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NPD: Blemish balm market poised for growth


PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — BB creams, which also are referred to as “blemish balms” or “beauty balms,” have experienced significant growth in the past several months, according a new report by market research company the NPD Group.

BB creams are relatively new, multifunctional products that combine the functionality of primers, SPF and moisturizers, along with the anti-aging benefits of skin serums. In the 12 months ended in March, BB creams sold in U.S. department stores generated close to $9 million, according to NPD.

Women tell NPD that, while they expect BB creams to provide skin care and makeup benefits, they want to understand more about the product and how it works. According to NPD, about 8-in-10 beauty shoppers like beauty products that offer multiple benefits, and that rises to slightly more than 9-in-10 for BB cream purchasers. The top five benefits expected from a BB cream include natural-looking coverage (52%), moisturizes/hydrates skin (47%), nourishes/treats skin (42%), provides SPF sunscreen protection (42%) and improves skin texture (38%).

Although the incidence of purchasing BB creams currently is very small (2% of total beauty shoppers) the majority of purchasers told NPD they’re extremely or very satisfied with their last BB cream purchase, and 77% expressed positive repurchase intent. According to the report, nearly 4-out-of-10 beauty shoppers, overall, said that they would consider buying a BB cream in the future.

“About half of all beauty shoppers are sitting on the fence, saying they may or may not buy BB creams in the future. Why does that matter? Almost 7-in-10 BB cream purchasers have replaced either a makeup or skin care product with a BB cream. Even though usage is low right now, as more brands enter the market and the category grows, cannibalization could become a much larger challenge,” stated Karen Grant, VP and senior global industry analyst for the NPD Group.

“Messaging that clearly distinguishes the benefits of and usage occasions for BB creams versus other facial products could help ensure the coexistence of various products in a women’s beauty regimen. Figuring that out could make the difference in whether BB creams gain traction more broadly or not,” Grant  added.

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