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Beauty Ingredient Trend Spotting at CPNA 2021

This year’s Cosmoprof North America tradeshow was a unique experience and quite literally a pivotal event for our industry. If it had been the same as it was in years past—that would be cause for concern!

Consumer focus, corporate strategy, and the very substance of life have all been changed by our response to the pandemic. The world of beauty and the world itself are different today than they were just a couple of years ago. And tradeshows are changing too.

This year’s CPNA event was small by comparison but it was a great place to discover what’s new, next, and novel for beauty. And because these years will be fixed in our collective and individual memories, the event proved to be a distinct opportunity for brands and suppliers to be seen and to have conversations with lasting effect.

Next year, Cosmoprof North America will open in July and at a new venue, the Las Vegas Convention Center. We may not know what that show will look like yet, but we do know it will be one of many in-person beauty industry events where we can see and be a part of the future of our industry. But let me get back to the present and this year’s show.

Sustainable Beauty is Top of Mind for the Industry

Not surprisingly, sustainability—particularly biodegradability—is top of mind for many brands and suppliers. And the eco-conscious doesn’t stop there, I saw several new approaches to water use when it comes to both formulation and application. Plus, there were interesting innovations in oral care to be found at CPNA this year too. I’ll share what I learned on those topics in upcoming DU views videos.

Today, I want to go through a selection of intriguing ingredients that stood out at this year’s Cosmoprof North America event. There weren’t many ingredient makers or distributors exhibiting this year, but as you might expect, finished goods brand leaders had plenty of ingredient ideas to discuss.

Halloysite Nanotubes are Increasingly Prevalent in Beauty Product Formulations

Precious Mineralz, a brand in the pre-launch stage, was at the show to introduce a collection of skincare, body care, and lash care.

The brand is led by Deborah Dixon and features Halloysite in its product formulations.

Halloysite is a mineral comprised of aluminum, silicon, hydrogen, and oxygen that takes the form of a nanotube. It’s quite similar to Kaolinite, or Kaolin Clay, but is layered with water molecules.

Precious Minerals is a sort of proof-of-concept brand for North Star Mines, a company that operates a sizable open-pit mine in Utah immediately adjacent to the Dragon Mine owned by Applied Minerals, another industry supplier of Halloysite.

And yet another notable company in the Halloysite business is NaturalNano. NaturalNano isn’t in mining per se but rather specializes in process development, “for extracting, separating, and classifying specific types of halloysite nanotubes from halloysite clay.”

Which is all to say that it’s quite likely Halloysite nanotubes will soon be showing up in more and more beauty product ingredient decks.

Cypress Trees are an Important Source of Beauty Ingredients

Ingredients derived from cypress trees are quite popular just now. The sun care brand Riversol, which was exhibiting in the Discover Beauty section of this year’s Cosmoprof North America event, is using hinokitiol, a monoterpinoid sourced from Pacific Red Cedar, in the formulations of its SPF 30 Lightweight Broad Spectrum Sunscreen and in a product the brand calls The Corrector, which promises to address sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and the like.

Aromase, a brand headquartered in Taiwan, featured its 5 α (alpha) Juniper Scalp Purifying Liquid Shampoo at Cosmoprof. The hero ingredient here is Juniper Berry Fruit Oil, 7th on the ingredient list just after the 2% glycyrrhetinic acid complex.

It’s worth noting too that the brand makes a medical-grade version of this shampoo that is formulated with 6% of the glycyrrhetinic acid complex.

Aromase launched its signature shampoo product in 2015 and began taking the brand into international markets the following year. In 2020, MacroHi (the company that owns the brand) attained Cradle to Cradle-Bronze level certification and also became a certified B Corp.

And a skincare brand called I zézé, based in Korea, was showing its debut line of Anyone Products, a toner, a serum, a cream, and a gel cleanser all formulated with Hinoki Cypress Water. I’ll share more on this brand in a later video but suffice it to say ingredients from trees, and cypress trees in particular, are having a moment.

The Skincare Ingredient Mandelic Acid is Having a Moment

Erica Suppa, Founder and Formulator at fresh faced skin care, was at Cosmoprof North America talking about Mandelic Acid, the standout ingredient at 10% in the brand’s Clarity Serum. Mandelic Acid is a relatively gentle chemical exfoliant and just this month Glamour UK’s Bianca London wrote an explainer piece all about the newly popular acid, calling it “a multitasking marvel.”

More well-known brands are featuring the large-moleculed alpha hydroxyl acid too, including Estée Lauder’s The Ordinary, which sells the very simply named Mandelic Acid 10% + HA, and Youth to the People (part of Strand Equity’s portfolio of companies) has a Mandelic Acid + Superfood Unity Exfoliant.

Olive Oil is Everywhere in Skincare, Hair Care, Body Care, and More

I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that Olive Oil was everywhere Cosmoprof this year.

I saw an olive oil Hair Polisher from Beauty Treats; olive oil hair care and treatment products from Ors; stylish, Made-in-Italy, products across skincare, hair care, and bath and body care from Olivella which formulates with 100% virgin olive oil and boasts a “Natural Mediterranean diet for our skin;” and Aya Natural was showing Olive Oil – based skincare crafted in Israel’s Northern region of Galilee.

Decidedly Non-Vegan Cosmetic and Personal Care Ingredients are Still Profitable

Finally, I’ll mention a couple of fairly curious ingredients, given the push toward vegan beauty that we’ve been seeing over the past couple of years.

too cool for school was showing its line of Egg Cream Masks, skeet masks featuring a treatment formulated with “highly concentrated Albumen extract.” And the GLG&B brand Tookup Horse Oil was showcasing Horse Oil Cream, scentless, colorless horse fat that claims anti inflamatory and skin barrier enhancement benefits.

I want to note here that as important as vegan is now in the consumer marketplace, non-vegan ingredients do seem to have staying power. In fact, they keep showing up in the ingredient development pipeline.

Earlier this year, a US water treatment company called Tomorrow Water received a grant to commercialize keratin derived from animal rendering waste. And EnviroFlight has an R&D initiative that may well lead to beauty ingredients being developed from the protein of black soldier fly larvae. It just goes to show that change is rarely absolute, that there is room for a multiplicity of ideas, that there is rarely (if ever) one right answer.

The cosmetics and personal care industry is in the midst of a pivot, one that has real potential to accelerate positive change. Our intentions and our actions—how we show up at tradeshows, how we transact business, how we do work today—will determine the results and effects of that change.

Thanks so much for watching!

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this DUviews item was originally posted to LinkedIn and now appears on


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