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10 Years of Cosmetic Trends in Raw Materials

In the year 2010, the anti-age and anti-wrinkle trend was still popular employing actives that had topical ‘botox-like’ activity, as was Self-Tanning which continued to challenge the suppliers to produce a form of DHA that was stable and odourless.

Precious materials such as powdered gemstones, gold, silver and platinum derivatives – even meteorite dust enjoyed a place in the luxury market and Argan Oil became the popular botanical across haircare and skin care.

Cosmeceutical actives, i.e. peptides, plant active cells from stem cell technology and resveratrol started around 2006 with Matrixyl, which thanks to the BBC Horizon Documentary in 2012, featuring Boot’s Protect and Perfect’ has remained popular.

Smart encapsulation and delivery systems cascading from pharmaceutical research took actives to a higher and targeted level of efficacy. Actives from biotechnology such as Hyaluronic Acid have grown in popularity and thanks to advertising, just like peptides, have become a household name and not so scary to the public.

Suppliers have a huge number of high tech. botanical derivatives with excellent efficacy available for all price markets that offer great natural marketing stories.

Mushrooming numbers of products claiming ‘free-from’ ingredients such as parabens, sulphates, PEGs & GMO joined the steadily growing number of ingredients and products claiming to be, not just natural but to be certified as natural/organic. Legislation now restricts the wording of the ‘free-from’ claim.

There are now quite a number of certifying bodies such as COSMOS, Soil Association, RSPO palm oil, cruelty-free, Halal, Vegetarian and Vegan certification organisations, each requiring significant administration to obtain an organisation ‘badge’ to show on a product label.

Green technology, ethical sourcing and sustainability continues to grow as a raw material trend and commitment, as does upcycling – the re-use of bio-waste material.

The ‘Korean-Beauty’ trend has continued to seek even skin tone and radiance and also has continued to introduce novel, lighter, ‘quick break’ textures and interest in ‘water’ as the key hero ingredient.

However, elsewhere, to avoid the use of plastic containers, waterless products such as solid bars of shampoo, conditioners, cleansers and moisturisers are becoming a very popular concept and are also challenging for formulators and manufacturers.

Gut Microbiome research findings boosted interest in pre and probiotics, inspired movement into skin care around 2016, with the Skin Microbiome becoming the focus of global R&Ds and still remains.

L’Oréal’s Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence entity, ModiFace’ opened the beauty industry’s doors in 2018 to the digital revolution with smart phone apps and augmented mirrors enabling make-up to be seen on the consumers image before they buy and to make judgements on their skin and supporting the ‘Personalisation’ trend.

In amongst brand product recommendations, the market has seen products where certain key ingredients have been highlighted and concentrated as supplements to address certain individual skin/hair/body conditions in very simple base formulae. The simplicity of multi-functional formulae and shorter ingredient list is also another trend and is a challenge for formulators to produce such formulae with multi-tasking ingredients. Suppliers have been continuing efficacy tests on existing actives for just this reason with surprising and encouraging results.

CBD – the most popular ingredient at the moment – no surprise – but no significant efficacy for topical application as yet – and legislation isn’t clear!

The Red Tree is the UK’s leading international beauty brand consultancy and a powerhouse of ideas, insight and inspiration. For an informal discussion on how we might help you, please contact us.

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