Beauty & Personal CareBeauty report: Emergence of clean, beauty within, and functional ingredients

Beauty report: Emergence of clean, beauty within, and functional ingredients

Clean emerges as the new natural in beauty as toxin-free, vegan and cruelty free become the baseline consumer expectation.

This year marks greater mainstream awareness of “what goes on, goes in” with growing numbers of consumers understanding the direct link between health, nutrition, functional ingredients, and beauty and personal care.

Demand is reaching a tipping point where mainstream retailers are actively looking to differentiate with toxin-free options and targeted marketing campaigns, and a new breed of lifestyle e-tailers is helping grow online sales in cosmetics and skin care products, once the sole domain of founder-owned brands and beauty-specific e-commerce.

This year’s highlights include:

Emergence of clean

Consumers are more educated than ever before, and not just on the ‘dirty dozen’ but on full ingredient transparency, key certifications and issues around ‘green washing’, animal cruelty and social responsibility. It’s fair to say ‘clean’ is emerging as the new ‘natural’ and toxin-free ingredients are no longer enough to differentiate. 

Leading manufacturers and distributors are prioritising vegan and cruelty-free credentials, and consumers are starting to consider this a baseline requirement. Special mentions go to fast-growing brands INIKA Cosmetics and Black Chicken Remedies.

Beauty within

Growing awareness of food as medicine has squarely met our thirst for eternal youth in one of 2018’s biggest trends – beauty from within. Another manifestation of the macro trend of healthy ageing, we’ve seen collagen used in everything from creams to cosmetics, but now innovative companies are blending it with other functional ingredients to target specific beauty concerns in both pills and powders. See Nutra Organics, the Beauty Chef and Intrametica.

Food and functional ingredients

Adaptogens, hemp seed oil, probiotics, turmeric, camel milk, seaweed and Australian bush ingredients like Kakadu plum have taken centre stage this year. See award-winning Sativa Skincare for its range of hemp seed oil based products; newcomer Be Fraiche for its impressive ingredient line up; US top-seller and pioneer in the use plant stem cells ACURE Organics; Golden Grind turmeric skin and body range; and luk beautifood for its innovative range of lipsticks created with food.


The increasingly sophisticated grooming habits of the Australian man is driving opportunities for niche entrepreneurial start-ups in a market traditionally dominated by larger players. Changing perceptions of masculinity is seeing men add more and more items to their everyday checklist from beard oils to masks, and functional cosmetics. Special mentions go to pharmacist-developed Native Manbenecos (recently introduced by Bio Living), and new player Men’s Botanics.

Sensitive and problem skin

Up to 15 percent of Australian adults and almost 40 per cent of infants suffer from eczema or atopic dermatitis, some of the highest rates of the disease in the world.

Fast growing practitioner only skin care company Juniper has leapt off retail shelves this year with its holistic and credible approach to addressing key skincare concerns with naturopathic advice and solutions for dermatitis, eczema, rosacea, premature ageing, acne prone skin, and more. Special mention to Naturally Good Pitch Fest finalist Zea Relief for its innovative use of Australian kunzea essential oil for its therapeutic and pain-relieving benefits.

Vegan Nail Polish

This has been the year for vegan nail polish with a multitude of new players in-demand, such as Hanami Cosmetics and RAWW by Total Beauty Network.

Natural and paste deoderants

Paste and crème stick deodorants have exploded onto the Australian retail market this year. Special mentions going to US market leader Schmidt Naturals (acquired by Unilever in late 2017); and locals Noosa Basics and Woohoo Body.


It’s still hot this year with the ingredient appearing in everything from mouthwashes and toothbrushes to face masks, hair products and deodorant.

This article first appeared on Naturally Good.

Lisa Crawford Jones is an award winning journalist, editor of What's New in Healthy Products and content manager to Naturally Good. She's a health content specialist with two decades’ experience spanning senior positions in public health policy; media, communications and advertising; and both consumer and trade markets for healthy packaged goods.

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