‘The era of intentional beauty’: Beautystreams highlights top trends of 2023

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Consumers are shopping with more intention, impacting desires, needs and expectations in the beauty category in 2023 [Getty Images]
Consumers are shopping with more intention, impacting desires, needs and expectations in the beauty category in 2023 [Getty Images]

Related tags Beautystreams trends Sun care upcycling Menopause menopause beauty beauty claims Waste waste ingredients Consumers

Next-generation sun care, thinking local, the value of waste, menopause wellness and the importance of clinical proof-points are the top five beauty trends this year, being driven by an era of intentional consumption, says trend forecaster Beautystreams.

In its annual Cosmo Trends report, curated for the Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna tradeshow in Italy held last week, the trends specialist coined five trends to watch this year in beauty: solar nova; near & dear; not so trashy, meno-bliss, and clinical kudos.

‘Welcoming products into our lives that truly belong’

“We are entering the era of intentional beauty, a desire to embrace the rituals of looking good and feeling good with mindfulness, consideration, and equanimity,” Beautystreams said.

“It’s about welcoming products into our lives that truly belong because they address deep-seated needs, not just for ourselves but also in their thoughtful approach towards the planet. Intentional beauty is purpose-driven at heart, but it is also committed to a feeling of presence, aliveness, and getting the most out of every beauty moment,” it said in its report, displayed at the show via bite-sized information panels.

1. Sola-Nova – ‘next-generation sun care both protects and educates’

Beautystreams’ first trend was on the evolution of sun care – “no longer just a seasonal category”, it said. Consumers were now seeking year-round protection with innovative formulas that combined form with function and sensorial properties, according to the trends specialist.

“From high-tech sun filter complexes and ultra-thin sheer UV-blocking patches, to UV sensors embedded within packaging that measure the sun’s strength, the science of developing smart sun protection is challenging, but ultimately rewarding.

“Consumers will always want to go high-tech while frolicking in the sun,” Beautysreams said.

2. Near & dear – ‘thinking local means consuming mindfully’

In its second trend, the company said beauty consumers were increasingly shifting to local, as they sought out “authenticity, community, mindfulness, eco-consciousness, provenance and ethical commerce”.

And whilst this localism trend had been greatly accelerated in 2020, the company said it continued to drive brand engagement in 2023 because it was so closely aligned with consumer values.

“It feels good to support one’s community, recognise heritage ingredients, value local craftsmanship, and embrace local pride. Localism is a way of feeling connected in a world of, at times, profound disconnection,” Beautystreams said.

3. Not so trashy – ‘discovering the value of waste’

Its third trend pivoted around consumer perceptions of waste in beauty, as upcycling had now become a “full-fledged movement” championing the reimagining of waste into an alternative – and even precious – second life.

From reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills to minimising the use of natural resources, the company said upcycling continued to inspire brands to “think differently” about ingredients and manufacturing processes.

“In beauty, the food industry is a rich source of upcycled ingredients, proving that today’s waste is tomorrow’s valuable asset; not so trashy after all,” Beautystreams said.

4. Meno-bliss – ‘menopause is more than an event, it’s a journey’

The company’s fourth trend focused on menopause wellness – a “once overlooked” subject, it said, that was fast catching up. The category addressed needs of a “big and largely untapped market” and there were ever more sophisticated products now on the market, catering to a range of symptoms, ages and life stages, according to Beautystreams.

From perimenopause to menopause itself and then post-menopause, the company said the newest innovations recognised the diversity of needs across skin care, hair care, sleep, energy, hormones, supplements, mood and beyond.

“More than ‘positive ageing’, menopause wellness takes an empowering approach that celebrates the complete spectrum of this life stage,” Beautystreams said.

5. Clinical kudos – ‘proof-points confer trust and reassurance’

Its fifth trend addressed how “clinical and serious” skin care brands were increasingly under the microscope when it came to claims. As a result, many of these brands were now collaborating with academic and research institutions and third-party testing firms to “develop, affirm, and prove the validity of their claims”, Beautystreams said.

“Consumers are especially hungry for information they can trust since the pandemic, especially in a world of fake news and misinformation online. Serious scientific credentials empower them to take a leap of faith in a new product or service,” according to the trends specialist.

The five beauty trends to watch this year also fitted into Beautystreams’ wider ‘Cosmovision’ forecasting report that identified ‘celebrating otherness’ as a defining movement for beauty over the next five years.

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