10 Concepts that will Drive the Future of Beauty Innovation


Mark Twain once wrote, ‘Prophesy is a good line of business, but it is full of risks.’

A fair warning but then Twain wrote at a time when many of those in the business of prediction relied on crystal balls and tea leaves.

Today, one would hope that those predicting the future are far better informed than the practitioners of Mark Twain’s day. Which brings me to a recent webinar I attended by Datamonitor.

Entitled, The Future of Beauty Innovation, Datamonitor’s senior analyst for Consumer Insights, Ramaa Chipalkatti laid down the 10 concepts she felt would drive our industry in the future.

Some are already established, while others are brand new.Make of them what you will.

1. Holistic anti-ageing

It won’t be just about wrinkles, age spots etc on the face, but targeting ageing issues on the rest of the body. Chipalkatti showed recent launches including whitening neck cream, “Boob Glue” to hold up sagging breasts and leg make-up for an airbrushed effect.

“The leg area will be important for anti-ageing in the future.”

2. Smart personal care

Wearable technology is a big buzzword today but is still in the early stages of development in beauty. There will be devices for everything –high price, high sophistication to low price, low sophistication eg mass disposable cleansing brushes. Expect functionality to be embedded in wearable products{eg jewellery that assesses your sun protection needs}.

“Beauty enthusiasts will be empowered”.

3. The time dimension

Already established, the trend for quick to use products offering instant results will intensify. Recent examples include hair chalks/mascaras for a temporary colour change, and 1 Second Nail Polish Remover from Bourjois. The latest development is a 3D printer which mixes powders and creams to create instant beauty products.

“Customisation is an obvious benefit allowing experimentation without spending a lot of money.”

4. Shop-less retail

Vending machines will become a form of mass distribution in the future. Already, Benefit has installed machines in US airports. Vending machines will offer personalisation via facial recognition.Facial recognition technology is already used on websites and for mobile apps. Consumers will be able to have a virtual makeover as well as analyse the biometric data of their skin for precise product recommendation.

A lot of attention is being given to reducing product packaging, even getting rid of it completely as in grocery retail. It could become a reality in beauty.

“Consumers will be empowered to make their own products and customise them.”

5. Inside-out beauty

There will be more opportunities to combine cosmetics and beauty supplements in the future {“twin cosmetics” from one brand}, despite current consumer scepticism. Look out for “beauty restaurants” which have exclusive beauty-oriented food and drink menus.

“Experience will help overcome hesitation in ‘inside-out’ beauty products.”

6. Facing fears

Consumers fear getting infected and will seek out products that are germ-safe and anti-bacterial, without drying out the hands. Anti-pollutant products, such as Clarins Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream will target skin challenged by a polluted urban environment.

7. Packaging with meaning

Sustainability is top of the agenda for brands such as Mac, which runs “back to Mac”, a campaign to encourage consumers to return empty lipsticks in exchange for a free one.

Brands will add meaning to packaging by producing purse- and travel-friendly formats, by embracing a refill culture {eg Art Deco refillable eye shadows} and selling collectibles {Lalique by Bentley fragrance}.

8. The Ultimate All-in-One

Brands capitalising on the “alphabet craze” are adding more and more claims to products leading to increasing consumer expectations.

“All-in-one is constantly changing and is a high innovation environment with opportunities for USPs and to target new demographics.”

9. Back to basic

New findings on how nature works will provide inspiration from unusual sources, including animals and insects, such as snails eg Secrets de Léa Sérum Concentré which uses asses’ milk.

Watch out for the term “biomimicry” as in sunscreen filters that mimic the natural protection which corals on the Great Barrier Reef emit under the sun’s rays.

“This technology is expected to reach consumer markets in about 5 to 6 years time.”

10. Innovation Inspiration from Food & Drink

An unusual association comes from OPI and Coco Cola with nail polish shades that mirror the colour of the latter’s beverages.

Consumer familiarity with the nutritional benefits of consuming fruit and vegetables is extending to beauty innovation. Exotic fruits and superfruits are growing in popularity for their vitality and nutritional benefits. eg Montagne Jeunesse Very Berry, described as “bursting with the juice of pressed blueberries and crushed cranberries”.

“Food and drink will be a major inspiration for beauty innovation.”

This article first appeared on Cosmeticsdesign-europe.com.

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