The PC market is experiencing an unprecedented shake-up. Brands who had planned beauty and cosmetic formulations on projected trends are having to re-think their lines for the medium-term future due to the global pandemic which is changing behavioural and purchasing behaviours.
We recently hosted a webinar with the Sinerga Trends Lab to discuss these changes. We also looked at products that may help formulators respond to these new consumer trends.
What Has Changed For The Customer?
In a word, everything. Cosmetic trends this year were set to follow on from last year with strong environmental, multi use, innovative, and pollution protecting formulations. The focus of the consumer has shifted drastically to more safety conscious, home spa, wellness and practicality considerations.
Makeup will see a big change too, as masks become commonplace. The Lipstick Effect is predicted to be absent for lipstick specifically, but we may see cash-strapped consumers splurge on other small cosmetic items, like the boom we’re already seeing in nail polish.
It’s predicted that consumers will be spending less time shopping and browsing, which is another hit for cosmetic companies who routinely offer samples and testers in-store. Brands need to find interactive ways to engage with their audience virtually.
On the flip side, there is definitely room for brands to provide products to the market which are hugely beneficial at this time. We have the capability to help the consumer address some of their concerns, to help them find new sensory and relaxing experiences and to help them cope with the likelihood of on-going changes to normal life for the next 12+ months.
In their presentation, Sinerga (one of our principal suppliers) presented the following 5 trends which they had identified in the early stages of this entirely new global environment:
- Beauty 360° Wellness
- Social Commitment
- Changed Purchase Behaviour
- Clean Beauty 2.0
- Protection & Prevention
Beauty 360° Wellness
With working from home being the new normal for many people, and increased time at home for all, the wellness trend is very much focused on home treatments. Home spa products will be popular as a way to create an experience, blending physical and emotional wellness.
The pandemic has placed stress on most people globally, and consumers are searching for ways to alleviate this stress. We are seeing overarching trends where people are taking up new hobbies and spending more time and energy on these; eg: baking, gardening, and beauty – particularly nail art, hair colour and skin care routines which have been popular across social media.
Sinerga ingredients that are particularly useful for this trend are:
- Dolcévia – An active ingredient from the leaves of the Stevia Rebaudiana plant which has been proven to reduce involuntary facial muscle contractions. Inclusion in formulations can result in significant reduction of wrinkle depth and height, skin roughness, and an increase in skin hydration with regular use.
- Acticolina LV – An innovative ingredient which includes glycerophosphocholine which can improve lipolysis and stimulate cutaneous metabolism, intervening in muscle contraction and reducing localised fat deposits. Tests indicate improvement in lipase enzymatic activity, oxygen consumption, skin tone, and a reduction in intracellular lipid content in adipocytes and the ‘orange peel’ effect.
- X-Solve – Acting as a skin microcirculation modulator improving blood flow in superficial vessels, X-Solve has been shown to significantly improve extra-cellular nitric oxide release, actin expression, and capillary flow on thighs.
Social responsibility has been trending for the last few years in conjunction with environmental responsibility. The pandemic has, however, brought something slightly different. In the early months of the year we saw an unprecedented number of manufacturers turn their hand – and their machinery – to making hand sanitisers, antimicrobial cleaning products and PPE.
Brands who were able to make this temporary shift will receive kudos in the future, brands who didn’t – or worse – brands who closed down and let employees go will come out the other end much worse off. This crisis has ignited the fire of social commitment and communities uniting to help each other out.
Changed Purchase Behaviours
Of course, at the time of writing, it’s nearly impossible for consumers to buy beauty and personal care products in-person – restricted to whatever is made available by local supermarkets, which themselves have seen a drastic reduction in customer numbers. So while we opt to socially distance ourselves, the internet has never been a more vital tool for beauty and personal care brands.
However one of the most important sales tactics used by this industry has been abruptly ended – testers. At least initially, purchases of a lot of beauty and personal care products includes a physical experience, such as testing, smelling, holding the packaging, or even having a staff member apply the product for you!
Translating this immersive experience into an online experience is difficult. But brands who are having some success have quickly provided enhanced digital services, such as: live chat, product tutorial webinars, and increased activity with influencers.
Brands also need to consider the fact that a lot of these behaviours will exist in the medium to long term. Will consumers ever feel ‘safe’ using testers again? Or having someone in-store applying their makeup? Will we pick up items from shelves unless we’re sure we’ll buy them?
