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After picking some of the most innovative food and drink products launched in 2019, it’s time to highlight the beauty and personal care products that truly impressed us this year. From adaptogenic mushroom ingredients, to truly inclusive beauty ranges and selfie-friendly packaging, the beauty industry has pushed the boundaries over the last 12 months. We look forward to being further inspired and blown away in 2020!

Amkiri Visual Fragrance (USA)

Among the more disruptive texture innovations seen in the past 12 months, this scented ink available in black or white is simply painted onto the skin with a brush applicator, using the included stencils to create a tattoo-like shape. A fragrance you can see, it combines the senses of smell and sight, allowing for ‘multisensory self-expression’.

Starface Pimple Patches (USA)

‘Skin positivity’ is gaining momentum on social media. The movement is seeing women with acne post make-up-free selfies showing their blemishes and scars as a way to challenge beauty ideals. Innovation is following suit: Starface, a skincare brand introduced in the US this year, launched star-shaped pimple patches designed to accessorise spots rather than cover them up, while helping reduce the appearance of the pimple over six hours. The playful and decorative quality of the patches can help alleviate anxiety linked to any perceived stigma for consumers suffering from acne.

Skin Aqua Tone Up UV Essence (Japan)

This product stands out for its clever packaging. The popular brightening and pearlescent sunscreen comes in a limited edition tube designed to be photographed in selfies. The product name was printed backwards on the tube to make it readable when snapping a selfie in the mirror to post on social media. While many brands are trying to be Instagram-friendly, Skin Aqua did the smallest change to their product to unlock the secondary source of value.

Face Gym Training Sticks (UK)

FaceGym offers non-invasive facial ‘workouts’ that sculpt the face without relying on needles or anesthetic. This year, it has launched a range of motion-activated skincare sticks, whose benefits for the skin are triggered by exercise through heat and sweat. The range, in line with Mintel’s Active Beauty Trend, includes a detoxifying stick with activated charcoal, a firming one made with spirulina, a hydrating one with a multivitamin complex and a brightening one formulated with Brazilian pink clay.

Two L(i)ps Undercover (Singapore)

This concentrated cream is designed to target blemishes on the vulva – a problem that is rarely discussed. Such blemishes include acne, ingrown hairs and skin ageing. Today, consumers are more comfortable than ever discussing topics once considered taboo. Vulva care was previously not openly addressed, but following the launch of Two L(i)p’s Blackout (the first-ever vulva mask), the brand is continuously working on products designed to cater for feminine hygiene issues.

UOMA Beauty Say What?! Foundation (USA)

UOMA Beauty is a new brand aiming to re-write the rules of inclusivity and diversity to create a world of beauty for everyone. The foundation stands out because, along with offering a wide, deep range of shades, formulations are also adapted to properly cater to different skin tones’ requirements. The 51 shades are split into six clusters (called ‘Skin Kins’), each with specific ingredients to respond to the concentration of pigments in the product (eg no ingredients that leave a white/grey cast are used in foundations for darker skins).

O Boticário Egeo On Me Cologne (Brazil)

This year, O Boticario has announced the launch of what claims to be the first fragrance in the world developed with the aid of artificial intelligence (AI). This is the result of a collaboration of the beauty brand with fragrance company Symrise and tech experts IBM. The system uses Symrise’s database of fragrance combinations, together with information about what fragrances sold well among different genders, age groups, and countries. A deep-learning algorithm analysed the data and came up with new perfume combinations to explore, which were then refined by a human perfumier.

Moonjuice Beauty Shroom Plumping Jelly Serum (USA)

Mushrooms ingredients have boomed in 2019 – both in food and beauty. This serum has a jelly-like texture and works instantly to smooth, fill, lift and plump skin to visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The product claims to have adaptogenic properties: the ‘super mushrooms’ used are said to help expand the body’s natural capacity to handle stress and protect the skin against daily oxidative stress.