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Considering Trends & Innovation in Beauty

On Monday, I had the distinct pleasure of speaking to a classroom of graduate students and senior level cosmetic engineering students at Manhattan College in New York City.

Thank you for inviting me here to Manhattan College to talk with you about trends and innovation in the cosmetics and personal care industry.

My name is Deanna Utroske and I will introduce myself more fully during my remarks, so I’m going to move directly into the concept of innovation.

Thinking Conceptually & Practically about Cosmetics & Personal Care Innovation

Innovation is about newness; it’s about new ideas that lead to new methods and to new products.

I read something from the trend forecasting company WGSN lately that mentioned,

“We believe inspiration comes from the monumental and the mundane.”

I absolutely love this statement because the bold, the big, the brilliant are easy to see

and are great starting references for the invention process. But the tiny, the trivial, and the tedious require a different sort of attention and consideration.

Exploring the monumental, the mundane, and everything in between is a wonderful way to understand where opportunities exist, where innovation makes sense, and where there is room for newness.

Growing up, coming out of my teens and into my 20s (and maybe even into my 30s), I was reluctant to believe that every idea and innovation is dependent on other ideas, on existing knowledge, and prior products.

I mention this, in case some of you have a similar reluctance. Maybe you can consider both perspectives because maybe neither one is entirely accurate.

When I say that every idea and innovation is dependent upon other ideas, or knowledge, or products, I am not saying that there isn’t room for creativity. What I am saying is that there is tremendous value in the current ecosystem of ideas and in the legacy of information surrounding us.

Innovation doesn’t need to start with research. But at some point, once an idea is hatched, it’s quite valuable to learn more and put the new idea into context.

I am going to borrow here from a talk I gave just about one year ago to illustrate to sort of exploration into current ideas and legacy information that can help elevate a creative idea into a winning innovation.

If you’ve listened to or read my talk called Future Fresh: The Next Decade of Deodorants

this bit may already be familiar. Here, I’m quoting from that talk on Deodorants and Antiperspirants, which was part of a webinar hosted by the National Biofilms Innovation Centre and Cosmetics Cluster UK.

“In our modern moment, wellness, hygiene, and aroma are more central than ever, which means there’s a big opportunity here for deodorants and antiperspirants to take on a new importance in the marketplace and to meet beauty consumer expectations head on.

If we look at these overarching trends—wellness, personal hygiene, aroma therapy, and let’s add self-care here too—and, if we consider skincare and hair care as top performing categories through the pandemic, we start to get a sense of what sorts of deodorant innovations will appeal to beauty consumers today and in the future.”

I’ll stop quoting myself for a moment to point out that some of the folks attending the webinar were likely tasked with creating innovation in the deodorant category. So, they were brainstorming and looking around at what existed in their lab, in their brand, in their own consumer experience.

They may have already looked at market research data and analysis. Perhaps they had considered anecdotal evidence of consumer behavior and expectations. They were at a point in the innovation process where they were putting their ideas and inventions into context.

It’s also likely that some webinar attendees were not creative professionals, per se, but were part of an innovation team and were eager to learn about deodorant in a way that they couldn’t have easily observed the category on their own.

Perhaps some attendees worked in personal care and were simply wondering, Is deodorant a category we should get into? Do the trends and shifts in the deodorant and antiperspirant category make sense with our formulation technologies? With our brand mission? Etc.

I am talking about these imagined webinar attendees, these personas, if you will, so that we can think about several different moments in the innovation process where research and exploration can be useful.

Jumping back to my remarks on deodorant, I covered several innovations from the independent and startup brands movement. For instance, I mentioned Sway saying, “Founded by Rebecca So in 2017. Sway…[launched] with a 3-step skincare and deodorant routine for underarms—an indication that innovation in this category need not be limited to the most common product benefits.” (more from Sway)

I also noted, “there are numerous brands in the microbiome deo space,” including… “Kinkō, [a] Texas-based brand [that] takes its name from the Japanese language, where as I understand it, Kinkō means ‘balance’. The brand has a fair amount of consumer–education content about the underarm microbiome on its site; and Kinkō centers its product formulas on a patent-pending combination of pre- and post-biotic ingredients called Microbiomix.

