skin care hero

Ingredient-infused success

Whether driven by TikTok or dermatologists’ recommendations, consumers are on the hunt for buzzy ingredients in bath and skin care products.

Consumers are more educated to about the ingredients in their skin and bath products than ever. They understand the difference between ceramides and niacinamide. They learn about skin cycling and slugging from TikTok and the importance of protecting the skin barrier from professionals.

The constant churn of hot ingredients makes it difficult for retailers to manage skin and bath assortments. Exacerbating the challenges of keeping up with trends is the demand a social media post can make on an item that retailers cannot predict. One GRWM (get ready with me) post featuring skin care ingredient tips from Alix Earle and drug store shelves can be wiped out. Examples of viral ingredient hits include hydrocolloid pimple patches like The Mighty Patch sold at CVS, Squalene in E.l.f.’s Putty Primer and hyaluronic acid found in products such as Eucerin’s Hydrating Cleansing Gel. In the bath category, social media ignited sales of bath bombs, shower steamers, Dr. Teal’s and Alaffia bubble bath.

To keep shelves stocked with hot items, retailers said they keep an ear to social media and shift inventories in stores with an excess to those where shelves are bare to keep in stock.

[Read more: Beauty shoppers turn to e-commerce for purchasing needs]

skin care web

Looking for clinical proof that ingredients are effective, consumers dug into research to learn about the science. Many sought solutions for skin sensitivities. Retailers report they are adding more products to help with skin issues. Andrea Harrison, vice president of beauty and personal care at CVS, said stocking products for sensitive skin has been a cornerstone of its Skin Care Centers. One cause for the increase in sensitivity stems from common skin problems such as dryness, redness and inflammation, according to Michele Robertson, director of product innovation at Symrise.

To help retailers and brands know what is popular now and what’s down the road, Drug Store News asked brands and trend prognosticators what ingredients are moving to the front burner.

A Peek into the Future

Spate and Symrise, an ingredient resource, teamed up to identify the rising ingredients in skin care. “Brands that prioritize ingredient-driven products will appeal to consumers who want products tailored to their needs,” said Yarden Horwitz, co-founder of Spate. The ingredients popping up in searches could become the next important building blocks for skin care launches. The top ingredients by search included glycolic acid, tretinoin, snail mucin, rice, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, chebula, ceramide, polypeptide and argireline. The fastest growing year-over-year ingredients people searched for were celery, chebula, polypeptide, snail mucin, buttermilk, copper peptide, polyglutamic acid, caramel flavor, watermelon and sake.

[Read more: Mass marketers broaden multicultural assortments for diverse consumers]

Ingredient stories were center stage during the recent NYSCC Suppliers’ Day exhibition in New York City. Because some people are sensitive to retinol, several suppliers presented natural bakuchiol as an alternative. Vegan collagen was also a hot topic as a replacement for the commonly used bovine options.

“The buzziest ingredients in skin care right now happen to be the same ingredients we’ve been famous for over 10 years—pure shea butter, raw cocoa butter, natural coconut oil and cold-pressed castor oil.”
— Chris Lopez, marketing director for Okay Pure Naturals.

Evergreen Ingredients are Still Safe Bets

Keeping an eye on future ingredients, brand marketers said they also see consumers
returning to the tried and true. “The buzziest ingredients in skin care right now happen to be the same ingredients we’ve been famous for over 10 years—pure shea butter, raw cocoa butter, natural coconut oil and cold-pressed castor oil,” said Chris Lopez, marketing director for Okay Pure Naturals.

The brand has incorporated these desired ingredients in products for the entire body. Although emerging ingredients lure shoppers, Lopez called salicylic acids and niacinamides “timeless” favorites. “The mechanism behind how they work is so effective they simply cannot be beat at the moment... and they’re ingredients backed by clinical studies,” he said. “That’s why we see these ingredients at the forefront of most innovative skin care products—even now in 2023.”

Okay Pure Naturals offers a variety of skin care products with both salicylic acid and
niacinamides, he said.

skin care beauty teaser

Consumers are more aware of ingredients’ effects on their bodies, he added. “We see a shift away from beeswax, which highlights a shift toward cleaner, healthier and more sustainable beauty products overall.” That is exemplified by labeling that reflects what products are “free of” or “packed with,” Lopez said.

While “BeautyTok” creates viral sensations, consumers also get product advice from professionals, including beauty consultants and dermatologists. The latter raised awareness about the importance of a healthy skin barrier. That has been one of the catalysts for the meteoric rise in sales of CeraVe—the market leader in almost all skin care segments.

“Choosing ingredients that help care for the skin barrier is essential for having healthy skin,” said Jasteena Gill, vice president of marketing at CeraVe. ”CeraVe products are developed with dermatologists to ensure all formulations have gentle, safe and efficacious ingredients, and one of those key ingredients is ceramides.”

[Read more: CVS Health celebrates 5th anniversary of Beauty Mark initiative with ‘Role Model’ campaign]

David Horwitz, vice president of retail sales for Pura D’Or, just launched a new product formulated with tea tree, chamomile and lavender oil. Long-term and repeat usage trumps just hopping on a viral trend. “It’s important to note that Pura D’Or doesn’t focus on the hottest ingredients per se but the most efficacious in the highest concentration available,” he said. “Our Castor Oil, Rosehips Oil and Argan Oil are single-ingredient skin care products that stand the test of time because they are not fads.”

“Our oils are USDA certified organic while many other oils are not,” Horwitz explained. “Our vitamin E oil—also USDA certified organic—contains 70,000 IUs [individual units] of vitamin E while others often have 35,000 or fewer IUs of vitamin E.”

“Pura D’Or is driven by tried-and-true ingredients that have stood the test of time and have performed well for consumers over the years,” Horwitz continued. “We always see a resurgence in interest in oils and that’s when we welcome new customers to our brand who, in turn, become loyal clients.”

New Products:

No7 Future Renew
After a successful rollout in the U.K., No7 & Future Renew debuted in Walgreens in late May. No7 Future Renew has a “super peptide” blend that is designed to bio-hack the skin’s natural repair process, signaling renewal of more than 50 key proteins in skin cells.

Pura D’Or Awakening Body Wash
Pura D’Or’s Awakening Body Wash features a mixture of aloe vera, tea tree, chamomile oil and lavender oil.

Pipette Baby Lotion, Shampoo + Body Wash and SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen
CVS just added the Pipette baby and sun collection. The range is clinically shown to moisturize skin. The shampoo + body wash is made with sugarcane-derived squalane.

Okay Naturals Miami Beach Skin Care Collection
A sunscreen and body lotion are part of Okay’s newly released Miami Beach Collection. Featuring evergreen ingredients such as coconut, vitamin E and jojoba oil, the products also use salicylic acid and niacinamides—two highly desirable ingredients based on Spate consumer research.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds