Unlocking beauty’s future: insights from Spate’s “New Rules of Beauty”

As a presenter at Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW)’s recent “State of the Beauty Industry” event, consumer trend data intelligence platform Spate offered attendees a glimpse into the future of beauty as indicated by consumer data trend analysis. Covering the influences of industry innovation, sustainability, and consumer-centricity, Spate’s presentation offered insights for cosmetics and personal care product manufacturers and suppliers to help industry stakeholders stay ahead of the curve and better meet the evolving needs of today’s beauty consumers.

We spoke to Yarden Horwitz, Co-Founder at Spate, about her key takeaways from “The New Rules of Beauty” in 2024.

Overview & key takeaways

Spate’s presentation reviewed the current state of the beauty industry and highlighted both key brands exerting notable industry influence and emerging brands to watch. Insights were structured into four central themes, Horwitz explained, which were:

  • make it seem “natural” – covering the consumer need for innovation in synthetic ingredients,
  • set the vibe – the evolution of aesthetics and their impact on beauty,
  • tweak the trend – the necessity of refining and reinterpreting trends to stay relevant and
  • make it mini – the influence of mini products, such as miniature perfumes, on the beauty market.

Perhaps the most important takeaway from the presentation, Horwitz shared, is that for cosmetics and personal care product manufacturers and suppliers in 2024, there is an opportunity “to market their ingredients directly to consumers” in previously less effective ways. These opportunities exist because “consumers have become very sophisticated” due to the increased accessibility of product formulation information, which is driving shoppers to, for example, look “for trademarked ingredients like Anagain.”

Additionally, she added, there is “there is a growing emphasis on packaging and creating multi-sensorial product experiences to establish a distinct ‘vibe,’” which is further influencing consumer purchasing behavior in the current beauty market and is important for manufacturing and supply companies to keep in mind when formulating new products.

A final important takeaway, she shared, is that for consumers in 2024, “transparency across ingredients is crucial.” For industry stakeholders, this “involves highlighting new innovations, and avoiding attempts to conceal ingredients that may have a negative impact,” which is particularly important to note during the packaging and labeling design process for new product launches.

Surprising findings & 2024 predictions

In addition to the findings supporting the presentation’s key themes, Horwitz shared that Spate’s analysts also uncovered consumer data that revealed surprising or unexpected results. This includes the determination that “many high-growth brands are Korean, indicating a return of K-beauty” in 2024.

Additionally, Spate’s analysis showed that “many top trending ingredients are similar to the top trending ingredients from last year,” said Horwitz. She further explained that this finding indicates “consumers are less experimental than in previous years, when we would see a greater shift in trending ingredients from year to year.”

Even though “consumers have experimented with many ingredients over the last few years, and have figured out what works for them,” she continued, “the trends are now coming from packaging and naming, and less so in ingredients,” according to the data.

Moving forward, she added, “while consumers may be experimenting less with ingredients lately, they now know which type of formula they want to have their ingredients in.” For example, she illustrated, “oil-based cleansers, water-based foundations, and silicone primers are all included in Spate’s annual 2024 Trends Report as a big bet for the year ahead.”

In forecasting trends for the year ahead, Horwitz indicated that packaging will be key for consumers. “Consumers are choosing products based on aesthetic packaging (i.e., mini or preppy) and this will play a big role in how brands reach new (especially younger) audiences,” she detailed.

Other trends to watch this year

In addition to the trend analysis provided in this year’s CEW “State of the Beauty Industry” event, Horwitz highlighted other trends to watch in 2024. One trend would be that “consumers will continue to prioritize holistic skin health,” she shared, because “as the skin barrier trend continues, consumers have made it clear they’re no longer willing to sacrifice hydrated, healthy skin for clarity or tone, as an example.”

She further explained that the days of over-exfoliation and astringents are over for consumers in 2024, and today, “we’re living in the times of nourishing oil based cleansers, hyaluronic acid moisturizers, and red light therapy,” all areas of anticipated growth this year.

Another trend of note, she concluded, is that “beauty trends are being used to create the illusion of health or living a certain lifestyle.” For example, she shared, “you may not wake up every day and workout, take your hair supplements, etc. but you can look like you did with texturizing powder, hair glaze, lip oil, skin tint, and retinol body lotion.”

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