Irina Ene
With over five years of experience in global new product launches from mass market to prestige, Irina provides the direction for our research coordinators in covering all the beauty categories.

As part of Mintel’s Beauty Innovation team, I’m always on the lookout for the next trends and product concepts that will shape the beauty sector in the future. Last month, I attended London’s Indie Beauty Expo – an event dedicated to showcasing and celebrating independent beauty brands. Here, I highlight eight brands across different categories that are bringing a breath of fresh air to the industry through their innovative products.

Crystals and alternative therapies

Finnish brand Flow Cosmetics harnesses the power of Arctic ingredients to handcraft formulas for the whole family. Their recent launches include tourmaline- and amethyst-infused body scrubs that utilise the spiritual virtues of gems to bring optimism and cleanse the aura, and a series of seven chakra soaps that help to unblock the chakras and restore emotional balance.

Sexual wellness and female health

Paris-based Baûbo offers organic and sustainable solutions to support women’s wellbeing, adopting a feminist language free of taboos that opens up the conversation around female sexual health. Named after a mythical character in ancient Greece that personifies the positive force of female sexuality, the line includes a vulva balm that soothes and softens, a tonifying balm to hydrate and plump female curves, and a head-to-toe multi-purpose balm for girls and women of all ages.

Microbiome-friendly skincare

Malaysian company B&B Labs previewed the launch of CustoMask, a line of biodegradable sheet masks made entirely of plant fibres. The masks can be combined with different activated concentrates based on a complex of probiotics from botanicals and exotic fruit extracts, like mangosteen and durian. Users can choose between six different sheet masks and five concentrates for fully customisable results, which can be paired with a device that uses nano resonance to boost the absorption of probiotics.

The appeal of natural ingredients

Guernsey-based brand Maiiro uses the proprietary Kelpogen5 ingredient, a blend of five seaweed extracts (astaxanthin, oarweed, bladderwrack, wakame and thongweed) that are rich in antioxidants and minerals to treat a variety of skin concerns. The company pairs locally-sourced marine botanicals with sustainable and recyclable packaging, backed by an anti-plastics campaign that calls for more transparency in the beauty industry.

Gen-Z beauty

Higher Education Skincare offers a straightforward range targeting Gen-Z consumers and designed with the college student in mind. It includes products for different skin types designed to cleanse, exfoliate, hydrate, protect and treat, giving teenagers better skin confidence. The brand pairs fun, quirky product names with a sleek white and baby blue packaging, with the colour combo featuring throughout their Instagram feed.

Male beauty

Shakeup Cosmetics is a British start-up offering skincare-meets-makeup formulas specifically developed to answer men’s needs and concerns. Based on colour adapting pigments and SPF protection, the hybrid multi-tasking products correct while offering long-term skincare benefits. The line comprises a brightening BB cream, a dual under-eye concealer and moisturiser, and a volumising lip gel.

Unisex solutions

Flaunt Body has created a handy solution for a common gender-neutral problem – ingrown hair. Using soothing botanicals like aloe vera, cucumber and chamomile, repairing centella and exfoliating glycolic acid, the bio-cellulose sheet mask claims to help reduce and prevent ingrown hair. The mask has been developed for use around the neck, underarms or the intimate area, helping to reduce irritation, razor bumps and ingrown hairs post shaving or epilating.

Colour cosmetics

Inspired by the creativity and versatility of oil paints, Depixym has created a line of multi-purpose colourful emulsions that can be used on any area of the body and face as a liner, lipstick, blusher, base and more. The highly pigmented and long-lasting colours can be easily blended to achieve customised shades, allowing for genderless freedom of expression and uniqueness.