Skip to main content

What to Watch 2019: Mass Skin Care Still Going Strong

Key launches from Procter & Gamble, Unilever, L'Oréal and more look to maintain mass market skin care's growth streak.

Skin care is the mass market’s bright spot. Despite all the talk of Millennials abandoning the drugstore beauty aisles for online and specialty retailers, skin care is still managing to sell. At the end of 2018, facial cleanser category sales were up 11 percent and moisturizer sales were up 16 percent. Acne and treatments and antiaging products have been slower to grow, but mass market brands are ramping up for 2019 with a slew of on-trend launches in formats marketed toward younger consumers. Also entering the market are a stable of new-to-mass active ingredients, including vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and new takes on retinol, that could give the antiaging category a much-needed boost. Below, the key 2019 launches from the major players.

Procter & Gamble

  1. Olay Masks, Olay Mists
Olay Masks
Olay Masks Courtesy Photo

After years of slumping sales, Olay’s business turned around in 2018 with the launch of its Whips moisturizers. The skin-care stalwart is starting off the new year with a slew of trend-driven offerings aimed at Millennials, the star products being Olay Masks and Olay Mists. Olay Masks is a range of three clay-based stick masks targeted at different skin issues — Glow Boost with white charcoal, Pore Detox with black charcoal and Fresh Reset with pink mineral complex — priced at $9.99 each. Olay Mists, also $9.99, are designed to instantly hydrate, are available in two varieties — vitamin C and bergamot extract, and aloe leaf and chamomile.

Related Galleries


2. L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition

You May Also Like

L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Honey Eye Gel
L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Honey Eye Gel Courtesy Photo

While much of the year’s skin-care launches are targeted at Millennials, L’Oréal Paris is continuing to build out its business for Baby Boomers with its Age Perfect franchise. The new Hydra-Nutrition Range, $19.99 to $24.99, includes manuka-honey-infused skin balm, day cream, night balm and eye gel developed for aging-related dryness. Also rolling out to broader mass retail distribution is the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives line, which launched on e-commerce in November. Derm Intensives includes the 10 Percent Pure Vitamin C Concentrate and 1.5 Percent Hyaluronic Acid, both priced at $29.99.

3. Cerave Skin Renewing Vitamin C

Cerave Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum
Cerave Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum Courtesy Photo

L’Oréal’s Active Cosmetics division has been quietly gaining steam, thanks in part to its 2017 acquisition of CeraVe. The dermatologist-recommended brand is one of the fastest-growing in the mass market, and under L’Oréal’s watch, its new launches are becoming increasingly active and sophisticated. The Skin Renewing Vitamin C, a 10 percent vitamin C concentrate, is due out in April 2019.

4. Garnier SkinActive Glow Boost 

Garnier SkinActive Glow-Boost 2-in-1 Facial Mask and Scrub
Garnier SkinActive Glow-Boost 2-in-1 Facial Mask and Scrub Courtesy Photo

Garnier’s new skin-care franchise, Glow Boost, is a continuation of its focus on natural ingredients and formulas free of additives consumers are wary of, including parabens, petroleums, silicones and microbeads. Glow Boost, formulated with 96 percent naturally derived ingredients, is apricot-based and consists of the Glow Boost Illuminating Moisturizer, $11.99; and the 2-in-1 Facial Mask and Scrub, $8.99, which is also vegan.

Johnson & Johnson

5. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair

Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Oil
Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Oil Courtesy Photo

Could Rapid Wrinkle Repair be Neutrogena’s next Hydro-Boost? Johnson & Johnson’s key skin-care brand could be on to its next star franchise with the addition the Prep Cleanser, $7.97, and Retinol Oil, $24.99; to its Rapid Wrinkle Repair lineup. The brand’s Rapid Wrinkle Regenerating Cream ended 2018 up 4 percent in mass market’s toughest skin-care category: facial antiaging.

6. Aveeno MaxGlow

Aveeno Positively Radiant MaxGlow Peel Off Mask
Aveeno Positively Radiant MaxGlow Peel Off Mask Courtesy Photo

Aveeno’s skin-care business is getting a Millennial-minded makeover in 2019. Sales on the brand’s Positively Radiant line were down last year, but the line is betting on its new Positively Radiant MaxGlow range for a much-needed shot in the arm. Priced from $6.99 to $17.99, kiwi and soy-infused MaxGlow consists of five products in on-trend formats, including the Micellar Gel Cleanser, Infusion Drops, Serum and Primer, Peel-Off Mask and No-Mess Sleep Mask. Also on-deck for Aveeno is a refresh on the Skin Relief line, including new balm and ointment treatments, and single-use hand and foot masks.


7. Simple Facial Pouches

The 10 Best New Drugstore Skin
Unilever Simple Facial Pouches Courtesy Photo

In February, Simple is rolling out three of its best-selling skin-care formulas in a new pouch format designed for the on-the-go consumer. Simple’s pouches, priced at $3 for 1.7 ounces each, will be available in the Micellar Cleansing Water, Hydrating Light Moisturizer and Moisturizing Facial Wash varieties.

8. St. Ives Face Mists

St. Ives Face Mist
St. Ives Face Mist Courtesy Photo

St. Ives is continuing its Millennial-minded transformation with the introduction of face mists. Zing, Ohhhm and Yaaas, scented with orange, lavender and grapefruit respectively, are priced at $5.99 and targeted squarely at younger consumer sets. Also on deck for the first half of 2019 are sheet masks and hydrogel eye masks, also formulated with on-trend natural ingredients such as oat, cactus water and not to be totally forgotten — the brand’s signature apricot.


9. Bioré

BiorŽ Blue Agave Plus Baking Soda Instant Warming Clay Mask
BiorŽ Blue Agave Plus Baking Soda Instant Warming Clay Mask Courtesy Photo

Kao-owned Bioré hit a rough patch last year — while its antiacne patches and signature nose strips are experiencing a resurgence in relevance with young consumers, its cleanser business suffered, down 22 percent according to IRI numbers tracking the 52 weeks ending Dec. 27. Blue Agave Plus Baking Soda, a new franchise aimed at combination skin is hoping to change that. Two products — a Balancing Pore Cleanser and Instant Warming Clay Mask, both $5.99, hit shelves in January.

Markwins Beauty Brands

10. Physicians Formula

Physicians Formula The Perfect Matcha 3-in-1 Melting Cleansing Balm
Physicians Formula The Perfect Matcha 3-in-1 Melting Cleansing Balm Courtesy Photo

Markwins-owned Physicians Formula is getting deeper into skin care. Last year, some of the brand’s sleeper hits included skin care — such as the Charcoal Detox Cleansing Stick and the RefreshMint Cucumber and Bamboo Eye De-Puffer — and its makeup remover sales are up more than 60 percent. This year, the skin-care-inspired makeup brand is broadening its traditional skin-care assortment to include The Perfect Matcha 3-in-1 Melting Cleansing Balm, $12.95; Coconut Milk Eye Makeup Remover, $5.95, and Skin Booster Vitamin Shots, $12.95.