The human race is resourceful; and in times of crisis, we work together. The COVID-19 pandemic is an issue of global concern, and although it has been a difficult time, it has united us. Scientists and medical professionals have collaborated on a remarkable scale to research treatments and develop vaccines. Meanwhile, communities have bound together to support each other. But where does the BPC sector fit into this? What role can beauty innovation play? The answer is surprisingly simple: we need to care to spread positivity.
However, these shifts mean that the market is evolving. Such a seismic event will transform demand and consumers have different priorities. There is growing concern around health and safety, and equally, consumers are looking for products with immunological or mood-boosting claims. A more socially distanced society is another factor to consider, as technological communications take on yet greater importance. Brands need to respond rapidly to these changes to sustain themselves in the market – so beauty innovation is critical.
Market trends and key adaptations
COVID-19 has dramatically changed our daily lives. These shifts are translating into beauty; according to Mintel, hygienic, touchless formats will be an important new trend. Considering that discouraging us from touching our faces is one of the crisis’s most ubiquitous messages, it’s no surprise spray and stick formulas are likely to take off. Equally, the demand for hydration is set to grow. Although moisturizing products already enjoyed significant market penetration, the drying or irritating impact of daily mask usage will increase demand.
Many brands are already responding to these imperatives, with an emphasis on corporate responsibility. For instance, a premium brand in China used an image of a female medic in a surgical mask to advertise a hydrating product. Meanwhile, the brand has made regular donations of hydrating creams to medical staff to heal and care for their skin at work. In many ways, this campaign is a masterstroke – it meets a rising consumer demand; creates associations with medical-grade or super-hygienic products; and signals that the brand cares for our heroes in hospitals.
The tech-driven beauty innovation that’s working
Developing and re-framing the products themselves is but one dimension of a forward-thinking approach to beauty innovation. How we reach consumers is another key aspect, especially as we move towards a more technologically-oriented society. We were already well on the march towards tech-driven beauty, but as the coronavirus crisis encourages us to stay home rather than head to retail outlets, this is even more so the case.
For instance, consumer demographics that would normally shy away from online channels are adopting new habits. Mintel’s Trend Driver research shows that 33% of adults like to be amongst the first to try new technologies, so the use of beauty-related apps will accelerate. Furthermore, as people are adapting to the stay-at-home lifestyle, initially low uptake in AR and VR driven technologies is projected to reverse. Brands are already reacting to these new market conditions. A US-based premium skin care brand has started engaging with customers via online chat, while British department stores are providing virtual consultations.
Provital has developed a rapid response to these radically shifting market conditions. Consumers are newly oriented towards health and safety; they want reassurance that products work. Equally, the crisis has renewed consumers’ confidence and reliance on science: they want to see hard evidence that products are safe and that they work. Technology is key to demonstrating this efficacy.
Provital has developed the Bioimage and Bioinformatic Platform (PBBP). Directed toward beauty innovation in the industry, this technology executes algorithms for image analysis and genomics. This allows for in-house quantification and computations, which allow us to perform even closer analysis of product efficacy. With this technology, we can combine science and nature to make active ingredients that work, helping everyone express their individual beauty and spread positive emotions.