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WGSN 2023 beauty big ideas to shape industry include progress, wellbeing and tech

The COVID-19 pandemic morphed and accelerated beauty and personal care trends over the last 18 months and dramatically shifted shopper habits and consumer expectations​. And trend forecasting firm WGSN said there were some important ‘big ideas’ on the horizon for beauty in 2023.

At WGSN’s online Beauty Live event last week, Jenni Middleton, director of beauty at WGSN, outlined the five ideas set to shape industry over the next two years: push for progress; embracing frugality; mastering wellbeing; tech-ceptance; and intentional community.

“As we put the turmoil of the pandemic behind us and economies return to growth, consumers want brands to act on the lessons of 2020 and 2021. Brands and retailers must seize the opportunity to reset or be held accountable as the beauty industry recreates itself as more ethical, inclusive and sustainable,”​ Middleton told attendees.

1: Push for progress – ‘a brand that doesn’t participate positively won’t participate at all’

The first big idea set to shape beauty over the next two years, she said, was a push for progress amongst consumers. “Collective activism has increased. A brand that doesn’t participate positively won’t participate at all as beauty consumers look to invest in products that support their needs and the needs of others.”

For industry, this meant it would be important brands and retailers stood for something “other than the bottom line”​ and designed and developed products that helped “heal the world”,​ boosting biodiversity and leaving no footprint behind, she said.

Big Idea One – Push for progress [Getty Images]

French hair care brand Klorane, for example, had developed a biodegradable detox shampoo using aquatic mint that didn’t contaminate water, she said, tapping into “regenerative design”​ that would soon become the beauty norm. Estée Lauder’s skin care brand Aveda was also tracking its vanilla bean ingredients and Unilever using AI and geo-space analytics to map out where they were sourcing raw materials from, she said, which would become increasingly important to become more trusted.

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