I recently read a piece of news on the web that inspired me to write this column and is related to a great teaching by Albert Einstein. It turns out that, in 1922, while he was lecturing in Tokyo, a hotel employee came by to deliver a message. Einstein searched his pockets but had no change to tip. Then he took a sheet of paper and offered some very valuable advice: “A quiet and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.” Einstein suggested him to keep the note because it was likely to become a valuable item. And so it was, in 2017 that note was auctioned for 1.56 million dollars.
The pandemic has taught us many things. As a society, we have all at some point been obsessed with objectives, goals and success, which, in some way, can lead to dissatisfaction and stress. The cosmetic industry is a great ally of society and even more so in these uncertain times. Self-care and conscious shopping are trends that are booming and therefore we see very interesting concepts and advances appearing. The pandemic has brought us difficult times, but it has also shown us opportunities where well-being, health and calm are key elements.
Biometric Beauty & Biometric Health: Advances in biometric technology are driven by the contactless trend. Companies are using this technology to safely monitor the health status, skin parameters and conditions of the person. In cosmetics, retail has been a great driver in the development of this technology. We are seeing innovations in devices and scanners with infrared technology, biometric apps for the screening of fever and symptoms of infection.
Pantone 2021 (ultimate grey + illuminating): The contrast of these two colours will characterize 2021, a year where there will be days when we will see the sun and other greys where we will be in our homes without going out. These two colours united provide a message of strength, hope and optimism. Encouraging, lively tones satisfy our quest for vitality.
Cosmeditation: The headspace guide for meditation (Netflix) is one of the great successes for the beginning of 2021 and that we must highlight. Definitely learning to meditate is something we should all aim for. The guide begins easy, with an ideal tone for those who are not used to it, including exercises and explanations. Gratitude, stress management and other issues related to what happens when we are alone with our mind are addressed in a nutshell and with an invitation to be less demanding of ourselves. Vogue magazine published an interesting note last December about the effect of meditation on the skin. In my personal opinion, I think that meditation is also a great opportunity for our industry for various reasons, the pandemic will last for some time longer, the indicators of anxiety, stress and loneliness continue to grow in the countries and cosmetic science will give us guidelines to innovate in this concept. We are in the new era of cosmetic mindfulness and virtual wellness.
Supporting BIPOC brands: This year we see a trend in blogs, fashion magazines, beauty and cosmetic portals about the importance of supporting businesses related to the BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of colour) population. Beauty is a universal right and cosmetics is one of the most inclusive industries in the world. Therefore, this concept is one of the most precious and valued that we will see in a great trend this year. On the other hand, supporting LGTBQ + brands and projects will also be constant in the industry.
Rechargeable beauty: The great flow of refillable packaging and products has reached all categories and in the coming months we will see very interesting proposals in makeup, fragrances, skincare and personal care.
Digital detox: Trend aligned with new discoveries of the effects of blue, visible and infrared light on skin quality. Due to the lockdown and quarantines, we are immersed in our computers, tablets and mobile devices. This year, cosmetic brands will promote the concepts of digital detox thanks to new advances in biochemistry and the development of new skincare technology with mechanisms for a digital detoxification.
Skinimalism: This year we will see great interest in shorter but highly effective routines, even similar to the great K-Beauty routines, which this year also begin to simplify. Pinterest indicates in its predictions that this will be one of the big trends in 2021. Hanbang ingredients from traditional herbs of Korean medicine are on-trend. Pre, pro and postbiotics are also blooming.
No-transfer makeup: Due to the initial confinement when the pandemic began and the excessive use of masks, the makeup category had a considerable reduction in sales in many countries. Lipsticks are within the group of products that were most affected. However, sales have recovered in many regions and we see that the no-transfer claim is essential for innovation in this category.
Biohacking: This is one of the concepts that will become very trendy in 2021 in beauty. Biohacking is the set of actions that an individual carries out, through different techniques and tools, to optimize their body, mind and life. A biohacker wants to be the best version of himself, biohackers want to control their body and mind to improve their health, reduce symptoms, have energy, sleep well, lose weight, prevent disease, and decrease the signs of ageing. It will be a reality soon that we will hack into our bodies with the help of advanced cosmetic science and technologies that will help us control our sleep patterns, monitoring gastrointestinal health, and even print our own skin. Bioprinting of skin is already a reality and presents a great opportunity for disruption for the cosmetic industry. DIY Biology will also surprise us with new solutions applied to cosmetic and anti-ageing treatments.
Bye-bye binarism: The future of skincare is written in neutral. This year we are seeing how the colours, names, textures, fragrances and branding of facial treatment products say goodbye to binary gender codes. The genderless trend has been consolidated for some years in fragrances and skincare is the new target. Inclusion is the new norm, and humans don’t want to be labelled, so fluid concepts represent an invaluable innovation opportunity for the cosmetic industry.
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