Global Trending in Beauty

So, I have talked about de-cluttering and I think we are all in agreement less is more. The beauty industry has always been centred on multi-selling and buying the full range of products. The industry average sale per transaction is three, so they hope to sell at least 3 items per customer. We have all thought that to get great results, we had to buy every product. (Many of which we never use) Major changes are now occurring, people are becoming overwhelmed by having so much stuff. Now it’s the age of low-effort beauty. As awareness grows of the impact that the sheer amount of our purchases have on the planet, it is clear that conscious consumerism is here to stay. Trends such as slow beauty and minimalist beauty point the same way, shoppers are not only drawn to buying less, they can see the beauty benefits of using fewer products. Whilst buying less for themselves consumers are still expecting products to deliver all of the results they want. There is a shift towards purposeful beauty that will only become more pronounced in the future.

In the year 2020 and the decade ahead, beauty brands must go beyond product, and contribute positively to the world– Cosmetic Business Report 2019.

What are the global trends and how will these affect the environmentally – minded consumer? As young consumers gain more spending power, they have different expectations of the beauty world. They fully expect brands to prove that there is a reason for their existence, one that contributes in some way positively to the environment, to society and to supporting individual expression.

According to Mintel, over the next 10 years, two distinct forces of change will disrupt the beauty consumer landscape. The brand to consumer relationship will shift in a more seismic manner, as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (the blurring of boundaries between the physical, digital, and biological worlds) goes mainstream. At the same time, consumer behaviour will become increasingly polarising and fluctuate across a spectrum driven by information and emotion. Consumers will explore the push-pull between nature and science; each must support the other to expand beauty consumption.

The three main trends are below:

Water– The new luxury Water is set to become a precious commodity as consumption outstrips supply. The more consumers become aware of this, the more beauty brands will need to change how they manufacture and formulate products to limit their dependence on water.

Power Play- Consumers are facing an energy crisis as the pace of modern life catches up with them. Aware of consumers’ need to make long-term lifestyle changes to address falling energy levels, beauty brands are delivering products that put energy claims at the forefront of their message.

Gastronomia – ‘it’s what’s on the inside that counts. The interest in natural ingredients is on the rise as more people dare to push up their sleeves and get involved in the process of creating beauty products.

In layman terms what does this all mean? Consumers will increasingly seek out brands whose values align with their own, 90% of consumers believe that companies and brands have a responsibility to take care of the planet and its people. Ethical and sustainable beauty will continue to dominate the industry. Brands will be required to display greater honesty and transparency about their products, which will include the ingredients, some of which have been guarded secrets.

 “Looking ahead to the new decade, brands will begin their shift away from misleading buzzwords and hyped ingredients towards a more sustainable industry that considers tomorrow’s ecosystem,” says Jessica Smith, Senior Creative Researcher at The Future Laboratory.

I have worked with a few, independent beauty companies, packaging is always a huge problem to resolve, striking the balance between using less, but packing safety and causing less harm environmentally. Smaller companies who want to do The Right Thing may be limited financially in adapting to the changing market. However, as the industry continues to be spotlighted for its environmental impact and waste, all brands, large or small, need to look at reducing waste by removing unnecessary packaging. During Zero Waste Week, it was reported that the cosmetics industry produces 120 billion units of packaging per year. Which means that 18 million acres of forest is annually lost in part due to the cardboard used for beauty products. I met a small artisan company who had come up with some ingenious ways of packing sustainably on a tight budget.

The bring-back loyalty-based recycling schemes for bottles and jars, are a further way for brands to help consumers tread more lightly on the planet. Started by the Body shop. Anita Roddick, the founder of ethical beauty consumerism, I am sure would have had some great ideas!

