Global niche skincare brands like Nerd and BioEsse in the US, JooMo in the UK and Organobalance ibiotics in Germany emphasize the use of their skincare products as a means of maintaining healthy levels of “good bacteria” on the skin, taking advantage of the positive press associated with probiotic supplements which claim to help improve consumers’ wellbeing and overall health. With this in mind, we anticipate that more bands will follow suit, showcasing probiotic benefits which help create a comfortable environment in which good bacteria can flourish.

“Good bacteria” awareness is growing

Consumers are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about the science behind maintaining a healthy, balanced microbiome (i.e. microorganisms like bacteria) which inhabits the skin. It can be difficult to keep up with specific scientific advancements in this field, yet the ease with which information can be found through the internet has led to a health-savvy public who are eager to try new products with probiotic benefits as a means of keeping healthy.

Probiotic supplements account  for 7% of vitamin and dietary supplements launched January-April 2016

This increased use of probiotics aligns well with consumers’ growing desire to look and feel good. Mintel GNPD data shows that probiotic supplements now account  for nearly 7% of vitamin and dietary supplements, a figure which represents more than double the amount recorded in 2015. And nearly two in five US consumers are interested in trying probiotics.

Consumers no longer see bacteria as “all bad,” and an increasing number of consumers understand that there are both healthy and unhealthy bacteria. With this comes the realization that maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria is the ideal way to reach a state of wellness, regardless of whether these bacteria are in the gut, on the skin or elsewhere. Claims concerning the protection and maintenance of good bacteria will invite more and more consumers to make use of probiotic goods, but the necessity for the hard evidence regarding their benefits will still exist. As companies like L’Oréal begin to emphasize this skin wellness message more aggressively in the coming years, the focus upon bolstering good bacteria will increase.

“Gentle cleansing” ties in with taking care of skin’s good bacteria

20%of US consumers say they look for products with as few ingredients as possible

As the Mintel Trend Factory Fear describes, consumers have become more accustomed to ingredients being blacklisted for their potentially harmful effects, with many becoming their own advocate by arming themselves with an arsenal of information. Some one in five US consumers now say they look for products with as few ingredients as possible, and products like micellar cleansing waters truly speak to consumers who carry this “less is more” belief. Mintel GNPD data indicates that these simple, gentle, non-rinse cleansing products have seen an almost five-fold increase in global launches since 2013. Based on the success of micellar waters, brands should consider emphasizing their products’ mildness on both the skin and the bacteria that help keep it looking healthy.

What we think

This increased use of probiotics aligns well with consumers’ growing desire to look and feel good. While claims concerning the protection and maintenance of good bacteria will invite more and more consumers to make use of probiotic products, the necessity for hard evidence regarding their benefits will still exist. Drawing off of the success of micellar waters, brands should consider emphasizing their products’ mildness on both the skin and the bacteria that can keep it looking healthy.

David Tyrrell is a Global Skincare Analyst, Beauty & Personal Care at Mintel. He provides analysis of consumer skincare needs and behaviors, ingredient and product assessments and competitive insights that impact business interests of skincare companies across the globe.

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