By Jennifer Hermitage

Welcome to the Winter edition of Trends where we will look at some distinct and interesting groups of modern consumers who are emerging amongst the current beauty landscape. They each have their own interests and values which influence their purchasing choices, leading to varied opportunities for the beauty industry.

Ritualistic Skinplicity & Cultural Wisdom

The simplicity of ancient rituals are a source of inspiration for many modern beauty buyers. This consumer group have a healthy respect for traditions which have stood the test of time and are backed by the knowledge of ancient wisdom. They value solid, tried and tested results over fuss and frills, and favour simple formulations with a heritage – be that old school brands or ancient practices. These products are super basic and may simply consist of one valued raw material, for example, coconut oil used during hair oiling, or a minimalist formulation with a pared-back INCI list.

A balancing of global cultural influence has increased awareness of an array of traditional practises and materials. Meanwhile, the increasing appreciation of a broad range of beauty ideals further drives the momentum around cultural traditions as many turn to ancestral rituals to enhance their physical attributes. Chébé is a custom during which Chadian women use a powder made of the seeds of the croton gratissimus tree to treat and grow their famously long hair. Chébé, along with other African beauty customs, inspired Salwa Petersen to create her collection of award-winning beauty products that combine Chad’s natural, ritualistic recipes with the latest cosmetic technology. Other ingredients used within the range include Castor oil which promotes hair growth, repairing Avocado oil, nourishing shea butter and ceramides which promote elasticity and aid moisture retention.

In Western Africa the Néré tree is a valuable resource that people have used for centuries. The entire tree, from the root to the leaves, is commonly used in traditional medicine with pulverised bark of the tree being known as especially good for the skin.

Cornelius can help:

We supply a large portfolio of natural, sustainably sourced oils from OLVEA, including castor, avocado and TrueShea™ (shea butter). Their established fair-trade supply chain for TrueShea™ in Burkina Faso sees them buy Shea kernels directly from farmers’ organisations and female collectors. They process the Shea kernels at their green plant in Bobo Dioulasso to obtain crude Shea butter, which is then refined in OLVEA’s eco-refinery in France – this has been designed to have the lowest possible environmental impact and guarantees no cross-contamination occurs. No solvents are used during extraction of TrueShea™ and it is free from fractionation and hydrogenation, it is Natural Cosmos Approved (100% PPAI) and scores 100% Natural ISO 16128 – helping to meet Clean Beauty requirements.

SILAB’s NERENYL® is rich in biosaccharides, obtained from Néré seeds. It reinforces the resistance of the barrier function, activates skin hydration and regulates the skin’s water needs by improving the synthesis of key hydration mediators. Radiance is restored and the overall quality of skin is improved thanks to NERENYL’s® restructuring and hydrating effect.

Holistic Consciousness

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is increasing in popularity along with holistic treatments in general. As awareness of the importance of mental health grows, consumers are drawn to integrated, ancient practises which are customisable to individual needs. The solidity of ancient practises provides further stability to those bewildered during times of flux and instability. Traditional Chinese ingredients are increasingly used in cosmetic formulations for the benefits they bring.

The ancient practice of Ayurveda, another traditional holistic system of healthcare, is for the same reasons gaining momentum and Ayurvedic skincare brands are becoming more numerous. Urban Veda is a London based brand inspired by age old herbal remedies, which they combine with modern technology, to create multi award winning formulations. All products are made with Ayurvedic herbs, flowers and fruits combined with clinically proven actives and antioxidants to help maintain the skin’s natural balance and tackle issues like dehydration, dullness and stress. Best-selling Radiance Facial Oil gives a boost to dry, dull skin. It is based on plant oils and olive based squalane, with the addition of brightening liquorice, anti-inflammatory turmeric and blemish-fighting papaya to restore clarity, suppleness and a natural glow.