We were all shocked at the plastic pollution in the scenes shown in the 2018’s Blue Planet TV show. Most businesses are actively trying to replace plastic with glass and aluminium which can be fully recycled and where possible using recycled packaging. Refillable and reusable packaging initiatives have been adopted, the larger refills, cut down on packaging and are cost- effective to the customer, these are appearing more and more in the mainstream market. Fully recyclable products will become a baseline and compostable packaging will be introduced more widely according to plastics provider Eastman, which recently announced three recycling technology loops using landfill-bound waste, bio-content, and consumer take-back materials to produce plastic packaging. The future could see plastic waste used as feed-stock and transformed into uncompromising luxury packaging that is indistinguishable from packaging made from fossil-based raw materials.

The luxury skin- care brand Haeckel’s, bio-contributing mycelium and seed paper packaging can be planted in the garden to add nutrients as it biodegrades and brings new plant live when the seeds germinate. Haeckel’s founder Dom Bridges says: “If shopping as a concept is to continue it must on all levels create at least no waste, but in order to create true sustainability, every product we make needs to contribute back to the ecosystem.

But beyond packaging, consumers are starting to question the sustainability of natural ingredients used in their beauty products and just how natural ‘natural’ products really are. Brands will need to have the confidence to explain exactly why they are using naturals or synthetics, particularly if the latter is more sustainable or long lasting. Over the past year, dozens of brands across the board have gained certification according to ethical standards, with cruelty-free and 100% vegan claims becoming increasingly common within the industry. While the beauty industry has traditionally been viewed as a culture of vanity and luxury, now characteristics such as health, ethics and positively impacting the environment, are the new status symbol. The bar has been raised for everything from efficacy to ethics, and in the years ahead, the consumer demands for ethical purchasing will evolve even further. The challenge will be how brands can innovate sustainably, develop alternative ‘greener’ packaging and adapt to the consumer-led changes.

The beauty industry has seen an influx of multi-task products hitting the market recently and there seems to be a fresh new buzz surrounding the reasons why these products are becoming such an integral part of our daily regimes. Men’s products, particularly those geared around sports, have often been multi-purpose, by that I mean a hair and body wash or a 2 in 1, shampoo and conditioner. In the 1980’s high volume, mass- produced products were made this way and promoted as a way of saving money, today the companies prompting these 2 in 1 products are more about saving the planet. The US brand, Illuum, with its you deserve less philosophy has fewer products, fewer ingredients and less skin stress. This skin care brand offers only six products, many of which contain just two or three ingredients each, which are designed to equip skin with the tools it needs to perform the job it was designed to do. Beauty experts have admitted that using too many products is worse for your skin that using too little, and have openly encouraged a pared-back beauty routine.

 If we buy into using multi-benefit products and the movement of less is more, by having 5 products in our bathroom instead of 15, is a positive step we can all take towards softening our environmental footprint.

I am going to try it, after I have de-cluttered my over-flowing bathroom cabinet. Will you too?

The Healing Benefits of Seaweed Bathing

Outside- The Body

I have talked already about the many benefits to the inside of your body by eating seaweed. What about the benefits to outside your body? Legend has long had it that taking a dip in the sea can work wonders for your health. As far back as 400BC, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was advocating saltwater and heated seaweed baths for curing a variety of bodily ailments.

Go to the ocean to heal– is a quote ascribed to Hippocrates.

Seaweed has been in use for thousands of years, in diet, science and bathing, it boasts a myriad of nutrients, amino acids, and antioxidants that are associated with skin health and beauty. As skin is the largest organ in the body it gives the maximum surface through which its natural source of minerals, vitamins and amino acids in seaweed can be fully absorbed. Seaweed takes the nutrients in the water in a similar way to the way our bodies do, it balances and purifies the ocean through its growth and chemistry. So, bathing in the weeds of the sea can be healthy, balancing and nourishing for the skin and body. Acting as an emoillant which locks in moisture. Our skin is constantly plagued by harmful environmental effects that can speed up the skin’s aging process. Research suggests that seaweed has a revitalizing effect on the skin because of its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to induce blood flow to the skin. A hot seaweed bath is like a wet-steam sauna: the greens from the sea balance body chemistry without dehydrating it. The electromagnetic action of the seaweed acts as a diuretic to release excess body fluids from congested cells. So dissolves fatty wastes through the skin, replacing them with minerals, especially iodine, which boosts thyroid activity. Seaweed is rich in B, C, E and K vitamins, niacin, pantothenic acid and folic acid. Vitamin K boosts adrenal activity, which can help maintain hormone balance for a more youthful body. Scientific studies have confirmed that seaweed bathing helps lower body stress and back pain. Skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and acne are relieved and soothed. It has also been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of muscle aches and joint stiffness helping in combating rheumatism and arthritis.

