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An Insider’s Scoop on Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna 2023

Published April 9, 2023
Published April 9, 2023
Cosmoprof Bologna

Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna has been a must on industry calendars for decades. This year’s edition―the 54th to be exact―saw 250,000 visitors explore more than 2,984 exhibitor stalls across a vast 160,000 square meters. Given its broad scope, being able to explore all events and stalls is physically impossible.

Thankfully, BeautyMatter was able to consult five industry heavyweights for their takes on the most eye-popping and noteworthy brands and trends among this vast happening―as well as the trends we will see slowly decline over the coming years.

Lorne Lucree, Chief Innovation Officer and Head of Corporate Strategic Initiatives, Atelier by Voyant Beauty

Trends on the Rise: “Sustainability continues to be top of mind, and much like ‘clean,’ every brand and supplier is talking [about] it one way or another. New exciting packaging substrates like potato starch, lightweighted tubes to mirror lightweighted bottles to reduce on shipping impact, and paper packaging are available in increasingly unique shapes and sizes. Waterless and concentrated [formulations] are also top of mind, with nearly every contract manufacturer showcasing this capability. Contract manufacturers are no longer just offering topical personal care, but instead, platforms built on wellness insights incorporating ingestibles like pills, dissolvable tablets, and powders.

Sexual wellness is expanding to be total bedroom wellness, including offerings for sleep and relaxation like ear plugs, high-tech eye masks, and ingestibles. [We are also seeing] the bubbling growth of oral beauty via holistic product offerings and fluoride-free alternatives that leverage new cleaning technologies like enzymes, as well as skincare-inspired ingredients like propolis and hyaluronic acid. High-tolerance skincare is being called out as a category and the antithesis to the popularity of sensitive skincare for skin that is not challenged or stressed, and consumers who actually want a higher dose of actives. We are also witnessing increasingly hard-hitting marketing claims from contract manufacturers and packaging suppliers on the reliability of supply chain and ability to service, as many are still feeling the burn from Covid disruptions.”

Most Buzzworthy Brands: K18 has gone global, with numerous “me too” brands or sub lines emerging with names like K20, K89, and Molecular Repair Peptide-18.”

Deanna Utroske, Supplier Positioning and Content Consultant

Trends on the Rise: “Today’s emerging cosmetic and personal care brand trends—seen at and beyond Cosmoprof Worldwide—all take the true diversity of beauty consumers and the actuality of lived experience into account. This is why neurocosmetics (linking the skin and the nervous system) and psychodermatology (linking the skin and the mind) are becoming very important areas for both ingredient and product development. Nutricosmetics, as well as microbiome beauty and personal care, continue to gain momentum; and the hair and scalp categories are seeing a surge now too, with both care and treatment products.”

Most Buzzworthy Brands: Amarey, Geske, and Nobe Beauty deserve the attention of industry insiders and consumers alike. Based in Italy, Amarey is a regenerative skincare brand that’s focused both on product efficacy and smart sourcing. The brand formulates with ingredients derived from the coffee plant and is finding practical and commercial value in the whole coffee fruit, rather than just the seed. And, this sort of holistic approach to sourcing is one that I am seeing only the most eco-forward brands and ingredient companies make use of.

Geske—a beauty tool and tech company (headquartered in Germany) connecting artificial intelligence, app-based personalized skincare guidance, and some 65 carefully designed and branded skincare devices—has been winning awards for the past couple of years and is poised to be a leader in the tech-driven consumer device category.

The soon-to-launch brand Nobe Beauty, out of Finland, is formulating skincare with a unique microbial extract that returns the benefits of forest soil microbes to human skin. Brands like NOBE that have partnered with truly innovative ingredient makers to bring novel solutions to market are indisputably helping to shape the future of beauty.

And speaking of bringing new ingredients and innovative product formulations to market, brand leaders may be interested to learn about a formulation development innovation hub called C4Q. At Cosmoprof Worldwide, I sat down with Project Management pro Annalisa Vangelista to learn about how C4Q (CosmeNet For Quality) partners with cutting-edge ingredient companies and the tech experts working at those companies to bring real innovation to the cosmetic and personal care marketplace first and fast. In as little as three months, C4Q can help a brand launch product with the full support of service offerings— spanning market research insights, product development, regulatory guidance, communications, marketing, and more. C4Q got its start in 2021 and already this year was selected as a Cosmopack Awards finalist in the Skin Care Formula category, competing alongside legacy companies like Intercos and B. Kolormakeup & Skincare.”

The Next Big Investments: “I expect to see investor interest in brands that are serious about eco-responsibility, that are advancing the microbiome beauty movement, and that are bringing true neurocosmetics solutions to market.”

