Cosmoprof Bologna is a whirlwind of sights, sounds, smells and insight into the latest global beauty products, new brands and innovations. This year, over 250,000 visitors from 150 countries flocked to meet thousands of exhibitors from 69 countries. We visited the show, camera in hand, to take it all in through our specialist lens on beauty, wellness and health and see what caught our eye. And with 151 prestige and niche brands exhibiting at Cosmoprime alone, not to mention feature areas devoted to fragrance, diverse/multi-ethnic beauty, wellness, spa sector and organic products, that’s no mean feat! We’ve taken a snapshot of the show bringing these together into key themes and innovations, from the deeply beautiful and innovative to the truly bizarre.
Food- and ingredient-led beauty continues to inspire skin- and haircare this year. From hero ingredients that you could just as easily eat as put on your face, to packaging that wouldn’t look out of place in the fridge.
The inexorable rise of natural and organic beauty has seen a shift from abstract science towards ingredients and provenance. But do they create compelling ingredient-led brand stories that meet consumers’ demand for transparency and provenance, as well as efficacy and desirability? Or does the ingredient-led narrative become a limiting factor for future growth? Brands must be careful of becoming outdated or even gimmicky—last year’s kale and avocado is next year’s sea buckthorn and baobab!
Worryingly, some packaging structures are looking more and more like food and beverage—Biolage’s natural hair care range looks just like a smoothie or fresh juice. Should alarm bells start ringing for parents?
Delídea bio doesn’t have just one hero ingredient, it has 46: from passion fruit to sweet almonds, they champion each hand-picked, organic ingredient on their website.
Here’s some more outstanding ingredient-led examples seen on show:
May Coop uses maple tree sap as the main ingredient in its skincare line for its “amazing properties and high absorbability due to the smaller size of its molecules.”
Oliv’ collects olive leaves in Provence each spring and utilizes the extract as a “free-radical catcher.”
Self is a 100% natural ingredient and ethical brand, focussed on five hero ingredients across the range: coconut oil, macadamia, argan oil, shea butter, and mandarin.
Bio Phytorelax’s phytopreparations ranging from organic oat to goji berry are certified vegan. As is Natura Siberica’s Wild Siberia range, using plants gathered in their natural habitat. No mean feat in Siberia.
And Dilly Delight’s Lychee Hydra Wash Mask is a combination of antioxidant tropical fruit that begins life as a gelatinous ball in a net bag and transforms into a foamy lather.
Taking influence from aesthetic medicine and cosmetic procedures, vial packaging is a key skincare trend. Either purely for cosmeceutical reference or for a rather handy instant activation of the product.
Evoleum is an ingestible cosmetic, focused on inner wellness to achieve outer beauty. Health-food-beauty converge into a nutricosmetic that’s taken to empower the efficacy of traditional cosmetics.
Dermaheal’s Topical Stem C’rum anti-hair loss product is packaged into medical-looking solution ampoules. And CALLYS regenerative serum from grapes of Gamay also hones in on this with its syringe-like packaging.
Whereas the Oozoo’s Face In-Shot Mask and Hugel Pharma’s DIY Vita Injection Mask Pack are both masks with the ampoule or vitamin stored separately in a syringe and injected into the mask pack before application, helping to preserve the freshness of the ingredients.
It’s said that gold works as an anti-aging ingredient and reduces inflammation, acne, and hyper- pigmentation—making it worth its weight in, well, gold.
It was a standout ingredient at Cosmoprof 2017 with certified organic agricultural beauty brand Olivolio using 24k gold flakes in its skincare range. And All Sins 18k inviting you to feel a million dollars with gold in both its skin and haircare range. While Arval’s Supreme Care Royal Gold Eye Contour is enriched with gold extract for promoting radiance.
Other luxurious ingredients included caviar, usually enjoyed with champagne, but in the case of The Caviar Hair Care, the rich source of Omega 3 is infused into its shampoo, conditioner, hydra gel, and rejuvenating mask, minus the bubbles.
And black pearl powder, seaweed & Dead Sea minerals is the complex that makes up Black Pearl’s night cream.
Metallic finishes and high-shine packaging made products pop out of shelf and grab our attention: pretty commendable amidst the swarm of Cosmoprof products.
Yellow gold and warm bronze emerged as two prominent metallics. Whereas bright jewel tones, glossy lacquers, and mirror shine enhanced products with striking effect.
Footlogix’s use of a metallic finish on its enlarged foot icon, over its typography, highlights the product use. Its promise of next-generation transformational skin care for feet (where Medi meets Pedi) is expressed in high shine.
