In spite of the sweltering Las Vegas heat, the industry came together for the 20th edition of Cosmoprof North America. Show attendance increased by 20% this year, with over 1,100 brands exhibiting and thousands of industry professionals from 108 countries traversing the grounds of the three-day event. In attendance were companies including Walmart, Detox Market, Thirteen Lune, Macy’s, Target, Estée Lauder Companies, and L'Oréal.
Talks included subject matter such as the prestige beauty growth opportunity with Larissa Jensen, Vice President and Beauty Industry Advisor at The NPD Group, and a data-driven look into the new face of beauty with Spate co-founder Yarden Horwitz—and last but certainly not least, BeautyMatter’s own CEO and founder Kelly Kovack presenting the key to mass-market success.
Following on our insider’s scoop of Cosmoprof Bologna 2023, we linked up with an array of industry experts to get their take on the biggest industry developments to emerge from the B2B event.
Karen Young, Founder, The Young Group
Emerging and Declining Trends:
“For continuing trends, the nail category is showing significant growth in many areas: nail care, press-on nails, art pens, art-inspired nail decoration such as Sally Hansen’s Keith Haring collaboration and elaborate nail art with jewels, pearls, and metal trimming.
Sleep solutions continue to show up. Products from fragrance to ingestibles to environmental factors such as light, sound, temperature, and bedding are ready to solve every consumer’s sleep challenges. It’s close to a $50B business, so there’s plenty of interest.
There are many new entries in the fragrance category of high-end, sophisticated fragrances, with high oil concentration, private mold bottles, and engaging graphics, like Altra Profuture. We’re seeing many new ways of creating and blending notes for an unexpected olfactory result. Consumers are very receptive to these innovations and ready to spend and experiment.
The sexual health and intimate care market is another area that continues to trend. There are several new entries caring for body parts we didn’t realize needed so much attention. Plenty of consumer interest and growth in the category.
As we’re all seeing, technology is here, growing, not going away. AI is happening all around us and the beauty industry is no exception. We’re just beginning to realize the potential.
Simplification is another continuing trend. Focus, filter, curate, less stuff, less inventory, fewer ingredients … the list goes on. It may not be for everyone, but the notion of simplifying our lives, as well as our beauty regimens, is a powerful concept.
Finally, the industry and the consumer are beginning to understand the value of synthetic and biomimetic ingredients. Just because an ingredient came from a plant, doesn’t make it safe or efficacious. Lots of education is needed here.
Sustainability is still at the top of everyone’s wish list, from suppliers to consumers and every link along the supply chain. We still have severe limitations and a huge learning curve, but at least we’re talking: recycle, upcycle, repurpose, compost, biodegrade … lots to explore.”
“There is no sign of the launch pace slowing. It’s amazing, mystifying, and energizing! Unexpected product formats and textures continue to pop up. Many of them morph and shift as the product is used: balm to oil, gel to oil, oil to foam when wet, butter to lather when wet. Surprise and delight, that’s the goal. Give the consumer a rich experience and something to chat about on social media.
Niche is the new luxury. The luxury consumer is very much alive and well. She/he is looking for new ways to be a luxury consumer. It’s challenging for brands and retailers to accommodate the big ask: exclusive, high quality, aspirational, handcrafted, experiential. Still a work in progress.
My brands to watch are: Saints & Sinners, Dye Candy, Tower Beauty, Bastille Parfums, ISAMAYA Beauty, and La Rosée.”
Future Investor Interest:
“Plenty of financial experts feel we’ve maxed out with beauty investments. I’m not seeing that. There’s strong interest from many parts of the investment community in the beauty category for many reasons: growth continues. Consumers are engaged and shopping. Innovation is happening in different ways: it may be a new product format, delivery system, or even a new approach to building a brand’s community. The beauty industry shows no signs of slowing.”
Ian Michael Crumm, Esthetician and Co-Host of BeautyCurious Podcast
Emerging and Declining Trends:
“For emerging trends, I would say biotics overall. More people are talking about the skin’s microbiome these days, and brands are starting to consider how to amplify what is going well with the skin and encourage gradual skin healing compared to traditionally more intense products rooted in acids and physical exfoliants.
