I was inspired to write this column by a trend that is booming in Colombia and other countries. On my last flights, I have seen how more and more people travel with their cats and dogs in the cabin. In fact, there are people who buy the ticket for their pet. In December 2022, a flight that covered the Sao Paulo – Bogotá route made headlines because 20 pet dogs came on it in the cabin. Although it is true that this can pose a risk, for example in a possible evacuation, it is interesting to see how the pet-friendly trend is increasingly present. Now we can go with our furry friends to shopping malls, restaurants, cafeterias, hairdressers, public transport… The term “friendly” is becoming important to identify products and services that have special designs and characteristics, that is, friendly to a specific parameter. This concept has diversified quite a bit in cosmetics and now we are going to see some trends in the “friendly” world.
Pet-friendly: The reality is that pets have become a fundamental part of families. In fact, many of the plans that people make (for example, having a coffee) depend on whether pets are welcome in establishments and if they have the minimum amenities for their well-being. The new role of pets in society brings exciting market and innovation opportunities. Many people consider their dogs and cats as their children. In cosmetics we are seeing a boom in vegan products for pets. We find a wide variety of shampoos and conditioners for the enormous diversity of hair types that dogs and cats have. We also see dry foam baths, which are water-free, have fragrances that provide aromatherapy benefits, and respect the pH and microbiome.
Eco-friendly: It refers to products that have been elaborated and manufactured respecting the environment, emphasizing the benefits for it and its subsequent recycling. Some of the characteristics of these products are that they contribute to energy savings, they are non-toxic, they are recyclable, they can include parts of the product that are made with recycled materials, they do not pollute the environment, they are biodegradable, they reduce the carbon footprint or emissions of gases.
Microbiome-friendly: The boom in the microbiome and related products such as prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics is incredible and we are seeing amazing innovations every time. The microbiome-friendly trend has two facets. First, we look at ingredients, such as excipients and actives, that have specially designed tests to show that they do not affect, modify or change the skin microbiome. On the other hand, we also see studies on formulations that do not modify the microbiome and promote the health and correct condition of the skin. In the market we can find companies that certify this claim.
Inclusive-friendly: An inclusive society is one that considers that all people have the same rights simply because they are human beings. When a society does not recognize the same value to all its members, the basic foundations of dignity are undermined and inequality and injustice are fostered. A few years ago, a well-known cosmetic brand published a very interesting consumer insight: “56% of people may feel excluded by the cosmetics industry”, which is why the company announced at the time that it will remove the word normal from the packaging and the advertising your products. For this reason, we are experiencing a boom in products and concepts related to inclusion in cosmetic products.
Well, now it’s time for inclusive science. The new inclusion is developing on a biochemical level. For this reason, this year we will witness how companies and suppliers will present new evaluation methods and efficacy studies, involving in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo tests, considering different skin types, conditions, genotypes and phenotypes. The inclusion is now at the molecular level.
Scalp-friendly: The market teaches us new proposals that are respectful of the scalp, so that it feels comfortable, with less oily sensation and generating a friendly environment so that the hair follicle can develop in good conditions. This trend includes new concepts where we are discovering new ingredients that include postbiotics, vitamins, ferments, peptides and extracts with different mechanisms of action and original claims. Scalp is the new face.
Makeup-friendly: Now with the boom in cosmetics and hybrid formulations, this is a claim that is beginning to gain relevance. We now see many products that indicate their compatibility with makeup, before and after use.
Disability-friendly: A recent publication by Elizabeth Bennett on the fashionista.com portal invites you to learn about some of the brands that make products more accessible for people with disabilities. We are seeing innovations that are amazing, related to adaptable makeup tools for people with limitations. Brands are now analyzing and targeting the limitations in vision, mobility and dexterity that many consumers of cosmetic products have. Beauty is a universal right and cosmetic companies have a great market and innovation opportunity when considering all human beings. Beauty should not be overwhelming, it should be simple and easy to use for anyone. The article mentions a sentence that I find revealing: “Often the disability is in the design, not in the person”.
Sensory-friendly: The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that 3.6% of the world population suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), of which 13 million are in United States. On the other hand, 75% million people in the world have autism. Currently more than 55 million people are living with dementia worldwide and an estimated 366 million people are living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The pandemic has had a direct impact on these statistics. That is why we see innovation for these segments in many categories, such as cinemas, games, clothing and theaters that involve the sensory friendly concept, among many others.
What can the cosmetics industry do in the face of this market opportunity? Last year the first beauty salon for children with autism opened in Australia. This concept is undoubtedly opening the door to new personal care, skincare, fragrance and makeup formulations with the sensory-friendly promise for these conditions.
Beauty-friendly is the new black. Being respectful of beauty in all its forms and expressions is the new trend. Design is now universal and the cosmetics industry is beginning to understand the great opportunity that this represents.
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