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Inclusive and conscious: Leading cosmetic chemist weighs in on key beauty trends in 2023

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By Amanda Lim

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Inclusive and conscious beauty: Leading cosmetic chemist weighs in on key beauty trends in 2023

Related tags podcast Beauty trends inclusive beauty conscious beauty

Inclusivity and conscious beauty are among the most important elements for cosmetic brands to consider when developing new products this year, says one prominent cosmetic chemist.

Director of Australia’s Institute of Personal Care Science, Belinda Carli, said we would see even more brands developing gender-neutral products as more consumers rejected the notion of being placed into a box.

“They want their individual skin or hair needs addressed regardless of how they identify,”​ said Carli on the Beauty 4.0 podcast by CosmeticsDesign.

However, she emphasised that there are significant biological differences between the genders that brands must address tactfully.

“It's really hard because everyone's an individual. And I certainly don't want to pretend that we can just put people in a box, like we can a jar of cream.”

In turn, the inclusivity movement​ will also drive the need for customisation.

“Clever brands that can tap into both – not just the gender-neutral aspects but different ethnicities as well – will resonate very well with consumers and make a very popular product.”

Conscious beauty push

It will be no surprise that sustainability will continue to influence the industry strongly. However, Carli asserted that brands would be expected to be more conscious about their decisions.

Offering refillable packaging options would steadily become a must for brands.

“Consumers don't want to be paying constantly for pretty packaging they want to pay for product… Cost of living has risen so where consumer can see value is really going to appeal to them,” ​said Carli.

Carli highlighted that brands must consider the issue of contamination and highlighted some good practices brands can follow.

While sustainable packaging has been a major focus in the past few years, Carli said considering the sustainability of ingredients would become increasingly important.

“There's been this confusion [regarding ingredients] on what's sustainable, what's not? What about the carbon footprint? How does that impact it?” ​said Carli.

Additionally, she highlighted that the market would continue to demand more sustainable formats.

However, the challenge with most of these products is the formulation and communication, which she said has slowed down progress.

Lastly, she highlighted that brands should offer consumers visible results within the first few uses while waiting for long-term benefits to kick in.

“Think about what your consumer wants from this product. Obviously, use actives that are going to achieve that long-term. But what's going to make them happy right now? You'll see that then they tend to post it on social media or tell their friends and share it. And that's also great for a brand too.”

To find out more about how to overcome the challenges associated with developing cosmetic products that will fulfil these important trends, check out the full podcast above.

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