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Key Takeaways from in-cosmetics North America 2017

Kayla Villena Profile Picture
Kayla Villena Bio

On October 11, Euromonitor International presented at in-cosmetics North America, a conference dedicated to discovering the latest trends and solutions in skin care, hair care, sun care, colour cosmetics and overall beauty and personal care. While this is only their second year in North America, the conference drew 200 leading personal care ingredient suppliers and over 2,000 cosmetic manufacturers, R&D and regulatory professionals. Euromonitor’s Beauty and Fashion Analyst Kayla Villena provided insights on “The Future of Beauty in the Era of Multi-Functionality”, an overview of multi-functional beauty products that highlighted key opportunities for mass, premium and masstige beauty players. In addition to offering formulation expertise to industry practitioners, in-cosmetics North America showcased the wide spectrum of innovation across the beauty and personal care industry in the region.

Changing consumer expectations drive new product development for portability, multi-functionality, and sustainability

One of the greatest challenges among practitioners of any industry is understanding today’s consumer and anticipating future needs; the beauty industry is no different. in-cosmetics featured several presentations on understanding today’s North American consumer. The consensus is that today’s North American consumer is extremely busy, juggling personal, work, leisure and fitness activities in the midst of longer commute times and among younger generations, in sprawling cities. These lifestyle changes have led to a rise in multi-functional products that perform the functions of several products in one. Portable, compact beauty products like powder sunscreens and lipstick crayons are creating opportunities for beauty and packaging companies to develop travel-size or single-serve pack sizes. To alleviate consumers’ dilemma for squeezing in fitness during a busy schedule, athleisure cosmetic and skin care lines like Sweat Cosmetics, Tarte Athleisure and CliniqueFIT will likely be a source of continued product expansion among small and large manufacturers. The increase of savvier, ingredient-focused consumers are resulting in a shift away from legacy brands toward indie beauty, in which top-shelf formulations and entrepreneurs lead product development, and clean beauty, in which “less is more” and using few ingredients that are free parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and petrochemicals is prioritised.

A ground-breaking disrupter that came as a response for more sustainable ingredient sources is the development of plant-based stem cells. Consumers have a desire for nature-derived beauty ingredients that sometimes conflicts with the desire for sustainability. To solve this dilemma, ingredient suppliers have harnessed biotechnology to create stem cells from rare plants in order to deliver cutting-edge benefits without putting additional stress on the environment, such as Mibelle Biochemistry’s nunatak ingredient based on stem cells from the Saponaria pumila, a rare flower that survived the last Ice Age. The intersection of biotechnology and beauty is one piece of an overarching narrative from in-cosmetics North America: the trend for beauty from within.

Intersection of biotechnology and beauty to be a pioneer of innovative benefits

Today’s North American consumers are adopting holistic approaches to health and beauty, rather than treating each as a separate category of care. As a result, consumers are becoming more receptive to beauty positioning that links technology strides from the health and biotechnology industries to efficacy in beauty. Several industry players at in-cosmetics North America commented on the increasing cross-over of pharmaceutical, biotechnology and even food ingredient companies into the beauty world, resulting in a launch of cutting-edge benefits from technology-focused ingredient companies. The latest ingredients address new benefits in beauty and personal care products, such as anti-pollution and blue light protection from mobile phones, tablets and electronic devices. These benefits underscore a new way to communicate with today’s consumers: reduce the risk, rather than seek out a benefit. The presence of health and biotechnology companies in the beauty world, coupled with changing consumer expectations and lifestyle changes in North America, intersect to create a dynamic space for ingredient suppliers, manufacturers, packaging companies and other stakeholders to push for the next wave of innovation in the beauty industry.

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