In the United Kingdom, 63% of consumers agree that it’s just as important to care for the skin on your body as your face. However, just 3% of those surveyed believe that body care is more important than facial care – which is a surprising statistic, considering the rising popularity of full-body spa treatments, surgical therapies, and body makeup products that claim to restore skin elasticity, improve texture, and even pigmentation. In fact, the average annual value growth for the body care segment is projected to stagnate over the next five years in many Western European markets.
Consumers have many reasons for neglecting body care routines; for some, it’s merely time constraints. For instance, many cream-based products take time to sink into the skin before the user can dress. Especially in light of the aforementioned statistics, many consumers choose to forego body care in favor of convenience. Therefore, to reignite interest in the segment, especially now that sedentary lifestyle is increasing due to the confinement circumstances, the beauty industry should place more emphasis on the importance of body care as an aspect of overall well-being, and from here, create innovative solutions for consumers’ convenience.
Positioning body care as an essential aspect of well-being
To encourage consumers to embrace body care, companies need to heed their preferences and subsequent market trends. For example, consumers are increasingly concerned with sustainability, health, and well-being, opting for natural ingredients over synthetic formulas. Currently, the organic and natural beauty market is set to have a compound annual growth rate of 5.01% over the next five years, reaching a total market value of $48.04 billion by 2025 (Grand View Research Inc., 2019). As such, manufacturers should lean towards natural solutions, emphasizing the use of natural body care products as part of overall health and well-being.
However, the question of convenience remains. How can the industry create fast-acting formulas that save the user time, whilst keeping natural solutions at the core of their approach? In response, manufacturers need to think creatively. How can they integrate natural, health-giving ingredients with advanced, highly absorbent carriers that make body care routines as efficient as they are nourishing? Certainly, there’s a huge white space in the market to formulate these solutions, opening up lucrative new verticals.
Drawing inspiration from Chinese medicine to restore skin elasticity and appearance
When it comes to effective, natural formulations, a rich source of inspiration is traditional Chinese medicine. This is because as a philosophy, Chinese medicine is holistic; instead of prescribing solutions on a case-by-case basis, Chinese medicine is a lifestyle. As stated by Jia Chen, the vice president of the new Amway Botanical Research Center in Wuxi, China, “Chinese medicine is really a life philosophy. It’s about your diet, it’s about nature and the spirit, it’s about the way you treat your health and life.” As such, techniques from Chinese medicine communicate the message of overall well-being that speaks to contemporary consumers.
Using traditional Chinese formulas as a foundation, Provital has formulated Striover™. This active ingredient combines two powerful plant extracts from traditional eastern medicine that reduce the appearance of stretch marks and restore skin elasticity: Astragalus membranaceus and Codonopsis pilosula. Astragalus, a fundamental herb in Chinese medicine, has been proven to have anti-inflammatory and healing properties, limiting the destruction of pro-collagen (Hong et al., 2013). Equally, Codonopsis has been shown to have anti-aging effects related to its immunological benefits, capacity to eliminate free radicals, and promotion of anti-lipid peroxidation (He et al., 2014).
Both plants are used to improve Qi, or “the vital flow of energy,” thus combining a message of well-being and tangible results. Together, these plant extracts mimic the effects of the injection of autologous platelet-rich plasma (PRP), activating dermal fibroblasts to encourage the secretion of various growth factors. The benefits of these ingredients were tested both in vitro and in vivo, using a cutometer skin elasticity test system. Subsequently, participants in the human study tested at a 7% elasticity increase and a 4.3% increase in firmness.
Combining natural ingredients with fast-acting, scientific formulas
However, what makes ingredients like Striover™ even more compelling is their potential for integration into fast-acting formulas. For instance, formulas with liposome-delivery molecules containing firming ingredients like Striover™ fulfill consumers’ demand for time-saving, absorbent products. Equally, there’s a huge gap in the market for cosmetotextiles, particularly for consumers that suffer from eczema. Alongside powerful moisturizing natural ingredients, these polymers can directly infuse skin with healing ingredients. These technologies present exciting possibilities, as they signal the potential to break into a whole new market in textiles.
Responding to consumer needs to reignite demand
Ultimately, the beauty industry needs to listen to the consumer to reverse stagnation in the body care segment. Marketers should position body care as an integral part of a well-being routine, with the promotion of natural, sustainable ingredients as the keystone of this message. With ingredients like Striover™ – natural, plant-based formulas that are proven to restore skin elasticity and texture – manufacturers can meet the demand for ‘clean’ beauty products. Further to this, the industry needs to continuously innovate to address consumers’ need for convenience. By exploring different delivery methods, manufacturers can show consumers that body care isn’t an inconvenience, but an indispensable aspect of overall well-being.