Fast forward to 2025, Mintel Beauty and Personal Care (BPC) proposed four key trends set to impact global beauty markets over the next decade, including implications for both consumers and brands. In a future where the line between human and technological device blurs, water becomes a protected resource, energy concerns ring true and natural ingredients take center stage, beauty brands must innovate to stay relevant. Check out the future of beauty:
The line between human and technological device is blurring as smart technology puts consumers in greater control of their individual health and beauty needs. It may seem implausible, but a bathroom laboratory is closer to existing than consumers might think thanks to ongoing work in augmented and virtual reality, diagnostics and customized formulations. The rise in popularity of wearable technology has given consumers unprecedented insight into the inner workings of their own body. Mintel research shows 18 percent of Chinese consumers own a wearable device, while nearly half (48 percent) of U.K. sun care users would be interested in an app to track changes in their skin or moles.
“As consumers become increasingly familiar with using technology to track their health and wellbeing, they are looking for beauty brands to offer products and devices that boast similar functionality," said Sarah Jindal, senior innovation and insights analyst, beauty & personal care at Mintel. “New product development in augmented reality is providing the next step in virtual mirrors and real-time visualization of the effects of beauty products on the skin and hair. What’s more, wearables will increasingly become part of the body, from micro patches that monitor skin condition to ingestibles that send information to connected devices from the stomach, tracking the movement and efficacy of beauty supplements. However, as new technology enables consumers to track the impact of beauty products, brands will be under greater pressure to prove efficacy."
Water: The New Luxury
Water is set to become a precious commodity as consumption outstrips supply. Beauty brands will need to change how they manufacture and formulate products to limit their dependence on water. With water expected to become a highly protected resource, using it the way consumers have in the past will simply not be viable in the years to come. In the U.K., one-third of consumers said they would pay more for fixtures that save on water or energy bills. As consumers cut back their usage, they expect brands to do the same, and some are already taking notice. Where water was once an essential part of some beauty regimes, new environmental formulations require little or no extra water in order to function.
“Our research shows growing consumer interest in alternative water sources that do not place any additional strain on existing resources, and we will see brands scour the earth to find them in order to gain a competitive edge," Jindal said. “These products can be positioned as eco-friendly, as well as a source of exclusivity. Brands will not only source water from different oceans, lagoons and glaciers, but they will climb mountains and harvest fogs to gain the purest possible droplets. The key to beauty brands’ success lies in younger consumers’ adoption of these innovative measures. They must appeal to their youthful idealism, passion and desire to change the world with products that clearly state how they are addressing the issue of water shortages. There will also be a greater need for brands to help consumers control their water usage, and transparency will be come to the forefront like never before."
Consumers are facing an energy crisis as the pace of modern life catches up with them. Aware of their need to make long-term lifestyle changes, beauty brands are delivering products that put energy claims at the forefront. As energy levels are becoming a key concern for consumers around the world, Mintel research indicates nearly four in five U.K. adults (79 percent) hate feeling low on energy. What is more, in the United States, tiredness or fatigue ranks second as a health concern.
“Our research shows that consumers overall are looking to improve their health and wellness," Jindal pointed out. “Beauty brands will need to partner with food, drink and leisure brands to create healthy living product ranges with ingredients and claims that complement one another. Energy efficiency claims will also be key in the coming decade as consumers’ battle against fatigue. Brands must tangibly illustrate how their products can impact consumer energy levels for the better, thought work on energy-boosting products is already underway, particularly in skin care and hair care products. We should expect to see more hair care brands improve the condition and longevity of the hair by stimulating cellular energy. A new generation of color cosmetics will also emerge, enhancing the energy levels of the skin as well as its outer appearance."
The saying goes, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts." And there is no better way of knowing the ingredients of a product than preparing it yourself. Beauty products are coming out from the shadows of laboratories and into the spotlight of consumers’ kitchen counters. Attitudinal changes toward natural ingredients have acted as a catalyst in the rise of “kitchen beauty"—products that can be made at the kitchen table, but still reflect the latest beauty styles—and is driven by a desire for consumers to feel in control of their beauty products. Nearly half (48 percent) of Italian and Spanish consumers buy natural and organic personal care products because they believe the products are better for their health.
“Traditional beauty and personal care remedies are moving into the mainstream as more consumers start to ‘cook up’ their own versions," Jindal explained. “Brands will need to shift their focus to highlight artisanal processes while also making it easier for consumers to make products at home. Looking at the decade ahead, we’ll see brands borrow inspiration from the meal kits developed by food companies, propelling the subscription beauty-box model to the next level, as well as beauty brands partnering with homewares brands to create kitchen devices and storage products that have beauty brand approval. With the ever-growing interest in pursuing more natural lifestyles, consumers will find themselves getting involved in the creation process to ensure their beauty and personal care products are more transparent."
To read more about Mintel’s beauty trends, click here.