How beauty tourism can inspire new product innovation

November 28, 2018
3 min read

Consumers, today, are travelling overseas, particularly in Asia, for specialist beauty treatments. Dubbed ‘beauty tourism’, this concept follows a similar set-up to the more widely known trend of ‘medical tourism’.

A growing number of professional centres have set up shop in Asia to carry out semi-permanent make-up and non-invasive as well as cosmetic surgery procedures. Mintel research on Chinese consumer attitudes towards beauty services finds that over a quarter of female consumers have had a semi-permanent eyebrow tint or eyeliner applied.

Overall, the beauty industry is increasingly aligning with industries the likes of aesthetic medicine through the innovation, claims and positioning of new products. This is resonating with today’s appearance-focused consumer looking for fast results.

The beauty of treatments

Non-invasive treatments the likes of fillers, as well as Broadband Light (BBL), continue to gain traction in Asia, and this is a space that brands in the beauty industry ought to watch. When innovating, brands should focus on launches that will complement such services. Beauty brands can also look into making bold claims that highlight how their products can achieve similar effects of these beauty treatments.

Wonjin Effect Ulthemage Ampoule
This product features the formula HA-EGF developed by Wonjin Beauty Medical Group and Harvard Medical School by combining hyaluronic acid and EGF to deeply deliver active ingredients to skin.

Avajar Red LED Nourishing Cream
This cream needs to be used for three minutes each day to help improve the skin’s resilience. The multi-care applicator that comes with it includes iontophoresis and red LED light, and delivers a microcurrent massage effect.

The appeal of beauty services

The growth of an increasingly affluent middle class means people can now afford better quality beauty services; however, they now have less free time. For instance, time-poor consumers are taking advantage of microblading eyebrow tattoos or tints for beautiful brows which help saves time in their daily makeup routine. As an at-home solution, Maybelline launched the Tattoo Micro-Pen Tint, an eyebrow pen that creates hair-like strokes, giving the same effect of a professional microblading treatment.

Brands need to closely monitor the beauty service segment to create home-use products that achieve similar outcomes while also communicating the time-saving benefits.

Meanwhile, we are seeing a rise in the pursuit of healthy, flawless skin that requires no makeup. This has resulted in more options for beauty treatments that help attain the desired result. With the current trend for glowing skin, more and more peeling products are emerging across Asia in a variety of formats.

In the beauty services scene, Sugar K, Singapore’s first peeling bar, is a fuss-free, fast process that requires just 15-20 minutes to achieve glowing skin. Each session includes double cleansing, peeling and soothing of the skin. In the consumer goods sector, brands the like of Laneige and Ample:N have released similar skin peeling products.

Laneige Clear-C Peeling Serum
This is a skin-refining peeling serum that can be used daily to moisturise and smooth the skin. It needs to be washed off with water instead of being peeled.

Ample:N Peeling Shot Ampoule
This is an overnight-use peeling ampoule that helps to smooth out skin texture and gives added whitening benefits.

What we think

Riding on the rampant growth of medical tourism in Asia, the rise of beauty tourism in the region has the potential to attract beauty consumers from around the world. This will, in turn, impact new product development and growth in the popularity of beauty treatment services.

Sharon Kwek
Sharon Kwek

Sharon is a Director of Consulting, Beauty and Personal Care, South APAC, at Mintel. With over 12 years of experience in the FMCG industry, she helps beauty manufacturers, retailers and brands make strategic business decisions across Southeast Asia.

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