TABS Analytics 2017 Personal Care Trendspotter
- New Product Trends
- Probiotics in skin care
- Using active charcoal in bubble masks
- Natural, Non-toxic Components in Personal Care
- Superfood in skin care
- At-home skin care devices
New Product Trends from Dove
Women’s Dandruff Shampoo and No-Stain Deodorant
Through their Dove line, Unilever has introduced a series of new products that address previously unresolved pain points.
The first aims to alleviate dandruff in women. Women have previously felt the need to choose between
dandruff protection and hair that feels vibrant and healthy. Many have relied on multiple products, using a foundation of medicinal shampoos, followed by salon conditioners to restore softness and shine. Their Dove DermaCare Scalp Production line offers women a single product without such compromises. Unilever has been expanding their portfolio of hair care products to serve a variety of markets.
But hair care isn’t the only category in which the Dove brand is offering evolutionary (perhaps even revolutionary) product upgrades. They also just released Dove Invisible Dry Spray anti-perspirant. It improves upon previous iterations in two critical ways. First, by combining a finer milled version of aluminum chlorohydrate with a masking oil, it won’t leave white marks anywhere on clothing. For another, this same masking oil, in addition to eliminating the white residue, also deactivates the chemical reaction between sweat, oil, and anti-perspirant that leads to those embarrassing yellowish stains on the underarms of white shirts.
With these two advancements in their product line, Unilever is blending function with aesthetics in a way that improves the lives of their customers everywhere.
Probiotics in Skin Care: Worth the Hype?
An increasing number of products have entered the market in the past few years that contain probiotics, or beneficial bacteria. While probiotics have been a mainstay of the natural supplements industry due to their benefits in promoting good digestive health, current studies also suggest such bacteria are also healthful outside the confines of the gut.
Topically applying carefully created bacterial cultures can help in regulating the composition of skin flora. These bacteria typically consist of fermented dairy cultures such as lactobacillus, which has a slightly acidifying effect on the skin, thus discouraging the growth of many pathogens.
For example, probiotics have shown tremendous potential in combating acne. Additionally, certain probiotic lysates have demonstrated benefit in the treatment of sensitive skin.
Of course, live bacteria present certain difficulties, such as the challenge of keeping them alive long enough to be of use to the consumer. One promising intervention is that of prebiotics, which are plant-based carbohydrates that contain no live strains, but they preserve the skin microflora while discouraging the growth of pathogens.
Naturally, more studies of the effects of specific probiotic strains are necessary to determine the long-term value of topically-applied cultures. But this definitely a trend that you can expect to continue well into 2017 and beyond.
Masks – Bubbles and Activated Charcoal
Bubble face masks began appearing all over Instagram in 2016, bolstered by pics of celebrity faces covered in foam. Originating in Asia, these innovative products form part of a multi-step beauty regime, and include ingredients such as white clay and sulfates.
And in 2017, the use of activated charcoal as an ingredient is becoming increasingly popular. It’s often used in products for oily complexions, as charcoal acts as a sponge dirt, oils, and toxins. This is why charcoal capsules have been ingested for many years as a standard poison control measure.
There are several popular brands of bubble masks, which range in price from $10 to around $60. While there are no objective studies as to efficacy, largely positive consumer reviews indicate a refreshing, skin-tightening effect.
Natural, Non-toxic Components in Personal Care
A trend expected to continue in 2017 is the increased use of natural, non-toxic ingredients in personal care products. Once the exclusive domain of hardcore nature activists, companies are increasingly turning to ethical/sustainable production as a means of differentiating themselves in the market. Last year, in the channel of natural and organic, the growth of the personal care category exceeded those of both food and supplements for the first time.
Part of this growth is driven by scientific studies that have identified risks in the cosmetics chemicals that come into contact with human skin. But this is only part of the equation. Consumers are beginning to draw connections between health, beauty, and sustainability, and the market is experiencing a realignment as a result. The following are nine personal care trends you can expect to continue in 2017 and beyond:
- Probiotics. A key part of the equation in maintaining health and beauty is the equilibrium of the microbiome, the millions of bacteria found in and on the human body. Rather than harsh anti-bacterials that kill everything, the industry is adding components to foster the growth and health of beneficial flora.
- Greater Transparency and “Connection” with the Product. New Hope Network makes the assertion, “Natural beauty is the new craft beer,” meaning that consumers are seeking a stronger connection to the products they buy, and are diligent about checking the label to ensure acceptable ingredients.
- Greater Product Diversity. For the first time, both luxury and value brands are occupying shelf space in the naturals section. Even conventional retailers are looking to stock more natural products due to consumer demand from all income brackets.
- Efficacy Improvements. Part of the slow adoption of natural personal care products was due to the widespread (and often accurate) perception that these products simply didn’t work. However, technical advancements are now allowing natural brands to catch up with established commercial brands in terms of efficacy.
- Waste Reduction. The personal care industry is seeing some forward-thinking manufacturers re-purposing food industry by-products. For example, Further Products makes glycerin-based soap out restaurant waste grease.
- Non-toxic Antibacterials. A few years ago, the U.S. banned triclosan, the active ingredient used in anti-bacterial soaps, due to studies closely tying the ingredient to liver damage and hormone disruption. Recent advancements have led to the rise of milder, natural anti-bacterials.
- Increased Self-regulation. Consumer advocacy has led to increased self-regulation, and trade associations are bringing together those ethical companies who are committed to only using safe ingredients.
- Essential Oils. The use of essential oils and aromatherapy continue to grow in 2017. Increased consumer interest in artisan beauty products are leading to increased retail space for products that were traditionally squarely in the realm of direct-to-consumer.
- Combining Topical and Ingestible Products. The renewed interest in the microbiome has led to interesting pairings in ingestibles (probiotics, CoQ10) used in tandem with topical beauty products.
Superfood Skin Care
Speaking of the fusion of topical and ingestibles, we are now seeing a trend where ingredients that were formerly the domain of your favorite smoothie are now being applied directly to the skin. Products featuring ingredients like leafy greens (such as kale, alfalfa, and spinach) as well as açaí and goji berries have landed on the market.
Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai hospital had this to say: “Both kale and spinach are rich in a variety of potent antioxidants that help reduce skin inflammation. Superfoods provide our body with the building blocks it needs to function optimally, and now their benefits are being delivered directly to the skin topically.”
While benefits have yet to be confirmed scientifically, brands such as Youth to the People, First Aid Beauty, and Valentina’s Naturals have already launched new products to capitalize on this trend.
At-Home Skin Care Devices
While gizmos for depilating and buffing skin have always existed to an extent, recent years have given rise to devices that are now starting to rival professional treatments. The following bits of gadgetry can now be had at home, often for the cost of only 1-4 similar pro treatment sessions:
- LED Light Devices. More than a decade’s worth of studies indicate that certain kinds of light wavelengths can penetrate skin. Unlike the damaging effects of UV light, some wavelengths are actually beneficial. Certain blue LEDs can destroy the acnes bacteria that cause acne. Some red LEDs can soothe skin inflammation.
- Tria Diode Laser. Diode laser technology has been demonstrated to effectively treat some signs of aging. It can stimulate collagen to smooth out light wrinkles as well as fade pigmentation.
- Micro Dermabrasion. Most of these devices feature an exfoliating tip plus suction to whisk away dead, damaged, or pigmented skin cells.