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Chasing Tomorrow’s Beauty Trends

By: Daniela Ciocan
Posted: October 31, 2013, from the November 2013 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Some of the most unique ideas in skin care are from niche players that are likely to find favor with retail buyers and consumers in the next year or so. Here are some of the finds that I uncovered at Cosmoprof Worldwide, held in Bologna in spring 2013.

Space age technology: 111Skin is positioned as a new generation of anti-aging skin care, founded and developed by plastic surgeon Dr. Yannis Alexandrides, who observed that while surgery can lift, enhance, reshape and correct, it cannot revive skin to be more youthful or radiant in appearance, or protect against environmental damage. Based in London, 111Skin claims that its key ingredients were used by astronauts in extreme space conditions where accelerated aging is reported to occur. The product range consists of eight skin care products, and each contains a patented formula: NAC Y2, a combination of NAC, vitamin C and escin to increase glutathione, which the company claims is the most vital antioxidant in our cells. The 111Skin range is exclusive to Harrods UK.

Nobel Prize-winning science: Forlle’d is an elite cosmetic collection from Japan, and its professional skin care line Hyalogy is said to be based on a patented, low-molecular ionized hyaluronic acid with molecules only five nanometers wide and with high ionization levels—allowing it to reach deep into the skin without the need for injection. Forlle’d technology is based on the invention of Koichi Tanaka, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2002. Based on Tanaka’s invention and a patented manufacturing process, the Forlle’d laboratory claims to have created and measured a low molecular hyaluronic acid, capable of penetrating into deep layers of skin and protecting its moisture. The company also claims that the penetration extends through the basal membrane into the dermis, and the low-molecular ionized hyaluronic acid enhances its ability to retain moisture, giving a double moisturizing effect.

Evaporative cooling technology: LiquidIce CosMedicals is a cosmedical brand from Switzerland. It was established in 2005 and made available only to select plastic surgeons, dermatologists and aesthetic clinics. The brand literature describes innovative natural thermodynamic treatments that deliver targeted evaporative cooling to the skin, lowering its temperature by 5°C to strengthen the tissue and close the pores, along with other visible results, in just 10 minutes. The LiquidIce brand also claims to be medically proven, offering dermatological science- and fact-based treatments that are safe for both professional and home use.

LiquidIce manufacturing is done in the center of the Swiss mountains, and claims to benefit from pure ingredients such as Swiss mountain water, as well as pharmaceutical production standards.

Biomedical approach: The Luksus beauty skin care formulations are the brainchild of Lili Fan, MD, a scientist and anti-aging formulator of many top-selling skin care products, as well as a leading peptide technology researcher. The Luksus skin care range claims to harness ingredients such as a retino-peptide/LYSODAG/probiotic complex to help skin actually “digest” ingredients, thus diminishing age-related skin factors. The company reports that these peptides work synergistically to trigger a positive response in skin’s gene expression, stimulating growth factors and boosting cells to increase collagen and elastin production. This technology produces visible line elimination, and reduces large pores, sagging and spots.

“By using bioactive anti-inflammatory and collagen regeneration, I believe I can return skin to a more youthful look and feel,” says Fan.

Digital technology: Utilizing the smartphone to put these and many other anti-aging products to the test, everyday technology will enable consumers to see the changes to their skin, as well allow them to tap into a network of women consumers with skin types and issues matching theirs to get support and advice before making a purchase.

Beautécam from Japan is an iPhone-compatible app that allows everyone to try their hand at self-skin analysis. Users get a 30x magnification lens (sold separately) to clip over the iPhone camera. After a photo is taken, the app checks texture, dryness, aging, sun spots and pores, then users can share results with their own network of friends online.

The genesis of the self-skin analysis will put even more pressure on skin care manufacturers to develop powerful super anti-agers, and personally, I am excited to experience all this up-and-coming technology.

Artistic Touch

Another trend being seen in the beauty industry is the emergence of entrepreneurs with an artistic flair who develop niche labels that are an expression of their originality combined with a strong desire to express a point of view or idea. Perfumes, soaps and body care lend themselves best to this concept, as these product types can be feasibly created in home labs.

Based on the idea of scarcity and exclusivity, with extra attention to artisanship and detail due to the often low output quantity, these labels give the user a total experience—including visually through the use of unique packaging and materials, as well as sensorially through the products’ texture, feel and smell.

While in Italy, I was charmed by Duccio Cresci, the artist and creator of Experimenta Firenze. He creates handmade soaps wrapped in handprinted silk fabric that can then be reused. Additionally, I was drawn to his beautiful displays of Carrara marble stone, which are immersed in fragrance for three months and are meant to be used as both art and home fragrance experiences.

Also of note are the Parfums Bombay 1950 scents created by Luciano Sorrentino d’Afflitto and that are inspired by his travels. Each fragrance in the collection is inspired by places in the world he visited and the exotic fragrances he associated with those destinations.

Another, U.S. artist Beau Rhee is the founding director of Atelier de Geste, a studio and brand that works between the creative platforms of art, design and performance. The studio is based in New York, and, through its design products, aims to reduce the distinction between fine art and the everyday.