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Stress is considered a norm in today’s fast-paced, always connected world, but it seems the beauty industry in Asia is putting more focus on new product innovation in an effort to help consumers to de-stress and relax.

At this year’s in-cosmetics Asia (30 October–1 November 2018), new research from the world’s leading market intelligence agency, Mintel, reveals that Asia Pacific accounted for a third (33%) of global beauty and personal care products, launched between January-September 2018, that help with de-stressing and relaxation*. This is up from 26% of global launches introduced to market in 2015**.

Speaking at in-cosmetics Asia, Sharon Kwek, Senior Innovation and Insights Analyst, Beauty and Personal Care at Mintel, said:

“Today’s consumers are living their lives too fast, creating a global society where stress fits right in with everyday life. However, this has taken a toll on many and increasingly, consumers are becoming more aware of their emotional health and overall wellbeing. Brands and companies across industries are recognising that they can play a part in relieving some of this stress, including those in the beauty industry.

“The rapid urbanisation and increased speed of life in Asia have left consumers feeling tired and emotionally drained. For Asian female consumers, in particular, it is becoming common knowledge that daily lifestyle habits can have an impact on skin. Increasingly, beauty brands and companies are taking notice and are introducing beauty and personal care products that aid in emotional wellbeing. In the years ahead, beauty brands and companies in the region will stand to benefit from launching innovative products that address consumers’ mental wellness.

Indeed, Mintel research shows that in 2018, 30% of urban Chinese consumers (aged 20-49) are concerned about stress at work, up from 25% in 2013. Meanwhile, as many as three in five urban Indonesians (60%) and urban Thais (59%) plan to reduce their stress levels for personal health and wellness reasons. Indicating some of the root causes of modern stressors, a third (32%) of urban Indonesians aged 25-34 feel that being ‘connected’ (eg devices, social media) increases their stress levels.

Showcasing awareness of the fact that lifestyle plays an important role in maintaining good skin condition among Asian consumers, half (49%) of urban Chinese female consumers agree that getting enough sleep is the most crucial part of skincare; while half (49%) of urban Thai female consumers think that lifestyles (eg amount of sleep, stress level) are most important in determining the appearance of facial skin.

“As Mintel Trend ‘Mood to Order’ highlights, consumers are looking for ways to enhance their mood through products. Meanwhile, Mintel’s 2025 Global Beauty & Personal Care Trend ‘Power Play’ highlights how consumers are recognising that they need to address their low energy levels and beauty brands are meeting this need with products that put energy claims at the forefront. There is an opportunity for the beauty industry to meet this new consumer need with mood-enhancing products that directly address emotional health and healing. The beauty routine will transform into a self-care routine and all categories of beauty will be expected to deliver these benefits.” Sharon added.

Showing that consumers are looking for options to help improve the quality of their emotional and mental wellbeing, 45% of urban female health supplement consumers in China buy health supplements to boost their energy levels or relieve fatigue; while 39% do so to improve their sleep quality. Reflecting the same opportunity for the beauty industry, a significant 87% of urban Chinese females aged 20-49 agree that using beauty services is a way of relaxing.

“The fact that consumers in Asia are looking towards health supplements to help with their overall wellbeing indicates an opportunity for the same strategy to be replicated in the beauty industry. Self-care will drive beauty inside and out; there is an opportunity for topical beauty products to tag with beauty supplements to create a complete system for consumers to take care of their physical and mental wellbeing holistically. Both offline and online beauty channels share the same opportunity to leverage the self-care concept to resonate with today’s consumers. Finally, Asian consumers have always believed in the power of crystals to help heal or ward off negative energy. Beauty manufacturers could explore the possibilities of including crystals as star ingredients.” Sharon concluded.

*Beauty and personal care product launches with the word ‘de-stress’, ‘destress’, ‘relax’, or ‘relaxation’ featuring in their product description
**January to December 2015

Press review copies of the research and interviews with Sharon Kwek, Senior Innovation and Insights Analyst, Beauty and Personal Care at Mintel, are available on request from the press office.