I spoke about emerging ingredient technologies for deodorants and antiperspirants, including ingredients from Vytrus Biotech, ICL, and KaliChem, as well as how some brands are getting creative and sourcing deodorant ingredients from outside the conventional personal care supply chain. Pit Liquor, for instance, formulates with organic distilled vodka, local whiskey, and teas. And I mentioned how P&G is bringing skincare benefits to its deodorant consumers—similar to what we saw from Sway—with its DERMA-Shield ingredient blend.

I shared more specific info on how microbiome science is influencing deodorant innovations. I talked through a large number of product formats. And I also shared a bit of my own brainstorming on the topic, noting that, “a couple of other ideas I’ve been wondering about when it comes to odor and scent and microbes…[are one,] odor-pairing or encapsulation technologies like we see used in home care.”

“[And two that,] I know several companies have developed and patented microbes and I wonder if this could extend to a sort of biotherapeutic approach to deodorant, maybe editing microbes to off-gas pleasant scents and adding them to the skin (I realize that there are many variables between this idea and putting it into practice; but it’s intriguing.)”

So by repeating parts of my deodorant talk, hopefully it will help us imagine the value of exploring the current ecosystem of ideas on the path toward innovation. This sort of exploration is a way of not only assessing if there is space in the market place for a new innovation but it’s also a way of contextualizing a new innovation and better understanding how to improve it or package it or market it, etc.

Context lets us think further and more carefully about where we’re at and where we’re going.

About Classroom Speaker & Beauty Industry Thought Leader Deanna Utroske

Speaking of context, I’d like to say something about my own work in beauty to help put my perspective, and everything I am saying here today, into context for you.

For the past several months, my work has been focused on writing and consulting for supply-side businesses in the cosmetics and personal care industry. So that means, writing press releases for ingredient makers (like Organic Bioactives) and for beauty product manufacturers (like MANA Products), moderating panel discussions and giving presentations to company teams (at the Mibelle Biochemistry30th anniversary celebration, for instance), as well as at industry events, and like I am doing here today, talking with students who are planning or continuing a career in beauty.

In the days ahead, for example, I will be moderating a panel at Cosmoprof Worldwide later this month about how brands are creating FUN and functional beauty to reach and meet the expectations of younger consumers. It’s a topic of great interest in the industry just now. In fact, I was invited to write an article about FORMA brands’ approach to packaging design for Gen Z and Millennial consumers just last month.

And in early May, I’ll be leading a discussion among brand founders at the NYSCC Suppliers’ Day tradeshow. (scheduled for Wednesday May 4 at 10am)

Prior to all of this press release writing and public speaking and consulting, however, I was Editor of the business news site Cosmetics Design, where for years I wrote daily articles across a very wide spectrum of beauty industry topics, including ingredients, manufacturing, packaging, brand innovation, market trends, emerging science, mergers and acquisitions, and more!

My work has put me in a wonderful position to learn about the industry from nearly every angle. I get to speak with chemists, marketers, CEOs and other executive decision makers, and everyone in between. I get to speak with professionals across every sector, category, and market tier in beauty.

But if we take beauty out of the equation, I am a writer. Writing is how I think about, and learn about, and process the world around me.

Unlike you, I have no formal education in cosmetic chemistry or any other beauty industry field for that matter. I do have a degree in English language as well as a degree in Automotive Technology. And I spent the first 2 decades of my life dancing.

Now, as disjointed as dancing, and writing, and automotive technology may sound, for me they are each disciplines predicated on systems and rhythms. And that is how I work with all the information that I learn about the history of beauty, about our current moment in beauty, and about the trends and movements shaping the future of beauty. I write to find the systems and rhythms at work in the cosmetics and personal care industry and to share my learnings with all of you, and all of my readers, and all of my clients.

So before I move on to talk about beauty industry trends, let me continue of the topic of innovation and emphasize again that gathering information is not an alternative to creativity.

Creativity is absolutely crucial when it comes to the sort of innovation that isn’t just market-worthy but that is captivating and inspiring and category changing, even world changing.

