HAPPY AGEING: A new concept in the cosmetics industry to further penetrate the elderly care market

Published on 26 October 2018 Read 25 min

The elderly represent a high-potential target for the cosmetics industry. The share of the population aged 60 or over will increase by a factor of 2.5 by 2050 to reach 33% of the world’s population. Moreover, the buying power of the elderly remains high, and they are more inclined to consume as they are driven by the desire to enjoy a new life after the age of 60. After targeting the elderly with anti-ageing products for a long time, cosmetics manufacturers wish to seduce them with the concept of “happy ageing” or “ageing well”. What are the scientific claims behind happy ageing? Which brands are positioned on this concept and what products do they offer? Alcimed, an innovation consulting company, studies this new strategy of the cosmetics industry.

From anti-ageing to pro-ageing

Historically, the anti-ageing market was made up of a multitude of products to conceal or correct ageing effects. For instance, there are no fewer than 20 anti-wrinkle creams under the DIOR brand. However, consumers are switching their interest from preventing ageing to ageing better. This change in mindset, identified by cosmetics manufacturers, has promoted the concept of “pro ageing” to support the beauty of mature women through products adapted to their skins.

Understanding the biological mechanisms behind “ageing well”

Skin undergoes cellular and molecular transformations responsible for ageing, such as a slower cell regeneration, a decreasing ability to retain water and an increased sensitivity. Silab -supplier of active ingredients for the cosmetics sector- has taken a close interest in the issue of “ageing well”. It has gathered from consumers four main parameters that differentiate well-aged skin from poorly-aged skin: moisture, firmness, absence of wrinkles and complexion radiance. During its study, Silab compared the genetic identity card of cells from well-aged and poorlyaged skin and highlighted three biological pathways involved in the observed differences: cellular proliferation, migration and adhesion. In light of these results, Silab developed an active ingredient -Wellagyl- claiming to restore the genetic and functional profiles of poorly-ageing skin cells.

“Pro ageing” products that meet specific needs

Most players from the cosmetics industry -large groups as well as smaller companies- are increasingly interested in the concept of “ageing well”. Companies are developing products that meet the ageing skin biological needs. For example, Chanel’s Blue Serum claims to restore mechanisms essential to skin longevity, namely cellular energy, cellular metabolism, adaptation to cellular stress and intercellular communication. Lancôme’s Advanced Genefique Sensitive skin care product tackles skin sensitivity, which causes an inflammatory state accelerating ageing. Lessoniahas developed a new active ingredient – Healthyskin- designed to reinforce ageing skin moisture.

Other brands favor a more holistic approach, such as the American company BOOM -pioneer in the pro-age concept, which promotes a range of products designed “for women who wish to reveal their authentic beauty by taking an honest and realistic approach”. Dermapositive’s “positive anti-ageing cosmetics” products range and its olfacto emotional serums restore the balance of inner emotions in order to age better.

“The objective is to develop products that better take into account phenomena that occur during skin ageing and that support it, while avoiding the disruption of the natural functioning of the skin.”- concludes Vincent Pessey, Project Manager at Alcimed.

Through the concept of “happy ageing”, born of a desire to promote the acceptance of one’s age, cosmetics manufacturers seem to have found a new approach to address the elderly care market in a different way. The current craze for pro-ageing skincare creams is only the beginning of a movement that could spread quite quickly to other segments, such as make-up and hair products.


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