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3 Key Trends Driving the Future of Healthy Beauty

A new trends report entitled “The Future of Healthy Beauty” has landed on my desk and I want to share some of its insightful views on the shape of the beauty landscape with you.

Anna-Marie Solewij, award winning journalist and co-founder of BeautyMART and Helen Yeardsley, director of Healthy Beauty at leading healthcare communications consultancy, Pegasus, co-authored the report.

Their contention is that there has been an increasing alignment between health and beauty over the past 5 years, so they wanted to explore some new ideas around the convergence of the two categories.

Medi-beauty

The quasi-medical category of dermo-cosmetic “expert skin products” has been evolving for decades. These products tread the fine line between prescription drugs and beauty and have long been of interest to skincare brands looking to develop effective and performance-based beauty solutions.

Medi-beauty is currently valued at £72m in the UK, growing by a healthy 18% year on year (source: IRI). It is forecast to double in value over the next few years.

Boots has identified Medi-beauty as a key category for 2016 and is planning to roll out a specific skincare offering under the “Skin Experts” banner in 120 stores. Lloyds Pharmacy is also developing its own medi-beauty skincare ranges.

Online is another area tipped for growth with one mass beauty online retailer citing an increase in sales of French pharmacy brands specialising in sensitive skin conditions of more than 150% in the last year.

And the reasons for this growth? The report states: “Consumers now have access to high performing ingredients which were traditionally only available via a GP or dermatologist.”

Furthermore, consumers are becoming experts in their own right. Beauty is one of the most commonly searched terms with a huge increase in online self-diagnosis.

Beauty-savvy consumers are more interested in ingredients and product claims than expensive marketing campaigns. Many are more interested in “authentic” influencers in the shape of bloggers and vloggers, along with dermatologists, pharmacists, nutritionists, cosmetic surgeons and other healthcare professionals.

NatureLab

As consumers connect more closely with the beauty products they use, they are asking more of natural & organic brands.

Global demand for natural & organic personal care products is expected to reach $13.2bn by 2018, says the report. In the UK alone, more than half of women have used products with natural ingredients in the past year.

There are three main drivers for the NatureLab trend:

  • New tech natural: plant ingredients are improved upon with green technologies and biotech innovations, such as fractioning and cold-pressing, to better preserve the power of plant and seed oils. “Certain organic brands are getting serious and leading the way in competing with mainstream brands on results,” maintains Imelda Burke, founder of lifestyle store Content Beauty.
  • Provenance and traceability: a key concern for the well-informed consumer who wants complete transparency and reassurance is what they’re putting on their skin combines honesty with authenticity. Small batch production is an expression of this – low quantity production means better quality control for small-scale manufacturers.
  • Waterless beauty: A trend I picked up at this year’s in-cosmetics Marketing Trends presentations, this big Korean trend is coming our way. Waterless products that use only pure and potent botanical extracts or oils as a base are widely regarded as better for the environment and skin.

Me-cosystem

The Me-cosystem concept is reflected in the growing market for ingestible skincare and the use of superfoods in cosmetics.

The convergence of internal and external products is being treated as a single category by the likes of Holland & Barrett, Planet Organic and Wholefoods. Wellness is the term that unites the two categories.

Me-cosystem is being embraced a lifestyle bloggers on Instagram and with selfie-focused health content. It’s no coincidence that words like “fit”, “health”, “beauty”, “workout”, “mindful” and “meditate” rank in Instagram’s global top 200 hashtags.

How far can it go? Personally, I think we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg as it’s really only niche brands, such as Rituals and Weleda that are responding to consumers’ growing consciousness for health and wellbeing.

What connects the three trends outlined in this report is the power of digital technology and its impact on consumer choices. For example, the shoppable aspect of editorial is being brought to life via online magazines including Time Inc.’s Powder and FAB-beauty.com from L’Oreal Professional.

Meanwhile, Marie Claire’s partnership with Ocado is due to come to fruition in October 2016 when it launches Fabled, an e-commerce site and physical stores selling premium beauty and wellbeing products.

Consumers are now better informed, better connected and have more opportunities to learn about beauty and purchase in ways that suit them. It’s inspired new approaches under the umbrella term “omnichannel.”

If you’d like to find out more about this topic, we’ll be exploring in-depth what omnichannel means to brands, retailers and consumers in a new report. Written in partnership with Pegasus PR, it is due out this autumn.

Meanwhile, if you have any thoughts or views you’d like to share on this, or any other topic, do get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

For further information on The Future of Healthy Beauty Report, contact hyeardsley@thisispegasus.co.uk

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