By Stacey Fraser, Natures Blueprint Consultancy
The arrival of 2020 was an exciting one. A new decade full of possibilities and renewed energy brought a flurry of new and interesting trends in our industry. But then life as we knew it changed more than we could have ever anticipated.
As the world came to something of a standstill, it felt a little bit like we had been sent to our rooms. There was some resistance and we felt as though we’d been given the short straw, but with time to think there emerged a new sense of calm. Perhaps this was the moment we had been needing to embrace for some time. We were forced to have a new perspective on what’s important and how we connect with one another.
One thing’s for sure: businesses had to act fast to evolve their offerings to a next-generation consumer whose priorities had suddenly changed.
Self care – getting back to nature, taking things more slowly, and living a simpler and cleaner lifestyle – has long been something that we as an industry have embraced and promoted, but never has it had such a prevalence as now, as we adjust to our new normal. When getting out of the house for a walk becomes a treat, the hours we spend inside must be treated with care. We must treat ourselves with care.
And so here it comes: the new demand for natural products that not only support self care but provide additional protective benefits too.
So, what does the “new normal natural self care” look like?
Self care brings the feeling of holistic wellbeing and health, trust and transparency; going back to basics like baking bread and growing your own vegetables. But now it also means anticipated demand for products that do more than one job.
Self care isn’t just care packages, at-home beauty and spa treatments or soothing consumables. It’s taking our time to make sure we and our loved ones are OK, protecting our health, and ensuring we are safe when we venture out.
We want to make sure we are keeping well, that we practice good hygiene and that we have access to products that not only boost our immunity but that protect us and make us feel good.
In amongst this new wave of re-focused self care products, New Zealand is already paving the way with unique, naturally-sourced ingredients clinically proven to boost immunity and provide antibacterial and antiviral properties.
New Zealand Extracts’ Oxi-fend Throat Soother Blend, is set to become a highly sought-after ingredient in supporting our health and wellbeing as we get used to life post-pandemic. It is sourced from 100% New Zealand pure sauvignon blanc grape seed extract and New Zealand blackcurrant extract.
Grape seed extract is known for its anti-inflammatory and immunity-boosting properties. It has also been known to protect against environmental aggressors and other lifestyle conditions.
New Zealand blackcurrant extract is a rich source of anthocyanins that enhance the immune response to infection and support bronchial and respiratory health.
Independent tests have shown that Oxi-fend Throat Soother Blend is effective against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria that causes sore throats, and one thousand times more powerful than Mānuka honey. I’m seeing demand for these exciting ingredients to be formulated as lozenges, throat sprays or immunity-boosting collagen powders.
Also in their portfolio of innovative ingredients, Vinanza Wakame Bioactive Gel, sourced from New Zealand Wakame Seaweed, is a sustainable and functional raw skincare ingredient. It’s extracted using 100% Aqua pure technology, maximising the activity of the bioactives. Wakame Seaweed has been used traditionally for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant activities. Perfect for formulating products that protect the skin, and especially for regular users of PPE and face masks.
Another New Zealand company whose innovative extraction methods have received international attention is Mende Biotech. Their primary product is Totarol™ – a potent antibacterial, antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound extracted from recycled totara wood.
Totarol™ has international organic certification. Totarol™ extraction is a patented system and Mende Biotech is the only commercial supplier of Totarol™ in the world. Totarol™ has a well-established name and brand within cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries and has an established market with the L’Oreal group of companies. The biggest growing market is in oral care, going from just New Zealand, into Taiwan and now Australia.
While these ingredients-suppliers are not new in the world of beauty and cosmetics, their forward-thinking actives are exactly the kind of innovation our new normal hopes to see in a wave of natural self care products. Think immunity-boosting body oils, facial spritzes with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits. Facial products, steams, masks, body wash and bath soaks that are not only luxurious but come armed with actives that support health and wellbeing too.
I look forward to how our industry reacts to this new demand, and to trying some exciting new products out for myself as we all get used to taking better care of ourselves; inside and out.