Inclusive beauty roundup: What you can learn about inclusive beauty on CosmeticsDesign

By Ravyn Cullor

- Last updated on GMT

Inclusion in personal care includes skin tones, hair types and gender identities, among other characteristics. © Getty Images - Cecilie_Arcurs
Inclusion in personal care includes skin tones, hair types and gender identities, among other characteristics. © Getty Images - Cecilie_Arcurs

Related tags inclusion inclusive beauty Hair care diversity Marketing gender-neutral

Inclusive beauty is becoming more than a positioning choice in the beauty world, including new inclusion programs, ingredient options, brand launches and marketing adjustments.

The personal care industry has made shifts to be more inclusive, not just in the skin tones and hair types served but also through what brands are getting support from industry players and how brands speak to consumers.

CosmeticsDesign has found most experts and companies have turned to bringing the groups they are targeting into the fold of inclusion programs, innovations and research, and brand accelerators. 

Dive deeper into the world of inclusive beauty with these CosmeticsDesign articles.

Clear it up: Zinc oxide is getting a new-aged formulation makeover

Woman with sunscreen dotted on cheeks.
Exhibitors at NYSCC Supplier's Day brought a number of zinc oxide formulations which apply transparently. © Getty Images - Paper Boat Creative

Mineral UV filters are hot, but with new-aged cosmetic chemistry, they’re not your grandfather’s sunscreen anymore.

It’s no secret protection from the sun’s harmful radiation is a must in skincare no matter where on the Fitzpatrick scale a consumer falls. With safety questions cropping up around organic and some inorganic filters approved in the US, suppliers and formulators are turning to improve on a classic ingredient, zinc oxide.

At the same time, the size of the sunscreen market has been steadily increasing over the past decade, with a drop in 2020 when many people around the world were stuck inside to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grand View Research estimates the suncare market will grow 4% annually between 2021 and 2028, ending the period at a global value of $14.7 billion.


Overt or covert on non-binary: What an expert says about the cosmetics marketing position

Non-binary person shopping for makeup.
The Washington Post estimates that 1 million adults in the US identify as non-binary. © Getty Images - Tassii

Developing effective non-binary marketing takes more than removing gendered pronouns and heteronormative imagery, according to an expert.

As non-binary people have gained more visibility in the US market, more brands have focused on developing marketing and positioning around those consumers.

Chief Marketing Officer at PCA Group Brady Donnelly told CosmeticsDesign that to effectively position a non-binary brand or use non-binary messaging requires a specific understanding of who the target consumer is, where they are and how much they know about what non-binary means.

According to a CosmeticsDesign Europe article, GlobalData projects that unisex and gender neutrality will become the global standard in skincare and color cosmetics.


From the ground up: BASF launches inclusive beauty accelerator to help indies fill industry gaps

A photo mosaic of the profile of a woman with curly hair.
BASF launched the accelerator with StitchCrew to help indies focusing on inclusivity scale and grow their companies and develop out their products. Image from BASF

To fill gaps in demand for inclusive beauty ingredients, BASF has launched an accelerator to focus on indies hoping to make inclusive and diverse personal care products.

Ingredient supplier BASF launched an accelerator program with StitchCrew in March for early-stage beauty and personal care entrepreneurs which will give selected brands a $10,000 grant, coaching from industry professionals and the opportunity to showcase their products to investors.

Whitney Millegan, digital strategy leader for the Diverse Leaders Program at BASF said while the brands will be receiving a grant, the program’s focus is on exposing indies to the company’s network of personal care professionals and investors who can help launch and scale businesses.

“Our goal is really to develop a community of people who are inclusive and conscious, who represent diverse backgrounds, and who are really hungry to accelerate greater inclusion in the personal care industry,”​ Millegan said.


Back to basics: major areas for growth in R&D for Black hair, according to experts

Three Black women with different hair textures
As more brands turn towards including products for textured hair, R&D also needs to include testing on the curliest and coiled hair textures. © Getty Images - kate_sept2004

Brands from the mass market to prestige products have been looking to be more inclusive of Black hair care consumers, but whether or not they’re doing that starts with R&D.

According to Mintel’s 2021 report on the Black hair market, the segment is worth $1.6 billion and is expected to continue growing, but R&D is not covering all the hair types, needs or styles needed by Black consumers, experts told CosmeticsDesign.

Crystal Porter, founder of Mane Insights, and Amber Evans, senior manager of product development at Moroccanoil, both long-time hair care researchers, said some progress has been made, but there is still a lot of work to be done in R&D.

“Companies are taking more responsibility in terms of understanding the habits and practices of textured hair consumers, how they use the products and actually testing the products on those hair types or testing within that population,”​ Evans said.


Frederick Benjamin launches into Target, enters white space for Black hair care

Collection of Frederick Benjamin haircare products
Frederick Benjamin launched into 500 Target locations with a mass market hair care line for men of color. Image courtesy of Frederick Benjamin

Haircare brand Frederick Benjamin launched into Target stores in February, filling a white space for men of color looking for clean-and-natural-focused products.

Founded in 2010, Frederick Benjamin is a haircare brand with products for textured hair. Having worked in the beauty industry, focusing on hair care, and as a consumer, founder Michael James said he noticed a large white space for natural products and simple routines for men of color.

The brand is both launching into 500 Target stores in February and launching into Men’s World in March. James said these launches will make products for an underserved but ever prevalent consumer more accessible in retail.


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