Beauty trends are constantly evolving, and what’s in-demand one moment may be a thing of the past the next. But one beauty concept that has stood the test of time is the fresh-from-holiday complexion: that bronze, sun-kissed skin tone that seems to radiate from the inside. Even more than a desirable color, this skin tone also seems to evoke a feeling that most would agree to be beneficial year-round, not just during the summer holidays.
Recent consumer research suggests that when it comes to the face, beauty standards are moving away from a deep, dark tan and towards a more natural-looking glow that evokes healthfulness. In a 2017/2018 study, 45% of respondents reported wanting “some tan” in order to look healthy and not too pale.  This sentiment is reflected across all age groups but resonates particularly with those under 55: in this category, over 60% reported wanting “some tan” in order to look healthy and good. 
The appeal of a healthy glow is trending
The idea of having “some tan” is increasingly becoming associated with the concept of “glowing” skin, according to DSM’s Consumer Insights Hub, which captured these consumer statements:
“I think that glowing skin means your skin has healthy color and shine, and it’s free of blemishes or any other issues. It’s just like looking sun-kissed but not sun damaged.” - Michelle, age 29.
“To me glowing skin is synonymous with health, the skin looks fresh and alive, not covered in makeup, not pale and pallid, good color, good tone and not spotty.” - Stephanie, age 49.
Even more than a concept, this idea of “glowing skin” is beginning to be reflected and demanded in the market. For example, product launches for face and neck care products with “glow” in the name doubled in the US and Europe from 2017 to 2018 . And in 2019, the social media hashtag #glowingskin was used more than 3.5 million times .
Consumers feel empowered by a healthful complexion
Further leveraging its dedicated Consumer Insights Hub, paired with a global survey of over 6,000 respondents, DSM has been engaging with consumers to better understand the forces behind this trend. The findings and consumer sentiments indicate that having a natural glow triggers an emotional response that boosts youthfulness and confidence.
“I definitely think having a tan makes me feel and look younger and more confident.” - Staci, age 35.
What’s more, consumers who have a natural glow or tan feel a sense of empowerment and are even changing some of their beauty habits, moving away from make-up and artificial tanners.
“ . . . When I’m more tanned I probably do wear less make up because I feel a bit more confident in my skin tone.” - Kirsten, age 34
Is a year-round, natural glow even possible?
It’s no surprise then that consumers also say that they’d like to have this “sun-kissed” glow all year round – not just after a summer holiday -. The quick fixes currently on the market - self-tanners and various make-up products - often generate mixed reviews.
The search for a year-round healthy glow has also gained further momentum amid the events of 2020, when the opportunity to develop a sun-kissed skin tone from a much-anticipated holiday was forfeited by many consumers. This unexpected experience further revealed a gap in the market - but also an opportunity for products that can deliver an iconic, natural-looking and glowing complexion and compliment a wide range of skin tones.
A solution that works with skin - not just on it
As one of the leading companies in rational-design-inspired peptides for skincare applications, DSM is working to meet this opportunity with a glow-boosting pentapeptide. SYN-GLOW™ works with skin to reveal its natural, sun-kissed tone and, thanks to its unique mode of action, it can also strengthen skin defences from within. It is clinically proven that SYN-GLOW™ promotes a visible healthy glow in just five days, with long-lasting results and a natural personalized effect.
In an in vivo study with 29 volunteers applying 3% SYN-GLOW™, a natural, healthy glow was visible in just five days and lasted up to two weeks. In addition to encouraging results, participant feedback was overwhelmingly positive: 100% noticed their skin looking fresher and more revitalized; over 90% noticed skin looking less dull and tired; over 80% noticed a facial healthy glow; and over 80% would use the product again.
Beyond a desirable healthy glow, synthetic peptides can also appeal to modern, engaged consumers who are paying close attention to ingredients – including how they’re made and where they come from. Synthetic peptides can meet the demand for vegan and clean, sustainable and environmentally- friendly cosmetic alternatives that are backed by concrete scientific evidence.
Embrace glowing skin, 365 days a year
Most consumers would agree that everyday life, especially these days, can leave us feeling stressed and tired – and it can show on our faces with dull-looking skin. Having the right tools to develop that sun-kissed, back-from-holiday glow on the outside helps consumers to feel more youthful and confident on the inside. DSM’S range of ready-to-use peptide formulations can fulfill the opportunity to help people achieve - and maintain - a natural, healthy glow all year round, without ever leaving home.