Trend: Boosted Actives
The heavy hitting staples in most cosmetic skincare formulations like Hyaluronic Acid, Retinol and Peptides are now being formulated in a boosted version and readily used by major beauty brands. In the past, a development team could create an effective anti-aging formulation focusing on the top three staple ingredients but today the consumer wants more.
Everyone wants the next generation peptide or an encapsulated superhero form of Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol. Advances in anti-aging science paired with marketing strategy have shifted the premises on which formulations were previously based. I expect to see some of the progressive labs like Sederma and Laboratoires Expanscience, continue to release patented peptide blends with strong cosmetic claims backed up by clinical validation. In an industry plagued with smoke and mirror claims, the consumer is looking for and expects formulations that are clinically validated or contain active ingredients backed by clinical studies.
Trend: Toxic Free Preservatives
In addition to more efficacious active ingredients, I expect to see conscious beauty brands continue to replace potentially toxic ingredients with more eco friendly alternatives. In past years we saw preservatives like parabens replaced with less offensive ingredients like phenoxyethanol. I expect that trend to continue to evolve as I am seeing more progressive labs release even cleaner preservatives based on natural ingredients like willow bark. It’s a challenge for development teams to find the balance between offering a toxic-free preservative that is still capable of keeping a formulation free from harmful bacteria. I am happy to see consumers pressuring brands to steer away from toxic preservatives and harmful fragrance ingredients.
Trend: “Free From…”
I also expect to see a conscious evolution of beauty brands fueled by consumer pressure to offer “gluten free”, “cruelty free” “vegan” options. I caution the consumer to look closely at ingredient decks of products making these claims. It’s quite easy to get caught up in a claim and assume a product is toxic free because it is gluten free, cruelty free and vegan. That’s unfortunately not the case. Claims are great and make it easy to locate products that align with your moral compass but I caution the consumer to read the ingredient decks. Sadly, some brands claiming “organic” offer a small percentage of organic ingredients and can be even more toxic than brands not making the claim.
Trend: Buy To Give Back
I absolutely love this trend! Brands are recognizing the consumer desire to make charitable purchases and are donating a portion of sales to charitable organizations. My hope is that consumers continue to put their money into charitable purchases.
Product Inspiration (Wet):
I sit on the development board and Michael Todd Beauty and I get my inspiration for new skincare products by attending industry events like Cosmoprof North America and chatting with labs from all over the world. It’s a great way to see what’s new and hot before those ingredients hit the mainstream market.
Trend: Product Inspiration (Device)
Michael Todd Beauty is well known as one of the top innovative beauty tool brands. When our board meets and we are discussing concept, we often look to see what is being offered in the professional side of the beauty business and see if there is a way to empower our consumer to obtain professional grade results at home. As a previous medical device sales rep, I am now seeing light based therapy and other modalities that were popular 10 years ago in doctors’ offices, now being adjusted and made acceptable for consumers to use at home. It’s all about empowering the consumer as most of us don’t have the extra cash flow and time in our schedule to receive treatments in a doctor’s office. Our consumer is much more likely to use a device at home, while multi-tasking or relaxing at the end of the day.
And—A Trend I Hope Disappears:
Ridiculously exotic ingredients. It pains my heart to see ridiculously crazy ingredients so obviously infused into formulations to trick the consumer into thinking they are purchasing the newly found fountain of youth. I saw a brand representative not too long ago talking about how they just returned from a trip where they were hiking up a glacier to harvest some ingredient from the ice the top of the glacier and then bringing it back to their lab and incorporating into a product. First off, let me tell you, this is not how products are made. Second, there is no need to buy into this jargon. My hope is that this trend dies off and dies off quickly.
About the Expert:
Erica Parker is an esthetician and education director at Michael Todd Beauty.
More info: www.michaeltoddbeauty.com