Future Forecast:
Beauty in 2018

15.12.2017 Beauty : Skincare : Retail

As consumers become more educated about product ingredients, the line between synthetic and natural will become blurred.

ASOS Go Play campaign ASOS Go Play campaign

Every day until Christmas we will be highlighting sector-specific microshifts featured in the 2018 Future Forecast report, which you can download in full here

Lab Notes: Irritant-Free Identities

In the past few years, there has been a shift in beauty towards more natural products as consumers’ desire for transparency in ingredients moves from the things they eat and drink to what they put on their skin.

With consumers becoming more educated about synthetic and natural ingredients, the issue will be more narrowly defined in the future, with ‘irritant-free’ becoming a key beauty watchword in 2018.

As consumers seek out specialist beauty stores across multiple retail channels, the connection between their beauty routine and sense of identity is growing stronger. This means that the definition of the term ‘beauty’ is now up for debate. For the past few years beauty has been de ned as an ‘effortless’ and ‘natural’ look, but over the next 12 months consumers will increasingly explore how the make-up they wear defines them.

1. Cosmetics Crusaders

Glossier You, New York Glossier You, New York

Alongside the proliferation of make-up tutorials created by beauty bloggers online, make-up shaming – where commenters question women’s make-up habits – is becoming more common. Some 55% of US adults believe that women mainly wear make-up to trick people into thinking they are more attractive, while in 2016 Japanese private railway company Tokyo Corp released a video designed to discourage women from applying make-up on trains.

But in 2018, the nascent make-up movement will emerge – where women reclaim their right to wear make-up however they want.

CoverGirl’s withdrawal of its 20-year- old slogan Easy, Breezy, Beautiful CoverGirl in favour of the new tagline I Am What I Make Up is a sign of the times. Next year, beauty campaigns will focus on the power of make-up as a form of self-expression, and innovative products such as the Pout Case, phone case containing a make-up kit, will empower people to apply their make-up however and whenever they want to.

2. Active Skincare

Industry Innovator: Lixir Skin

Big idea: Focusing on active ingredients – synthetic or natural – that do not irritate the skin.

Why it matters in 2018: While more brands will be touting their natural credentials, a new criterion will emerge that doesn’t focus on whether ingredients are grown naturally. Instead, says founder Colette Haydon, it will be about whether they are effective and do not disrupt the skin.

3. Zero-Tolerance

Peet Rivko, New York Peet Rivko, New York

Claims of ‘natural’ will no longer be enough for beauty brands. As consumers seek efficacious formulas that truly protect their skin, beauty ingredients will come under increased scrutiny. Next year, ‘zero-irritants’ will become the new standard in natural beauty.

With certain varieties proven to irritate some individuals’ skin, beauty consumers will be increasingly wary of products containing essential oils. Brands such as Peet Rivko and Marie Veronique offer essential oil-free ranges, including the latter’s Dara’s Oil, which is also fragrance-free and tocopherol-free. There is a growing need for brands to evaluate their use of such irritants. But rather than demonise essential oils or refrain from using them, brands have an opportunity to educate consumers about why and how they use them in their products. Natural skincare brand Oille, founded by clinical aromatherapist Kirsten King, only uses pure, unadulterated and undiluted essential oils in its products.

4. Local Focus

Japan: Aesthetic Principles

While South Korean products, tips and techniques have dominated the beauty headlines over the past few years, as the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo edge nearer, Japanese brands are developing innovative products inspired by the local aesthetic principles of kanso, shibui and seijaku (simplicity, understated beauty and energised calm, respectively).

Shiseido’s new skincare line Waso is inspired by the tradition of washoku (traditional Japanese food), and comprises a series of holistic and natural products.

Download the Future Forecast PDF

Download a PDF of the full Future Forecast 2018, featuring 40 predictions across food, drink, luxury, fashion, youth, retail, travel & hospitality, technology, health & wellness, and beauty. Get your copy here.