“There's an opportunity to challenge the cultural idealisation of youth as the beauty standard”: Beautystreams’ VP on longevity

By Kirsty Doolan

- Last updated on GMT

Superchi said there is "a large opportunity to address all hormone-related topics as well" as these impact skin and/or hair quality (Image: Getty)
Superchi said there is "a large opportunity to address all hormone-related topics as well" as these impact skin and/or hair quality (Image: Getty)

Related tags anti-ageing Ageing Skin health wellness active beauty

Ahead of speaking at the InCosmetics Global trade show in Paris this April, VP of beauty market intelligence and trends company Beautystreams, Michele Superchi, shared his expertise on what’s now and what’s next for the longevity boom…

Longevity is in the limelight, as more cosmetics brands and suppliers innovate in this sphere.  

At this year’s InCosmetics Global​ show, which will be held at Paris’ Expo Porte de Versailles from 16 - 18 April, Beautystreams VP Michele Superchi will be speaking in the Marketing Trends Theatre on Tuesday 16th April (between 13:45 - 14:30) on the topic of: ‘Health-Span Beauty: The impact of longevity on our industry’.

We caught up with Superchi before the event to learn more about his topic of discussion…

CosmeticsDesign-Europe (CDE): Can you tell us more about how the anti-ageing concept is now transitioning to focus on longevity? And what has driven this change?

Michele Superchi (MS): Becoming ageless is taking on a new dimension, thanks to the superpowers of medicine and science, ushering in a new form of empowerment. Trademarked and patented technologies focused on cell regeneration, biotechnology, biosynthesis, genetics, and molecular technologies are redefining what it means to be "human" and promise eternal youth and beauty.

It's a dual strategy of prevention and "turning back the clock." Science provides the prospect of eternal youth, an opportunity to turn back time and reduce the skin’s biological age. Many companies are actively working – and investing heavily – to reverse the ageing process, giving rise to significant hope for ‘healthy longevity’. Companies, sometimes referring to themselves as ‘longevity companies’, have entered the race to promote longevity, decipher the code to immortality, and offer ageless skin solutions.

Fuelled by the increasing scientific understanding of the biological ageing process, funding in anti-ageing and longevity science has reached an unprecedented high. Discoveries in the field of longevity research are unlocking opportunities for skin care brands to address ageing at its core and offer products that recharge, revitalise, and repair human cells while boosting health span. A new wave of skin care brands and products is emerging, backed by a new breed of practitioners hailing from specialties beyond skin – among them cancer surgeons, biomedical materials scientists, and specialists in molecular biology.

Advances in big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics tools are leading to hopes of major advancements in terms of a longer and healthier life. Wearables and telehealth services are fast becoming tools by which one can monitor, track, map, and prolong the span of good health. Digital technology allows for detailed analyses of health and skin metrics to be performed and will continue providing insights into the future of hyper-personalised skin care, health, and wellness.

CDE: With this mindset switch, how are consumer needs and demands likely to change?

MS: In the context of an ageing global population, the pursuit of a longer and healthier life is an aspiration shared by many. High-level research, compelling scientific developments, and investments in longevity science are all leading to perspectives on ageing being challenged, raising hopes for healthier longevity. Born from these aspirations, the longevity industry is rapidly growing and is set to influence skin care and wellness in the near future.

Consumer priorities towards their health has propelled the skin care and wellness industries to push the boundaries of medicine and science more than ever before, leading to a rise in medically driven consumerism. The relevance of medical and scientific credentialism, which instructs people on how to stay safe and healthy, has never been greater. With consumers seeking highly personalised, meaningful, and preventive healthcare, solutions that combine skin care, wellness, and proactive medicine are emerging as a rapidly growing segment. Consequently, the trend toward the medicalisation of beauty is gaining wider acceptance.

As part of health-span implications, we expect to see a surge in cognitive care needs. According to cognitive research, accelerated brain ageing can lead to a variety of health issues, including a rise in mental health disorders, impaired mental function, and a heightened risk of neurodegenerative conditions.

