The newspaper, ABC of Spain, published a note in October that says “taking care of your weight during the pandemic should be a message as important as the use of masks or handwashing”.

A study carried out by the Spanish Obesity Society indicates that almost 50% of Spanish people declare that they have gained weight during confinement. The main newspapers around the world have published articles and reports on the weight gain of the population during quarantine.

In an August story, The New York Times noted that for every person who posts a sweaty selfie on Instagram, there is another (or four) trying to cope with the stress induced by the pandemic. It is stress, precisely, that is accelerating weight gain in the population. The point is that we know that obesity behaves as a risk factor for severe forms of the disease. 80% of the patients who had severe forms of COVID-19 infection, who required intubation, mechanical ventilation in the ICU and/or died were obese.

Next, we will look at some of the trends in slimming where the cosmetic industry has a great opportunity for innovation.

Body positive

This is a trend that defends loving our body and putting on the clothes we like, regardless of the size we wear. It has more and more followers around the world and is inspiring many people on five continents. This tendency advocates accepting physical peculiarities. People are now less obsessed with their weight and more concerned with their general well-being, optimizing diets, redefining fitness culture, balancing food for better nutrition that helps you meet your goals.

Slimming positive

This year we are seeing a turnaround for slimming products that, in 2020, will join the Body Positive trend. The loss of centimetres is no longer at the centre of the messages, but rather the accompaniment, coaching, recovery process… The purchase of a slimming product is therefore seen as an opportunity to reconnect with one’s own body. This reorientation perhaps speaks more to all those who are sceptical about its effectiveness.

Body contouring

In the pre-pandemic times, we managed to see a great trend in non-surgical body treatment, which will be present again with the reactivation and relaxation of quarantines in many countries. New treatments based on light therapy (LED or infrared) to redefine abs, buttocks and other muscles. They also help detoxify, recover and firm the body from this difficult time we are all going through.

All inclusive

This is another of the great trends in this category. We are seeing multi-active products with a variety of claims that complement the slimming benefit, such as hydration, smoothness, firmness, toning, stretch marks, anti-ageing, nutrition, tanning… including aromatherapy to help relieve stress and worries.

Botulinum toxin

This year we saw a boom in botulinum toxin treatments for other parts of the body. This trend originated in Korea and is being adopted in several countries. Dermatologists are giving injections of botulinum toxin to slim the muscles of the neck, shoulders, calves, and thigh. The effects can be seen in just four to six weeks and last an average of six months.

From “Clean Beauty” to “Clean Eating”

The great clean beauty trend is also present in the slimming category, which is enriched with trends in diet components and formulas. Ferments, yoghurt and derivatives, vegan ingredients and local and traditional ingredients are part of the new concepts.

Black phosphorus

A publication made in July in the Applied Materials Today journal, presents the application of black phosphorus in a soluble microneedle patch that helps to slim the body in a painless, effective and precise way


In the midst of the pandemic, the issue of slimming has gained relevance for two reasons. In the first place, because in this situation of uncertainty many people have chosen to stay healthy and this has been reflected in the development of many applications to exercise, such as a virtual personal trainer. Cosmetic brands are launching new concepts to enhance exercise results. Secondly, because there are other types of consumers who focus on indulgence, pampering and caring for their body, therefore, they look for sensory solutions that allow their body to be in harmony.

Home lab

Consumers are making their own food formulas at home. For example, it is common for people to make plant-based, almond, soy, coconut and macadamia milk, and include kefir, kombucha, flaxseed, chia, celery, spinach, tea, and maca in their diet, among other ingredients that are all in furore. Therefore, in nutricosmetics we are seeing new concepts, such as slimming detox, that help lose weight and are aligned with the use of these ingredients.

The cosmetic industry has a great opportunity to help us to lose those coronakilos obtained by the pandemic and the confinement. The new approaches of the category are related to concepts of healthy lifestyle, body positive and health.

Want to hear more about the latest trends? Check out Retailing of today and tomorrow

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John Jiménez is a pharmacist from National University of Colombia with a master's in sustainable development and specialization studies in marketing, cosmetic science and neuromarketing. He has 30 publications in scientific journals and a book chapter in cosmetic formulation. He has been the recipient of the Maison G. de Navarre Prize (IFSCC USA 2004), Henry Maso Award (IFSCC USA 2016) and best scientific papers at Colamiqc Ecuador 2009, Colamiqc Brazil 2013 and Farmacosmética Colombia 2014. He also has been a speaker at various international conferences in Europe and Latin America. Since 2019, he has written a trends column for In-Cosmetics connect, Since 2013 a trends column for Cosmetics & Toiletries Brazil and since 2020, a column on neuromarketing for Eurocosmetics. He also has authored and co-authored articles and served on the Scientific Advisory Board for Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine. Jiménez additionally served as president of Accytec Bogotá (2017-2019). He joined Belcorp in 2005 and currently is Senior Researcher for skin care, suncare and personal care categories. Before joining Belcorp, he worked in Laboratorios Esko, Whitehall AH Robins and Fresenius Medical Care in Colombia.

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