Beauty and Wellbeing – In the New “After”
In our new normal, the “After” of living with COVID-19, individuals are placing a greater importance on products that enhance and promote mindfulness, mental health, and wellbeing. Consumers are now seeking out routines that bring a sense of connection and ritual into this new lifestyle. The marketing industry is keen to take advantage of this global shift with its vast potential for product development that encompasses overall wholeness through wellness.
The “New After” has brought us into a unique phase of daily living. As product developers, how do we maintain a sense of normalcy while keeping body, mind, and spirit in balance through this state of unrest?
New social norms like wearing masks, staying six feet apart, upping our hygiene, being conscious of our nutritional intake, and distancing ourselves wherever possible takes a toll on our entire beings. Additionally, working to stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues through digital forums can increase anxiety.
We find ourselves in an entirely new landscape, navigating an all-consuming lifestyle that is defined by being alone, and being digitally connected. This lack of three-dimensionality — physical, interpersonal, and spiritual components that are central to the human experience lead us to ask:
“How do we balance beauty and wellbeing?”
So, what can we do?
With our external world elevated with levels of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty, our mental wellbeing is affected on a conscious and subconscious level. The good and encouraging news is that many are finding resilience and regaining a sense of calm through mindfulness practices supported by personal care and home products.
As we collectively progress through this phase of life, we’ll be seeing more brands in beauty and wellness connecting to the consumer through ritual. At this point in time, consumers are looking for new products that promote energy, calmness, relaxation, and inner strength. Brands using products to enhance wellness with ingredients designed to promote physical wellbeing, positive feelings, and spiritual balance will come to the fore. Fortunately, as product developers, the potential is limitless.
Areas of Focus for New Product Development
Body movement reduces stress. Although gyms continue to open, exercise habits have come home with an increase in Google searches for body conditioning and toning. Additionally, the WFH lifestyle (“work from home”) has reduced physical movement and created situations where there is less of getting up to chat at the water cooler or a brief walk to the next office meeting. This opens the door to mindfulness personal care products for pre-, during and post-workout sessions in the sanctuary of one’s private space.
Meditation calms the mind. Meditation has been in place for millennia with benefits that help to reduce stress, increase clarity of thought, relaxation and being able to enjoy moments of life lived more fully. There is great potential here in creating enhanced sensorial and textural products to enhance meditation and mindfulness practice experiences pre-, during and post-meditation, yoga, and mindfulness sessions.
Breathing relaxes the soul. Deep breathing with guided imagery or prayer works well for many people to help with focus and to help calm their inner spirit. These breathing, prayer, or mindfulness practices can be as simple as five-minute pauses in the morning and midday. It offers a moment not only to “stop and smell the roses” but to be more present. This opens the door to scented wellness products that enhance a calming of our internal spirits, providing a sense of wholeness and centeredness.
Ingredients and Benefits to Look for When Developing Products for the New After
Stress can be detrimental to the skin and manifest itself in the forms of irritation, redness, and superficial dehydration. Look for ingredients from manufacturers that offer a calming effect to the skin and help reinforce the skin’s barrier. Storytelling ingredients like mimosa flowers, specially harvested lavenders, or clary sage are a few to consider. Because fragrance is so strongly linked to emotion, some fragrance houses actually work with neuroscientists to enhance the experience of product use.
Blue Light Protection
Remote work shifted overnight, while skincare, exercise and other regimens continue to be taught online. Blue light exposure from screens decreases the energetic development of cells, causing quicker cell ageing. To help combat the effects from digital LED light, look for combinations of antioxidant ingredients like tea extracts, fruit and seed oils, vitamins and the coenzyme Q10 that help counteract oxidative stress on the skin along with mineral sunscreens that provide a physical blocking of all wavelengths.
We have become a world of “Zoomies” and being “Zoomed-out” from multiple online meetings that bring on fatigued and slacking skin tone. Plus, some of our diets may be “off” as we self-soothe with comfort and junk food that may not normally follow healthy guidelines. To help re-energize the skin, look for marine and seaweed materials that absorb nutrients from the ocean and are rigorous enough to survive through daily UVA/UVB exposure.
Protection is a key concern for everyone. Keeping the skin’s immunity protected and well functioning against internal and external stress is important to consumers. To help protect the skin’s immunity, look for bioactive nutrients that are antioxidants such as extracts and infusions from fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils, and whole grains. These naturally help restore the skin’s barrier and promote good skin health.