With sexual wellness, what was once taboo is now celebrated, and with good reason. There’s something to be said about a great orgasm. Reducing stress can decrease skin flare-ups like rosacea and psoriasis. The added blood rush from getting it on can help give the skin an added glow from the jolt of fresh oxygen and nutrients brought to the skin. Smart sexual wellness devices are here to make consumers feel good and look healthier in the process.
Clean without storytelling is declining. Everyone is going clean, and so many forget their actual story. Why does this product exist? More brands are paying attention to what is in their products and why they exist—then using words such as clean, vegan, and other buzzwords as secondary messaging for the brand story, which is refreshing. Fearmongering is so 2020.”
“Franz. I’m biased here since I love talking about sun safety, but Franz’ Naked Sunshield Peptide Patch actually took my breath away. The transparent patch is applied easily to the skin and is like wearable UPF to pair with sunscreen. I can see this innovation making huge leaps in the athletic space for individuals that aren’t wearing sunscreen due to sweat and product entering the eyes during play. It will be interesting to see what this brand launches next.
Biotic Beauty. So many brands have tried to perfect natural deodorants but leave consumers concerned with unwanted body smells. The pairing of probiotics in the deodorant is exciting and promises to get rid of bacteria-driven smells when we start sweating in the pits.
Fulton & Roark. This brand made its splash in the men’s fashion world years ago with their solid fragrance, but they seem to have eyes on a larger beauty audience with the soon-to-launch spray fragrance. The scent profiles truly stand out as they embody the brand’s tagline “American Fine Fragrance,” creating a unique positioning separate from the expected fragrance marketing from known luxury brands.
Satisfyer. You get an orgasm, and you get an orgasm. The smart sexual wellness devices from Satisyfer seemed to pop up everywhere at the show—no need to be ashamed of enjoying some arousal. The smart devices connect to the brand’s app, where users can adjust vibrations and intensity and even save sessions to a playlist so they can be played again and again. Let’s embrace the wow of it all!”
Future Investor Interest:
“Hair. We’ve gone to great lengths with skincare, and things feel saturated at times, but skin doesn’t stop at our foreheads. More brands are communicating about scalp health and how to achieve healthy locks starting at the root. Obviously, some players are evolving in hair, but there is plenty of growing room compared to the mountain of offerings in standard skincare.”
Taryn Hoffman, Strategist for Beauty & Wellness at Fashion Snoops
Mallory Huron, Senior Strategist for Beauty & Wellness at Fashion Snoops
Emerging and Declining Trends:
Taryn Hoffman: “There’s definitely been a decline in the CBD space. We still see CBD being used and popping up in formulations for brands; however the focus on CBD at the show seems to have decreased and is not as heavily marketed. Instead, we’re seeing a return to traditional, culturally rooted ingredients as brands focus on globally inspired products that utilize ancestral wisdom.
Within this space, we see communities not as widely represented in beauty emerging, like Native American brands representing Indigenous communities and rituals, as Cosmoprof had its first-ever Native American brand exhibiting this year.
Scalp care was also a noteworthy trend this year as many brands are embracing the skinification movement of haircare. We’ve been tracking the evolution of scalp care on our team and were excited to see new innovations within this space, from herbal scalp-focused brands to scalp and shampoo hybrid products.”
Mallory Huron: “Definitely an area where we’ve seen huge growth is within smart bodycare and better solutions for neglected areas of the body. The skinification movement is huge, referring to the adding of facial skincare level actives and sophisticated formulas for areas that aren’t the face, as consumers look to optimize their skin health on all parts of their body in order to really pamper themselves.
Deodorant, for example, is a really dynamic area that we’ve tracked for years at FS [Fashion Snoops], and at the show this year we loved seeing Biotic’s microbiome-friendly deodorant that features trending pre-, pro-, and postbiotics to balance the microbiome and naturally eliminate scent, while gentle actives brighten underarm discoloration.
Another brand that’s been ahead of the neglected areas game for years is Forgotten Skincare, whose whole brand ethos is about the skinification of bodycare, and their new body scrub speaks to a growing movement (especially on TikTok) for more in-depth body care routines on par with facial routines.
Lastly, holistic, whole-body wellness is a growing trend area as consumers increasingly look for products that go more than skin deep to deliver a true sense of calm and emotional balance along with physical relaxation. One brand we saw doing this really well was ReSaltz, whose whole brand is built around the healing power of salts, which aligns with a growing trend we’ve tracked towards mineral wellness and how paying attention to proper mineral consumption (especially in terms of minerals like magnesium) can massively improve our emotional and mental health. ReSaltz’s line of satl-based products, especially their aromatic bath salts, help to not only soothe and relax the body but also restore mineral balance for more long-term benefits.”
