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The rise of conscious consumerism in the beauty and personal care industry

This article was adapted from Dr. Jenelle Kim’s presentation: The Future of Beauty and Emerging Beauty Trends to Look Out for.

The beauty and personal care industry is seeing explosive growth. Currently valued at US $532 billion, the global beauty industry is expected to exceed US $800 billion by 2025, according to Forbes. The rise of conscious consumerism is a big part of this growth.

We've entered a new era of conscious consumerism — consumers who are more educated about quality ingredients and purposeful products. Statista reports that 58% of US women prefer skincare products that are organic and natural, and 32% of consumers in the US are interested in starting to purchase organic facial skincare products. According to Dr. Jenelle Kim, Founder and Formulator at JBK Labs, these consumers want to know how a product is made, what it is made from, and the clearly defined benefits. Specific beauty trends are emerging because of the search for products that meet these criteria:

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that nourish the skin. Mushrooms have roots in traditional Chinese medicine but are seeing a rise in popularity because of the increasing importance of essential vitamins. Skin brightening, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-elastase (for skin elasticity) are some of the more sought out health and skin benefits mushrooms provide.

Clean and natural products

Conscious consumers want clean and natural products. Parabens, phthalates, and sulfates — harmful ingredients linked to harmful health effects — are things of the past. Where ingredients are derived from and that these ingredients are naturally occurring are top concerns for conscious consumers. In a 2017 study, Statista found that almost 70% of US consumers aged 18-29 preferred natural skin care products, and 60% for consumers aged 30-59. Companies are spending more time on research and development to create solutions that cater to the consumers who want cleaner products.

Hemp

Research into the skincare benefits of hemp, specifically CBD and its other critical cannabinoids, was banned for years because of associations with marijuana. Now, rules and regulations around hemp have relaxed. Beauty companies are entering the CBD industry to take advantage of this superior herbal ingredient. CBD skincare and hair care has taken the US market by storm. In fact, 48% of millennials opt for products with CBD oil.

Each cannabinoid has specific properties that benefit the body and bring it to homeostasis, the body's ability to maintain a stable internal environment despite changing external conditions. Within skincare, CBD is known for three main functions:

  1. Powerful antioxidants: CBD has a strong ability to protect the skin against free radicals like smoke, UV rays, toxins, and environmental pollutants, which speed up signs of aging.
  2. Anti-inflammatory: troubled skin involves overproduction of sebum, an oily substance secreted by sebaceous glands. These glands contain endocannabinoid receptors, meaning their functions are affected by cannabinoids. Therefore, CBD can affect the output of oils — calming, soothing, and balancing the skin.
  3. Moisturization and nourishment: CBD has significant soothing properties that moisturize and calm the skin.

Customized products

Why shop generic products when you can get an entire skincare and beauty routine catered to your specific needs? Demand for customized products is based on this rationale. One product does not fit all. Companies are creating tailored solutions based on variables such as skin type, hair type, ethnicity, age, gender, and even DNA. Conscious consumers want products that solve their specific problems.

Sustainable products

Conscious consumers want to make as little an impact on the earth's resources as possible. Sustainable products remain on the rise for this reason. Companies creating sustainable products share how they source ingredients and how sustainably their products are produced. Using recyclable materials is one way to make a product sustainable.

How to keep the conscious consumer top of mind

Continue to watch these evolving trends as they shape the beauty and personal care industry. Create sustainable products using clean, natural, and organic ingredients. Throw away non-recyclable packaging and replace it with recyclable materials. These are just a few of the things companies need to do to stay relevant in this booming industry.

Are you interested in hearing more about the rise of clean beauty, or what new products to keep an eye out for? Stay tuned because it's beauty and personal care month at Alibaba.com this October! We're kicking it off with a global online trade show from October 5-18 in partnership with WeCosmoprof, the world's leading trade show organizer in the cosmetics industry. Following our global show, the first Alibaba.com US Beauty & Personal Care Online Trade Show will take place from October 20-22. Register to attend and hear from industry experts on new trends emerging, how the beauty industry is coping in 2020, different ways small beauty brands can take their business to the next level, and more.


With 30+ years in the beauty industry, and 18+ years in fragrance alone, Mark Crames, CEO of Demeter Fragrance Library understands the ins and outs of owning and operating a small business in the US. Watch our fireside chat to hear Mark give actionable advice on how to navigate the ever-changing and complex world for small business manufacturers. You can view our previous fireside chats here.

This week's #B2BTuesday Tip:

Conscious consumerism affects several other industries, not just beauty and personal care. Whether it’s eating less meat or eliminating the use of plastic bags and utensils, companies across all industries need to consider the conscious consumer when creating new products.

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