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I often get asked what the best beauty products are, or which are my favorites. Because there are thousands of products being launched each year, and I am often privileged to try them just as they come to the market, it is always a tough question. One reason being a part of Cosmoprof is so exciting is I get to see entrepreneurs from around the world unveil their innovations, hoping to be the next big thing.
When I am asked about what new trends I have seen, I ponder how to define the term “trend” and what is trendy. Originality that will capture consumer imagination is a key factor; thus here are my predictions for hair, skin, ingredients and niche categories and where they are heading in the next few months and years to come—as well as brands that are leading the way.
The hair care category is experiencing a shift wherein claims and ingredients that are traditionally associated with skin care are now crossing over. Retailers could potentially organize hair care assortments according to classifications such as hair vitality and anti-aging, strengthening and fortifying, hair growth and restructuring, hair volume and texturizing, and hair color renewal. This would enable retailers to help consumers identify the best problem-solving products—and sell more products at higher price points.
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Hair vitality and anti-aging: The hair vitality and anti-aging category makes claims consumers have become familiar with in the skin care realm. For example, brand Olez claims to be the equivalent of hair Botox, a unique oxygen therapy that helps detoxify the hair and scalp while removing toxins. The Keratage professional hair care brand also makes age-defying claims; the line consists of a series of treatments designed to repair the hair from inside out with its Kernox patented technology, which it touts as a scientific breakthrough in the anti-aging hair care category. And Italian company Landoll launched a three-item hair care collection featuring hyaluronic acid, marine collagen and marine algae. This professional-use line is meant to be used in salons as a treatment, and clients get a shampoo to use at home as a follow-up routine to help rejuvenate hair.
Strengthening and fortifying: Claiming to rebuild hair texture, the Toppik hair care brand features keratin fibers that cling to existing hair and fill in thinning or balding areas. Meanwhile, the newly launched hair care line gutZgray utilizes technology in non-embryonic stem cell research and comes enriched with essential oils, extracts and vitamins specifically created for the coarse gray hair market.
Hair growth and restructuring: The hair growth and restructuring segment is not only enjoying the advent of devices such as laser brushes and caps but is also showing advances in bringing to market natural, drug-free and even gluten-free formulations and dermatology-endorsed hair care products.
Hair Essentials is positioned as an all-natural, 100% drug-free, certified gluten-free breakthrough formula that naturally combats hair loss, revitalizes hair follicles, and nourishes thicker, healthier, faster-growing hair. Meanwhile Revivogen Pro claims to be the first medically formulated natural solution for thinning hair from the dermatologist office.
Hair volume and texturizing: The hair volume and texturizing market, while present for a long time, is now poised for tremendous growth as the ethnic population segment is predicted to expand significantly in the years to come. In fact, it is estimated that 80% of the growth in the U.S. beauty market will be driven by ethnicities other than Caucasian over the next seven years. Retailers should move this category and merchandise it side by side with the other categories mentioned as non-ethnic customers may need similar formulations for their hair.
Brands leading the way include ApHogee Curlific!, a new line of products for textured, wavy and curly hair that includes the brand’s exclusive PropHytamine Complex, which utilizes precise levels of proteins, emollients and humectants to achieve and maintain healthy hair. Another new product line, Miss Jessie’s Jelly Soft Curls is a styler specifically designed to leave curls touchably soft and crunch free while providing shine and hold.
Hair color renewal: The next barrier to break in the hair market is the hair color renewal category, meaning products that help gray hair turn back to its original color by altering the pigmentation of the hair strand. Many companies are conducting extensive R&D in this area, and some are even starting to claim some success.
Shu Uemura’s Full Shimmer is an illuminating hair care collection that adds vibrancy to color with musk rose oil that leaves hair with a glazed touch from roots to ends. Musk oil helps prevent oxidation and boosts shine and color. And Shiseido’s Adenogen Hair Energizing Formula is an ultra-intensive, fully reinvigorating treatment for hair that works at the root and scalp. The energizing lotion is designed to be massaged into the scalp to restore hair’s natural vitality, thickness and healthy sheen.
As the hair care market is heading into the segmentation and claims pioneered by skin care products, what’s evolving in the skin care market? Several shifts are occurring that indicate important changes to this market’s dynamic.
As expected as the baby boomer generation gets older, consumers are seeking more powerful actives and results. It is estimated that in the next decade, 65% of all future growth in the beauty industry will come from older consumers.
At the same time, many younger women are opting for advanced anti-agers at an earlier age. The days of marketing skin care products by age groups are long gone. What we will see going forward will likely be broad categories using skin’s behavior as the cornerstones for positioning products.
