It’s official, we’re moving into a new era of beauty. Thanks to The Future Laboratory and its robust 2022 Beauty, Health and Wellness report, we can look ahead not only to the next 2-3 years, but future gaze on the next ten years of what TFL terms ‘Accredited Beauty’.
Taking influences and data from recent social and economic world events, Accredited Beauty describes a new era of informed consuming in which brands will be expected to back up claims with expertise and evidence. Why? Because we’ve learned to ‘follow the science’, check our facts and interrogate misinformation and disinformation. We’re entering a decade of discernment in which scientists are the most trusted of societal leaders and the most respected brands are those that show hard evidence of their efficacy, quality and value. “We are speeding into the age of the expert,” says Martin Raymond, co-founder of The Future Laboratory. “For beauty and wellness, this equates to research, testing, proof points and facts that will foster understanding, trust and positive sentiment among audiences.”
Here are my takeaways of the key trends and ‘drivers’ to look out for…
MEET THE SCI-FLUENCERS. Online influencers have been around for over 15 years, so it’s about time that the real influencers stepped up to the plate. I can’t imagine I’m the only one following dentists, dieticians and psychologists on TikTok. Post-pandemic we’re all health nerds now and the healthification of beauty means brands are bringing qualified experts out of the lab and into consumer-facing roles. Beauty editors have been privy to these experts since time, but as fashion and beauty know-how becomes increasingly mainstream, it makes sense to bring those experts straight to consumers. According to Mintel, a third of UK facial skincare users now research ingredients for efficacy, which coincides with an increase in the length of ingredient lists on beauty product pages, as consumers learn to read and translate their meanings.
Longer term, we’ll see this knowledge interest extend to health concerns such as hormones, diet and sleep, as consumers understand the impact of health on beauty issues. The Mandarin Oriental hotel in Geneva is ahead of the game, collaborating with Swiss sleeping clinic CENAS. The service offers guests sleep disorders tests, giving them remedies based on the result to achieve better sleep quality post hotel stay.
AUGMENTED APPLICATIONS. More health-meets-beauty integration comes in the form of hybrid skincare products and clinical procedures. Hot on the heels of popular home-use beauty devices are at-home lip fillers and peels. “While the science, analytics and processes routinely used in the biopharma industry have created some of the most innovative medications available, they have yet to fully infiltrate the skincare industry,” says Lauren Otsuki, executive vice-president and chief innovation officer at Ourself. The brand aims to bridge this gap with at-home fillers (below) and brightening peels that use precision needles and lasers to topically apply its products. Theraface has taken the beauty world by storm with its multi-therapy handheld device (below) that treat acne and fine lines, while using microcurrents to tone and sculpt the face and also ease migraines and facial tension – all from your own living room (buy it here*). Meanwhile, Vuity (below) is an FDA-approved eye drop company that may reduce the need for glasses by temporarily improving vision. (Does that mean a reduction in frown lines? #askingforafriend.)
MEDI BEAUTY. Doctor brands have been trending for a while as an example of the move towards trusted skincare founders. These brands and products are perceived as more effective, which unsurprisingly has gained momentum in the last two years of beauty enthusiasts becoming more skincare conscious and better informed. Products made using ingredients associated with clinical settings are of particular interest. For example, look out for S’eau Prima Foundational Face Mist (below), which incorporates hypochlorous acid, used in wound treatment.
AGGRAVATED INNOVATIONS. While the ‘clean beauty’ dialogue has dominated the industry for the last ten years, The Future Laboratory highlights a nuanced shift that moves the conversation forward. Recognising that ‘natural’ doesn’t always mean better and ‘chemical’ doesn’t always equal ‘nasties’, it predicts a future in which new lab-created ‘biotech’ ingredients are efficacious, while providing the answer to dwindling natural ingredients exacerbated by the climate crisis. On that note, brands also need to work on using simple language to educate their customers on ingredients and formulations. Demystifying the science and losing the jargon is something that smaller, more agile brands are in a strong position to lead with. As an example, Deciem is re-educating its customers on synthetic ingredients with its pro-sulphate hair care range (below). (Buy it here*.)
CERTIFIED OPERATIONS. Transparency is king when it comes to gaining the trust of consumers. Not least during a cost-of-living crisis in which we want to know our money is being spent ethically and on high-performing products. Enter in-house and third-party ‘trust marks’ that certify a brand’s quality, efficacy and sustainability credentials – an important step to bypass ‘greenwashing’ and ‘wokewashing’. According to GlobalData research, two in five European consumers find third-party verified certifications an influential factor when shopping. For example, the Kind to Biome mark is a new beauty council which has devised a fast and inexpensive test used by companies including Votary* that certifies skincare products as microbiome-gentle. Elsewhere, Estee Lauder has launched its own Green Score methodology to assess the sustainability of its brands’ ingredients and formulas.
Sharing the data with audiences will become increasingly important as this trend builds momentum. Acknowledging that beauty consumers are becoming more au fait with scientific terms, San Francisco topical skin supplement brand OneSkin (below) shares results of clinical studies and statistical findings on its homepage. As Generation Google is used to having research at its fingertips, this seems like a prudent approach for future-focused brands keen to capture their next-gen customers.
Access The Future Laboratory Beauty, Health and Wellness 2022 report here.
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WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Ourself x 2; Theraface; Vuity; S’eau Prima, The Ordinary, OneSkin
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here
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