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Looking for Alternatives

By: Imogen Matthews
Posted: March 6, 2008, from the March 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

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In cosmetics formulations, gemstones can add light reflective properties, and their mineral content is said to be beneficial to the skin. “They enable brands to target the premium or even super-premium segment with rare, indulgent ingredients that lend brands an air of exclusivity,” says Euromonitor International* analyst Diana Dodson. “In skin care and color cosmetics, gemstones also have the added benefit consumers want for their skin, i.e. luminescence.”

Aveda’s Tourmaline was one of the first gemstone-based skin care ranges, claiming to have an energizing formula that imparts radiance to the skin. Armani’s Crème Nera uses obsidian, which is technically not a gemstone but naturally occurring glass (highly prized in pre-Greco-Roman times). “[There are] claims [that it has] powerful positive energy due to its volcanic origins, so the company uses this concept to enhance the product performance,” says Mintel’s Lewis.

“Diamonds [too] are both beautiful and the hardest known natural material, which makes them perfect as abrasives in exfoliators and microdermabrasion,” adds Dodson. Other beauty products formulated with precious gemstones and metals include La Prairie Pure Gold (containing 24-carat gold microparticles), Nivea Pearl & Beauty Deodorant and Borba Firming Spandex Fibre Body Polish, containing diamond powder.

Pure, natural and luxurious products are taking hold, and the combination of these qualities and buy-in of marketers and suppliers will likely ensure that these will be trends for the longer term.

nic Monitor, Euromonitor, Mintel, Circaroma and Organic Apoteke will participate in the marketing trends presentations at the 2008 in-cosmetics show, held April 15–17 in Amsterdam. For further information, visit