The better innovations that I see in the cosmetics and personal care industry, whether they are ingredients innovations, process innovations, product innovations, or marketing innovations, are fairly creative. They not forced to fit into a trendy concept or developed simply to leverage so-called white space in the market. You notice them because they make sense in the current moment and are, at the same time, distinctly different.

I’ll start with an example in packaging: Sulapac is a company that basically began by answering the question, How can we get plastic packaging production facilities to use more sustainable materials?

And the answer is, to develop materials that can be formed into packaging components using the same equipment and existing infrastructure that’s used to make plastic jars and lids and so on. It’s not an easy challenge to solve.

But if you’ve heard of Sulapac, you likely know that in late 2021 the company developed a fragrance bottle cap for Chanel. And in January of this year, the luxury beauty maker launched its Chanel No.1 product line in eco-chic packaging, topped with lids made by Sulapac.

But back in 2019, just 3 years after the Finland-based company was founded, Sulapac announced having created a product packaging material ready for use with existing injection molding machinery. This was the innovation; and now the whole Sulapac business is about making sure that this innovation makes a meaningful difference in and beyond beauty.

In the product formulation space, Dazzle Dry, which incorporates flexible polymers into nail polish, stands out. This innovation from cosmetic chemist and entrepreneur Dr Vivian Valenty

replaces gel polishes that require harmful UV light, delivers highly sought-after benefits including chip resistant, long-lasting wear, and it’s quick and easy to remove and also—as you may have guessed from the brand name—it dries swiftly.

In product manufacturing, it looks like LiquiGlide Technology will prove to be a notable innovation. This company’s proprietary surface-tech platform prevents product from adhering to vessel or equipment surfaces and therefore helps to minimize waste in manufacturing and consumer use. If you’ve seen this technology in action, it’s in the Colgate Elixir product line, which is sold in Europe and just last month hit the market in Canada.

Examples of ingredient innovation come from Mibelle Biochemistry, working with novel inputs and newly discovered micro-organisms; from Vytrus Biotech and the work chemists there do with plant stem cells and ingredients they’ve developed that act on the skin – brain axis; and from companies like Geltor that have developed biomimetic vegan collagen and elastin.

But before I get carried away with the potential of biotechnology, I also want to talk a bit about the allure of innovation and what I believe is a company’s responsibility to interrogate the reasonable ramifications of any given product, or technology, or process it creates.

For instance, there are amazing antibacterial coating technologies on the industrial market and in use across industry sectors, including beauty. And as I understand it, they are being used safely.

But some technologies that I have been introduced to through my work have led me to imagine that it may be fully possible for us as humans to reach a use limit with such tech, a limit after which we will have disrupted the global microbiome to an irreparable extent.

To illustrate my concern in the reverse, I want to repeat something about Blue Beauty that I shared when I spoke with senior students at FIT earlier this year:

In my remarks, I explained that, “Blue Beauty is a concept that’s been gaining momentum for several years now. It’s a planet-positive movement that calls upon brand and business leaders to operate in such a way that they actually leave the natural environment healthier than they found it….I described [Blue Beauty] as ‘a movement to recoup the damage industrialization has done to our blue planet’.”

“And I [said, somewhat cynically,]… that we wouldn’t even have to champion such a cause if humanity had not done such a remarkable job of instigating global warming; polluting the land, the water, the air; perpetrating deforestation; and so on.”

“But let me jump…to [some] optimistic commentary I shared with Natural Beauty News [on this same topic]. In [an] article titled, Going Beyond Green, I am quoted as saying, that blue beauty “is about healing the Earth and is the inspiration for new business models; for truly innovative ingredient, packaging, and manufacturing solutions; and for developing a fully circular personal care and cosmetics economy. This is distinct from green beauty,” I explained, which is focused on what we conventionally think of as environmentally sustainable products and business practices – those that somehow limit…harm to the natural environment.”

So I’ll stop quoting myself here to say that my point about innovation without proper scrutiny is simply that when done wrong, innovation—even lucrative and popular innovation—can cause damage.

