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Beauty Directions for 2020

As we move into the new decade, consumer needs are changing, leaning toward natural products and brands who can offer eco credentials and give back to the planet during this uncertain climate. From going back to our foraging roots to the rise of pop-ups, we highlight the top beauty trends keep your eyes on for 2020.

Foraged Beauty 

Beauty will turn to foraging, with indigenous wild-harvested ingredients gaining traction from 2020 and beyond. This process is more sustainable than farming it on a plantation, as plant-based extracts are sourced from their natural environments. These ingredients, which include plants, flowers, fruit and vegetables, are also more potent when used in beauty products, which will resonate with skintellectual Millennials seeking high-performance formulas.

Alfred van der Zwaard

Zero-Waste, Socially Conscious 

Brands are embracing the zero-waste, plastic-free and clean beauty movement. We’ve tracked a real shift towards all-natural ingredients and 100% biodegradable, recyclable and compostable packaging, including initiatives such as planting one tree in the Amazon rainforest for every product purchased. Brands are also looking to ‘waterless’ skincare and refillable packaging. 

Plant-based beauty will be even more important than ever before. Consumers are demanding more ingredient transparency in the products they buy, and for brands this means providing honest, evidence-based information.

Eloise Ambursley

Eloise Ambursley

High-Performance Skincare

The skincare category will continue to be the biggest category and we’ll start to see more of a focus on science-based formulas or derma skincare brands emerging in 2020. Educated consumers are demanding products with high-performance actives. Fragrance is one area to watch. We’re already seen perfume houses offer new formats to apply scent via scented tattoos and pens, and in 2020 and beyond, innovations in this area will grow.

Christine Hume

Christine Hume

Phygital Shopping 

The way consumers buy beauty products is evolving. Beauty brands are embracing direct-to-consumer strategies, such as using pop-up shops to drive engagement and create immersive and discovery-led experiences. We have seen a whole host of beauty brands opening pop-ups this year and these stores are putting phygital elements into the spaces to appeal to beauty consumers. Local shops selling niche and local artisan products will become popular as homegrown brands become more appealing to conscious consumers.

Yves Saint Laurent Pop-Up

Yves Saint Laurent

Bio-Tech Ingredients  

We’ve been tracking the rise of bio-tech ingredients since 2018, with brands adopting bioengineered ingredients. Combining nature with science can offer a more sustainable way to protect the environment. In 2020 and beyond, the emulation of biological forms, processes, patterns and systems will become an integral part of future product development, from self-cleaning products inspired by the ‘lotus effect’ to colour inspired by butterfly wings and beetle shells.



WGSN subscribers can read the full 20 Trends for the 2020s report here.

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