Recently I was in Paris where I attended in-cosmetics, the world’s leading business conference for personal care ingredients, and ground zero for global launches of innovative ingredients. Since I’m more oriented towards natural products, I observed how much this category has grown in the past 11 years that I’ve been attending this show. Several themes stand out and the global trend prognosticators outlined the ways in which the beauty industry is changing. The major trends that emerged are that consumers, especially millennials, are looking for products that are natural/organic, gentle and safe for the skin. Skincare has evolved into a wellness position that takes a holistic approach, anti-stress, anti-pollution and detoxifying claims are growing, sustainability and traceability of ingredients have become very important, and my personal favorite- the connection between body/mind/skin has exploded into awareness. Additionally, surveys show that millennials would rather interact with a digital device rather than a human sales person in a department store setting to purchase products.
Let’s start with the rising natural and organic desires of consumers, which has resulted in double digit growth for the last few years. Consumers are getting savvy about the veritable cocktail of chemicals that are found in their personal care products, as well as general pollution in their environment, and how that might impact them on a physical level. As well, it has become easier to “score” product ingredients risks by consulting personal apps such as Think Dirty which allows consumers to scan their product code directly into their phone and access an assessment of the product’s safety. One drawback to these kinds of scoring databases are the gaps in data that would allow more accurate assessments to be made.
Beauty has evolved into a wellness proposition and incorporates a more holistic approach to achieving this end. Globally there has been an explosion of people who want to not only look good, but want to feel good as well. A deeper understanding of the concept of “beauty from within” which connects diet and nutrition to healthier skin and more graceful aging is now more universally accepted. “You are what you eat” is gaining market share and cache in the beauty world, as well as being supported with science.
Anti-pollution claims proliferated in Paris this year, building on the recent research that demonstrated that air pollution causes premature and accelerated aging of the skin. Yikes! Who doesn’t have to battle car exhaust and other pollution on a day-to-day basis? While new and innovative actives have been developed that will be incorporated into beauty products in the near future to staunch the collateral skin damage, don’t forget to pay more attention to the cleansing part of your skin care routine (think Clarisonic brushes) and the mushrooming category of detoxifying masks.
Sustainability continues to gain momentum, primarily fueled by the millennials who vote their ideals with their wallet. As the consumer desire for plant based ingredients continues to grow, this puts stress on our earth’s resources. Strong consideration for where and how botanical ingredients are grown and sourced, and the entire carbon footprint of the ingredient over its life cycle is replacing the laissez faire attitude of yesterday about where ingredients came from, or the environmental impacts of its eventual processing and shipping to market.
The mind/body/skin connection is taking center stage. Stress has been found to be a harbinger of unwelcome skin issues such as acne and rashes, to dermatological conditions such as psoriasis and shingles. As the skin and the brain have the same embryonic tissue origin, this should not be a surprise. Stress promotes the release of the stress hormone, cortisol, and inflammatory markers in the skin leading to breakdown of collagen, leading to wrinkles, and impaired epidermal barrier function. Recently launched beauty products seek to address this new market need by promoting stress relief. Aromatherapy is a prime feature of many of these products, using essential oils such as lavender to induce calm.
The make-up free selfie is spawning a trend of its own, naturally radiant and glowing bare skin that is the culmination of the trends highlighted in this article. After all, if you are not going to cover up your skin troubles with makeup, you’d best take better care of your skin. Healthy looking skin is the best cosmetic of all!
Dr. Anne Marie Fine, based in Newport Beach, Ca, is the founder and CEO of Fine Natural Products which provides organic, botanical and vitamin-based skin care. She’s an award-winning researcher, author and speaker. Dr. Fine is especially sensitive to the effects of toxicants found in personal care products and their effect of developing fetuses, children, and adults. Read more at http://www.drannemariefine.com.