6 beauty brands innovating in niche categories

By Kirsty Doolan

- Last updated on GMT

6 beauty brands innovating in niche categories

Related tags Cosmetics Personal care products Marketing Skin care niche brands

Beyond the mainstream, a spectrum of specialised niches is flourishing. From taboo beauty to ‘ugly’ beauty, we've rounded up 6 brands that have been innovating in niche beauty categories...

Shakeup Cosmetics

Niche: Men’s cosmetics

The brand’s cofounders Jake and Shane Xu set up the disruptive men’s indie brand Shakeup Cosmetics in November 2019 in a bid to help ‘normalise’ the use of makeup/hybrid cosmetics for men.

The twins had suffered with rosacea and acne, so knew firsthand how much the skin conditions could affect confidence levels. In a bid to help others suffering from skin issues, they developed a range of skincare products to manage the condition and hybrid makeup products to help disguise redness and spots.  

Shakeup has quickly expanded since its launch five years ago and the brand’s innovative concept has helped it win retail deals with the likes of Harvey Nichols, Superdrug and Tmall.


Niche ​Sexual wellness-beauty

Intimate care brand Maude has created a range of products that neatly straddles both ‘taboo beauty’ and intimate wellness – from vagina-friendly bath soaks to condoms for sensitive skin types, to candles.  

The brand also touches upon the ‘ugly beauty’ niche category with products like Soothe Calming Ingrown Hair Oil, to tackle a troublesome but often underserved area of pesky ingrown hairs and all the misery they can bring.

But Maude isn’t the only trailblazer within this niche. Other brands that have been innovating in intimate care and sexual wellness include British brand WooWoo with its pH-balanced, dermatologist tested wax strips, body scrub, washes, wipes, oils and hair removal creams formulated to maintain a healthy intimate biome; the US brand Dame which combines intimate personal care with sex toys, as well as the vaginal health and sexual wellness brand Kindra, which is funded by P&G ventures.


Niche: ​Kids’-safe and pregnancy safe skincare and colour cosmetics

US-based mum and baby care brand Evereden launched in 2019 and has since launched into the US, Canada, China, Australia, New Zealand, France, the UK, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

“Our objective is to be the number one global family skin care brand,” its founder Kimberley Ho told our sister title CosmeticsDesign-Asia.

The brand has been innovating in the niche spaces of beauty and personal care for pregnancy and breastfeeding mothers – which is still a difficult area to navigate considering products cannot be tested on pregnant women.

Evereden has also been focused on the controversial topic of beauty products for kids – as it offers kids-safe skin care and colour cosmetics.

Its strategy is focused on delivering high-quality, premium products at affordable price points and its NPD is backed by its board of ‘Moms in Medicine’: comprising chief scientific officer Dr Joyce Teng, head of Stanford Medical School’s paediatric dermatology department, and scientific officers Dr Sarina Elmariah and Dr Rebecca Hartman from Harvard Medical School.

Made of More

Niche: ​Menopause beauty

Within the past three years, there has been a surge in consumer interest in ‘menopause-beauty’ products, which has resulted in more innovation across numerous categories, including skin care, hair care, inside-out wellness and feminine care products.

Made of More is a new UK-based skin care brand​ for 40+ hormonal skin that was founded by Jackie Lamyman – who had experienced the lack of good-quality beauty and personal care products specifically designed for menopausal women firsthand.  

Lamyman’s husband has a farm in Lincolnshire, UK, where he grows, harvests and presses hemp, from which he created a CBD brand, Crop England.

“Knowing the benefits of each ingredient I wanted to delve deeper into how they would work combined on the skin. By working with a CBD expert, we looked one step further at CBG – the mother of all cannabinoids – which is rarely used in skincare,” she explained.”

All of Made of More’s products combine British Hemp seed oil with CBG along with a potent blend of other clinical ingredients all designed to address the challenges of hormonal skin from aged 40 upwards. “We call this our HC+ Complex: a unique and innovative complex, clinically formulated to meet the key challenges of fluctuating hormones,” she continued.

The ingredients work synergistically to tackle problem areas such as dull, tired skin, collagen degradation, lack of sleep, fine lines, loss of skin tone and puffiness, which are often combined with increased sensitivity and redness. “Our complex works to support the skin during these times while avoiding some commonly known ingredients that can increase irritation at this time,” she explained.


Niche: ​Microbiome beauty and intimate wellness

An original pioneer in the microbiome-based beauty and personal care movement, the French brand was founded by Dr Marie Drago, a doctor of pharmacy with an inherent love of science who happened to suffer from inflammatory skin condition pyoderma gangrenosum.

The condition, which was caused by an auto-immune reaction, led Drago to learn more about the relationship between the skin and the microbiome. As a result, she set up Gallinée, which is now part of the Shiseido Group.

Not only was the brand a trailblazer in the niche category of microbiome-based beauty, it has also innovated in other niches, such as intimate care with its gynae-tested, fragrance-free cleansing bar.


Niche: ​Melanin-rich skin care

Despite the fact that the majority of the global population has darker skin, the concept of skin care products made specifically for the needs of melanin-rich skin has only been pushed higher up the NPD agenda in recent years – and is still considered a niche sub-category within the overall skin care market.

One brand that has been innovating specifically in this is space is US-born Eadem, which was conceived after its cofounders Marie Kouadio Amouzame and Alice Lin Glover noticed: “a lack of gentle, effective products that work on darker skin.”

The brand runs its clinical tests on people of colour and creates formulas to address hyperpigmentation without lightening the surrounding skin.

Global brands like Unilever’s Dove have also been innovating in this space, with products like Melanin Even Tone Body Wash and a whole range of baby products for babies with melanin-rich skin.

Meanwhile, another multinational L’Oréal has recently developed anti-pigmentation ingredient Melasyl,​ which it is using in some products in its La Roche-Posay range to help prevent hyperpigmentation before it starts.

The founders of Gallinée and Shakeup Cosmetics and the head of omnichannel growth at Evereden will be joining us for a FREE webinar panel discussion​ about the new frontiers; niche opportunities in beauty, along with the director of beauty WGSN. Watch it live on Wednesday 12 June at 5pm (Paris) / 4pm (London) / 10am (Chicago), or later on catch up. Sign up here to gain access to this exclusive free webinar.

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