Today, there is increased awareness that better mental health starts with better brain health, and that the brain, just like any other part of the body, needs to be exercised and cared for. Brain health will become the newest frontier of health-span beauty with well-being products and tools designed to enhance brain performance and cognitive function, while supporting mental health, coming into the spotlight. We can also expect to see a rise in brain-tracking devices and wearables, brain sensors, and brain-computer interfaces that enable an early diagnosis and personalised treatment of cognitive decline.

CDE: Even with this change of focus, will there still be a focus on ‘fixing’ wrinkles and attempting to look ‘younger’?

MS: The beauty market is finally shifting from a youth-centric standpoint to one that recognises and respects the concept of ageless beauty. With consumers becoming increasingly critical when it comes to claims, promising a person in their 50s or 60s to keep the appearance of a 30-something-year-old person does not seem to make sense anymore. This creates opportunities for brands to cater to consumers with mature skin, with beauty products that are formulated to work with the skin as it ages.

The choice of approaching aesthetic ageing in more serene ways should also be a choice everyone can embrace. Promoting different types of age-related beauty and reassuring consumers of all age groups that the personal evolution of their own beauty is a natural and inevitable thing, can present for brands not only ethical, but also financial opportunities. A consumer who is aware that their skin, hair, and health needs are constantly evolving will be most likely open to more services and to try out novelty. The key challenge here will be to retain the same consumer over the years or decades. To retain a consumer in the long term, brands will need to play on brand purpose that goes beyond products – lifestyle offers, services, community building, and purpose.

Alongside this, as beauty becomes hyperconnected via AI and AR, beauty concepts become better adapted to consumers' needs. Harnessing advanced data and technologies to develop high-tech devices and customised products that better meet the needs of the ageing consumer will become paramount. From personalised product recommendations to virtual try-ons, technology can make beauty routines more personalised than ever, also allowing brands to better address the needs of consumers with mature skin.

CDE: What’s your advice for beauty brands/businesses that are trying to navigate this change/switch?

MS: With the concept of "Health-Span Beauty," there's an opportunity to challenge the cultural idealisation of youth as the beauty standard and to promote age-inclusive beauty ideals. With the anti-ageing market booming, there's an opportunity for brands to create age-inclusive beauty ideals that embrace natural ageing and provide options for all consumers, including those looking for non-invasive to invasive treatments.

Breakthroughs in science, biology, medicine, and longevity will inform the next wave of high-performance skin care, offering consumers authority, trustworthiness, and real-world results.

Brands can bridge the gap between science and skin health by translating medical findings into practical applications for high-performing and derma-safe skin care products. Medical research, discoveries, and technologies can guide innovation and be applied to evidence-based skin care science. Using this science, brands can redefine the skin care industry by bringing cutting-edge advances from the fields of biology, regenerative medicine, and biotechnology to explore new ways of achieving healthy and youthful skin.

Advancements in science and state-of-the-art laboratory equipment is also spurring the innovation of intelligent topical skin care delivery systems, which can enhance the efficacy of active ingredients while preserving their potency and stability, thereby improving the performance of skin care and cosmetics. These advanced delivery systems include time release mechanisms, micro-needling, smart encapsulation, nanosome technology, emulsion droplets, and intelligent drones, all promising to amplify the effects of skin care formulas.

There is a large opportunity to address all hormone-related topics as well as they all, without exception, impact skin and/or hair quality. There are opportunities for brand creators to position entire lines as specialists of hormone-balance. This can come into play with topical skin care, personal care, supplements, dietary programs, hair care, and colour cosmetics. To address hormonal changes in meaningful and effective ways, the combination of physical and psychological diagnoses will play a key role. A healthy mix of AI and human psychology will be essential.

Brands can address ageing with holistic approaches to health through lifestyle coaching, tips and tricks on how to integrate physical activity into everyday life, supplements, and inter-generational community building, offers that are all mutually beneficial for both the brand and the consumer.


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