups only.

The other interesting dynamic is the apparently changing target market for anti-ageing skin care offerings – what has historically been the domain of the 40+ age group has recently opened up and so-called Generation Y females, aged 25-34 years old, now perceive anti-ageing benefits as a key influence that drives their choice of skin care purchases.

Of the three aforementioned categories, it is the ‘natural solutions’ proposition that has travelled the furthest in the last few years. Read more here about this exponential growth observed worldwide.

Then, notwithstanding the obvious success of the natural approach to the treatment of prematurely aged skin, the ‘hi-tech proposition’ category is also here to stay. Read more here to find out what’s sustaining this market.

Finally, the category of dermo-cosmetics is one with arguably the most potential for future growth in the anti-ageing skin care sector. It is, however, fraught with difficulties from a regulatory perspective, as it lies firmly on the boundary between cosmetics and medical treatments. Read more here about the main issues faced. 

John Knowlton is the owner of Cosmetic Solutions

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