Body Care Is the Booziest White Space in Beauty

Although scrubs and bath additives are where forecasters are predicting the most growth, it’s still body creams that sell the best. “Cream remains the largest format for overall skincare and for body as well,” Jensen says. “But we are seeing a spin on the typical cream such as [ones with] whipped texture.” Take the Teixeira Nutrition line from Avenel: a wash, lotion and balm that works for both the face and body, helping consumers take care of their skin from head-to-toe, potentially giving shoppers an awareness about body skin they didn’t have before.

However, the body care market still has plenty of whitespaces, says Cotter — and the numbers definitely reflect that. According to NPD, body care made up for just five percent of prestige skincare sales in 2017. What’s more, of the $1.2 billion global skincare market, per a 2017 Euro monitor report, only a small fraction was spent by consumers on the body category. And this is despite all categories seeing healthy year-over-year growth.

Specifically, Jensen is seeing a rise not only in bath salts but also in “bath fizzes,” as Jensen says, as well as body scrubs. Take Persona, the indie bath line which launched six problem-solving soaks in 2014 and has since gained shelf space at beauty boutiques such as Ronda Beauty and online e-tailors, including Revolve.

 When Goop’s senior vice president of beauty Erin Cotter joined the celebrity wellness site in 2016, her boss, Gwyneth Paotow, already had her first body-care product in mind (separate from the skincare range with Juice Beauty, on which she collaborates): bath salts. “Gwyneth really believes in the power of a hot bath,” says Cotter. “We approached the project thinking of a bath as being this ideal remedy for the needs of our modern lifestyle: whether that’s a racing mind, emotional overwhelm, sore muscles, a body that’s overindulged, or when you’re feeling under the weather,” she adds of the traditional Chinese medicine ingredients-laced soaks.

But bath salts are just one of the body care subcategories rising

Paotow, who has been taking daily baths for two decades now, swears by the power of a healing bath at the end of every single day for her overall well-being. Ingredients, including pharmaceutical-grade Epsom salt, which purportedly helps to alleviate inflammation and pain, along with vibe-enhancing, corresponding essential oils, may create a sacred space, but the physical health benefits — according to science at least, are minimal at best. It largely depends on the research you look at, says Nit in Kumar, MD. “There are a few small-scale studies that show that magnesium [found in Epsom salts] levels increase with topical application,” he says, citing a 2014 report from the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine. Anecdotally speaking, though, the act of merely taking the time for a bath is restorative in and of itself, notes Kumar.

“We see this opportunity in body care that’s really therapeutic and performance-driven, and designed to address specific needs and lifestyle occasions,” says Cotter. “There’s not really anyone doing that yet.” And Cotter is ready to exploit the “current whitespace” in the body-care market. “This is a totally fresh, new, and different approach to body care and we’re going to build. Goop soaks are just the first of many body-care launches to come.”

Scrubs are also seeing growth in both the mass, prestige and indie markets. In January, Dove rolled out three exfoliating body polishes; in 2017, Frank Body, a body-care and skincare brand whose core product is a coffee-grain exfoliate, launched a shimmer scrub that amassed a 20,000 person-wait list. What’s more, these scrubs — especially all natural ones, like Frank Body’s — claim to aid in skin health by eliminating excess dead skin cells for smoother, cleaner, and clearer skin that feels luxurious. (And in the case of the aforementioned Shimmer Scrub, make you look quite luminous, too.)

Looking ahead, Lisa Hong, a research analyst for Euro monitor based in South Korea, also expects to see more products like the Teixeira line as the market continues to blow up. Hong says we should anticipate “combined and/or hybrid products” to gain popularity. “Think in-shower lotions or bath additives or oils that don’t require any additional care after using it just once.”