Another example of the imperative to scrutinize innovation can be seen in the biotech space. Biotechnologies are, of course, innovations unto themselves. But I am thinking here of some white biotech ingredient production processes that are so focused on financial gain and market viability that the waste streams of production; the land-use, water-use, or carbon footprint of feedstock cultivation; the non-degradable quality of the sough-after ingredient molecules are intentionally overlooked.

And it may sound as if these sorts of biotech ingredients would not be of value. But if they function as drop-in replacements for conventionally produced ingredients, if they deliver upgraded benefits in product production or during consumer use, if they are elegantly marketed as green alternatives to petroleum-based ingredients, they do prove valuable in the beauty ingredient marketplace.

But getting back to the tremendous positive potential of biotechnology as a path to innovation in beauty ingredient development…

Much of what we see available in the cosmetic and personal care ingredient marketplace today is biomimetic: that is, ingredients that mimic the composition of naturally occurring molecules. And these are going a long way to reduce the use of petrochemicals, to prevent over harvesting of wild-growing botanicals, to help make space for biodiversity in agricultural production, and to prevent the exploitation of insects and animals that have historically been used as the source of inputs and ingredients.

I don’t want to discount the import or incredible work that goes into biomimetic ingredients. All the same, the next new and innovative biotech beauty ingredients will not be biomimetic but rather truly novel molecules.

Companies like Geltor, which I mentioned earlier for its biotech collagen and biotech elastin, both of which mimic these proteins as they occur in human skin, Geltor is also working to create designer proteins. This means that the company’s in-house scientists or Geltor partners will imagine an ingredient benefit or a novel molecular shape with particular advantages and the team will then basically reverse engineer the genetics of their fermenting micro-organisms to expel this ingredient / molecule as the end product of metabolism.

Another company that I’m am super excited to see working in this space is Arcaea (Ar-kay-uh). This is a company poised to truly invent ingredients.

Here, I’ll let the team speak for itself and read the ‘About’ blurb that’s on the company’s LinkedIn page:

“We're on a mission to build a new foundation for the beauty industry where biology [is a] creative tool for self-expression. We're growing new ingredients and product experiences for beauty through technology that includes DNA sequencing, biological engineering, fermentation and more. By culturing industry-leading, safe, and sustainable ingredients, we intend to create a new supply chain for the industry that does not rely on petrochemicals or on harvesting and depleting natural resources while making products that can deliver new functionality and performance across skincare, bodycare, haircare, and aesthetics.”

The blurb also notes that “Arcaea was incubated on the Ginkgo Bioworks platform under the working title Kalo.” And the work that I have seen from Ginkgo and from Arcaea CEO Jasmina Agonovic has been nothing but stellar. So I fully expect that we will see Arcaea fulfill its promise to the industry and innovate innovation itself.

To close this section of my talk, I’ll distill my thoughts on beauty industry innovation by saying that even though the best we can ever do is to build upon existing ideas, differentiation is fundamental to innovation. It’s not new, if it’s not new.

Important Beauty Industry Trends to Watch in 2022 & Beyond

Moving on to think through some important industry trends…

Biotechnology is of course a very significant trend in beauty ingredient development. And I am particularly interested in a couple of sub-specialties in this field: mushroom biotech and microalgae biotech.

Neither of these are new sciences but they are reaching a tipping point where the capabilities are practical and scalable for industrial use.

And we can already see the beginning of this trend in the consumer product space. Mushrooms and microalgae have been and likely will be on-trend ingredients for some time. These ingredients are not only helping support product benefit claims, they are also acclimating the consumer public to usefulness and appeal of fungi and microorganisms.

An example of microalgae as an ingredient source rather than an ingredient producer is an ingredient called ALGICA. It’s a cleanser, sensory modifier, and anti-pollutant from The Swedish Algae Factory AB. ALGICA is the pure nanoporous shells of diatoms (a group of microalgae).

The larger trend that encompasses microalgae, algae, algae biotech is the marine ingredient trend that’s been emerging for some time now. We can see new leading-edge suppliers like Orgainc Bioactives playing an important role in this space. And we can see legacy ingredient makers like Croda investing in marine ingredients as well. 4 years ago, that company acquired Nautilus Biosciences and subsequently opened a marine biotech center around it in Canada.

