Superfood beauty is the trend that keeps on giving, but at what cost to the rest of the industry?

Superfood beauty is the trend that keeps on giving, but at what cost to the rest of the industry?

Industry crossovers are well known for their successes, and the merging of food and beauty has been around for some time. However, it seems to have exploded of late. Why? One word – wellness. As we know, the clean beauty and wellness movement is big, and we mean huge, and while food and beauty may have been joining forces for years – we’re looking at you St Ives Apricot Scrub – the explosion of lust for all things self-care has seen the trend intensify of late.  

In recent years personal care and make-up shoppers have become increasingly concerned not just about just what they’re putting in their mouths, but also what they’re putting on their skin. The movement for ‘clean’ beauty has prompted a raft of products that tout natural food ingredients that are deemed ‘safer’ than a list of mind-boggling chemicals, such as preservatives, that the average consumer will read with horror. And while we know natural doesn’t always mean safer, it seems the average buyer often feels more comfortable with ingredient names they can find on the shelf in the local supermarket.

Spanning luxury to mass market from the U.S. to Asia, brands such as Youth to the People, Tonymoly, Kiehls and Aveeno are harnessing ingredients such as Kombucha, oat milk, cherry juice, ginger and green tea, and retailers are falling over themselves to stock them. Sephora is catering to the high end market with the likes of Glow Recipe, while Target and CVS are stocking mass market alternatives such as Earth to Skin.

The health benefits of the ingredients is one such influence on the growth of the superfood beauty market, with seemingly every woman, and man, wanting their skincare to offer the same benefits as their fridge. Asia, of course, has propelled the trend further – having harnessed superfoods in its cosmetics and skincare for decades, the regard in which K Beauty is held sees the likes of Tonymoly and Shiseido, which more recently launched its superfood range Waso, continue to harness their history to capitalize on the lucrative wellness consumer – with the rest of the world following suit.

So we know it’s a growing trend, and we know it’s going nowhere fast – but what’s the alternative for those consumers not wanting to use food ingredients on their hair, face or skin but are also apprehensive of chemical-heavy products – what then?

What it really comes down to is education on the fact that standard beauty products that contain ingredients that may seem daunting or have been painted in a bad light – step up preservatives – are not in fact the devil incarnate.

While the wellness trend may be fuelling a rise in clean beauty and superfood-based products, a lot of misguided headlines, or the cosmetic’s industry’s ‘fake news’ as my colleague Georgina so eloquently put it in a recent Global Cosmetics News podcast on the complexities of the clean beauty movement, are perhaps to the detriment of products that are safe and undeserving of the brush with which they’ve been tarred.   

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