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European Med Spas: a Series #5

September 28th, 2011

Skincare: A Growing Global Business

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the global market for “nipntucks” now exceeds $30 billion.   I think factors driving this growth are an aging population, growing overall acceptance of cosmetic surgery and an uptick of people seeking cosmetic improvements for themselves.

Skincare and anti-aging products are big business.   According to research by  Mintel  and  Beauty News,  62% of French women use anti-wrinkle products.    But they are not alone.     “Wrinkles are not just an issue for French women. Italian women are not far behind, with 60% using anti-wrinkle products, followed by Spanish women at 55%, the UK -51% and Germany -49%.

Does it seem that all the new beauty products or cosmetic techniques come from Europe?   There is a good reason why this happens to be the case.  In Europe, most of these cosmetic products only need to obtain a ‘Conformit’e Europeene’ certification, which is a relatively cheaper and quicker process, unlike seeking for FDA approval in America.   Companies can more easily launch products in Europe and begin their marketing and brand building process there.

The intense consumer interest in anti-aging and facial skincare products worldwide, is probably driving new product developments with fancy marketing of scientific claims, like ever-lengthening peptide chains and DNA repair.   Elaborate packaging also helps to create the sensation of medical-breakthrough serums to erase wrinkles and appears to appeal to women worldwide.

Next Stop: Switzerland



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European Med Spas: a Series #4

September 26th, 2011

Trendy French Spa Treatments

The traditional French Thermal spa, Les Thermes de Saint-Gervais-Les-Bains  is an institution in the Chamonix Valley that is more than 200 years old.     The hot and healthy thermal water straight from the glacial waters of the Mont Blanc Massif is often described as a real natural serum. The traditional treatments exist in perfect harmony with new products and techniques.

According to Mintel,  the revenue from the skincare market in the five key European markets (France, Italy, Germany, UK and Spain) reached 6.1 billion Euros in 2009 or about $8.7 billion dollars.   France represents more than 36% of this market.

Thermes de Saint-Gervais is typical in its offerings of beauty, wellness and relaxation treatments.  Warm mineral water treatments and beauty therapies include hydro-massage, volcanic clay applications and facial masks, jet showers, sauna and hammam; all combining essential oils, aromatic and medicinal plants.   We toured the new anti-stress and relaxation circuit that is combined with a multi-station outdoor natural spring water pool.

According to our guide, Julie it has been a very successful addition to the property.   The unique spa atmosphere is carefully crafted to achieve maximum relaxation with special attention to lighting, sound and visual cues.   The senses are meant to be calmed before exploring the thermal stations in the outdoor pool.   We were invited to experience the new treatments ourselves, but a busy travel schedule made it impossible this trip.   However, the view from the outdoor mineral pool was stunning, with snow-capped Mont Blanc in almost every direction.

Next: Skincare: a Growing Global Business




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