But getting back to the subspecialties of biotech,

I’ll bring in some more repurposed content here and draw from a recent video I created about fungi in the beauty industry:

Brands that are featuring mushrooms product formulations just now include,

Volition Beauty [with] a snow mushroom water serum in its product portfolio, Biophile makes a Rejuvenating Serum with a ferment lysate extracted from a blend of chaga, reishi, and snow mushrooms, [snow mushrooms, in particular, have become super popular lately]

The skincare brand Naturopathica makes a supplement called Reishi Immune Tincture, and the Dew Drops Mushroom Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C Serum from Three Ships Beauty received SELF Magazine’s 2021 Healthy Beauty Award for Best Hyaluronic Serum.”

I have also heard from product manufactures that brands are now regularly requesting mushroom ingredients. Plus, remember the biotech company Ginkgo Bioworks that I mentioned earlier?

In June of 2021 “Ginkgo Bioworks…signed an agreement to acquire Dutch DNA. Based in the Netherlands, the Dutch DNA company has ‘a proprietary platform technology focused on the development of fungal strains and fermentation processes for the production of proteins and organic acids.’”

“Which is to say the Ginkgo will soon be using fungi to manufacture proteins and enzymes for any number of industry sectors, such as food, pharma, beauty, and more.”

Mushrooms are showing up in beauty packaging too: “A biomaterials company in Green Island, New York, called Ecovative Design makes a material called Mushroom Packaging from hemp hurds and mycelium, the thread-like vegetative part of fungus. That company also makes a material called MycoFlex that can be used in place of conventional sheet mask substrates, as single-use spa slippers, and as an alternative to plastic-polymer makeup application sponges.”

And just today, I received a press release boasting the benefits of mushroom supplements and functional foods from the brand UMBO. The release notes that these are “100% certified organic, [and use] adaptogens to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes.” It goes on to list several benefits including “healthy stress levels” and “production of…an anti-aging compound.”

I mention this, not because UMBO is a beauty brand—so far as I know, it is not—but because it is one more brand helping acquaint consumers with the benefits of mushrooms and helping normalize demand for fungi products in the consumer marketplace.

Microbiome personal care and beauty is an important trend as well. Many ingredient companies and multinational beauty makers have been investing in microbiome research for over a decade now. I gave a talk at the 2019 AIRS Conference on Genomics and Microbiomics about beauty and bacteria and while some of the hypothesis that the industry was working with at the time have evolved—like the idea the preservatives in product formulas would necessarily disrupt the microbiome, for instance—that talk still provides a good overview of the early days of microbiome beauty.

Another thing that’s changed since I spoke at the AIRS conference is that everyday consumers are now increasingly familiar with the human microbiome.

This trend covers every category of beauty and personal care because of course microbe populations can be found nearly everywhere in and on the human body. We see innovation across skincare, scalp care, body care, oral care, intimate care, even color cosmetics.

however, I don’t know of any nail care or nail color products that are explicitly marketed with a microbiome story. Though a quick Google search did turn up several published research articles on the nail microbiome(e.g. Effects of nail polish on microbial growth of fingernails)

There is an interesting cluster of trends in beauty that I am going to group together here. Each is compelling an in its own right. Yet on their own, none seem to effectively attract consumer demand.

These trends could be thought of as part of the beauty industry’s shift toward self-care and wellness. They have to do with skincare beyond the skin and personal care beyond the person.

The trends that fit into this cluster are hygiene products; products known as immunocosmetics, that address skin barrier function and phenomenon known as inflamaging; products that address the impacts of the human exposome also fit into this cluster, so that includes protection products like anti-pollution and blue light protection and repair; neurocosmetics that act on the skin-brain axis or that mitigate the effects of stress fit in this cluster too.

These are all very important trends. They are all seeing active R&D in the ingredient market and are also, of course, in finished goods. But in the way that we see consumers seeking out products made with snow mushroom, for instance, it’s not as common for consumers to have zeroed in on any one of the trends I’ve clustered here.

