At a recent CEW Global Trends Event in New York City, Lucie Greene, worldwide director of JWT Intelligence, presented a report titled, Beauty: the new natural, revealing what’s driving the natural beauty market and how consumers are taking part.
Of all the trends Greene covered, the following 10 are now (and will continue) making a significant difference in the industry. Notably, none of these trends is autonomous. One informs the next, and there is a fair amount of overlap.
Science, tech, and nature
Contemporary knowledge and technology mean new possibilities for sustainable sourcing, active ingredients, and disruptive advances in skin care.
“Nature lab beauty” has brands investing in clinical testing to demonstrate the effectiveness of natural products and how they measure up, in the lab, to conventional skin care.
“Nano natural” is a trend that puts the latest science to work for sustainability and efficacy. Brands in this space use nanoparticles or biosynthesis in creative ways, e.g. Jillian Wright Skincare.
The “bio-cleanse beauty” trend centers on the premise that squeaky clean isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. “Bacteria are no longer seen as a nuisance to be scrubbed away, but as part of an ecosystem to be cultivated,” according to the report. Products from skin care brands like Mother Dirt actually introduce and maintain select bacteria in the human microbiome.
Consumers looking holistically at beauty are concerned with their “me-cosystem.” Every product, food, and activity is considered for the effect it will have on appearance—it’s a 360 approach to healthy looking, radiant skin.
Consumers are curious to discover what is available in the environment and simultaneously passionate about limiting the harm people do to the natural world.
The “waterless washing” trend is perhaps best represented by dry shampoo. “As water shortages occur more frequently and consumers no longer assume that more washing is better, far-sighted brands are investing in processes that use less water,” explains the report.
“Fermented beauty,” a trend coming out of Asia, according to JWT Intelligence, is putting consumers at ease, particularly those concerned with synthetic preservatives. Fermented beauty ingredients are preserved by the natural chemical process.
“Superfood beauty” brings high-performance food ingredients into topical beauty products, sort of an inside out version of beauty from within.
Local and artisanal
Consumers jaded by modern conveniences and overloaded by always-on digital culture “are turning to nature for comfort and escapism, and discovering a newfound appreciation for processes once forgotten or devalued,” observes the of JWT Intelligence report.
These shoppers are inclined to give precedence to locally sourced and simply manufactured goods. Here the “farm to face,” “beauty kitchen,” and “small batch beauty” trends resonate.
Farm to face brands often own the entire supply chain and share all the ingredient, production, packaging and distribution details with customers.
Beauty kitchen is a trend that extends the foodie movement where chefs encourage consumers to cook and bake just like pros. Beauty kitchen adherents prepare foods and beverages with the benefits of beauty-from-within top of mind. They also blend up beauty products using conventional food ingredients.
Small batch beauty may be a composite of those two. Small batch beauty brands make products in small quantities using unsophisticated equipment. Containers often indicate a batch number and date of manufacture or expiration. And, each batch is necessarily different due to seasonal variances in ingredients, changes in formula ratio (much the way a baker will alter the amount of flour in bread as needed), etc.