As the preoccupation with wellness becomes more intertwined with beauty — the wellness-related beauty market is now valued at nearly $1.1 trillion, according to the Global Wellness Institute — sleep-centric beauty products have become a growing product category.
On Sephora.com, a customer can find over 170 sleep-related products from traditional skin-care items meant to work while one sleeps, like Peter Thomas Roth’s Green Releaf Therapeutic Sleep Cream, to more tangential items, like Slip’s silk sleep masks. At Ulta.com, a shopper can find 95 items, including This Works’ best-selling Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and In Transit No Traces cleansing pads. Even Hearst’s Good Housekeeping is showcasing sleep products and therapies in its new Wellness Institute, which opened last month.
“We consider ourselves a clean, intelligent skin-care brand that works with your body clock to maximize skin performance 24 hours a day,” said This Works CEO Anna Persaud. “Placing sleep as the first step in every skin-care routine is universal.”
This Works is not the only brand to seize the moment. In December 2018, skin-care brand Algenist, which launched eight years ago and was acquired by Tengram Capital Partners for over 20 million in 2016, released its Genius Sleeping Collagen overnight treatment on Algenist.com and Sephora.com (it is currently rolling out to physical Sephora locations followed by QVC). And Dr. Murad, which first came to market in 1989, also rolled out its first sleep offering called Night Fix Enzyme Treatment, which is meant to be applied over a moisturizer before bed. Dr. Murad is even partnering with mattress company Casper in a co-branded program that will include influencer mailouts and content.
“With healthy living standing strong as a key megatrend, and the importance of self-care increasingly being stressed, it is no surprise more attention is being paid to how we sleep,” said Gabriella Beckwith, Euromonitor International beauty and fashion analyst. “Not only is it argued that a lack of sleep can have detrimental effects on one’s long-term health, but the links between a healthy dewy complexion and a restful night’s sleep are renowned, hence ‘beauty sleep.’”
Algenist CEO Rose Fernandez agreed. “Sleep is a hot topic for a few reasons; on average, we rack six hours a night, which is tough on the body and ultimately on the skin. Without enough sleep, bodies produce an increased amount of the stress hormone cortisol that creates an inflammatory response, which may lead to a faster breakdown of collagen and elastin.”
While the brand would not share initial sales for its latest product, Fernandez said that Genius Sleeping Collagen has over 1,000 reviews on both sites in less than eight weeks of selling.
For This Works, which experienced a 46 percent year-over-year growth rate in 2018, Persaud said the brand is seeing new growth from the U.S. through new retailer partnerships.
This month, the brand launches on Nordstrom.com to fuel its U.S. expansion and will roll out to a select number of physical doors throughout the first quarter. This follows what This Works has been focused on doing across its American retailers for the last year: In July 2018, it began selling at Ulta.com, and an online test at Anthropologie.com that began at the end of 2017 grew to 200 physical doors at the end of last year. This Works’ retail sales subsequently grew by 83 percent last year in the U.S. To satisfy increased demand, This Works will debut its new Morning Expert collection of products (targeting skin concerns and alertness for sluggish post-sleep) in March.
This retail strategy has been particularly successful with younger consumers, said Persaud. U.S. traffic to its ThisWorks.com skews largely millennial (the brand saw a 409 percent increase from 25- to 34-year-olds to its site via Instagram, while its average age in its native U.K. is closer to 40). This Works has a small, but engaged Instagram following of 52,000 people.
This is keeping with what younger beauty consumers want. “One of the biggest trends we are seeing in beauty today is a higher emphasis on skincare, age prevention and attaining the all-natural glow,” said Beckwith.
“By not just targeting luxury or wellness individually, [we have gained] permission to play and succeed with a broad section of customers,” said Persaud. “The benefits of sleep is not just for some audiences.”