Hair oiling is a traditional form of haircare that has been around in many forms throughout different cultures for centuries. Ancient Ayurvedic texts recommend sesame oil in the cold seasons and coconut oil for hot periods of the year, due to their respective warming and cooling effects. Slugging, the age-old practice of slathering the face, body or hair with an occlusive substance to retain moisture and nourish the skin, has been championed by TikTok users over the last year and brands are keen to capitalise on this hugely popular phenomenon. Futurewise is a newly created brand who have arrived to market with three slugging products: Slug boost, a skin-quenching essence mist; Slug cream, a barrier repair moisturiser and Slug Balm, a jelly balm that locks in the previous steps, providing a protective shield against environmental stressors. Together the three products, which combine emollients, humectants and occlusives, work together to deliver layers of intense hydration and moisture.

Cornelius can help:

Jeen’s Jeechem® Squalane Natural is an olive derived squalane which, as a natural emollient smooths and softens skin, improves elasticity and helps prevent water loss. It has a composition similar to sebum and is absorbed readily into the skin, making it a great carrier for other ingredients. Our luxurious feeling Night Oil formulation is deeply hydrating, making it ideal for dry skin. The water-free formulation is based on Jeechem® Squalane Natural with the addition of novel textured raw materials from Phoenix Chemicals: rich feeling, occlusive Pelemol® DP-144B and cushiony, vegetable based Pelemol® 6 GPR.

SILAB have a wide selection of actives based on ingredients used in Traditional Chinese Medicine including NEUROFENSE® (Red Sage), PRO-SVELTYL® (Sacred Lotus) and FERMISKIN® (Shiitake Mushroom). Contact your Cornelius representative for a list of all 13 TCM inspired actives.

Our recently launched Hair Slugging Oil Balm has a solid structure which makes the process of hair oiling much easier and less messy. In it we have gelled Argan oil with Vegerite SP 3003, a vegetable-based alternative to ozokerite wax, that has the capacity to gel natural oils. We have also added Tea Wax which is obtained from the leaf of the tea plant – it imparts antioxidant benefits and provides a fabulous green colour.


Consumers who value efficacious simplicity have always existed, but a distinct group has emerged post-pandemic. These Skinimalists used the Covid era to press reset, re-evaluating their ideals and purchasing choices. They gain satisfaction from buying well and actively choose to reduce waste, being mindful of over-consumption. This group of consumers invest in quality products formulated for optimal results and, whilst drawn to the simplicity of ancient wisdom, they are greatly impressed by science-backed results. Above all they reject overly complicated routines, opting for a focused approach to skincare and colour cosmetics and enjoying multi-tasking products that eliminate steps from a beauty routine. Skinimalists are particularly open to the concept of lab-grown raw materials as these reduce environmental impact whilst appealing to their interest in technology.

Brands like True Two All are embracing this ethos and have just two steps in their entire range: The Wash and The Hydrator. The brand says it wants to simplify skincare, freeing up time for the important things in life, so has created just two efficacious products that are suitable for all no matter age, race or gender. Simply apply one pump of wash and two pumps of hydrator twice a day. Then send off for refills when you run out.

The Wash, with its foaming and milky consistency, satisfies every customer’s sensory preference. It cleanses without stripping skin, removes make-up and can be used as a shaving aid for face and body, it restores skin to an ideal pH 5.5 and optimises barrier function with hydrating squalene, coconut oil and shea butter.

The Hydrator is a hybrid between a gel and cream moisturiser, designed to hydrate, soothe and protect. It has an ultra-light texture that allows active ingredients to easily penetrate without leaving the feeling of residue. It contains 10 efficacious materials which work in synergy for maximum benefit to the skin. Each product is designed to complement the other and they both contain Meadowfoamestolide, which provides a barrier against moisture loss and is derived from meadowfoam.

Skin + Me’s personalised skincare service offers consumers with an easy way to add effective active ingredients to their skincare routine, targeting specific concerns from acne to wrinkles. With their monthly subscription, you receive personalised made-to-order treatments that come in a ‘Daily Doser’ – designed to provide the exact amount of cream needed for nightly applications, thus eliminating confusion and waste.

Products contain actives which deal with concerns such as acne, blackheads, enlarged pores, wrinkles, dark spots and uneven texture. The formulations are non-greasy, light and non-comedogenic.

