There’s a rising reverence for minerals in beauty, largely centered on charcoal—inspired by the ingestible-health trend. Juice brands such as Juice Served Here and Juice Generation are using it as an ingredient. According to Juice Generation, charcoal helps trap chemicals and stop them from being absorbed into the skin. Leaves of Trees, launched this year, is a beauty brand offering charcoal anise soap. Expect more.
Minerals, both ingestible and applied externally, are becoming a key selling point for health and beauty.
Beauty is co-opting the superfood phenomenon, most recently tapping the properties of kale. Nails Inc. has introduced the NailKale range of nail polishes, packed with the antioxidant superfood to “nurture nails.” Éminence Organics has launched Éminence Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum, which contains kale, broccoli, sprouts and spinach to “restore youthful radiance.” Then there’s Nourish Advanced Cellular Skin Perfection, which is selling kale-based cleansers and anti-aging hand creams. The trend sits within a wider trend where the worlds of beauty, superfoods and cold-pressed juices are converging.
Elle Macpherson’s Super Elixir is a beauty superfood powder supplement that contains 45 key ingredients, including bioavailable alkalizing super- greens, Chinese herbs, digestive enzymes and members of the maitake mushroom family. Juice Generation has launched Beauty Bombs, a range of three beauty juices: Activated Lemonade, Activated Protein and Activated Greens, which feature charcoal as well as two shots called Le Détox and Pure Earth. The Body Deli, based in California, makes products using raw superfoods such as acai berries. Skin Nutrition, showcased at Cosmoprof 2014, is a line of beauty “smoothies” featuring raw, cold-pressed ingredients.
Consumers are increasingly understanding health, beauty and well-being as one 360-degree system and are seeing the potential in ingestible supplements. “Superfoods and cold-pressed juices have become such a phenomenon among consumers, who see feeling good as key to looking good—these new ranges tap into that, with extra ingredients aimed specifically at enhancing skin health and radiance,” says Bella Blissett, beauty consultant and columnist for the U.K.’s Mail on Sunday.
The axis of influence has changed in the beauty world, and South Korea is becoming increasingly relevant. Following the BB cream phenomenon— which spurred a whole category of alphabetical additions: CC, DD and the rest—the global appetite for South Korean beauty is rising. According to Statistics Korea, the country’s beauty exports hit a record $1.04 billion in 2013, and the Seoul International Cosmetics & Beauty Expo cited an annual growth rate of 26%.
U.S. and European retailers are taking note. Urban Outfitters became the biggest American stockist of Korean beauty brands in 2014. Refinery29 recently hired a South Korean beauty correspondent, Joyce Kong, to chart the trend for readers. “The South Korean beauty market is increasingly influential, in part because the government has invested in R&D. Manufacturers are also highly responsive to trends,” says Florence Bernardin, founder of Information & Inspiration, a Paris-based consultancy specializing in Asian beauty trends. Bernardin says trends to watch include bubbling beauty products that use carbonic acid, fermented skin care products, and sheets and body masks loaded with skin care properties.
Anna-Marie Solowij, beauty consultant and founder of U.K. retailer BeautyMART, says, “The latest Korean beauty trend product is the cushion, a creamy combination of moisturizer, foundation and sunscreen in a compact. The cushion formula has all the benefits of a BB cream—skin care ingredients, tint and sunscreen—but without the opacity and weight of a BB.”
Ready access to the Internet and social media means that not only are trends spreading faster but new centers of influence are emerging. In beauty, these new influences are increasingly coming from the East.
The impact of stressful jobs and heavy use of technology is a growing concern. According to research by YSL Beauté, spending a lot of time checking your mobile or staring at a laptop or iPad screen is causing premature aging. The brand uses the phrase “tech neck” to describe the necklace-like creases caused by checking a smartphone 150 times a day, which is, apparently, the average. “A rising number of products are being introduced to firm the jawline and smooth the neck,” says Anna-Marie Solowij, beauty expert and founder of U.K. retailer BeautyMART. Avon’s Anew Clinical Infinite Lift Targeted Contouring Serum is one example.
In the broader sense, women are starting to make the connection between work stress and visible aging. The Daily Mail ran the hyperbolic headline “Stressed-out women are losing hair in their 20s,” citing research by L’Oréal connecting hair loss to stress—a sixth of women said they had experienced hair loss by age 30, and three-quarters blamed the condition of their hair on stress. One in five high-earning men and women blamed work stress for hair thinning, compared to just one in 10 low earners.
Research has shown that Millennials are more stressed than any other generation and are trying to manage the visible manifestations. They’re also making the connection between stress and visible aging.
This year, Estée Lauder bought Olio Lusso, the skin care line founded by 66-year-old model Linda Rodin, tapping the ultimate poster girl for the emerging “amortal” view of age. Fifty-plus, 60-plus and 70-plus consumers are rebelling against traditional age stereotypes, continuing to work and remaining active consumers. Rodin launched her brand when she was nearly 60, and its USP is that it naturally enhances you to be the best you can be. Expect more brands to tap a celebratory approach to age to reach this audience. Rising life expectancy and larger numbers of vibrant 60-plus and 70-plus consumers mean innovative brands will also start to evolve tailored skin care solutions for older skin.
The global population is aging at an unprecedented rate thanks to factors that include falling birth rates and longer life spans. The World Health Organization estimates that by 2050, people aged 65 and over will outnumber children aged 14 and under for the first time. The U.S. is forecast to see a 70% rise in people aged 50 and up between 2000 and 2030, when one in three Americans will likely be in this demographic. The U.S. government’s Consumer Expenditure Survey also estimates that Boomers already outspend other generations by approximately $400 billion a year on consumer goods and services.
Fifty-plus consumers control as much as 50% of premium beauty categories, yet for years they’ve been presented with marketing images of 20-something models. Clever brands will target them without patronizing them.