  In 1904 French scientist Rene Quinton published the medical work L’eau de Mer, Millen Organique which translates as Sea Water Organic Medium. Quinton’s study indicated that sea water and human plasma, Blood and Lymph fluid, are almost identical in their composition of mineral salts, proteins and various other elements. Seaweed is one of nature’s sponges so absorbs minerals from the sea. In a bath where seaweed and seawater are infused the mineral concentration within the infusion is much greater than in the water alone. ( This would occur in a treatment bath)

Many people in countries like Ireland and France, where it grows in abundance, have long used seaweed to keep the skin clean, moisture-rich, and rejuvenated. Natural skincare and body care has evolved, but one thing remains true, we still make use of the raw ingredients around us, often using plants our ancestors have used for centuries to help to heal the skin and body. Modern thalassotherapy techniques use seawater and seaweed baths and treatments to deliver their potent combination of beauty properties and healing elements.

France still leads the way with many Spas (thalassotherapy) specializing in seaweed treatments, many of which are associated with body toning, slimming and skin imperfections. We are made up of 65% water and water is the basis for our body’s evaporative cooling system. It flushes out toxic wastes, plumps up our cells, and lubricates our moving body parts.

Ireland has had a centuries-old practice of Seaweed bathing. It has fortified generations who relied on its therapeutic benefits to see them through the cold season, helping with aches and pains caused by the damp climate. Spartan seaweed baths were once popular in Ireland many attributing robust health and energy to the traditional cure of a hot seaweed bath. Now it’s much more relaxing, with many Spas and Hotels offering this service. The Ice House, in Mayo, has the Chill Spa with lovely products created by VOYA.ie it has an outdoor seaweed bath on the deck overlooking the river and is pure luxury. Voya Seaweed Baths is based in the coastal village of Strandhill in County Sligo they offer detoxifying seaweed baths and treatments utilising the natural power of their organic hand-harvested, wild seaweed. For full details of bathing treatments and products visit:

https://www.voyaseaweedbaths.com https://www.voya.ie/

The seaweed used for bathing in Ireland is a wrack called Fucus Serratus, also known as serrated wrack and Fucus Vesiculosus known as Bladder wrack, belonging to the brown seaweed family. Wracks are large seaweeds growing on rocky shores in the northern hemisphere, particularly in Europe and North America. This seaweed has a high mineral content, and is rich in sulphur, iodine and natural oils.

It is possible to try seaweed treatments and baths at home and there are many great companies selling products that are both therapeutic and relaxing. Look for organic and natural companies where possible. Think how great you feel after walking on the beach and having a dip in the sea. A seaweed bathing regimen is thought to have a significant impact on our health and well-being as well as pure relaxation after a busy day.

Well I am totally convinced are you?

Stop and Smell the Roses

We often hear the phrase, Stop and Smell the Roses, and whilst I am sure there are several takes on this, to me it means; to pause, reflect and look at the brighter side of life. English Rose Gardens remind me of visiting my grandparents’ house when I was a child, I am instantly transported to happy times. Nostalgic yet uplifting too.

Roses are one of the most beautiful flowers in the world, literally the queen of flowers. We all love and appreciate their beauty and they have a myriad of uses in bath and body products, fragrance, room aromas, love potions, teas and cooking ingredients. The benefits to the mind and body have been recognized for thousands of years. The Incas used Rose Otto essential oil as a cure-all.  Rose oils were linked to the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite and the Roman goddess of love, Venus. Even Cleopatra, regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful women used roses in her facial and bathing rituals.

