From The Editor's Desk

The multiuse trend spells opportunity and headaches

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

The multiuse trend spells opportunity and headaches
The in-cosmetics Global event is always a major platform for new and emerging trends. And plenty of new trends were in evidence at the Paris event, but one in particular caught my eye – the move towards multiuse or multipurpose products.

Evidence of the trend was highlighted by a raft of new ingredient launches with multifunctional properties, but how the trend is manifesting itself in finished goods was highlighted by one particular presentation that formed a key part of the in-cosmetics Global marketing trends presentations.

Titled The New Beauty Routines, and presented by Emanuelle Bassmann, the founder of London-based intelligence provider In-Trends, the presentation kicked off the three-day marketing trends program by highlighting how the beauty regimes of many consumers are getting more personalized, and in turn, more complicated.

The need to simplify personalization

Bassmann stated that while personalization has led to products that are much more targeted and complex, many consumers looking for these types of solutions have also found themselves overwhelmed by increasingly complex beauty routines, not to mention an overcrowded bathroom cabinet.

In an attempt to solve this problem, a growing number of innovative brands are coming up with products that have a combination of interesting claims and functionality, all in one convenient product.

Although this concept is not entirely new – look for example at Dr. Bronner’s vegetable-based liquid soap products with 18 different uses – the latest crop of multiuse products are breaking new ground by showcasing combinations that are out of the box, while somehow also being must haves.

Cross category product offerings

Not only are skin and hair care products adding interesting combinations of functionality, but there is also an emergence of cross category products, incorporating, for example, face, body and hair.

One example of this kind of product is Skinhead Game Changer, which not only is a skin moisturizer, but  also a hair styling product, together with a topical treatment to help preserve the color in tattoos.

Another interesting example of multiuse highlighted by Bassmann during the presentation was Hair Print Black Castor Oil, which is said to moisturize hair, provide thicker eyelashes, as well as helping to erase black circles under the yes, together with being a skin anti-aging product.

Bigger established brands take the plunge

Evidence that bigger and more established brands are also tapping into this was also showcased by the StriVectin Triphase Daily, which is a three-in-one product combination, which focuses on three aspects of daily skin care through by providing three separate formulations in one product with the end goal of giving the skin a healthy glow.

For consumers, all of the products touching on the multiuse trend represent a way of addressing more personalized needs, without making life too complicated and having to go to the expense of buying multiple products.

According to In-Trends, the hand full of brands that have been early to tap into this trend in the right way are reporting significant success, suggesting that the time might be right to jump into this opportunity.

What all of this means to formulators?

It goes without saying that while this trend spells a lot of opportunity for ingredients providers and formulation experts, it also means a lot of more work.

Ingredients developers are set with the task of developing multifunctional actives that can provide formulators with the tools to create these multiuse products, while formulators are faced with the task of creating ever more technical and complex products.

On top of all this, it is also obvious that functional ingredients have to meet even more requirements to successfully combine all of these elements.

So if this trend continues to build in momentum, which right now is looking highly likely, development labs all over the world are really going to be kept on their toes. Good luck, guys!

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