From transparency to radical traceability
As trust is the new currency, safety and wellness become key; therefore, brands will need to explore radical traceability solutions.
Transparency is a prerequisite of conscious consumption, and 2020 has reinforced the need to make a safe choice for anything applied on skin. Moreover, reaching global wellbeing implies ethical decisions, especially in luxury. IPSOS Luxury survey shows that 90% of the affluent Chinese expect brands to have an ethical/ecological commitment, and 88% expect them to respect animal wellbeing. More than words, consumers call for facts.
According to the UEBT 2020 survey, consumers expect more information on packaging: 82% want to know the origin of ingredients, and 78% wish to know the social impact of sourcing local ingredients. In 2020, the discussion on ethical sourcing accelerated. In the USA, Beautycounter has made a massive communication on responsible sourcing, pointing out the “clean” origing of their Mica and the urgency to fight against hidden forced labor.
British E-Retailer, Cult, has cooperated with the blockchain technology platform Provenance to collect information about the source, ingredients, craftsmanship, and requirements of its products, and then use evidence to prove the authenticity of this information
From "skinification" to augmented "healthification"
"Skinification" was the major trend in 2020, as consumers shifted from makeup to the "pandemic-proof" skincare market. But what 2020 has taught us is the importance of prevention for our health. According to Innova’s Consumer Survey 2020, "six out of ten global consumers are increasingly looking for F&B products that support their immune health. One in three says that concerns about immune health increased in 2020 over 2019".
Sales of vitamins, supplements, and even homeopathic remedies experienced unprecedented levels during the April coronavirus pandemic in the US. We have seen skincare transitioning to self-care, as consumers were spending more time at home.
Interest in wellness has increased, and new brands are taking the stand to answer this new need. Disciple offers a holistic approach to stress-relief and answers to anxiety-related skin issues such as acne.
The British wellness brand Nue Co. launched Forest Lungs, a fragrance "supplement" intended to "deliver the healing effects of nature to the body [and] support the reduction of everyday stress."
From skintellectualization to "Science Inside"
The "skintellectualization" of Beauty has emerged as a significant trend in 2020, propelled by Gen Z.
Empowered by digital tools, these consumers are armed with in-depth Beauty knowledge and are now "ingredient wizards", even more attentive to INCI. Online, they are building a digital Beauty library, thanks to all the knowledge passed on forums and social media.
Simultaneously, a new generation of influencers such as skincare guru Hyram in the US or Secret de Peau in France, deciphers every product. Ready to make the next leap, ingredient-focused brand Inkey List drives the trend with a pedagogical approach to imperfections, specific protocols, and a radical education of consumers.
While recent years’ fascination for mystical wellness was key, led by gurus such as Gwyneth Paltrow, we now see a renewed quest for scientific legitimacy. 2020 was the year of the emergence of scientific expert brands such as Dr. Barbara Sturm.
From sustainability to eco celebration
The recent sanitary crisis led to an acceleration of the expectation of consumers for purpose-driven and sustainable solutions. Mc Kinsey mentions "sustainability first”, while 57% of consumers in Germany and the UK declared, "they had made significant changes to their lifestyles to lessen their environmental impact."
From zero-waste dining restaurants, zero-waste design, second-hand fashion or trashion (fashion with trash), innovation with eco-friendly solutions have accelerated, pushing brands to rethink packaging, product-delivery system, and delivery.
New refill solutions (ex Unilever, Clarins Eco-Bar, Shiseido) have propelled the concept of zero waste beyond Indie. In the USA, Clean retailer Credo has sped up their Clean 2.O philosophy prioritizing sustainability and a ban on in store single-use packaging.
From lockdown beauty to unleashing freedom
Lockdowns have transformed homes into safe life-spaces and wellness sanctuaries.
This "home-hubbing" behavior created new needs, like self-care, intimate skincare, or the quest for minimalism. Lockdown was also an opportunity to self-experiment. Makeup became a powerful tool to fight boredom and fuel personal creativity. From maximalist nudes to extreme color payoffs, "lockdown looks", we witnessed the rise of highly creative looks shared on social media.
Some 46% of women and 41% of men said they’ve spent more time on social media during the pandemic (Business.com). Instagram story, Tik Tok, and Twitch thus became the perfect platforms to boost self-expression, fight boredom, and seek inspiration. These platforms privilege movement, fun, freedom, far away from the lavish looks of Instagram and the hybridization of the virtual and real world.
Shining example: the collaboration Travis Scott x Byredo gave birth to the Space Rage perfume, which encapsulates the essence of space to fly from home.
The virtual gathering also increased to connect meaningfully, express creativity, and feel alive. Beauty brands surfed the trend: Morphe collaborated with the d’Amelio sisters on TikTok, and ELF created ASMR-like videos for their new Mint Collection. New into cosmetics market, Twitch might also impact the make-up market…
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