Seen as a universal symbol of love, roses are widely used by people to express their feelings to their loved ones. In perfumery its currently used in 75% of modern feminine fragrances and 10% of men’s fragrances. (In Muslin countries this was originally a man’s scent)

We sometimes regard perfumes with notes of rose as been a little old-fashioned, however, there’s a new crop of perfumes without a trace of Eau de Grandmère. Rose scents are constantly re-invented, in fact it’s a note never too far from a perfumer’s vision, a bit like the Little Black Dress of the fragrance world.  There is a real resurgence right now in rose perfumes. Some say it’s down to political uncertainty and consumers feel the need to surround themselves with something familiar and comforting. I think this is true in part, but also there is something dreamy glorious about receiving a large bouquet of flowers. The scent of rose can have so many different elements, sweet- smelling, fresh, zesty, heady, sumptuous, romantic even aromatic. The Chelsea Flower Show in a bottle!

Rose is said to soothe the heart, heal past griefs, reduce nervous energy and depression, encourage self-love and help to move forward positivity in difficult times. It has spiritual qualities and can aid healing during times of bereavement. It would be beneficial at this difficult time, to drink rose tea as it soothes the mind, heart and throat.

Ayvurvedic healers have used the rose plant in herbal remedies, tinctures, oils, teas, and skincare for many years. Rose balances the Sadhaka Pitta, which governs emotions and how it impacts the heart. Rose- water showers are used traditionally at Indian weddings. The wedding bed is covered in Red rose petals for several reasons: the scent is calming to the nerves and act as a sedative, (It lowers the cortisol stress hormones) roses are an aphrodisiac and the colour Red relates to romance and passion. So, this sets up a favourable mood for the newly-weds special evening.

In beauty products for the face and body, rose has many valuable properties, its complex array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can be very enriching for dry skin, as it soothes irritations, reduces redness and stimulates collagen. All of which help to counteract premature aging. It’s an emollient, which locks moisture into your skin, which then helps to keep your skin feeling hydrated for longer while also improving its texture, giving a soft, healthy glow.

On a final note, I can say that Roses possess a heavenly scent, are wonderful in perfumes, bath and body products, room aromas or simply as flowers in a vase. They can represent spiritually, purity, passion, friendship and love and are present in our thoughts and hearts like no other flower.

The world is a rose, smell it, and pass it to your friends.”

– Persian Proverb

DIY Home Spa

Now more than ever we need to look after ourselves. Many people, often women, feel guilty about spending time relaxing and pampering its seen as self-indulgent and a bit unnecessary. But I really don’t think that’s true! We all work hard and need some TLC, even in Lockdown an hour or so pampering would make a huge difference to your health and happiness.

I work for a wonderful Artisan company who make bath and body products and often need to try out products for home as part of my role, but even before this, I have always seen how important it is to put aside some time to have a leisurely bath, using body creams or a face mask. There are many health benefits to dry brushing and regular massage. Taking some quiet time can be a meditation tool and help to clear the mind easing mental stress. I am a great fan of Dead Sea Salts, a soak in the bath does wonders for back pain and sore muscles. If you don’t have a bath, use these in a large bowl, as a footbath. Our poor feet work hard on our behalf and deserve looking after. If you want to just do one pampering thing to affect your whole body massage your feet.

If you have very dry skin, massage oil into your skin and soak in a bath, the warm water allows to the oil to penetrate your skin much more than putting oil on to your skin after bathing. I often burn essential oils and are a great believer in the benefits of these in bath and body products. Using products that are free of parabens and harmful chemicals are also important, although these can cost a little more usually, they last longer and really benefit the skin.

Having healthy, moisturized, glowing skin not only looks good it feels great too.

Its easy to make a DIY Spa, some candles, fluffy towels, bath and body products, peace and quiet (or relaxing music) even a glass of wine. Organize everything ahead of time and clear away any clutter like children’s toys. So you can just lay back, relax and enjoy.

spa day