1. Friendly bacteria
In the last two years, the market has seen numerous launches of skincare products having probiotic ingredients. With more research suggesting that bacteria — including lactobacillus and bifidobacterium — are beneficial to the skin, this genre is likely to grow in both topical and ingestible forms. “Brands already have us rethinking traditional cleansing and skincare regimes and we expect this category to snowball as product innovation continues,” says Chrissy Hilton-Gee, senior beauty researcher at trendstop.com.
2. Ingestible beauty goes mainstream
While topical treatment is here to stay, there’s a new realization that ingestible skincare has a place in our daily regimens — not the usual supplements such as vitamins, but rather ingestibles that contain skin heroes such as collagen, hyaluronic acid and antioxidant powerhouses (Byrdie.com, 2018).
3. Hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid is actually a polysaccharide, a large sugar molecule. It’s naturally found within our bodies and it holds moisture in the spaces between the cells of our skin, helping it to stay plump, but as we age our body’s ability to produce it dwindles. So we’re seeing hyaluronic acid — as well as retinoids — taking the skincare industry by storm because of their powerful anti-aging properties. These help in treating issues such as wrinkles, scars, acne and sun damage, and are very popular in the cosmeceuticals market.
4. Weed allure
Products infused with CBD oil are rapidly becoming the product du jour. Derived from the hemp plant, a cousin to marijuana, CBD boasts a number of skin benefits because it’s rich in fatty acids and natural emollients that can help hydrate and smooth the skin. According to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai Hospital, CBD oil is similar to other oils that are often used on skin (olive, avocado and almond) so it works well on dry skin as a moisturizer and can also be helpful in treating conditions such as eczema (“11 CBD-Oil Products for the Budding Weed Beauty Lover”, Elle, 2018).
5. Biotech beauty
Mintel predicts that the beauty and personal care market will experience a fundamental shift during 2018, navigating the conflicting demands of the naturals-hungry consumer with shrinking natural resources by harnessing biotech advantages to create a new generation of enhanced natural product (Mintel Reports, 2017).
Take for example squalane. The human body produces its own version, known as squalene, but the amount made and retained in the skin decreases over time. It peaks in our teens and then starts to decline in our 20s, leaving skin rough, dry and vulnerable. Squalene is also found in shark liver but harvesting from sharks isn’t sustainable and overall has a devasting environmental impact. Another widely used source is from olives but the quality depends on weather and crop growth and can therefore be unreliable. Amyris bio-produces a version of squalene from 100% plant-based, renewable sugarcane, which is bio-fermented to create a beautiful end result — highly stable, totally sustainable squalane in an eco-friendly way.
6. Plant stem cell advancement
While stem cells aren’t exactly new to skincare, plant stem cells (a vegan alternative) are set to catch fire. According to Catie Wiggy of MyChelle Dermaceuticals, “One exciting area of research is how plant stem cells can be used to target skin problems such as wrinkles, visible capillaries and sun damage.” Since all areas of the body contain stem cells that are in a constant state of renewal, Catie says using products with plant stem cells can help replace the lost and dying cells caused when the skin endures damage.
“From the start we saw amazing clinical results from using fruit stem cells in combination with antioxidant-rich grape and Vitamin C in our product,” says Mimi Lu of Juice Beauty. “Not only is plant stem cell production sustainable through biotechnology, but there are a lot of great clinical studies showing the efficacy of these ingredients and how they help improve the vitality of skin” (“Beauty Ingredients”, totalbeauty.com, 2018).
7. Superfood skincare
Given how concerned we are about what we’re putting into our bodies, it was only a matter of time before the beauty industry started to align our bathroom cabinets with those in our kitchens. Expect to see skincare ingredients including algae, moringa and kale (“The 2017 skincare trends you need to have on your radar”, The Telegraph, 2016).
8. Locally sourced ingredients / From farm to face
Growing one’s own ingredients, harvesting them only when ripe, making the formulas in situ and in a short timeframe is one direction for natural (Nature Beauty Report for Cosmetic Executive Women, Peclers Paris, Fall Winter, ‘19/20).
Equally, locally sourced is increasing in popularity. Take for example Haeckels from Margate, England. From the company’s clifftop lab, it distills and uses only locally growing botanicals, and its star ingredient is hand-harvested seaweed from Margate’s own 14-mile long Jurassic chalk reef. Holding one of only two licenses in England to harvest seaweed from the English coast, Haeckels takes pride in caring for the coastline, utilizing its natural bounty of botanicals and harnessing the powerful antioxidant properties they offer, inspired by the Greek tradition of Thalassotherapy, which uses water, seaweed, ocean mud and marine minerals to replenish and revitalize body and mind.
Another company in this space is Farmacy. Its skincare line features a potent plant called Echinacea GreenEnvy™, which was first discovered growing in the wild in upstate New York. This plant, which is patented and exclusive to Farmacy, has 300% more natural antioxidants in its roots than regular echinacea — and it’s the superhero plant that kick-started Farmacy. Its founders claim to work with local farmers to ensure that its key ingredients remain potent and are cultivated in a way that’s good for the planet. They partner with Willow Wisp Organic Farm in Pennsylvania and Patent Wall Organic Farm in the Catskills to cultivate its Echinacea GreenEnvy™.
9. Plumping ingredients
Water tends to be a key ingredient in most products, of course, the focus is more fully on hydration. ‘Products will utilize water-based ingredients and jelly textures to provide ultra-light, breathable finishes,’ says Hilton-Gee. After all, the more hydrated your skin is, the plumper, firmer and more radiant it looks (“The 2017 skincare trends you need to have on your radar”, The Telegraph, 2016).
10. Transformative textures
The term ‘K-beauty’ (Korean-inspired beauty) has been around for a couple of years and Asia will continue to influence global beauty trends. Next year, it will all be about products that change texture as you use them: increasingly, we’re after skincare that surprises our senses. “You can expect materials that build intrigue,” explains Hilton-Gee. “It’s not just about the product itself, but the whole experience” (“The 2017 skincare trends you need to have on your radar”, The Telegraph, 2016).
Read more: The Make-up of Beauty