TH: “Some noteworthy brands we spotted at the show include Strip Makeup, which has garnered a lot of attention on TikTok and Instagram for their fun and innovative products like their Caviar Jelly Makeup Remover.
Solésence is another buzzworthy manufacturer that is combining the best of makeup and suncare to create hybrid products as we see a rise in multifunctional suncare options.
Zodica Perfumery was another brand that grabbed our attention, as the fragrance company is bringing personalized astrology to perfumes with their Zodiac-inspired line, which also features an astrological sign wheel chart to show consumers how they can mix and match fragrances based on their signs.”
MH: “We saw so many buzzworthy brands at the show that are really innovating within the beauty space. First is Light Water Nutrition, whose line of individual daily packet doses of AM/PM skincare is based on the idea of making skincare as fresh as possible for each use, eliminating cross-contamination or bacterial growth without the need for preservatives. Their “fresh from source to skin” motto really taps into the consumer desire for nutrition-like skincare that deeply delivers revitalizing actives into the skin, and the brand has been mindful of their single-use approach to ensure that their daily doses are fully recyclable.
Another brand we really loved was To Do List, who features chic and elegant multifunctional skincare products: their line of face serums combines toner, essence, serum, and moisturizer into one seamless step, which really speaks to the consumer desire for “skipcare” solutions that maximize their time along with their results. We’ve seen hybrid skincare products before, but we loved the advanced, thoughtful product formulation and elevated packaging that makes this category feel fresh.
Lastly, we also met with two brands who are proof that beauty innovations aren’t always within a beauty product itself, but also within tools and creative solutions. Vanity Tools, for example, created a VanityHood that slips over the wearer’s head after a full face of makeup has been applied and prevents product transfer when getting dressed, which is a common consumer pain point. Vanity Tools saw a lane within beauty to create a product that enhances the beauty experience that’s not through a tube or a cream, and we love this level of ingenuity and simplicity in delivering a solution that really speaks to the average beauty consumer.
We also met with Altesse Studio, who is crafting beautiful handmade hair brushes from heritage French craftsmanship designed to last a lifetime. These really tap into the growing movement for less, but better, products and the idea of display-worthy items that feel luxurious and are made to last.”
Future Investor Interest:
TH: “Biotechnology will be a big area of investment as we see consumer and brand interest alike growing due to increased education around the efficacy and sustainability of biotech ingredients. Biotech is a trend we’ve been tracking on our team here at FS for a while and it’s great to see more brands diving into the possibilities biotechnology can bring to consumers.
For a long time there’s been a push for only 100% natural ingredients within the green beauty space; however, this narrative is changing as we see larger brands investing in biotech research while indie brands are creating a space for themselves in the market by highlighting their biotech advancements and educating consumers on why these ingredients are not only safe but sometimes more sustainable than all natural ingredients. We were excited to see new biotech innovations showcased at Cosmoprof this year, as brands are experimenting within the space, like Intoxicated Cosmetics, who has recreated animal venom using biotechnology to infuse into their skincare products.”
MH: “We see suncare as having massive potential for investor interest moving forward. At the show, we moderated a panel discussion on the evolution of suncare, and the dynamic discussion made it clear that consumer, brand, and investor interest in sun care is heating up for numerous reasons, which we highlighted in our presentation.
First and most obvious is of course the fact that our climate is getting more extreme. Just this summer alone we’ve recorded several of the hottest days ever on record, making adequate suncare a simple matter of survival, not just an optional beauty step or anti-aging measure.
Next, the sun care market has come so far from a few short decades ago when the products on the market were mainly the same white, thick, heavy lotion that wasn’t particularly pleasurable, inclusive, or innovative. Now, we see sun care options for all skin tones, sun care options with serum-level benefits, sun care for sensitive areas like the scalp, and more. The formulations have become so next level and increasingly educated consumers are exploring sun care products, so this is definitely a hot area for investor interest."
Deanna Utroske, Supplier Positioning and Content Consultant
Emerging and Declining Trends:
“The ‘beauty vitamins’ trend is one that I am watching with great interest; and there were so many wonderfully intriguing brand innovations and supplier services dedicated to this trend at Cosmoprof North America this month—a good sign that ‘beauty vitamins’ is a trend on the rise.
