Personal care touches everybody. From cleansing and exfoliating, to moisturization and body brushing, the average woman uses 12 different beauty products every day.1
While the impact of COVID-19 necessitated a market for experimental, at-home body treatments, this post-pandemic 2023 has inspired a bolder, more focused take on personal care. The lasting effects of the recent years have made consumers more health-aware than ever, with a new appreciation for wellbeing and body care, across all activities and life stages.
The rise of targeted body care, for example, spanning intimate to healthy aging, has driven innovations that showcase value with ingredient-led products supported by science. Sensory perception matters more now, too. Today’s average consumer is likely to consider the way a body care product looks, smells and feels, which subconsciously influences their expectation of performance. First impressions are key.
In 2023, the global cost of living crisis has touched us all, too, its impact reflected in value-driven purchases across all categories, personal care included. While the global beauty and personal care (BPC) market is vast and buoyant (worth $579.2 billion in 2023 and forecast to grow at a CAGR of 3.53% by 2028), consumers today expect a package of benefits and specific functions in every purchase across every genre from genderless to menopausal care.2 This multifunctional, hybrid approach that offers multiple solutions in a single product is underpinned by value, convenience and simplicity, and is driven by quality ingredients.
A focus on sustainability is growing, too; in 2023, we can no longer ignore the climate crisis. Weather extremes of floods, storms, droughts and heat are steering consumers towards kinder-to-the-planet products made from natural, botanical and organic ingredients, packaged in an eco-friendly (preferably biodegradable) way. Intentionally checking the ingredient list on product labels is now second nature for consumers. The rise of sustainable BPC products is not just a trend – it’s here to stay and growing.
When we look back, in 2024 and beyond, what body care trends will we say defined 2023? Which ingredients and innovations will continue to make an impact?
Targeted body care
Today, consumers are armed with a wealth of information and increasingly turn to science to back up product claims. Thanks to advances in skin technology and research, the ‘cleanical’ evolution (clinical-inspired beauty with clean ingredients) has seen manufacturers use only ingredients in a formula that are absolutely necessary, encapsulating consumer demand for both clean labels and efficacy.
Targeted body care has played a part in driving the medicalisation of beauty and, with it, the move toward more efficient, potent ingredients. Since hyaluronic acid (HA) became a beauty buzzword and a market worth over $12 billion in 2023, its inclusion as a hydrating ingredient in moisturizing creams, lotions, ointments and serums has evolved from facial to body treatments, targeting aging with the promise of anti-wrinkle and elasticity, firmness and volume, among others.3
Consumer demand for anti-aging products and made from sustainable, natural ingredients is contributing to a global anti-aging market that’s forecast to rise by a CAGR of 7% by 2027.4 Will the HA market also continue to climb? In July 2023, a formulation containing snow fungus extract was mooted as “a natural alternative to hyaluronic acid”, after a study showed it helped the skin retain water at deep cellular level, and combat the free radicals associated with premature skin aging.5
In another study, volunteers tested a coffee silverskin extract cream against a hyaluronic cream to evaluate skin elasticity and firmness over a specified period, and found the former provided “similar results to hyaluronic acid regarding skin hydration and firmness”.6
Marine active ingredients – from oyster extract, seaweed and seawater – have found their way into body care products, such as moisturizing hydration and regeneration treatments, bringing the benefits of anti-wrinkle, exfoliant, radiance, firmness and protection.
Targeted body care has also demonstrated advances in the treatment of acne, one of the most common skin conditions which presents as lesions on the face, chest and back of adolescents and some adults. In August 2023, a study into the use of G2 lysine dendrigraft (G2-dendrimer) was reported to target acne in volunteers aged 14 to 40 years old, while maintaining homeostasis of the skin microbiome.7
In other research, pyruvic acid, a water-soluble alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) with antimicrobial and sebostatic properties, was shown to reduce oiliness and stimulate the formation of elastic fibres and collagen. A 2023 study described a pyruvic acid peel as a “promising procedure” to treat acne vulgaris by decreasing the severity of the condition and increasing the Quality of Life (QoL) and that such cosmetic treatments could be the “first intervention before dermatological treatment”.8
Other notable formulations for targeted body care have included products made from coffee extracts, with proven anti-cellulite and anti-acne benefits. Aligning with the movement toward sustainable ingredients, upcycled coffee has become a favored cosmetic ingredient in formulations thanks to its high concentration of caffeine and chlorogenic acid, among other naturally occurring polyphenols with anti-aging qualities and antioxidant attributes.
For BPC formulators, realizing success in 2023 and beyond requires a constant understanding of a fast-evolving market and willingness to embrace advances in technology and ingredients. Communicating the key messages that resonate with consumers – around bio-based, cleanical, ethical and sustainably-driven approaches, will maximize opportunities to stand out from the competition.
As technologies continue to evolve and expand, so too does the potential for synthetic biology technologies. According to Mintel, 20% of US consumers already recognise lab-grown, nature-identical ingredients as effective, safe (22%) and trendy (21%).9
Emerging tech such as AR (Augmented Reality) is continuing to furnish the metaverse with opportunities for brands to connect with new markets, engage and educate consumers, and showcase new ingredients, all while leveraging data to steer more effective development. Already in 2023, 17.7% of total revenue in the BPC market is generated through online sales.2
Tapping into the all-important tools and expertise to drive forward is key. Partnering with credible suppliers and distributors to access a wealth of high-quality ingredients and experience will bring out solutions for success, for all need states and markets. Helping consumers to look and feel their best is a big and complex business but one with an abundance of opportunities to innovate and succeed.
1. Harvard Health Publishing. Toxic Beauty.
2. Statista. Beauty & Personal Care – Worldwide.
3. Globe Newswire. Hyaluronic Acid Market Size & Share Analysis - Growth Trends & Forecasts (2023 - 2028).
4. Statista. Size of the anti-aging market worldwide from 2021 to 2027.
5. Wozniak B.; Chudzinska J.; Szczyglewska P.; et al.Optimization of the Composition of a Cosmetic Formulation Containing Tremella fuciformis Extract (Fungi) Cosmetics 2023, 10(3), 82; Pub May 2023.
6. Rodrigues, R.; Oliveira, M.B.P.P.; Alves, R.C. (2023). Chlorogenic Acids and Caffeine from Coffee By-Products: A Review on Skincare Applications. Cosmetics. 10(1):12.
7. MDPI. Special Issue "Applications of Dendrimers in Biomedicine".
8. Jankowska B,; Zujko ME. The Effectiveness of Pyruvic Acid Peeling in Improving the Quality of Life of Patients with Acne Vulgaris J. Clin. Med. (April 2023).
9. Mintel. Global Beauty and Personal Care Trends, 2023.