Beauty’s relationship with water is changing. And that’s inspired the trend for waterless products, solid products, and formulations made using water alternatives.

This trend is mostly about environmental sustainability. It’s about less waste (of water, production energy, transportation). It’s also about consumer benefits to some extend (these products tend to be light weight, travel friendly, etc.) many of these products require the consumer to have access to clean water.

And an interesting side note to this trend is that we still see brands selling water facial mists and some brands, like the very well-known La Roche Posay have a very distinctive water at the very center of their product formulations.

In our lifetime, water will increasingly become a luxury. And the way beauty works with water will continue to advance. To say a bit more on this, I will refer to a video I made shortly after visiting the Cosmoprof North America tradeshow last year: Conserving and Replacing Water in Beauty Product Formulations.

“And [at that] event, I caught up with representatives and leaders from several brands that are rethinking water use and reimagining what’s possible….[I learned about] the Deardot sheet-to-foam Cleansing Seal…at this year’s CPNA tradeshow in Las Vegas, Nevada.”

“The Cleaning Seal is a water-soluble, single-dose facial cleaner developed for convenient use on-the-go. Deardot is a K beauty brand and this product is their first launch.” The seal is a tiny paper-like square packaged in a sachet. You can see it being demoed when you click through to the video.”

“A couple other skincare brands that I spoke with at Cosmoprof are focused on formulating with water alternatives. Miage, a California-based brand that launched [in 2020], was showing its line of 5 skincare products.”

“Our products, we don’t have any waters. We use the cactus juice instead of waters.”…Shirly Zeng, General Manager of Miage Skin Regeneration Corp. [told me].

“The Miage brand works with prickly pear (Opuntia Dillenii), a nopal cactus commonly grown in Mexico City’s Milpa Alta borough, where the soil includes volcanic nutrients. The cactus is regularly used as a food as well as as a decorative plant.”

“While the INCI name has the ingredient as an extract, Shirly Zeng tells me that: “So we keep not only the juice of the cactus, it’s also the meat from the cactus. We use our special technique to combine them together and keep the nutrition of the cactus.””

“Miage uses a proprietary mechanical process to obtain a mixture of cactus juice and pulp for use in its product formulations. This process takes place at the brand’s facilities in China, where Miage is also now cultivating prickly pear cactus to ensure a consistent supply of its hero ingredient.”

I want to mention an ingredient company that was not at the show but is doing very interesting work with same sort of juice-like ingredients, and that’s ROELMI HPC, a supplier out of Italy that has in its portfolio a line of Cyto-Fruit Waters from red orange, lemon, kiwi, bergamot, etc.

These are all liquid-rich ingredients with skincare or personal care benefits that don’t add ‘water’ to the INCI ingredient list. And in the case of these Cyto-Fruit Waters, they have a very compelling upcycled ingredient story as well.

Getting back to what I saw at Cosmoprof North America last summer, “The Korea-based brand I ZéZé…launched its line of Anyone skincare in 2020 and was at CPNA talking with buyers and partners in the US marketplace. While quite new, I ZéZé’s Anyone line of skincare is already on the market in 4 countries.”

“[Kiyeong, Chang, International Sales Team Manager at I ZéZé] explained to me that the

“We only have a first line called Anyone that means anyone can use because we only put mild and safe ingredients. It’s okay for many types of skin.”

“[As this whole trends suggests]…formulating personal care and beauty products with a high water-content is increasingly seen as wasteful.”

“These skincare product formulas [from I ZéZé] contain, instead, 80% of the brand’s hero ingredient: Hinoki Cypress Water. Water yes, but [as with the Cyto-Fruit Waters mentioned a moment ago] water with benefits. In both Japan and Korea, this [Cypress] water, is a prized skincare ingredient.”

As Kiyeong, Chang explains, “Our main ingredient is called Cypress Water that sooths your skin and revitalizes your skin health and also Panthenol that strengthens your skin’s barrier and then Allantoin that improves your skin’s elasticity So all these 3 ingredients in our product.”