Eva Lagarde, CEO and Founder,

Trends On the Rise: “Effective waterless beauty [is an emerging trend] in the natural beauty sphere. Waterless elevated formulas are coming from the laboratories and I saw amazing new textures on the supply side. Waterless beauty can be a bit limited in terms of experience and sensoriality, because of the limitation to their solid format in bars for instance. Cosmetics laboratories and formulators are working on enhancing that experience with liquid to solid formulas for mask application for instance, or powder.

Packaging suppliers are also developing effective protective and delivery systems for powders or solid bars. Chances are that we will see more innovative delivery systems in the coming months. With the tension on water supply connected to the rise of the climate crisis, “waterless” will become a prominent category in itself, but consumer experience needs to be dramatically improved for a deeper market penetration.

One example on the brand side is Oceanly, a waterless Canadian skincare brand launched last year at Cosmoprof. They launched their makeup range this year at the show.

We are also seeing high-tech and high-care beauty brands mixing wellness and efficacy, as well as hyper-precision [brands] focused on a specific need of the market like menopause for instance. In a saturated market, a more niche and specific approach is a potential destination for success.”

Declining Trends: “Sustainable/clean beauty is a declining trend in itself. A lot of brands are still claiming to be rooted in sustainability, but with the increased consumer perception surrounding greenwashing, brands need to be more than clean. It's not enough to be clean, brands need to bring something specific to the market and need to answer a problem, using science to back their claims for instance.

We find in our research that a brand’s purpose and sustainability shouldn’t necessarily be born the same while still being interconnected, meaning that brands need to become more sustainable—it’s a given—but they primarily need to answer a market need related to beauty needs. In other words, impact-native brands won’t compete unless they offer added beauty benefits.”

The Next Big Investments: “Consumers are looking at science-backed, performance beauty, and biotech-based beauty in order to find answers on beauty claims. With the rise of scepticism in the market, the “science-backed” and “doctor-led” trends have been developing over the last 1 or 2 years. We are seeing an evolution of this trend towards biotech science that brings together science with care for the planet. It will probably be a safe investment category since it answers both the impact-driven as well as beauty concerns. It also brings direct substantiation to skin concerns as well as green claims that will be more and more scrutinized and regulated in the near future.”

“I think we are starting to see a big shift towards the massive influence on beauty that the Gen Z consumer has."
By Melissa Hago, Vice President + Creative Director of Beauty and Wellness, Fashion Snoops

Melissa Hago, Vice President and Creative Director of Beauty and Wellness, Fashion Snoops

Trends On The Rise: “The suncare market is innovating for a safer, more enjoyable future of sun protection. We saw several brands at Cosmoprof Worldwide update in areas such as formulation, textures, ingredients, and packaging, aligning with key trends like the skinification movement, mood-enhancing, sustainability, and mess-free portability. Brands like Elave offer a sensitive care solution, adding more inclusive sunscreen to the mix with an allergen-free, sensitive care sun protection that is suitable for use on eczema/dermatitis-prone and sun-sensitive skin, while also being suitable for use during pregnancy. Axis-Y showcased their latest update to their sunscreen formulation thanks to a community approach where they addressed community feedback in their product. The Complete No-Stress Physical Sunscreen is a light and moisturizing formula with an ‘essence gel lotion’ texture that provides a clear finish with a reduced white cast.

The skinification trend also makes its way into sunscreen with brands like Axis-Y using skin-caring ingredients like hyaluronic acid and mugwort while their skincare technology, SYN-Coll, helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for anti-aging effects. In addition, brands like Evy technology combine the benefits of a gradual tanning lotion with suncare protection for the ultimate solar solution. Their hybrid tanning skincare product, the Daily Tan Activator, encourages the skin to produce melanin for a natural tan, strengthens the skin’s protective barrier, prevents dehydration, and prepares the skin for the summer weather’s stressors—all in a mousse texture.

We see trends like blue beauty merge with biotechnology to evolve into the blue biotech trend as brands search for ways to learn from and preserve the ocean. ‘Ocean positive’ becomes the new sustainability buzzword for blue beauty, as brands endeavor to design products that actively benefit our global waterways, as we strive for a blue carbon wipeout. Haircare brand L’Alga uses ocean technology and biotech extraction techniques to distill their proprietary algae-based complex, AlgaNord 5, from the deep ocean. The various types of algae used in the AlgaNord 5 are all hand-harvested via traditional methods that prioritize sustainability and eco-friendliness. Building off this, Neboa partnered with the MARE foundation to clean the Baltic Sea from plastic. The brand creates ocean-respecting haircare and body care by respecting nature and moving towards a zero-waste future forward.

