As we approach 2024, it is interesting to review what trends will impact the cosmetics industry. The global cosmetics market was worth close to U$343 billion in 2023 and has a projected CAGR of 5.2% for the period 2024-2032.
Overall, the coming year will be marked by an unprecedented rise of smart machines, such that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will become part of everyday life and virtually no industry will be alien to it. Climate change will continue to affect society and science will continue to put enormous efforts into studying it and how to control its consequences.
On the other hand, remote and hybrid work remains at high levels compared to the pre-pandemic, which means that many people feel increasingly lonely, which is why the World Health Organization announced an initiative to address what it calls the new global epidemic: loneliness. The WHO stated that this problem did not begin with the covid-19 pandemic, but that it did worsen to the extent that one in four adults experience social isolation. The WHO has also indicated that the greatest global health risk by 2030 will be depression, not obesity. For this reason, wellness concepts will be at the forefront of cosmetics by 2024. Here are some of the trends that I believe will be the key players for the coming year.
- Chatbots & Chatbeauty: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is advancing by leaps and bounds. This is why in 2024 we will see an unprecedented boom in the development of chatbots for all types of industries, which will allow instant and personalised attention. In our industry, we will see brands launch chatbots with catchy names that will be able to handle product, ingredient and technical queries from formulators. Very soon it will be a reality to interact with chatbots that will aid the cosmetic formulation process. Virtual avatars created to assist in the purchasing and technical support process will also be on the rise in 2024.
- Biocoating: The food industry is making great strides in the development of coatings made from environmentally friendly materials to wrap and protect products. The cosmetics industry is beginning to take inspiration from materials used in food protection to develop new packaging materials. Waste from the sugar cane industry and products obtained from micro-organisms and plant species are emerging as new sources of innovation.
- Hygiene boom: The global hygiene market was worth U$515 billion in 2022 and is projected to be worth U$727 billion by 2032 at an estimated CAGR of 3.9% during this period. In 2024 we will see a boom in hygiene products aligned with wellness benefits. Aromatherapy will therefore be a key player in the development of new concepts in this category. We will also see market opportunities for luxury brands in hygiene and new proposals in the great universe of inclusion and diversity. Mood boosting will be an important claim in this category.
- Retrobiology: This is one of the most fascinating trends for 2024. Permafrost is a permanently frozen layer of soil in very cold or glaciated regions, formed by a combination of soil, rock, sand and other minerals that remain bound by ice. In the uppermost layers, it contains large amounts of organic carbon and remains of animals and plants that have not fully decomposed due to low temperatures. Due to global warming, this layer is melting, exposing well-preserved, extinct animal and plant remains from thousands of years ago, as well as new species that were unknown to science. In October 2023 we witnessed an unprecedented scientific breakthrough: a group of scientists managed to awaken an animal that had been hibernating for 45,000 years. Cryptobiosis is a process that puts the metabolism of living extremophile organisms into suspension, so that they can remain dormant for hundreds of years. Therefore, we will see the development of cosmetic technology coming from new biological species, such as micro-organisms, bacteria, algae and ferments. The concept of inspiration from extinct species is already starting to become a reality in cosmetic products. In October 2023 we saw a disruptive launch from a beauty and biotech company that introduced a new fragrance brand consisting of six perfumes, each derived from the sequenced DNA of extinct flowers. The concept is to revive scents lost in time. So, in 2024 we will see innovations and claims related to cryptobiosis-like, cryptobiosis inspired and extinct-inspired.
- Robots in retail: The Analytics Insight portal made an interesting publication on this topic in November 2023. The aim is to improve the customer experience. The rise of robots in retail has several objectives, such as creating better automated payment systems, optimizing inventory management, providing customer assistance by helping to locate products and guidance, assisting in cleaning and maintenance of shops and retail spaces, providing personalized recommendations, optimizing virtual testing, among others.
- Food inspiration: Lab-synthesized foods are a reality and are just around the corner in 2024. Advances in this field and the application of 3D printing in food will enable new applications in the cosmetics industry, for example biosynthesized and vegan animal proteins, dairy and egg whites of microbial origin synthesized from proteins produced by strains of bacteria, yeast and other recombinant or genetically modified micro-organisms, in whose genetic material the genes responsible for the production of certain animal proteins and other biomolecules present in foods, such as casein and beta-lactoglobulin (whey protein), egg white ovalbumin or muscle myoglobin, have been inserted. One company recently announced that it uses genetically programmed strains of the Trichoderma reesei fungus to produce whey proteins to make its vegan dairy products and ice cream. We will also see a boom in fancy and healthy sweets and desserts.
- Hyper-shine: After a year of many economic, social, health and peace difficulties, consumers have a deep desire for peace of mind. Therefore, claims related to radiance, luminosity, gloss, shine, brightness and glitter will be on the rise in 2024. Shiny is the new black.
- Diversity & Inclusion: The cosmetics industry has a great challenge to be more inclusive and therefore, new market segments, in some cases niches, that were previously not served by the cosmetics industry will be protagonists. Beauty is a universal right and inclusion is a vast universe where cosmetics has many opportunities for innovation.
- Wellness-driven beauty: Predictions indicate that consumers are beginning to prioritize holistic lifestyles, which is why wellness is emerging as one of the most important sources of innovation for 2024, as people are better understanding that the balance of mind-brain connections is reflected in better skin condition and appearance. Self-care is the new player in cosmetics and is emerging as a new global macro-trend.
- Synthetic biology boom: It is defined as the synthesis of biomolecules or engineering of biological systems with new functions that are not found in nature. It is a discipline that, unlike biology, is not based on the study of living beings, but instead tries to redesign biological systems that already exist in nature. Synthetic biology creates new programmable organisms, that is, it creates on-demand microorganisms with specific functions. In 2024 we will see advances in biological circuits to control and regulate cellular behavior. This involves the creation of complex systems that imitate the logic and functionality of electronic circuits in living cells, which will allow the synthesis and discovery of new molecules and systems with very high anti-aging efficacy profiles.
- Skin bioremediation: Research is currently exploring the ability of synthetic biology to develop products that aid in skin repair and regeneration, including the treatment of scars, wrinkles or even specific dermatological problems.
The trends for 2024 are very exciting and the cosmetics industry has always shown resilience, creativity and a lot of innovation, especially in difficult times. Understanding trends and consumer needs are key to innovation.
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