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Top 5 most-read stories February 2021: Unilever divestments, EU CBD listing and sustainability, skin health trends during COVID-19
A round-up of CosmeticsDesign-Europe’s most-read news from February 2021 shows interest in Unilever’s beauty divestiture plans, the CosIng listing of natural whole-hemp CBD and research into sustainability and active skin care trends amidst COVID-19.
Unilever beauty business reshuffle
Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever, told attendees at this year’s online Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) 2021 conference that the company would make some “strategic choices” in the months and years ahead, and had already formed a “dedicated management team” to start the process of separating out certain, smaller beauty and personal care brands.
Alongside these divestments, the company would also seek potential acquisitions in the prestige beauty space – a division Unilever wanted to grow to €3bn in the next few years, he said.
Natural CBD enters the EU CosIng database
News that the European Commission had added natural whole-hemp cannabidiol (CBD) to its cosmetics ingredients CosIng database sparked plenty of interest in the beauty world.
The addition into the catalogue, whilst not legally binding, was set to bring about some welcome clarity amongst industry, according to experts, and would also likely spur new innovation.
Up until now, only synthetically-produced CBD had been envisaged in the CosIng database, although under the EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC No. 1223/2009) CBD extracted from certain parts of the hemp plant like the leaves and stems had also been permitted.
COVID-19 accelerates sustainability and skin health trends
A two-part expert interview with a leading FMCG consultant also generated plenty of interest, largely around his insight that COVID-19 would create “two waves” of interest around sustainability – a first wave of dominant interest over the next 18 months and mainstream sentiments by 2022.
Oliver Wright, MD and global lead on consumer goods and services at Accenture, said: “People have clearly made a link between the singularity event of COVID-19 and the fact this is linked to planetary change.”
Similarly, an interview with the president of L’Oréal Active Cosmetics generated interest on the topic highlighted – that the crisis had propelled skin health to the top of the beauty agenda.
Myriam Cohen-Welgryn, president of L’Oréal Active Cosmetics, said: “While skin health has been a major trend over the past years, the pandemic has turned it into a core expectation for skin care. More and more consumers, in search of higher efficacy and safety, are relying on our dermatological brands.”
Natural polymer innovation – bacterial cellulose the future?
The final article that generated most buzz on CosmeticsDesign-Europe in February was a review on the naturally occurring nanomaterial bacterial cellulose that noted interest was mushrooming, but research remained nascent.
Researchers from Brazil’s University of South Santa Catarina suggested research was “still maturing” and additional studies would be needed to enhance the development of the category.
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