By  on May 4, 2007

NEW YORK — Skin care manufacturers now have to go beyond the glow.

Two years ago, glow moisturizers, or lotions that impart subtle color, ushered in a whole new skin care category. Sales soared and Americans started looking bronzed and beautiful. Then, like many good ideas, there was a plethora of launches that sapped sales of the first to market, Jergens, and began to slow the entire category. Growth is expected to accelerate again this year.

Now there's a new radiance to glow products, and retailers consider glow a separate category requiring its own merchandising planogram. Beauty manufacturers are looking for their own special place in the market where they can add something to their moisturizers that competitors don't have. Retailers are ripping up skin care departments, making room on already crowded shelves for items designed to give customers a hint of color. Retailers said glow is a category in its own right and has not eroded traditional body care sales.

For Beiersdorf, the secret ingredient is to add firming capabilities, according to Nicolas Maurer, vice president of marketing for Nivea. "Our research found people thinking about using glow products also want to firm up," he said.

The result is Nivea Sun-Kissed Firming Glow, which also has what Maurer describes as a pleasant mango scent. "We realize we aren't first to the market [with a glow product], so we had to add benefits. In addition to wanting firming, people complain about the scent of other products," he added. A 1.7 ounce retails for $6.99.

L'Oréal was early to the self-tanning universe with Sublime and has extended that franchise into a facial glow item called L'Oréal Sublime Glow for Face. Buyers said consumers are drawn to this because in addition to moisturizing and adding glow, the product features an SPF of 15. Carol Hamilton, president of the L'Oréal Paris division of L'Oréal USA, confirmed that Sublime Glow is doing "exceptionally well" at retail.

Even Jergens, which helped kick off the trend in the U.S. is tweaking its items. To help inspire sales of its new facial product, Jergens shrink-wrapped its facial item to its body product. Jergens has added SPF 20 to its formulas for its facial item. Jergens is the only glow item to show up in Information Resources Inc.'s top facial selling items and for the 52-week period ended Jan. 28. The item displayed almost a 4 percent growth rate over the same period for the year before.Unilever extended the Dove franchise into the glow segment with Energy Glow, which is actually a buildable color product because daily use deepens color much like a self tanner. Since it does gradually "tan," there are different formulas for various skin tones.

Johnson & Johnson used Aveeno as its entry to glow, which also has gradual color enhancers and different shades for multiple skin tones. With the various shade offerings, these brands get extra facings, or space, on the shelf.

With summer around the corner, retailers are giving glow items prime real estate. Target, for example, has an entire glow endcap with special gift packs of Jergens that help promote the facial product. On shelves, merchants have had to pare traditional moisturizers to make more room for glow products. "We love what glow has brought to the market, but the constant launches are making it a nightmare to merchandise," said one company vice president. Since glow products are linked closely to cosmetics chains, such retailers as Walgreens, CVS and Target are merchandising the skin care items either in beauty or close to the cosmetics aisles. At Target, glow product endcaps are the distinguishing display to separate cosmetics and health and beauty aids.

Thanks to innovative marketers, glow products have not faded into history, but have added a new shine to beauty care sales.

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