This consumer-driven growth in naturals has led to rising investment in research and development which translates into more innovative products on the shelves of our local natural stores and even big box stores. Research into more effective plant-based actives and extracts to address a myriad of skincare concerns and innovations for more effective delivery systems and maximum results and efficacy, is on the rise.
Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
At the core of the natural movement is the enduring value of sustainability. Beauty brands and manufacturers now realize that sustainability is not a fad, or a marketing green-washing term. Once a claim of sustainability is made, consumers not only expect full transparency of sustainability programs, they expect the commitment to evolve based on the latest findings and best practices. For example, in the past, some brands based their sustainability efforts on donating items like shoes, clothing and personal care products to the local communities where they were sourcing ingredients or making products. Over the years, data shows that these type of programs actually hurt the local economies by taking business from local manufacturers of shoes, clothing and personal care products. By paying attention to changes, companies can keep their sustainability efforts relevant and continue to maintain the trust of consumers.
The transition between food and skin care demonstrates that customers are comfortable with the idea that their skin care products do not necessarily need to come out of a sterile lab, but can be produced in a kitchen – the same place where nourishing and nurturing food is made. The food that nourishes the body can nourish the skin. Many natural beauty brands, like the wildly successful Carol’s Daughter line of hair, body and skin care products, were launched in the kitchen. Using super foods like kale, spinach and spirulina as key ingredients in skin care products is on trend for many innovative beauty brands.
K Beauty refers to skin care products that originate from South Korea and have become a mainstay in the US market. The elaborate cleansing, moisturizing and mask wearing routines, promise clear luminous skin that needs very little makeup or cover-up. Another source of Eastern beauty inspiration comes from skin care ingredients such asfermented foods like yogurt and mushrooms and vividly-colored, nutrient-dense vegetables and fruit.
Today’s masks are definitely not your mother’s face masks. The mask market is booming and evolving. Innovation in masks include area-specific masks for the chest, arms, breasts and hands. Masks are infused with actives that will target specific issues like wrinkles, acne, redness, dark circles and other skin care issues.
Social media influencers like Hye-Min Park with over 3.5 million followers, have made opening up their bathroom cabinets to share go-to beauty products with followers all over the globe, second nature. Instagram-friendly packaging creates opportunities for beautiful shots to be shared by influencers with their followers (which is an important consideration for beauty brands) in today’s social media landscape.
CBD Oil or Cannabinoid derived from the hemp plant, a cousin to marijuana, will be more prominent in skin care barring any FDA objections to its approval. CBD boasts a number of skin benefits including natural emollients that can help hydrate and smooth the skin; anti-acne; anti- inflammation and pain reduction. CBD oil is similar to other oils that are often used on skin (olive, avocado, and almond) so it works well on dry skin and can also be helpful in treating conditions like eczema.
Finally, the use of technology to create a superior experience for customers will continue to grow. One size does not fit all and that also applies to the area of skincare and the choices customers need to meet their unique beauty needs. Using technology to create a more customized experience engages the customer by letting them identify their beauty needs and having products curated to meet their very specific needs.
About the author: Funlayo Alabi is the co-founder of Shea Radiance, a natural beauty brand dedicated to transforming hair, skin, thinking…and lives into something more beautiful than what it was before.Funlayo is a global business leader who speaks domestically and internationally on matters of international business, market and economic access for African women, Africa’s agricultural sector and Shea butter. Funlayo and Shea Radiance were selected to be honored in the 2017 Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program offering education, business support services and access to working capital. Shea Radiance was founded in 2008 by Funlayo Alabi on the premise that women need to care for themselves and each other. Shea Radiance crafts artisanal skincare and haircare products that are all-natural with the purest, small-batch, women-sourced shea butter from West Africa as a primary ingredient. Shea Radiance promotes the power of community and empowerment for women around the globe.