The year saw a number of companies involved in various mergers and acquisitions, such as Liz Earle moving from Avon to Walgreens Boots Alliance, and Unilever seemingly swallowing up as many skin care firms as it could find (more on that later!).
Perhaps the biggest acquisition story of the year came in the form of P&G divesting 43 of its colour cosmetics, fragrance, and selected hair care brands to Coty in a deal valued at $12.5 billion.
The deal changes both companies’ standings in the cosmetics industry as it will propel Coty forward, especially given its strength in the fragrance and colour cosmetics segments. Meanwhile, P&G has kept hold of its Olay skin care brands, among others, showing that it is just refocusing and repositioning, rather than leaving the Beauty category.
Surely this story made the top 5 then, was it the top? Runner up? Well, actually despite being high-hitting (and definitely would had all coverage counted!), the article itself narrowly missed out, showing that our top 5 had to go to some lengths to make the cut.
So without, any further ado, here are the top hitting 5 articles of the year, chosen by the sheer volume of traffic and shares they received. A special thanks to you, our readers, for helping select them..!
The top-hitting article this year was L’Oréal’s increased focus on its digital strategy – which seems to be something that many of the big players are looking at now.
The Group announced it is using its latest digital strategy as it looks to achieve its target of acquiring a billion new consumers, with millennials and ‘connected consumers’ the main focus.
L’Oreal Chief Digital Officer Lubomira Rochet, who was appointed last year, says that L’Oreal sees growth in digital channels accelerating and that all digital beauty segments – e-commerce, data technologies and interaction with consumers – will be closely monitored.
Only a couple of months later, the company also announced, that it is building its digital team with a host of experts as it looks to gain a strong competitive advantage and win the battle against its cosmetics rivals; and this seems to be an ongoing focus.
Buys, science, and patents
As mentioned above, Unilever has had a busy year as it looks to build its skin care empire, with the acquisitions of REN in March, followed by Kate Somerville, Dermalogica, and Murad.
It was the Dermalogica story that got readers particularly excited and it comes in at 2nd place for the year, as the purchase made in June continued the Anglo-Dutch giant’s skin care acquisition trail, with a particular focus on the professional market.
Having based its model of the last few years on realigning and refocusing its product portfolio, Unilever had been building with the purchases of REN and Kate Somerville, and CEO Paul Polman said that with Dermalogica’s reputation and awareness among skin care professionals and consumers alike, it would complement the rest of the firm’s Prestige offering.
In at 3rd place and with hair loss a distressing thing for anyone, particularly so for women, the news that scientists found that taking a nutritional supplement can improve the overall scalp coverage and hair condition, attracted a lot of interest.
The team of researchers from France, Italy, and the US, found that a combination of specific omega 3&6 and antioxidants were beneficial, and said that it provides a new alternative in the treatment of Female pattern hair loss (FPHL).
From hair care to skin care, and there was also a lot of interest in the ‘groundbreaking research’ carried out by Oriflame which saw it granted an EU patent for its novel active ingredient, Aspartolift, which has clinically proven anti-ageing skin benefits.
The acetyl aspartic acid is the key active ingredient in the NovAge Ultimate Lift range and was discovered as a potential active to treat ageing skin thanks to Oriflame’s research team, who published the studies in a supplement in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science.
Completing our top 5, we go back to the start of the year as scientists from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute found that using human pluripotent stem cells they were able to generate new hair, opening up possibilities for hair loss solutions.
According to the team, this discovery is the first step towards the development of a cell-based treatment for people who suffer with hair loss, and the method is a marked improvement over current methods that rely on transplanting existing hair follicles from one part of the head to another.
So that was quite a top 5, and as mentioned, some big stories only just missed the cut, such as the P&G-Coty one.
Others to prove popular and just miss out included scientists finding that an extract from the cherry blossom tree is a promising functional ingredient in skin care products due to its anti-inflammatory properties, as well as the European Commission's Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) publishing its latest opinion on the use of cyclopentasiloxane (D5) in cosmetic products deeming it safe, except in certain hair and body formulations and products in which it could be inhaled.
Special mentions also go to a focus piece on importing cosmetics in China, and how the regulation looks, as well as the fallout from the pocket deodorant furore for Beiersdorf after Unilever challenged whether the packaging was confusing and too similar to its own products, which function differently.