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2023 beauty trends hero

Trends touchbase

HRG’s Megan Moyer takes a look at predictions and trend forecasts in beauty for 2023.

It’s the time of year for predictions and trend forecasts and the beauty industry is no exception. Following are the perspectives of connections made through the Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) organization — fellow member, Angela Umelo, cosmetic chemist, product developer and founder of Salt and Earth Labs, and Liseda Shelegu, founder of The Main Tab — who offer their insights on what’s ahead in 2023.

Both Shelegu and Umelo point to wellness as a continuing trend in 2023. The interest in wellness and selfcare will carryover from 2022 and ultimately 2020 when paying more attention to how we treat our bodies and the effects of products we use on and those we put into our bodies became top of everyone’s mind. Wellness was highlighted as a strong trend in the data Accelerated Analytics shared in this August Inside Beauty article.

Umelo, whose Salt and Earth Labs is a boutique brand development hub focused on green chemistry to drive innovation in beauty and wellness, stated, “We can expect to see more emphasis on body care as a wellness and lifestyle practice. A return to bathing rituals, self-soothing, and massage, as well as skin nutrition through holistic ingredients and ingestibles will all be highlighted in this trend.

Shelegu, whose The Main Tab is a curated, luxury wholesale marketplace connecting beauty, home and lifestyle brands, retailers, and sales reps through an online platform, said based on her sales data, “We always see an increase in wellness in January through March. The new year and colder months across most of the country are primetime for this. Customers prefer more ritual-based products — a powder they can put in their smoothie, collagen powders, etc. are all still popular.”

[Read more: Inside Beauty: Hairitage’s Mindy McKnight takes hair care by storm]

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Another trend Accelerated Analytics noted in the August Inside Beauty article, “Using data to monitor trends, consumer behavior and inventory,” was at-home indulgence, including prestige hair care and specialized skin care treatments. Shelegu sees this continuing based on her data also. She commented, “The rise of luxe wellness is also something we're seeing take off. Customers are very particular about ingredients and if they're consuming something, they want to know exactly what's in it.”

Umelo brought a similar trend forward, referring to it as “smart hair care.” Umelo said, “We can expect to see increased use of AI to diagnose and identify the unique needs of any consumer to allow truly customized solutions for their unique problems. As we continue on the so called ‘skinification’ of hair trend, we can expect to see the use of more unique ingredients traditionally associated with skin care, as well as novel ways to add to them to the ‘hair cycling’ routine.”

Other trends Umelo believes will dominate in 2023 include:

  • Sustainability more concentrates being used in hair care and skin care, more waterless formats such as powders, freeze dried ingredients, and concentrates in degradable pouches
  • Convenience simplified formats for on-the-go use across hair and skin care and cosmetics
  • Sunscreen forms that allow application over makeup, multifunctional sprays, powders, and blotters in finishes that do not reduce the wear of makeup

[Read more: 3 beauty brands to watch in 2023]

Shelegu says when it comes to cosmetics that clean has become table stakes and is no longer a point of differentiation. She commented, “When it comes to clean skin and beauty, at the end of the day, consumers want product that will work and not have a trade-off. It used to be that often a brand was clean but not very luxurious or efficacious, and consumers are expecting more now. There has to be something else really compelling to set a brand apart.”

Contrary to what HRG sees among the larger vitamin and dietary supplement market where gummies have remained popular, Shelegu says she has seen a decline in sales of gummies. She explains that the boutique customer skews older and may perceive gummies as geared toward younger generations as well as not as efficacious and containing unnecessary ingredients such as sweeteners and gelatin. These additives may not appeal to the health-conscious consumer.

There are many factors to consider when looking ahead at 2023, the economy having the overarching influence on consumer spending. When determining which trends to capitalize on, consider your customer demographics and their spending habits and keep tabs on consumer behavior to make wise choices that will drive revenue.

Megan Moyer is HRGs corporate marketing manager. HRG is in the details of retail, working with product manufacturers, distributors, retailers, technology partners, and other industry organizations to provide data & analysis, shopper experience, brand development, fixture coordination, and retail communications solutions. HRG reviews new health, beauty, and wellness (HBW) items every month and assesses their potential for longevity in the monthly Products to Watch feature in Drug Store News as well as the annual Future 50 list.

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