Cosmoprof 2019 brought industry professionals and insiders to Las Vegas to discuss the latest trends in beauty and showcase their innovations. Throughout the show, at the booths, and in speaker sessions, there was a consistent buzz and energy around the direction the beauty industry is heading. Among the buzz, three trends stuck out: Clean Beauty, Consumer Education, and CBD.
Clean beauty has been a hot topic in recent years. In fact, mentions of “clean beauty” on social media has increased by 20,000% since 2015 according to Sarah Jindal, one of the session speakers. Consumers now want transparency about vendors, ingredients, testing, and fair trade practices. Due to the consumer-driven nature of the beauty and cosmetics industry, an array of companies have come forward with ‘clean’ products, but the definition of clean beauty is still incredibly vague.
As the development of this product category is still premature, industry professionals are primarily focused on combating “greenwashing,” or the claim that products are natural or sustainable when they actually aren’t. Retailers are joining in and cracking down on the products and brands they sell. Most have created lists of accepted ingredients which brands must be compliant with to help regulate this new product landscape.
Another key trend at Cosmoprof was the rapid emergence of CBD. In fact, it was hard to walk anywhere in the show without seeing it mentioned. CBD is being put in everything from face masks to lip balm and hand creams, but consumers still know little about the ingredient’s benefits.
This is in part due to the fact that companies wanting to experiment with CBD are faced with a long list of regulations. From packaging requirements to marketing claims, they walk a fine line of being flagged by the FDA and taking a product to market.
While companies are legally allowed to put CBD in any of their products, they are not allowed to make claims of its effects. This has led to a massive lack of knowledge in the consumer base, leaving companies with little to do to inform their customers. Companies are legally allowed to add CBD with up to .03% THC in their products – a standard that must be constantly checked. The reason? If a product contains over .03% THC, it goes from selling a cosmetic product to selling a Schedule 1 drug. It has become imperative for companies using CBD as an ingredient to regularly perform quality checks with their suppliers and keep documentation on hand in case of an audit.
Lack of consumer education has also problematic for the industry and was widely discussed at Cosmoprof 2019. While product development teams need to be agile and respond quickly to new trends, misinformed consumers frequently dictate the success or failure of products – often under false pretenses. Striking a balance between educating consumers and adapting to consumer trends has been one of the main challenges in the clean beauty and CBD beauty market.
For example, the association of CBD and THC have proven difficult to navigate, with many consumers thinking their CBD cosmetics will get them “high.” This lack of consumer education has prevented CBD from gaining more market share and becoming more mainstream in beauty. In fact, there is a fear industry-wide that CBD will become the next turmeric – meaning an overly hyped ingredient that falls off consumer radar quickly.
Consumers are also having trouble navigating the differences between clean beauty, green beauty, and organic beauty – leaving many to question if the products they purchase are truly good for them and the environment. A lack of regulations and definitions are causing brands to be at the mercy of the consumer and their changing beliefs. This has resulted in dedicated teams and resources charged with tracking social media trends to find the next hot topic or ingredient regardless of whether or not it is scientifically backed.
To keep up with trends coming out of Cosmoprof, it’s vital that beauty companies become agile while maintaining a high quality product for consumers.
At Specright, we believe that managing product and packaging data at the DNA-level gives beauty professionals the tools they need to take advantage of these trends. Whether it’s managing new claims like Clean Beauty, monitoring quality and testing of CBD, or quickly updating packaging to better educate consumers – Specright enables professionals to spend more time making great products and less time managing data.