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From prestige beauty, nutricosmetics to subscription based skincare businesses, we look at some of the emerging trends the beauty industry has been capitalising in.
Bespoke mail order skin treatments designed for a client’s specific requirements are growing in popularity. It’s hard for consumers to know what products and ingredients are best. There are many variables that influence the skin’s health, from diet to water quality, and mass products aren’t tailored to these precise factors.
Mail order beauty tries to address all these problems in a fresh way. Emerging brands are offering consumers the ability to complete a digital skin care quiz, then consult with a dermatologist before receiving a customized regimen. It’s not that the doctors choose products that will work — the brand custom makes them for each client. So, if signs of aging are the main concern, they’ll up the dos age of retinoids to reverse and prevent wrinkles, fine lines, sun spots and acne. Or, if hypersensitivity and irritation is an issue, the algorithm pries for specifics. This tells the doctor which ingredients to prescribe in the skin care cocktail.
Two companies are currently leading the way: Curology, co-founded and helmed by Dr. David Lortscher, has raised US $18.8 million from firms such as Forerunner Ventures, Sherpa Capital, 137 Ventures, and Advance Venture Partners. Lortscher’s aim was to create a business that eliminates economic barriers to highly effective ingredients. Curology’s two-month skin care sets, which include a cleanser, moisturiser, and a custom night cream, start at $60. Users can also opt for just for the custom cream for $20 per month.
There’s also Proven Skincare, which has raised $150,000 in seed funding this year, and is backed by Y Combinator, Social Capital, Soma Capital, and more. Co-founders Ming Zhao and Amy Yuan have built a proprietary skin care database that encompasses more than 4,000 research articles and more than 8 million consumer reviews on over 100,000 beauty products, and 20,000 ingredients. This database, the Skin Genome Project, is the foundation of Proven’s Al-fueled questionnaire. Proven’s two-month skin care sets cost $145 and include three custom products (cleanser, moisturiser, and night cream).
It was Yuan and Zhao’s struggle to find answers to their own skin problems that led to the idea for Proven Skincare in 2015. After years of trying a number of expensive products, Zhao finally turned to a skin expert, who created personalised products that were developed specifically to her skin type. Zhao soon saw a marked improvement.
“That was the first time I felt anything really had benefits,” Zhao said. “The philosophy of using products that are specifically made with my particular skin profile, life situation and skin goals made so much sense to me. That was the first step in bringing personalised products to more people.”
Around the same time, Yuan was addressing her own skin issues by using a data set that crawled online product reviews to figure out what would work best for her. This database became the foundation for Proven, and it is now being leveraged to sell products that adapt to the needs of individual consumers.
Personal care, beauty and anti-aging compose the largest piece of self-care, accounting for $1.08 trillion in spending, according to the Global Wellness Institute report.
Upscale beauty boutiques and big-box stores alike are jumping to meet the demand. In this face-first world of social media, having glowy #nofilter skin is just as, if not more, important than having the right hair and makeup.
Prestige beauty grew 6% to $17.7 billion in 2017, according to NPD Group. Within that, the skin care segment grew 9%, outpacing gains in makeup and perfume.
London-trained cosmetologist, Shirley Conlon was inspired to start Shirley Conlon Organics when she moved to Dubai. Her normally healthy skin began to suffer, due to a combination of environmental factors, chemically loaded skincare and sun-sensitive ingredients.
Shirley Conlon Organics sources certified organic ingredients from the highest quality international suppliers, ensuring and supporting fair trade and welfare to everyone involved. The brand employs a holistic approach to beauty, delivering efficacious products for all skin types while nurturing the mind, body and soul.
In order to ensure the quality of the products, only cold pressed botanicals are used, which allows them to retain all the nutrients and vitamins needed to promote healthy skin. Shirley Conlon Organics does not use synthetic chemicals, preservatives, pesticides, GMOs, fertilisers, parabens, silicones, PEGs, TEA, DEA, colours, fragrances, petrolatum, fillers or any other controversial synthetic ingredients in its products.
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Taking about specific trends, Ayat Toufeeq, co-founder of online retail platform Powder explained: “We are seeing customer demand more organic and natural skin care and beauty products as people become more conscious. There’s definitely a big interest in organic, cruelty-free. We have people contacting us about vegan products and as consumers become more informed and have better choices to make in this region, that’s the step that they’re taking. For generations people have used ingredients from their cupboards or pantries and used home remedies. If you can eat it, why not put it on your skin, right? Skin care and makeup should be about enhancing your skin and not simply masking it with makeup.” In fact, consumers are turning towards natural-looking make up. She adds: “A really interesting trend is that a lot of makeup in the past few years has been very contour heavy and glamorous but that’s they’re slowly being replaced by an interest in a more natural look and a focus on revealing beautiful, glowing skin. I think it was championed by Meghan Markle at the royal wedding and that’s really having an impact. We’re seeing it in our sales.”
From elixirs promising healthier hair to pills that claim to unlock glowing skin through probiotics, beauty-supplements are having a moment. Global sales are set to reach US $6.8 billion by the end of 2024 (nearly double what they were in 2016), says a report by Goldstein Research, a market research firm.
With the backing of celebrities like the Kardashians and Gweneth Paltrow, who launched the appetite for beauty-focused vitamins has increased in recent years. This is mainly because the perception of these products, which were considered anything but cool, has changed. “The design and storytelling around supplements is much more approachable today,” says Kelsey Groome, managing director for Traub, a business-development firm that tracks the wellness industry.
Irish health and beauty company, Martin Biotech, founded by CEO Roz Martin has launched a range of marine nutricosmetics called Amphis.
The premium nutraceutical range includes Amphis cosmetic cleansing tisane, Amphis skin nutrients and Amphis hair and nail nutrients and has been scientifically developed to offer a holistic approach to maintaining skin, bone health, hair and nails while combating the effects of ageing from the inside. The range helps to beautify the body and fight the effects of ageing from within, using the finest nutrient-rich natural ingredients from the ocean. Each Amphis product can be used individually or as part of the daily Amphis Ritual as each plays a specific role.
The range is sugar free, paraben free, shellfish free, not tested on animals, certified for Halal consumers and the tisane is certified 100% organic.