4 indie beauty ingredient trends to watch in 2018

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

4 indie beauty ingredient trends to watch in 2018

Related tags Macadamia nut oil Macadamia

Last week at the Indie Beauty Expo in Los Angeles, California, 150 brands specializing in cosmetics, personal care, and fragrance were on hand for the two-day event, which attracts top media, retail buyers, and consumers alike. Cosmetics Design was there as well, connecting with founders and looking for trends.

It’s clear that food trends continue to influence beauty formulations and that the quest for compelling, effective natural ingredients is still going strong.

The Indie Beauty Expo has, since it first opened in 2015, been a place to discover innovative natural cosmetics, personal care, and fragrance brands from around the world. And, while several brands exhibiting at the show in LA last week boasted proprietary synthetic ingredients, all things natural, sustainable, ethical were in the forefront.

Nuts and oils

Nut oils stood out at IBE, especially macadamia nut oil and pistachio oil. In fact, the new brands Pure Nut (launched early last year by Ann and Andrew Leslie) and Pistaché Skincare (launched by Sima Mostafavi in 2016) each have a single nut oil as their hero ingredient.

Pure Nut skin and body care products are made using oil from macadamia nuts that the Leslie’s grow on their farm in Australia. The product portfolio even includes a face oil and a body oil that are made with “just one” ingredient, as the brand’s new packaging highlights. That ingredient is, of course, refined macadamia nut oil.

The Pistaché Skincare collection includes products like Pistachio & Lavender Divine Beauty Oil and Pistachio & Rose Divine Beauty Oil, as well as a facial moisturizer, cleanser, and serums formulated with pistachio oil.

And several brands exhibiting at IBE are incorporating these oils into more complex product formulations too. The product portfolio from Australian brand Dr Roebuck’s includes facial skin care formulated with macadamia nut oil. Newly launched Lanima makes a facial oil that includes macadamia nut oil. And Joon hair oil includes pistachio oil in the formulation.

It’s also worth nothing here that Hawaiian brand’s like Laki Naturals are now regularly formulating product with Kukui nut. (Some of the Laki products are also made with macadamia nut oil.)

Fruits and seeds

Fruit-based ingredients and fruit seed oils are quite prevalent in indie beauty brand formulas now too; though it seems that they are less often the hero ingredient.

A few brands at IBE, including Borghese, have incorporated watermelon fruit extracts or seed oil into their product formulations. That brand’s Crema Ristorativo-24 Continuous Hydration Moisturizer lists watermelon fruit extract among the ingredients.

The London-based skin care brand Bryt (founded by Catkin Wemyss Bodmer in 2014) is using several plum extracts in its formulations.

And even the reusable cleaning cloth brand Take My Face Off sells an organic apricot kernel oil. It is founder Amanda McIntosh’s go-to cleansing oil and after continually recommending it to her customers, she decide it only made sense to sell it herself—even though the rest of her product line comprises eco-friendly skin cleaning tools.  

Coffee and tea

Coffee is everywhere in indie beauty formulations, primarily because it contains caffeine, has a popular and instantly recognizable scent, and makes a good grit for exfoliation.  

Dirty Lamb makes a face mask with organic Turkish coffee as well as a couple of coffee scrubs. Level Naturals is another brand using coffee in select product formulations. And, Laki naturals (the made-in-Maui brand mentioned earlier) uses Kona coffee as an ingredient in its collection.

Lindsay Knaak-Stuart’s brilliant body care brand Meant includes a multitasking body scrub / in-shower moisturizer made with coffee. And, Selia & Co specializes in powdered masks made with tea. In fact, brand owner Flora Leung tells Cosmetics Design that the only fragrance these products have comes from the tea itself.

Soil and such

Distinctive dirts—lavas, clays, sands, charcoals—are conspicuous among the new interesting natural ingredients being used today.

Ola Tropical Apothecary, the Hawaiian body products brand owned by Robin Williams, sells both a sea mud mask and a hibiscus volcanic mask.

Sahara Rose, a brand that all about the bounty of the desert, uses Moroccan lava clay as well as sand crystals in their skin care formulations.

And Debbi Symes’ new brand Lanima (mentioned earlier for the use of macadamia nut oil) uses clay in its mask formulation too.

Charcoals are showing up in diverse product formulations as well. For instance, Oral care brand My Magic Mud makes several varieties of its activated charcoal toothpaste.



Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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