Rosalia Di Gesu
Rosalia Di Gesu is a Senior Innovation Analyst. She focuses on delivering cross-category insight and commentary on innovative new product launches and trends.

In our 2021 Beauty & Personal Care Trends, we predicted the four Trends set to impact the global Beauty and Personal Care industry this year. In this blog, we highlight our top pick of the recently launched disruptive innovations embodying these trends.

Beautiful Mind

Looking to help children feel empowered and confident from a young age – and in turn contribute to their mental wellbeing – are beauty giant Dove, and newcomer Young King. Each recognises the importance of supporting children’s mental health, which has worsened during the COVID-19 crisis amid a loss of normalcy. 

Dove’s Kids Care soap/bath collection uses a simple strategy when tapping into Mintel’s BPC Trend, Beautiful Mind, which examines how the pandemic has driven the concept of holistic health to new levels, with a focus on mental wellbeing. It recognises the power of positive affirmations to help boost self-esteem, overcome negative thoughts and improve mood. The collection simply features empowering statements front-of-pack, such as “I am fantastic, smart & helpful” or “I am awesome, brave & strong.” The idea is that children repeat these affirmations daily, each time they bathe, setting children up for a positive mind-set. The use of these affirmations in the soap/bath category specifically also plays to the notion that bathing in itself is increasingly associated with self-care and mental wellbeing.

Dove Kids Care

Source: Mintel GNPD and Dove

Also targeting young kids, tapping into wellness and empowerment trendswhile also adding more segmentation and choice in a diversity-minded beauty space – is Young King. 

The US brand is positioned as the “world’s first” plant-based natural haircare line specifically for multicultural boys. 

In addition to caring for textured hair, it aims to change the narrative around how the world sees Black/Brown boys, and promote positive representation via its marketing. For example, it refers to Black/Brown boys as “young kings” and “just cute, not a threat.” It also uses marketing that stresses the importance of self-care among this group of boys as a way to boost confidence.

Young King

Source: Mintel GNPD; Young King Haircare

Beauty Eco-lution

Eco and ethical considerations will become increasingly top-of-mind for consumers in 2021. Indeed, in March 2021, four in ten French and German adults indicated a willingness to spend more on BPC products that are eco friendly.

Sustainable disruptors of note include a “world-first” water-resistant disposable Paper Razor, aptly launched in Japan on Earth Day (22 April 2021) by Kai Group, and made with 98% less plastic (vs conventional razors).

This is the first time we’ve seen a paper-based disposable razor handle – arguably inspired by the rising popularity of paper-based bottles in BPC markets. Also worthy of mention is how Paper Razor comes flat-packed for easier portability, and how it taps into genderless trends by being available in ‘gender-free colours.’ 

Source: Kai

Ace of Air, a direct-to-consumer skincare/supplement player, is another disruptor in the eco-friendly space. 

The brand encourages people to rethink packaging as something that should be borrowed, returned and reused since it considers beauty packaging as having the biggest environmental impact (vs say product formula, shipping). Its sturdy and ‘valuable’ containers are made with sustainable materials (eg stainless steel) that can last for 100+ cycles of use.  However, the non-refundable rental charge for the packaging ($2 per product and $3 for shipping the Boomerang Box) may be off-putting to some consumers.

Source: Instagram/Ace of Air

Beauty Re(Valued)

Reassessing the concept of ‘value’ as something that transcends ‘price’ are two innovations that focus on simplifying consumers’ beauty routines or adding value via quality and sustainable propositions. 

The first innovative product example embodies both Mintel’s Eco-lution and Beauty Re(Valued) Trends, connecting value with sustainability.

French startup, La Crème Libre, has developed a locally sourced (ie “from 100% French soil”), artisan and refillable skincare system that uses durable and decorative natural concrete as the material for its main pack/pots – in addition to cork for its lids/bases. Concrete offers consumers a more disruptive alternative to eco-minded reusable glass or aluminium – materials which continue to make headway in beauty markets. Consumers just refill their decorative concrete pots with separate lightweight recyclable plastic pots (made with 25% bio-based materials), which hold the skincare formulas.

Value comes into play in that the company emphasises how the refill packs represent just 5% of total product costs. The brand suggests that this compares to half for other beauty brands. In turn, the brand reassures consumers that buyers are “paying for the formula, not the packaging.”

Source: Mintel GNPD;  La Crème Libre

Channel Changers

Mintel BPC’s 2021 Trend, Channel Changers, focuses on the increasing importance of technology as a tool to connect and engage with consumers and drive purchase.

Two notable product innovations that embody our Channel Changers Trend also tap into another on-trend theme around personalisation, targeting three in five US women aged 25-44 who would be willing to share their personal biometric data (eg DNA, skin type) with beauty brands.

Beiersdorf’s OWN (stands for ‘only what’s needed’) skincare brand is an example of how more brands, including mass market players, are tapping into customisation trends, and exploring Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

The more premium collection uses a proprietary algorithm, is “based on real science” and powered by AI and data from over 10,000 women. This allows the brand to create 380,000 unique formula combinations for consumers’ skincare needs; formulas that are freshly produced and delivered direct to consumers. 

The collection also includes a micellar product, arguably one of the first examples of a customisable micellar water. While the brand takes a typical customisation approach, it’s interesting to see technology-led customisation trends being explored by mass-market and traditional players, bringing personalisation to the mainstream.

Own Skincare

Source: OWN Skincare (Beiersdorf)

Also tapping our 2021 Channel Changers Trend and into personalisation trends, but at a much more premium price point than OWN Skincare, is Yves Saint Laurent’s Rouge sur Mesure custom-made, Bluetooth-operated lip colour device.

Priced at around $300, plus cartridges, the device uses L’Oréal’s Perso technology and allows consumers to create their own personalised lipsticks. It encompasses a range of colour cartridges, an app and AI to help users create and experiment with “an infinity of shades” at the touch of a button.

The lid of the device also functions as a compact lip colour case, for bespoke colour on-the-go.

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge sur Mesure

Source: Yves Saint Laurent