The Hottest Beauty Trends from this Year’s in-cosmetics Global Show - Part 2


The in-cosmetics Global Marketing Trends presentations bring together leading research agencies and consultancies to report on the major trends and issues affecting the global beauty industry.

In this second blog, Imogen presents her personal highlights and with them, the key insights she believes anyone working in beauty needs to know and act on.

Why DIY Cosmetics (Customisation) is Making a Comeback

Far from being a new trend, DIY cosmetics have been around as long as women have wanted to use products to beautify their skin and hair. It’s now making a comeback under the guise of customisation or personalisation.

Jo Chidley, founder of Beauty Kitchen, believes the revival of this trend is because consumers are losing trust in big brands. “There’s an illusion of black magic behind the scenes,” she argued. “DIY is the only way to be truly transparent.”

However, it may just be more than a passing fad, given that consumers are taking more responsibility for their health through diet and the products they put on their skin.

“But DIY is probably a step too far for most people. Do they really have the time to make their own cosmetics?” commented Jo.Via her own customers, she has observed they want more transparency, but don’t necessarily expect a brand to tick every box. Here’s some advice:

  • Sustainability and DIY are interlinked - who really knows if a product is green?

  • Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about sustainability in the 21st century.

  • Beauty is becoming more responsible, from reclaiming beach plastics for packaging to doing your bit for charity.

  • We won’t solve industrial revolution problems with industrial revolution issues.

Skin Microbiome…Probiotic Ingredients…Healthy Ageing

The Skin Microbiome - one of this year’s strongest themes at the in-cosmetics show - is a key beauty trend for 2018 and regarded as a major business opportunity. Global brands/companies, Clinique, L’Oreal and Unilever are investing in the growing science of the human bacterial ecosystem with ground-breaking formulations designed to take care of the skin’s good bacteria.

Another major and concerning trend is the negative impact of pollution on the skin which has led cosmetic brands to come up with a wide range of protection products.

Pollution is a global problem exacerbated by large urban populations - by 2030, 60.5% of the global population will live in cities.

According to Maria Coronado Robles, senior consultant, Euromonitor, anti-pollution and probiotic ingredients are becoming more mainstream in brand messaging. For example, live probiotics are used in Mother Dirt AO Biome Moisturiser, Esse Probiotic Skincare, Yun Probiotherapy ACN + Wash and ACN + Cream and Esse Skincare Probiotic Serum.

The probiotic trend is already moving well beyond skincare into other product categories (make-up and haircare), creating new anti-ageing claims and providing opportunities for the personalisation of products using genetically modified micro-organisms.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are still plenty of opportunities for brands choosing a more minimalist “healthy ageing” approach, such as S.W. Basics, made with 5 ingredients or less, or REN Clean Skincare that taps into the clean beauty trend.

Spotlight on Asia - provided by Florence Bernardin, founder of Information + Inspiration

A comparison of Japan, Korea and China reveals three very different types of consumer.Japan

  • Is a mature beauty market where ultra sophisticated consumers increasingly focus on inner beauty…”who you are”.

  • The trend is to reduce the routine, not increase the number of steps (unlike Korea).

  • With an ageing population, there are products for those aged 50+, 60+ and 70+.


  • Evokes excitement when it comes to beauty - it’s all about the experience and the format.

  • A glowing beauty is the goal of many consumers.

  • The government backs innovation-driven initiatives as it regards beauty to be an important part of the economy.


  • Is a new and young market with products focused on lifestyle beauty -The target is women in their first job, who are stressed, have no time to sleep and suffer from pollution problems.

  • They want quick, smart and effective products and are afraid of chemicals and nasties on their skin.

  • An interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on “what’s good for the body is good for the skin”.

  • Digital is right up there as most shopping is done online.

New Formats, New Experiences

Sophisticated cleansers include:

  • Foams that are applied with a foaming net to avoid touching the skin

  • Enzyme powders applied with wet hands onto a wet face and lathered in

Hydration is all about thin watery/oil layers. The Japanese like to use one product which they layer between 7 and 10 times, such as Muji Light Toning Lotion and SKII Esssence.Balms are a hot trend as they can be used everywhere -hair, face, fingernails, lips. For example, The Product Hair Wax (actually a US brand)

No more seasonal products -consumers expect to use whitening products all year, not just in the summer months.

Mask addicts use them a minimum of once a day for immediate results from concentrated ingredients. New formats include Herborist Dry Mask that you add your own cream to, and acupuncture-inspired sheet masks where you press the dots to activate the blood circulation.

What’s Next in Asia?

  • Convenience products: solid and concentrated stick cleansers; single ampoules containing concentrated serum.

  • Products to tackle skin fatigue and skin depression.

  • All year round UV protection in transparent formulations with amazing textures.

  • New developments in anti-oxidant formulations (the Chinese go crazy for these)

  • Keep an eye on fermented ingredients which are a very strong trend.

  • Neuro-connected formulations that stimulate the brain.

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