“[The brand] sources its Cypress Water from trees on Jeju Island. The water is harvested or gathered without disrupting the trees’ basic lifecycle. And beyond any skincare benefits of Hinoki Cypress Water, this ingredient also impacts texture, giving the I ZéZé products—a cleanser, toner, serum, and cream—a distinctive feel without any stickiness.”

Formulation strategy is of course just one way to approach water use in beauty. “A super fun new brand [that I learned about at CPNA last year is] called H2No!, [and is] founded by Miranda Wilson. [The brand] is taking another approach and completely transforming consumer behavior when it comes to personal care and water.”

“The brand’s first products are a line of dry-apply gels that create an invisible lubricating barrier, making it easy for women and men to get the shave they want entirely without water.”

“So, this is H2No! Shave. And it is a natural dry-apply shave gel.” [says Miranda Wilson, Founder and Managing Director of H2No!] “I want to get girls who are just starting to shave to dry shave or wet shave?”

And I’ll quote Miranda for a while here to outline her thinking:

“I thought that women had the greater potential for water saving because we put about 20 gallons of water down the shower in a 10-minute shave. So multiply that and the math is pretty staggering.”

“I want to get girls that are just starting to shave to begin dry shaving. We all shave wet because that’s always what we we’re told to do. … what’ the other way to shave?”

So much of what you hate about shaving is actually tied to the awkwardness of it in the shower, how much space you have, the size of your water heater…”

“To me it’s an environmental choice. I’m very close to water; my day job is actually as a waste water pretreatment environmental supervisor for a plating shop. So water is our most precious limited resource and it is limited as we’re all finding out now.

“So I believe that anything that we can do in our daily grooming routines to help the planet, to minimize our consumption is great.”

“So I want to get girls that are just starting to shave, saving water and never shaving in the shower.”

“I do see extra SKUs coming soon: More problem / solution for things that come along with shaving and then I’d like them to either be products that you typically use with water that you don’t or anhydrous products that aren’t using water and so you have a more concentrated salve or balm.”

“… solid products continue to be an important part of the conversation about beauty and water use. Though it’s true that solid product formats are increasingly common, they are far from being a mainstay in the average consumer’s personal care routine.”

“Which is to say that there is room in the marketplace for many more solid beauty brands. And, there’s also still room for us to learn from the philosophies and inventors behind these brands.”

“Vaiva Zvirblyte, Founder of Solidu Cosmetics, was at Cosmoprof North America; and she’s leading a brand that is (in many respects) akin to brands like LOLI Beauty, Ethique, or Beauty Kitchen.”

“Solidu is another bold brand that is not taking environmental sustainability measures one step at time but is, rather, all in and completely reconfiguring how personal care makers approach sourcing, formulation, production, packaging…everything!”

There a several other tends that I want to include here.

Beauty in the metaverse is quite important.

The personalization trend, which is as much about individualization as it is about data, consumer genomics, preferences, expectations, consumer education is also significant.

I know that there’s real buzz in the industry right now about AI and Deep Learning being used to help formulate new products and develop ingredients. And personalization is just one of the ways that insights are being gathered to inform this technology and shape the future of beauty

CBD and all things cannabinoid are worth watching.

Clean beauty has not yet run its course, and the tenets of clean (safe, sustainable, transparent, etc.) are still influential.

Indie Beauty is in its third or fourth generation and similarly continues to be an important movement for the industry.

And Inclusive Beauty is an absolute imperative, in the formulations lab, in R&D, in clinical testing, in branding, in marketing and advertising. I am particularly interested to see innovations in clinical testing and ingredient development that facilitate truly inclusive beauty product development.

A Few Thoughts on Beauty NPD (New Product Development)

Product development is to some extent, a combination of what we’ve already covered: innovation and trends.

New product development considers what’s possible now and what’s possible next. There are often budgetary constraints to consider. Some npd is about consumer education or shifting behaviors and expectations incrementally to allow for coming innovations.

In general terms, it’s a blend of science, marketing, consumer behavior, consumer expectations, color trends, etc.

Thank you again so much for welcoming me into your classroom.


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