chapter  5
12 Pages

Toners and Astringents

ByMelanie Smith

Skin care sales continue to grow globally, driven by innovative new product forms,

multifunctional products, consumer interest in reducing the signs of aging, a rise in

disposable income, and the availability of foreign product lines in formerly less-developed

countries. Most of the increase in sales is generated by anti-aging/nourishing products.

Dermatologists’ skin care lines with scientific-sounding names and minimalist packaging

are increasingly popular with the consumer who feels these lines may provide efficacy at

an affordable price without a prescription. Euromonitor (1) reported toner sales worldwide

in 2004 at $4.7 billion, growing at a lower rate than other skin care categories. Growth in

toner sales in 2004 came from Asia-Pacific, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Latin

America where multistep regimens are well received. In the U.S., where convenience

is a key factor in product usage, sales peaked at $384.7 million in 1999 and then began

a gradual decline which is forecasted to continue. The perception among some consumers

that toners are unnecessary or harmful because they “strip” the skin, the lack of innovation

in the product form, and inconvenience are among the reasons toner sales have declined.

Toners are often perceived as harmful because consumers tend to associate them with

drying of the skin and high alcohol levels. At one time toners were touted as pH balancers

and necessary to remove the highly alkaline, drying, irritating residue of cleansers and

soaps of the past. Most cleansers marketed today are mild and well formulated so as not to

disrupt the skin’s pH level, thus minimizing the perceived need for toners. In addition,

toners have not advanced from the traditional solution form. Consumers prefer the

convenience of facial cleansing wipes and multifunctional products, such as two-in-one

cleanser/toner and three-in-one cleanser/toner/mask products, rather than the additional

step of a toner. Despite this, there are opportunities for the dermatologist, aesthetician, and

consumer to use a toner that is cosmetically acceptable, provides a sensorial experience,

is suitable as a delivery vehicle, and is formulated appropriately for skin type.