5 Key Beauty Trend Predictions for 2016

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For my last blog of the year, I'd like to look ahead at the key trends we can expect to influence beauty in 2016 and beyond.

I’ve been sifting through a lot of research material, so I thought I’d cherry pick the ones that make most sense to me.

JWT Innovation has published their Future 100 Trends report that spans categories including culture, beauty, brands, food and drink, innovation, lifestyle, luxury, retail, sustainability and technology.

The approach is to watch the rapid metabolism of trends cross category as they move from new to nearly new to over. Trends can spring from anywhere, such as the streets of Cairo to the boutiques of South Korea and achieve rapid global adoption.

These are the ones that particularly resonated with me:

Beauty Foods

More a developing trend than something brand new, we are seeing emerging boutique brands use ingredients that are usually eaten as superfoods and use them to create beauty products and recipes.

It’s a trend that sits with the holistic way that consumers view wellbeing and growing interest in healthy diet and lifestyles.

  • The Body Deli specialises in beauty products that use only fresh, raw, organic cold-pressed superfoods and must be stored in the fridge.

  • The Beauty Chef, an Australian superfood beauty brand, has a range of ingestible Inner Beauty powders, with a recipe platform that includes desserts that incorporate its products.

  • New York-based Loli is a subscription box scheme that sends packages of fresh ingredients to customers along with recipes to make their own batches of treatments.

New Natural Beauty

Heightened interest in natural products and messaging among consumers is making many become sceptical about mainstream brands leading them to seek out product information online.

Concern about toxins is a particular issue in beauty and many small UK brands are tapping into a new type of naturalism:

  • Liha makes beauty products based on African recipes in small batches.

  • The Beauty Kitchen only uses first derivative natural ingredients that are not chemically processed in manufacturing. Based in Glasgow, consumers can visit the shop and learn how to make their own personalised beauty products.

  • Haeckels, based in Margate, makes products with local and natural ingredients such as seaweed, using pre-industrial techniques.

  • Yüli employs advanced skin technology and botanic research to ensure products can compete in efficacy as well as ethics.

  • Mother Dirt is a range of cleansers, shampoos and mists that contain beneficial bacteria.

Anna-Marie Solowij, beauty editor and co-founder of the retail concept BeautyMART observes: “Nearly every one of these brands is able to lay claim to the majority of the following: superfood ingredients, cold-pressed or raw processing, small-batch manufacturing, preservative-free or bacteria-rich formulas and traceability from seed to skin with science helping to do all this better.”

Full-Spectrum Beauty

Ethnic and cultural diversity is finally being recognised by leading beauty brands that are broadening ranges and providing products for hair and skin tones of all kinds.

A parallel trend here is the potential growth in Halal beauty products, as used by Muslim consumers and are acceptable under Islam. The category is currently dominated by niche players such as Halal Beauty Box and offers an opportunity for multinational brands to target consumers in Muslim communities, not just in Islamic countries.

Mintel has published the key trends set to impact global beauty markets over the next decade. They include:

Augmented Human

Following the huge uptake of health & fitness trackers, beauty consumers will look for beauty brands to offer products and devices that boast similar functionality.

Virtual and augmented reality, along with diagnostic tools for customised formulations and wearable technology will all play a part. L’Oreal has been at the forefront of this trend by developing a wearable skin device to measure skin hydration and its thermal condition.

Mintel envisages that wearables will increasingly become part of the body, from micro patches that monitor skin condition to ingestibles that send information to connected devices from the stomach, tracking the movement and efficacy of beauty supplements.

Water: The New Luxury

Beauty brands will need to change how they manufacture and formulate products to limit their dependence on water. Already, consumers are being asked to monitor their water use to avoid unnecessary waste. As consumers cut their usage, they will expect brands to do the same.

Mintel’s research shows consumer interest in alternative water sources that do not place any additional strain on existing resources. Brands will adopt an eco-friendly approach by sourcing water from different oceans, lagoons and glaciers, even climbing mountains to harvest fogs to gain the purest possible droplets.

Which of these predictions to you agree with? Are there others that you think I’ve missed out?

Let me know in the comments below.