And NIKA’s Reflection range uses glossy gold packaging to enforce the illuminating properties of its new product, as they enter the world of color care.
Structure and ingredients are of course always going to stand out, but let’s not forgot one of the most basic semiotics: color.
A playful and fun mood prevails in spring beauty, with brands adopting colorful packaging that reinforces a cheerful and happy atmosphere.
Spring-like pastel tones adorned packaging and products, lending a light, feminine quality to them. All- over color in sugary pink, mint green, and lilac tones were seen alongside graduation effects and marbling.
Prismologie harnesses the transformative power of color in its “natural mood-enhancing body care range.” Each product is a blend of gemstones, actives, and enriched fragrances. And the powerful splashes and drips of vivid color shout this out loud.
Foreo’s famously pastel color palette, used both for its silicone cleansing tools and its stand-alone store in Paris, matches hues across brand touch points, lending all-year-round ownability to pretty pastel shades.
From ethical brands to supplements and hero ingredients, here are the hair brand trends that caught our eye:
Macadamia stands tall as an ingredient-named hair product, akin to Argan Oil and Moroccan Oil. With absolute focus on its hero ingredient, it claims expert ownership of its key ingredient. NK Nature Kure line treats both your hair and scalp, using biological raw materials: keratree is a new treatment for skin and hair, restoring epithelial layers and natural pH thanks to the action of melaleuca oil with antifungal and antibacterial properties. The structure gets brownie points too.
Another brand promoting inner and outer beauty is Hairfinity. Their vitamin and haircare range work together with a holistic approach to hair care. The Capilsana Complex is made up of strengthening amino acids in hydrolyzed collagen, MSM for vitality, and hair-boosting horsetail and silica.
Vegan-friendly products were also prominent in hair care with both Phedeo and Yeso certified nature and vegan friendly. And Attitude’s mantra to live consciously, extending from pet care, household, skin and haircare to children’s products, designed to be safe for you and the environment, from development to down-the-drain.
Standing out from the crowd. Hair care in particular was throwing some interesting shapes.
Zao’s structure is designed with user experience in mind. With a supposedly easy-to-grip bottle and applicator, function most certainly follows form here.
Phytorelax’s new macadamia oil complex range is contained beautifully in very tall, elegant, transparent structures.
Hyntegra hair care flaunts semi-transparent outer packaging, revealing the beautiful pale blue color of the bottle inside.
And NK’s slick white bottles of shampoo resemble the shape of a curvy Coca-Cola bottle. Although this may seem like an invitation to lift to your lips, these opaque bottles are much less troublesome on the side of your bath than Biolage’s smoothie-esque products.
Additionally noteworthy are Aluna’s natural deodorant range. Smooth, stylish and clean, these deos range from sprays and lotions to sticks and powders—beautifully different.
The modern man was well catered for, with classic men’s grooming products reinvented with new textures and formulas, including the aforementioned Black Pearl’s men’s range.
Our very own DewGibbons design, Heath, was spotted. The new Heathcote & Ivory men’s skincare line launches in May and includes five products: a moisturizer, face wash, cream shave, post-shave repair, and hair and body wash, each packed with natural actives to respond to demanding lifestyles.
UK-crafted brand Hawkins & Brimble is formulated with natural ingredients and fragranced with almond and cocoa. They look to traditional barber rituals and include shaving and skincare, as well as beard care and hair care in their range.
Below the Belt Grooming is a product to keep those nether regions clean and dry—whether you’re camping or going to the pub, your bits and pieces will come up daisy fresh!
Apothecary 87 devotes its range to keeping your beard, moustache, and hair properly preened with textures from oil, cream, wax, pomade, balm, and clay.
These are the products we saw that encapsulate our belief that beautiful brand design must also have a beautiful idea built in.
Patch power was on point with brands offering a range of skin-care infused patches; Flashpatch Eye Revive and Lip Renewal work with 5-minute hydrogels to remedy puffiness and give you the perfect pout. And Touch by Mirati, the Anti-Mosquito Patch, is a self-adhesive transparent plaster enriched with citronella aroma, which is released by rubbing the surface of the patch.
Instant Smudge Fix is a nail innovation by Londontown, a transparent lacquer that instantly fixes chips and smudges, allowing you to nail your nails every time.
In oral care, Eco Denta organic toothpaste in a range of flavors, from cinnamon or coconut to sage or wild strawberry, with products featuring 99% natural ingredients. Who says freshness has to be minty?
Purophi organic and vegan cosmeceuticals takes natural beauty to an updated, more premium place. Using vegetable and biotechnological ingredients in its eight product offerings.