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Beauty is in the Eye of the Trendsetter

By: Marie Ollagnier and Juliana Feitosa
Posted: August 28, 2012, from the September 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Many beauty product manufacturers are placing ethical and environmental credentials high on their list of priorities. Brands are communicating increasingly about their programs and implementing campaigns to educate consumers about environmental considerations.

Beauty brands and suppliers also continue to seek creative new ways to merge science, nature and sustainability for eco-friendly formulas, packaging and energy efficiency. This altruistic marketing supports human and environmental causes, and attracts the attention of avid bloggers and consumers who are concerned about how corporations use the world’s limited resources and what those organizations are doing in return to help the planet.

Social media, Internet forums and online word-of-mouth have restored the popularity of basic and traditional ingredients that remind us of the simplicity of the past. Traditional medicines developed from local herbs and botanicals, fruits and other natural products have found renewed success with nostalgic consumers, and products that combine beauty with physical and psychological wellness are also popular.

Increasingly, popular brands are developing safe and effective formulas that are free of potentially harmful ingredients without requiring consumers to sacrifice results in their search for well-being. These cosmetics use materials that are derived from or inspired by nature, but also are  backed by science to ensure quality results.


Influenced by the digital world where customization is simple and effortless, individuals now increasingly look to tailor everything to their own preferences. With the wide variety of cosmetic, beauty and personal care products available, as well as varying definitions of beauty in different markets, consumers must ask, “What’s best for me?” Social networks and smartphones allow consumers to research solutions online and ask their friends or favorite forums for instant information and advice.

Cosmetic manufacturers and beauty brands are responding to these questions by increasing segmentation and offering larger, more complex product portfolios. Increasingly sophisticated, new genomic and other high-tech cosmetics tend to be active at the level of the epidermis, cells and even DNA to restore and repair skin to its original form. In addition, new made-to-measure products empower individuals to select the composition, type and amount of actives that can be personalized to address their specific needs.

The Internet has become a kingdom for cosmetic alchemists looking to achieve ultimate customization. Do-it-yourself beauty products and homemade cosmetics for skin and hair care lead to an enjoyable, personal experience. The ability to select the appropriate actives, fragrance and texture reassures consumers that they are using something unique while controlling the ingredients that are combined and formulated specifically for their needs.

Notions of beauty have always been swayed by local preferences and traditions, but now those traditions are being influenced more than ever by the exchange and fusion of global interaction. The combination of global urbanization, the desire for greater sustainability and the quest for individuality all factor into the ever-changing definition of beauty. In other words, beauty can be sophisticated yet simple, multicultural yet unique. And the most successful brands in the beauty industry will be able to respond to these trends to help consumers achieve their own personal ideal of beauty.

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Marie Ollagnier is the global strategic marketing manager in skin care for Lubrizol Personal Care. She is a graduate of ESCOM, a French chemical engineering university, and she began her career as a formulation chemist working in the innovation laboratories at Symrise before joining Lubrizol in 2005, where she has held various marketing roles.

Juliana Feitosa is the marketing coordinator for Lubrizol Personal Care in the South Latin America market. A graduate of Universidade Nove de Julho in São Paulo, Brazil, Feitosa has nearly a decade of experience in marketing in the personal care industry. She joined Lubrizol in 2008.