The wellness practice of cold therapy inspires beauty products to feature cooling and icy effects that help depuff, soothe, and calm the skin. As cryotherapy grows, we see product innovations encapsulate cold remedies into simple, convenient forms that evoke ice cubes. Brands like Ameon are based entirely on frozen skincare. Their breakthrough Frozen Essence cubes are frozen serums that melt beautifully on the skin, infusing the skin with antioxidants and moisture while the massage action stimulates, refreshes, and calms. In addition, Cosmoprof Award Winner, Intercos, unveiled their Ice Massage Eye Essence Stick, a stimulating eye massage, and a reviving, depuffing active treatment. The essence stick can be applied directly onto the eye area and melts on contact with the skin to leave a protective and elastic film. Building off of this, Seoulista Cryo Cool Skin Tool by Revive Express Beauty harnesses the power of cryotechnology to soothe, depuff, and lift the complexion for a healthy glow with its thick aluminum cooling plates that remain icy cool, even if stored at room temperature. When placed on the skin, the cold constricts the blood vessels, causing blood to rush away from the surface. Improving circulation, new blood returns renewed with fresh nutrients to help brighten and firm the complexion for a healthy glow.”

Declining Trends: “We are seeing less and less buzz around CBD. We don’t see CBD  disappearing but rather evolving, as the market has become oversaturated with CBD products. In addition, while natural beauty continues to be a major consumer focus, we’re seeing a change in mindset, as more and more consumers become educated on biotechnology and how natural ingredients aren’t always best for the environment, as they increasingly look for more scientifically backed, clinically approved brands." 

Most Buzzworthy Brands: Ustawi is a science-based, African-inspired, melanin-celebrating skincare line that combines local natural ingredients and practices to enhance total well-being. As a community, they have created products that are designed to enhance natural melanin, not harm or lighten it.

AMEŌN was one of the first brands to bring cryotherapy to skincare with their innovative three-step cryoritual with five core products activated by their signature Frozen Essence. The Glow Manifesto Ice Cubes offer a dynamic cryotherapy facial treatment full of potent, scientifically charged ingredients that reveal skin’s true potential. AMEŌN formulates using the best of natural, active, plant-based, and biotech ingredients that work for everyone.

2SQM is a super Gen Z forward brand with a bold, inclusive attitude, sustainable ethos, and local Italian flair. The products are crafted in Italy, mixing ancient Mediterranean self-care rituals with contemporary scientific research, and use ingredients like luxurious saffron in the anti-aging cream and San Giovese wine as well. The name refers to the two square meters that your skin takes up.

Geske is democratizing technology by introducing affordable beauty tech. In addition to the brand’s wide catalog of beauty tech devices for every need, Geske separates itself by making these advanced devices affordable, proving that quality, effective beauty tech does not need to be financially exclusive.”

The Next Big Investments: “I think we are starting to see a big shift towards the massive influence on beauty that the Gen Z consumer has. Italian brand 2SQM encapsulated Gen Z cool, with a line of simple, yet sustainably luxe skincare that’s made in Naples with 98.5% natural ingredients, local Sangiovese grape, and a bold, inclusive campaign that celebrates diversity. Building off this, Australian hair and scalp care brand Straand makes scalp care easy for all with pleasing textures and effective, sensorial products, as Gen Z remains obsessed with elevated haircare routines.

We also spotted packaging, formulation, and brand concept working together to capture the energy of Gen Z: OTP(One Trick Ponies) features a classic Gen Z puffy purple font and a brand ethos of simplified, ultra effective routines, while Italian brand Blondesister marries aesthetic Y2K packaging with multifunctional, easy-to-use makeup for young adults.

Lastly, fragrance brand NCP spoke to Gen Z’s need for rebellion and customization, with their layering scent concept that features a luxe perfume necklace chain for the ultimate hypebeast edge.”

Maggie Ciafardini, Founder and CEO, Maggie Ciafardini Inc.

Trends on the Rise: “Science meets technology meets beauty: brands that provide best-in-class skincare with unique, eco-friendly delivery. Also freeze-dried ingredients and waterless cleansers.”

Most Buzzworthy Brands: Live Tinted, Makeup by Mario, Beauty Pie.”

The Next Big Investments: “Products that blend categories. All makeup with sunscreen is becoming a must-have. Lip oils. Haircare systems that accelerate growth and provide treatments for the scalp continue to be important white space in skincare and beauty. Especially interesting are body products that deliver results: Retin-A in body lotion, etc.”


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