This is an exciting time: the world is changing, and the personal care industry is under pressure to keep up. Luckily for you, we’re providing you with our five key takeaways from the conference. More details and a deep-dive into certain topics of this report will also be covered in the upcoming weeks in our blog, so be sure to keep an eye on it.

1. The demand for sustainable personal care products is going to increase exponentially and it is our responsibility both to keep up with it, and to come up with innovative ways to create resourceful products.
  • To begin with, changes in the weather will affect the resources available to us: restrictions will be felt due to changes in the distribution and legislation related to the use of raw materials. Resultantly, a change in the constituents of formulations is inevitable. A clear example includes more concentrated formulations to save water.
  • Consumers today are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious. Not only do they rethink the product packaging, they also take into consideration the ingredients inside constituting products. Building up a transparent supply chain and offering sustainable products is key to building their trust. Moreover, consumers will look to local brands and resourcefully sourced products to meet their needs.
  • Smaller Smaller and indie brands address the future consumer’s needs better; their typically more sustainable and ethical approaches are well-suited to the forecasted demands. For inspiration, check out what these cool brands are doing: Evolue, Huxley, Haeckles, Pinch Cosmetics, No BS., Glow Recipe.

2. The indie brands at in-cosmetics were the show-stealers: their appeal was easy to see, and their ethical approach is the future of the industry.

  • The charm of each indie brand is easy to see in their brand story: each one has its own ethical and/or moral underlying principle. It is also common to see many indie brands communicate their principle via social media, which proves to be a convincing platform on which to share their stor
  • As indie brands focus on a more specific target audience, they have the possibility to ‘perfect’ their principle, thereby allowing them to really focus on their customers. This goes hand in hand with the growing demand for personalized products. Consumers want to feel an emotional connection with their products, and indie brands allow for this.
  • Indie brands that stood out to us at in-cosmetics 2019: Bybi beauty, the 100% natural, vegan and cruelty-free personal care brand and Samfarmer, the unisex deodorant brand.

3. Developments in technology will be felt across the personal care world and open the door to better customer understanding and services.

  • The notion of sufficiency is becoming increasingly prevalent, in other words: the practice of using an adequate amount of a resource, rather than exploiting it. Furthermore, it is expected that technology can, and will be used to estimate the ‘right’ quantities of products and, in so doing, to minimize waste.
  • The needs for a) more personalization of personal care products and b) to experiment and test products are both key drivers in the use of technology. New developments, such as smartphone cameras that can easily scan and analyze the individual skin type and directly recommend personalized product choices, as well as the opportunity to find and buy chemicals online, will be of great use in the future.
  • The end-consumers crave experiences rather than new products. By taking a ‘playground approach’ with your products, this opportunity can be provided. A crucial example includes the use of augmented reality apps to test products virtually or to create an engaging shopping experience. L’Oréal is currently testing their ‘virtual try it on feature’ which does just that. Another important example to note is SK-II, who started their first future X smart store for analyzing skin, mobile payment points and more.
  • Social Media drives engagement with users and influences branding. As well as being the perfect platform for indie brands to tell their story, a large proportion of social media users (41%) also use it to discover new brands and products as well as to obtain advice and tutorials on products.
  • Today’s society is all about experiences. Beauty products need to address various senses, for instance, delivering freshness and using technology to show products in different dimensions. A fun example of this was seeing how Merck demonstrated their acknowledgement of technology: by employing the help of a robot to showcase their products.

4. The effects of urbanization will dictate many of the demands of the future customer.

  • By 2030, it is forecast that 60% of the world population will live in cities. Factors like air pollution, noise, limited space, screens, heat and stress will impact people’s health, their skin, their hair and moreover, their personal care needs. Innovation needs to address these needs by making customers feel fresh, healthy and relaxed, as well as by providing solutions to the symptoms of urban stress.

5. The link between food and beauty is becoming stronger, and the distinction between these two types of products is becoming more blurred.

  • The need for sustainably sourced products and increased transparency is clear. In addition to this, people are turning to ingredients traditionally used in foods and nutraceuticals. Why? The saying if it’s safe enough to eat, it’s safe enough to put on your face
    resounded several times throughout the conference. We’re even starting to see
    products that can simultaneously be used as flavor enhancers and as fragrances! It was also particularly nice to see Eco Shells, displaying shell-inspired cosmetic products.
  • The link between food, transparency and personal care ingredients was also felt in the presence of certifiers. The strong presence of ECOCERT, as well as of other certification bodies, such as Halal certifiers, and the interest observed in certifying products could not be ignored.

Whilst the traditional players in the personal care industry still have a significant presence, it was with great interest that we observed the rise of smaller and indie brands as significant players. The changes the in personal care ecosystem will be dictated by changes in end-consumer needs and desires. In-cosmetics Global 2019 was an eye-opening conference to the upcoming trends in personal care.

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