Just a few quick examples here: Soft gel and capsule manufacturer Elevate Health Sciences was showing customizable supplements for both skincare and haircare. Sales materials the company shared with me touted ‘vitamins & minerals to support [hair] growth,’ and the list of available active ingredients includes vitamin B7 (biotin), vitamin D3, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin B9 (folic acid), and more.
Banobagi, a skincare brand based in the United Arab Emirates, featured a line of Vita Genic Jelly Masks. The sheet masks (topical skincare, of course) each have a vitamin or supplement as their hero ingredient. A vitamin A capsule is shown on the package of the lifting mask, vitamin C on brightening, vitamin B on relaxing, vitamin E on hydrating, and so on.
And naturopath and esthetician Diana M. Drake platformed her line of supplements called Skin Naturopathics. There are several targeted collections within the line, including supplements that address inflammatory skin conditions, bio-age-reverse supplements, a collection of core products that address concerns like skin detox and stress-related breakouts, and others. She launched the brand about three years ago and is finding success in the professional beauty channel, creating retail partnerships with estheticians and spas.
As for supply chain developments, while the supply side companies exhibiting in the Cosmopack section of this twentieth anniversary edition of Cosmoprof North America were far outnumbered by exhibiting brands, they spotlighted some incredibly important developments along the beauty industry supply chain.
Fusion Packaging was showing a collection of airless bottles and tubes manufactured in North America—an industry first, according to Jessica Tarangioli, Fusion’s President of Marketing and Turnkey.
Element Packaging has also expanded its regional presence with new partnerships in Mexico and Central and South America, as well as Canada. This beauty industry supplier is also working with carbon-capture technology to bring new sustainable material options to market. And David Pina, Executive Creative and Innovation Director at Element Packaging Worldwide, told me about how he has his team using proprietary AI tech to inspire new possibilities in packaging design.
Cosmetics and personal care ingredient maker Sederma featured a skincare ingredient that addresses sun damage and can be used in product formulations meant to help even skin tone. Mel[o]stem, as Key Account Manager Kim Douglass explained to me, acts on hypomelanosis (or white spots on the skin) as well as hyperpigmentation.
Even beyond the supply-side focused Cosmopack section of the show, there were opportunities to discover novel ingredients. Bogota, Colombia–based CaryO was showing Cacay Oil (which is quite high in both vitamin E, retinol, and linoleic acid). The display at their booth—which Camilo Bueno, co-founder and Managing Director of CaryO, showed me—featured newly launched consumer skincare; but the brand and the ingredient company share the same name. And CaryO, the cosmetics and personal care ingredient supplier, has been selling oil sourced from the nut of sustainably cultivated Cacay trees for the past 2 years.”
“A couple of brands that stood out to me in Las Vegas are ÉLÈVE and Forgotten Skincare. Antonella Spisso and Matteo Pelloli spoke with me about ÉLÈVE, a skincare, body care, and sun care brand out of Salerno, Italy. It’s a collection of anti-aging products that can be combined in various routines (or itineraries of beauty, as the brand likes to call them) to meet additional consumer expectations within that category, such as caring for normal and combination skin, nourishing dry skin, evening out skin tone, or treating concerns unique to mature skin. There’s also a recommended four-product body care routine that promises remodeling and firming benefits.
Alex Pottash founded Forgotten Skincare in 2020 with an underarm brightening cream and has since expanded. Alex tells me that the brand is addressing a whitespace in the beauty and personal care market: “Skincare for your forgotten places,” she says. The brand’s product portfolio now includes not only that underarm brightening cream but also products to brighten dark inner thighs, to address ingrown hairs, to soothe razor burn, a scrub for keratosis pilaris (or rough and bumpy skin), and body hyperpigmentation products.”
Future Investor Interest:
“I expect to see investments in haircare and scalp care as these categories become more scientifically sophisticated and as the global textured hair movement continues to gain momentum. With that in mind, brands like The Doux, Alodia, CurlyBaby Haircare, CurlKeeper (and their kids line Kinder Curls) caught my attention at Cosmoprof North America this year.”
In conclusion, here are the biggest trends and most noteworthy brands as identified by our experts.
Brands to Watch:
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