Prebiotics and probiotics are among the top five growing skincare claims in the Asia-Pacific region product launches but consumers need to be educated about their efficacy, according to market analysts Mintel.
Mintel data shows that microbiome claims are still niche accounting for less than 5% of all facial care launches in the region between Jan 2019 and Nov 2022, but are constantly increasing.
In its new 2022 APAC Beauty and Personal Care Landscape report, Mintel found 35% of Thai consumers are aware of probiotics as a beauty ingredient, yet microbiome-related claims are still considered niche in the local market.
A majority of Thai consumers who are aware of probiotics associate them mostly with body care and soap, bath and shower products, probably connected to the number of launches and the stronger communication in these categories.
Yet, half of them associate probiotics with facial skincare and this is where the biggest opportunity lies as consumers are more engaged.
“A key opportunity to raise understanding of microbiome will be reinforcing/rebalancing the skin barrier and targeting common skin conditions like acne,” said Chiara Zen, Director of Insights, Beauty, Personal Care and Household, APAC.
“Functional beauty ingredients have become a reason to believe, and this is the space where it could be easier to get consumers familiar with the notion of good/bad bacteria and the importance of skin microbiome balance as the foundation of acne-free skin,” she added.
“To successfully establish this new ingredient is critical to illustrate its efficacy. A key opportunity to boost probiotics ‘awareness’ in skincare is, for example, to offer anti-acne benefits.”
The 2022 APAC Beauty and Personal Care Landscape report found that in the next two years, consumers will also become more aware that climate change concretely impacts their health.
This, along with the lingering impacts of the pandemic, has been driving consumer interest in and acceptance of eco-friendly formulas, including waterless ones.
“People are adopting more responsible behaviour as they recognise that environmental health equals human health,” said Zen.
“Waterless formats represent an opportunity for a more eco-friendly offer, but brands need to balance the focus on promoting skin benefits, e.g. higher concentration of actives, and safety, e.g. lack of preservatives, and yet provide no compromise in terms of pleasant experiences.”