While ‘austerity chic’ ruled the beauty industry in 2009, as this challenging year comes to a close, forthcoming trends directing the beauty industry across the globe have been revealed as Mintel Beauty Innovation looks ahead to the coming and the top trends for 2010. It seems that while attitudes of both manufacturers and consumers have been shaped by the global downturn, innovation from industry and consumer resilience have shaped a new landscape for beauty products in 2010.

Nica Lewis, Director of Beauty Innovation at Mintel said: “While 2009 brought its challenges for the industry, beauty brands and suppliers have continued to seek creative new ways to merge science, nature and sustainability for better results and more eco-friendly formulas and packaging. In 2010 we will see more consolidation in the beauty industry and evolution of old trends as well as new ones as consumer confidence returns. Micro-trends surface constantly and are monitored by our editorial team. However, we’ve identified four key trends that are set to make their impact in the year ahead.”


Make-up has long been associated with making the wearer feel better, but recent product evolution has seen actual ingredients enabling this. Consumers will be able to enhance their mood through make-up and skincare in 2010, going beyond aromatherapy and use of scent. The Mood Beauty trend creates a new beauty space that intersects with psychology and wellbeing; imbuing beauty products with psychological benefits and ingredients that act on neurotransmitters. Expect to see manufacturers make use of transforming textures, temperatures or sounds and innovations such as make-up that you can ‘switch on and off’. Meanwhile, the idea of beauty sleep continues to take on a whole new meaning, as cosmetics that claim to induce more positive moods or improve sleep quality inject new life into the night care subcategory.


The Nu Natural trend is a new vision of natural that is less focussed on certification and more focussed on results, efficiency and safety. In 2010, beauty products will evolve from the current trend towards organic ingredients, revisiting authenticity, provenance and local production. Mintel Beauty Innovation expects to see claims like “free from” and “sustainable” appear in products that simultaneously contain synthetic actives like peptides, hyaluronic acid, ceramides or collagen. Manufacturers will further explore simpler formulas such as infusions and fluids, formulating with a new generation of phytochemicals, anthocyanins and fermented actives.


Throughout 2009 there was a renewed emphasis on protection, one of the basic functions of skincare, hair care and colour cosmetics. Beauty products were offering ever more powerful shields against – not just UV – but physiological changes and man-made factors, too. In 2010 the Pro-Tech’t trend will extend this action. Marketing language is becoming more robust, borrowing from computer technology language (e.g. “fire walls”) to engage consumers. In addition Mintel Beauty Innovation expects to see a growth in immune-boosting and enhancing skin defences claims in products. Packaging materials are even looking outside the traditional glass and plastic to materials such as neoprene and even concrete. In terms of actives, 2010 will see continued growth in the use of ingredients from extreme environments such as the arctic, alpine, desert and deep sea. In addition, Mintel Beauty Innovation expects to see more healthcare actives in Beauty in 2010 – such as Rhodiola Rosea, Griffonia and Superoxide Dismutase – in beauty, forging a stronger link with nutricosmetics.


Developing the ‘Turbo Beauty’ trend of 2009, the next generation of high tech, Turbo Beauty 4G continues to capitalise on advances in biochemistry and incorporates use of next-generation nanotechnology in beauty products. This trend features more quasi-medical results and “mix-it-yourself” solutions: at-home kits, cures and gadgets that offer alternatives to cosmetic surgery and non-invasive procedures. Products in 2010 will increasingly include use of medical- or pharmaceutical-grade actives and next-generation nanotechnology. In addition, an increased use of clinical testing to substantiate claims and results previously established in prestige products will move into ‘masstige’ (affordable for the general consumer but positioned as luxury goods).

Meanwhile, following the explosion of use of social media, in 2010 Mintel expects beauty manufacturers to harness this medium to market anti-aging products in particular to ‘digital natives’.

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