With the health and wellness lifestyle driving retail categories, the beauty industry is experiencing a shift toward a more conscious approach. Today, aspirational beauty is the new “it” ingredient.
Consumers are seeking alternative options to conventional products and embracing a “beauty from within,” or “internal vs. external” approach toward their beauty regimens. As clean diets become mainstream, consumers are connecting what they eat and how it affects them externally and understanding that one’s skin is a mirror to what’s going on inside.
As beauty bloggers and supermodels ditch filters and post untouched photos, the desire for naturally flawless skin and shiny, healthy hair is still as coveted as a favorite pair of jeans or the new “it” bag. As a result, the go-to beauty aisle for this customer is in the grocery store, not necessarily the traditional beauty shop.
As more and more consumers pursue inner beauty, they are becoming as concerned with what they put on their bodies as what they put in them. With access to experts on social media platforms, consumers expect transparency from the foods they eat and the products they use.
However, a “clean inside-and-out” approach to a beauty regimen isn’t simply about slathering avocados or food-based products on our bodies in the hopes that wrinkles and acne will disappear. Because if that’s all it takes, I’m in—hand over a pizza while I bask in an avocado mask for a more youthful dewy glow. Today’s natural beauty is more sophisticated.
For the emerging conscious consumer, the clean beauty approach is about making mindful nutrition decisions and using clean products for a better daily ROI. For this wellness-minded consumer who’s on the go, that’s an efficient daily regimen.
The Power of Mother Nature
As more and more consumers pursue inner beauty, they are becoming as concerned with what they put on their bodies as what they put in them. With access to experts on social media platforms, consumers expect transparency from the foods they eat and the products they use. This emerging consumer embraces a new approach in their search for solutions beyond the traditional beauty aisle.
With groups such as the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics noting that the European Union has banned more than 1,300 chemicals from cosmetics, while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned or restricted just 11 chemicals from cosmetics, the United States has a ways to assure consumers on what some see as clean/conscious products and ingredients.*
Score one for Mother Nature.
Natural ingredients are clean, free of artificial ingredients and already approved by the conscious consumer. The new kids on the block are kale (e.g., Farmacy Hydrating Coconut Gel Mask—Soothing [Kale] and Farmacy Clear Day Mask Medley), seaweed (e.g., Bumble and bumble Seaweed Shampoo and Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask) and chia seeds (e.g., Perricone MD Chia Serum and NUDE Skincare Double Dose of Genius). The antioxidants and vitamin A in these “it” ingredients bring a whole new meaning to the phrase “power lunch.”
We all want products that work—period. But the new aspirational consumer has additional needs and a different mindset.
New Opportunities for New Players
For years, product launches have been built around sophisticated ingredient stories of “what’s new; what’s next; the quickest fix.” And while there’s no denying that inspirational beauty resonates with many and the ingredients are an effective means to influence a consumer, another ingredient story is emerging along with a new consumer.
We all want products that work—period. But the new aspirational consumer has additional needs and a different mindset. They have a more personal ambition, and herein lies the opportunity for non-traditional brands and retailers to enter into the beauty category.
This isn’t an all-or-nothing approach—instead, it’s about helping these emerging beauty consumers make small, conscious choices throughout the day for the best ROI. It’s about rethinking beauty and redefining it by coupling a clean diet with clean products that deliver the most safe and effective regimen.
Timeless Beauty Truths
Great hair and skin will never go out of style. And the way to stronger hair, nails and skin is an inside-out job. So, here’s to Mother Nature and her “trade secret” approach to beauty. She has done all the research for us, and her labels are true to the ingredients. Her brand story remains constant: beauty, the way nature intended.
*Editor’s note: The Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors organization and other cosmetic industry advocates have accused non-governmental organizations, such as the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, of applying “fear-based advocacy tactics” against the industry without offering sufficient scientific evidence to merit accusations. That said, these attacks on ingredients have a real impact on consumer sentiment, of which marketers and product developers must be aware.
Christine Cole ([email protected]) is a sales and marketing strategist with over 25 years of experience in the retail industry. She identifies and develops new business opportunities for brands and retailers. By applying shifts in consumer demands she translates them into opportunities that ultimately lead to profitability. For the past 15 years she has developed and implemented strategic business and go to market tactics for the beauty industry and is a consumer retail trend keynote speaker to Fortune 1000 & privately held companies.