And the type of products we’ll buy could see a major shift too. Things like heavy foundation and lipstick could become redundant under face masks. Similarly the beard trend could well be over, in fact some medical experts are calling for an end to beards completely as they can be problematic in conjunction with facemasks and ventilators as well as acting as a fomite.
Eye and hair products will become more popular as people seek a way to show their individuality while half of their face is covered. And products to deal with skin changes caused by the wearing of face masks will become an essential step in skin care routines.
Sinerga ingredients that are helpful for this trend are:
- Eyedren – Obtained by esterification of Xymenynic acid and carried through lipoaminoacids and palm glyceride vesicles to improve its efficacy and bioavailability, eyedren helps improve dark circles and puffiness. Under clinical evaluation Eyedren has been shown to improve brightness of dark circles and skin hydration, and reduce skin roughness, and wrinkle depth and height.
- Pea.protein – Is a novel blend of proteins extracted from the Pisum Sativum plant which share a remarkable similarity to the protein structure of Keratin, which is found in the skin. The Pea.Protein offers an enhanced reduction in any potential TEWL as well as offering a film forming effect in skin care formulations thanks to the blend of different molecular weights.
- Tiolisina Complex 30 – This blend of 2 sulfurated amino acids which work as a great sebum normaliser for both skin and facial cleansers with proven anti-acne properties.
- Hair App – Hair App is a combination of amino acids that share a highly similar structure to the proteins found in the hair. These amino acids are deposited on the outer layer of the cuticle aiding in the protection and strengthening of the hair for a long lasting effect.
- Vegequat – One of the most multi-functional ingredients currently available from Sinerga, Vegequat offers great conditioning effects to both hair and skin care formulations. When used in a whole multitude of hair care formulations, Vegequat helps increase the volume and body of the hair whilst protecting it from physical and chemical aggressions and is stable in a whole range of personal care formulations.
Clean Beauty 2.0
Consumer transparency has been popular in the industry for a number of years as consumers educate themselves to help them make more eco-conscious, health and socially responsible choices. And this trend isn’t set to end during the global pandemic.
In fact, if anything, consumers are more keen on results, science-based evidence and product data. Superfoods and superhero ingredients are in, harsh chemicals and products that can’t back up their claims are out!
As a side effect of trying to protect people the world over, we will soon see pollutants dominating the headlines thanks to increased reliance on single-use products (particularly plastics!), harsh cleaning chemicals and PPE litter.
As a result we’re expecting transparency to become even more important.
Sinerga ingredients that are helpful for this trend are:
- Red Algae Gel – Red Algae is a variety of seaweed sourced from the Pacific Ocean which contains high amounts of carbohydrates, proteins and minerals. Within the Carbohydrate group, they are a rich source of a particular sulfated polysaccharide which exhibit a high anti-oxidant and free radical scavenging activity as well as offering the ability to form a film on the skin. When this film has been created on the skin Red Algae by locking in the existing moisture into the skin whilst further hydrating the skin helping to leave the skin feeling softer, smoother and making it look plumper.
- Star Anise Extract – Star Anise Extract is an active ingredient that is strongly suited to anti-acne formulations of all types. It targets and helps counteract any excessive production and accumulation of sebum, which removes the food source of the bacteria P. acnes. Additionally Star Anise Extract aids in the inhibition of the enzyme IL-1α which causes the bodies natural response to inflame and turn red which is usually caused by the bacteria building up in the skin.
Protection & Prevention
Health and safety anxiety will exist long past lockdown, and with additional peaks inevitable, consumer focus will be on health and safety. Products that help maintain good personal hygiene and products which can boost our immune systems will be popular.
Packaging may need to change with a sharp increase in contactless delivery devices for public spaces and an ‘if you touch it you buy it’ social responsibility. There could also be some interesting developments in antimicrobial films and packaging to ensure shelf safety.
Sinerga ingredients that are helpful for this trend are:
- Tri-Solve® – This skin barrier recovery agent is obtained by encapsulation by high pressure homogenisation of Trehalose, Ceramides and Cholesterol into a lipophilic vesicle constituted by lecithin. It is able to repair the cutaneous hydrolipidic mantle and protect from dryness and dehydration. Testing shows a significant improvement in hydration, especially with prolonged use, and a reduction in TEWL – again especially notable after longer term use.
- Mintiol – Based on mint, Mintiol is a multifunctional broad spectrum microbial inhibitor which can work as a stand-alone preservative system or as a preservation booster with a wide compatibility range with a refreshing feel when used in formulations.
If you’d like to receive samples of any of the ingredients featured here, or advice on including them in your formulations, please contact us.
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