Blurred lines: Post-COVID consumer concerns shift spotlight onto make-up that works beyond the surface

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Concerns for personal health and the health of the environment are blurring the lines between make-up and skin care. [UUUNI]
Concerns for personal health and the health of the environment are blurring the lines between make-up and skin care. [UUUNI]

Related tags make-up Skin care COVID-19 trends

Concerns for personal health and the health of the environment are blurring the lines between make-up and skin care as consumers seek out colour cosmetics that provide more than just superficial benefits.

Just recently, Japanese cosmetics manufacturer Premium Cosmetics launched UUUNI, a beauty brand with that aims to provide beauty consumers with make-up that has skin care benefits.

The brand launched with UUUNI BrightUp Skin Foundation, a cushion foundation that draws on 37 skin care ingredients.

The wide list ranges from botanical favourites such as camellia seed oil, licorice root, angelica root and cica extracts. It also contains popular skin care ingredients such like alpha-arbutin, niacinamide, retinol as well as human stem cell extract.

Another unique feature of the foundation is that it contains spicules, a needle-like component derived from marine sponges which are said to act like microneedles to maximise the use of the 37 ingredients.

Spicules were pioneered by South Korean cosmetic companies like Eco Your Skin in skin care products. They were included in formulations to help to improve the penetration of the ingredients​ into the skin, hence enhancing their effect.

To round up its skin-friendly formula, the cushion foundation also offers broad-spectrum UV SPF50+ protection.

[CDA Beauty Bites | Product Trend Round-up: Hybrid Beauty]

UUUNI is the latest in a long line of cosmetic brands tapping into the hybrid make-up trend and developing make-up products that are working a little harder for the consumer.

Japanese beauty major Shiseido has launched a number of hybrid make-up products under brands such as Maquillage, HAKU, and even men’s beauty brand UNO.

In February, multinational Shiseido collaborated with Japanese drugstore chain Matsumotokiyoshi to develop a pair of make-up products under the Integrate label.

The range features two ‘no-colour’ foundations that smoothed out the appearance of pores while hydrating the skin.

Hybrid make-up has reached mainstream appeal over the last couple of years thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previously in August, Smashbox founder Davis Factor told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that the pandemic has pushed the colour cosmetics category to evolve and include more skin care elements.

According to market research firm Mintel, the spotlight on health and wellness is driving the consumer demand for products that will not just have an instant cosmetic effect, but also improve skin appearance in the long term.

“The core of the acceleration of hybrid makeup products is made of deeply-rooted trends that have only been accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis and are thus now established trends that will remain true after the pandemic has abated,”​ said Margaux Caron, Global Beauty Analyst, Mintel.

“The notion of health and wellness, and the ‘clean’ beauty movement, have now reached mainstream appeal and will drive consumers’ desire to use makeup products that have further topical benefits.”

This demand is also being driven by the shift towards skin minimalism, where shrinking budgets and a focus on essentials are causing consumers to simplify their beauty routines.

Furthermore, the growing eco-consciousness among consumers is fostering a more mindful beauty consumption that will reinforce that minimalist approach to beauty.

CEO of India-based brand Earth Rhythm​, Harini Sivakumar, told us that minimalism was one of the biggest beauty trends that she was keeping a close eye on.

“The next trend we are seeing is minimalistic skin care… For example, if you have a product that is a serum, sunscreen, and moisturiser you can skip and just use one single product. Similarly, in make-up, if I have a make-up product that has all those three together, customers will be more than willing. It fits closely with our ethos of sustainability and reducing the number of products you use.”

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