10 ways naturals are changing the beauty and personal care business

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

Jill Scalamandre, CEW chairwoman (left to right); Carlotta Jacobson, CEW president; Lan Vu, CEO of Beautystreams; and Lucie Greene, worldwide director of JWT Intelligence (image courtesy of Patricia Willis Photography)
Jill Scalamandre, CEW chairwoman (left to right); Carlotta Jacobson, CEW president; Lan Vu, CEO of Beautystreams; and Lucie Greene, worldwide director of JWT Intelligence (image courtesy of Patricia Willis Photography)

Related tags: Skin care, Nature

Lucie Greene, worldwide director of JWT Intelligence, presented the futurism and innovation consultancy’s newest research report—Beauty: the new natural—at a CEW Global Trends Event late last week in New York City.

The public, today, has a new relationship with corporations and brands. In contrast with previous generations, consumers are more sceptical, more curious, and are grasping for a semblance of autonomy.

Greene explains that we’re seeing the “next generation of conscious consumer​,” who is ready to question whether legacy brands and even governments actually have their best interests in mind. The answer scarcely matters, she says.  “It’s more about perception than reality.”

She’s confident that access to information, technology, and naturalism have converged and that as a result, the beauty business will never be the same. “The naturals category is one of the fastest growing in skin care globally​,” CEW president Carlotta Jacobson confirms in an event-related statement to the press.

“Consumers are demanding eco-friendly products in all aspects of their lives, including their beauty routines, and more brands are coming to that realization,” ​Jacobson adds.

Category dynamics

Describing the driving forces at work here, Greene calls “healthcare and wellbeing a consumer movement [that] blurs category lines” ​and impacts every facet of the industry from ingredient sourcing and supply chain practices to packaging, product use and beyond, as well as how beauty companies treat employees and partners.

Consumers aspire to “360 wellbeing,” ​she says, noting that reuse is now something admirable, revivalism is on the rise, bacteria is cool, and products preserved with vinegar have a new-found appeal.

Trend matrix

Explaining perhaps why there is as yet no single, industry-wide definition of “natural,” Greene illustrates that consumers interpret the term and incorporate naturalism into their lives in infinite ways.

Of the numerous trends she discussed, these 10 are moving the needle in the personal care and beauty space:

  • me-cosystem beauty
  • waterless washing
  • nano natural
  • nature lab beauty
  • fermented beauty
  • farm to face
  • beauty kitchen
  • superfood beauty
  • bio-cleanse beauty
  • small batch beauty

Natural progression

With such an assortment of outlooks, it stands to reason that people doubt brand claims about natural items. “69% of consumers say they don’t believe products labeled ‘natural’ are truly natural, a sentiment shared across generations,” ​according to the JWT Intelligence report.

At the same time, niche brands like Mother Dirt, with products designed to preserve ammonia-oxidizing bacteria that comprise the skin’s natural microbiome​, and Kahina Giving Beauty, a luxury skin care company centered on organic fair-trade argan oil,​ have significant followings.

“With investment in clinical trials and new-tech naturals ingredients, certain organic brands are getting serious and leading the way in competing with mainstream ranges on results,” ​observes Imelda Burke of the London-based specialist organic boutique and online store Content, in a quote Grenne saw fit to share in her presentation at the CEW event. Advancing indie brands and the rising consumer spend on natural beauty is changing the way some legacy brands, make and market skin care products.

Click here to get a closer look at the 10 ways naturals are changing beauty and personal care​.

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