Also, due to advancing technology, skin care brands are now able to fine tune the delivery mechanisms and active ingredients to best deliver ingredients into skin, bringing in the so-called “super anti-agers.” The super anti-agers deliver cosmeceutical, OTC-grade performance by combining powerful actives, delivery systems and novel approaches aimed at enhancing skin’s functions.
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.
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.
Also, unisex scents such as Blood Sweat Tears mix exotic notes of tea, tobacco, mixed woods, jasmine and fruits, while Mémoire Liquide Reserve Edition honors the artist and originality in each of us. The old world-style oil bottles with rubber pipettes are an open laboratory found in select luxury specialty stores, allowing each woman the opportunity to have a scent developed and customized for her on the spot—and the recipe is saved to allow for later replenishments.
Supercharged with Food
We close this trend overview with the last key element that I see making headway in several beauty categories—food.
The connection humans have with food is the most basic and elemental, and because we acquaint ourselves with the ingredients and properties of food so early and so intimately through our own experiences, we naturally respond positively when encountering such ingredients used in beauty.
The prevalence of gourmet-type ingredients in beauty products is across the board—in oils, skin and body care, fragrances, and beyond. Trends in the food industry often are adopted in the beauty industry relatively quickly—the organic movement, for example, as well as supercharged power foods (usually fruits and nuts), probiotics and sea plants. Want to know what the next major edible ingredient making headway in beauty will be? Tune into the Food Network or the Cooking Channel and track what’s hot there.
We’ve experienced the popularity of ingredients that come from exotic parts of the world that we are unsure of how to properly pronounce or write, but which we are told are great for our overall health. One such ingredient comes from the manuka bush found in New Zealand. It produces a thick resin, and the so-called manuka honey, known for healing and moisturizing, has been promoted as a natural medicine with antibacterial activity that is superior to other types of honey. The Manuka Doctor skin care brand from New Zealand has a range of formulations based on two key ingredients: certified manuka honey and the brands’ own patented purified bee venom, which it calls “nature’s answer to Botox.”
Also, the açaí palms native to Central and South America—from Belize southward to Brazil and Peru, and growing mainly in swamps and floodplains—are touted as one of the most powerful antioxidant plants by some beauty brands. Karora, an Irish botanical bronzing collection, recently unveiled its CC cream for the face and body with signature ingredients of açaí berry and argan to provide intense skin treatments.
The business of beneficial bacteria also seems to be booming, with the word probiotics showing up on labels of everything from supplements to yogurt to skin care. Probiotics are the friendly bacteria that previously mentioned Dr. Lili Fan’s Luksus skin care line has harnessed in a patent-pending stem cell stimulation technology, creating a unique complex that increases protein genesis and decreases protease reaction.
And another brand, feedmyskin, is gourmet skin care designed to—no surprise—feed your skin. Inspired by recipes from some of the world’s premier spas and beauty editors, many of the products are designed to be used chilled.
Science also has now shown that the fresh ingredients in oils, such as truffle and argan oils, contain extremely beneficial compounds in their natural form—and are now proven to have great anti-aging benefits. Infusing old traditional recipes into Skin&Co. Roma’s products is one of the core ways that the beauty brand ensures its products offer anti-aging benefits.
Additionally, Natura Siberica offers a comprehensive health and beauty collection made with wild-harvested Siberian herbs, and the Guam Beauty Mud brand offers an Italian anti-cellulite product via a home seaweed-based body wrap that is clinically proven to significantly reduce cellulite.
A Beautiful Tomorrow
So, what is your definition of a trend? The general direction in which something is moving? A fashion trend would refer to a style currently popular. The word trend can also mean to swerve, turn or change direction quickly.
I think the beauty industry is built on twists and turns, which lead to an exciting dynamic of innovation and reinvention—and we are all on the chase for what’s next. Happy chasing!
As director of marketing for SoGeCos Americas/Cosmoprof North America, Daniela Ciocan is responsible for keeping this professional trade show fresh. She implemented new initiatives such as Discover Beauty and the International Buyer Program, and selects the brands for Discover Beauty, a testament to her vision for what is hot in the industry. She previously was responsible for Awake Cosmetics’ luxury specialty store distribution launch in the U.S., overseeing all aspects of brand management, and following her success with establishing Kosé in the high-end market, she introduced several other brands, such as Sekkisei and Predia, into the masstige sector. Ciocan, who graduated magna cum laude from FIT, currently serves on the ICMAD advisory board and is chairwoman of the communication committee.