Cornelius can help:

SILAB’s DERMAPUR® HP is rich in phenolic acids purified from meadowsweet. It re-equilibrates the ecosystem  of the skin by stimulating the synthesis of natural antibiotics. It reduces bacterial growth, sebaceous secretions, and limits inflammatory lesions, making it ideal for the treatment of oily skin with a tendency for acne.

Our new Aqua Renew Moisturiser is a crystal clear, oil free formulation, with an optimal pH 5.5 – making it perfect for those with oily skin. It has a minimal INCI list and is based on SNF’s cationic thickening agent Flocare™ PSD 1037 LV which imparts a rich skin feel whilst creating a mattifying barrier. It also contains two of SILAB’s active ingredients for excellent moisturisation and anti-wrinkle benefits. APIOSKIN® highly hygroscopic in nature. It is able to take up and retain water, from the stratum corneum down to the upper dermis thus providing outstanding flash and long-term hydration.

Anti-ageing REGENIXIR® stimulates the skin’s capacity to synthesise its own regeneration elixir, to reinforce the skin regeneration and the cellular interconnectivity with the immune and vascular systems. The overall quality of the skin is improved: wrinkles and under-eye circles are reduced; vascularisation defects are attenuated and the complexion radiance is revived.

Digital Skillusionists

This consumer group are artistic and expressive, challenging beauty norms with their individual style. They have a punk edge and, having experimented with avatar apps they are confidently taking their bold image into the real world. In the age of the avatar, as digital users refine and customise their virtual identities, what avatars wear and look like is increasingly important. Digital Skillusionists embrace the digital world and identify with their avatars, they enjoy trying out new products in the virtual space and will click to purchase their favourites in real life. In a study by Accenture, nearly half of all respondents were interested in buying virtual ‘looks’ including make-up and hair products that could be used on their avatar or by themselves virtually through a digital filter. The metaverse is currently in the making and many corporations already use digital spaces to promote brands and sell virtual goods for gaming avatars.

Digital Skillusionists love to play with colour and are open to influences from rave culture and the boldest runway trends, for example the “Powdered Puff” effect that was seen on the faces of catwalk models at various Spring/Summer 2023 fashion shows . The unusual placement of colour is what this look is all about – at the Etro show, pops of bright, soft-focus yellow and orange were used for an ethereal effect , being dabbed across the brow, eyelids and down to cheekbones and at Stella, Jean wax textured paints adorned the face in abstract designs. This is a very wearable trend when the powders are switched to more traditional blusher shades like bright pink, and the placement is toned down for daily wear, perhaps as blusher extended towards the temples.

Hair colour is also an ideal area for experimentation. Richly intense reds and luminous copper hues or, contrastingly, matte pastels have been key hair colour themes in the Spring/Summer 2023 fashion shows, where designers have been keen to inject some fun back into fashion.

There are a host of inventive products available in today’s marketplace with which the adventurous Skilusionist can experiment:

Brands like Revolution Beauty London have a host of brilliantly bright shades available to bring out anyone’s bold and creative side – their Neo Palette contains no less than 48 colour popping hues. Milk Make-Up’s Color Chalk provides a hit of intense metallic colour in a chalk stick format, complete with peel-off paper wrapper. There are 12 shades which provide intense, shimmering colour that are suitable for all over use.

UNIQ Hair Chalk Brushes are available in sets of six bright colours, each housed in its own easy-to-use applicator brush. The wash-out shades provide temporary colour for those who love to experiment.

Blurring the lines between digital and physical realities, The Unseen have launched SPECTRA eye colour – the world’s first ‘Dual Reality’ makeup. Shade 8.08 is a reflective cream eye colour that looks grey in real life but with flash photography it appears reflective silver. This transformation is possible due to the properties of the retroreflective beads it is based on. These tiny glass spheres have an aluminium coating on one side that reflects light, giving them a bright silver effect under a flash.

Bold Beauty Trend

Cornelius can help: We supply Radiant Color’s Dermaglo pigments – the only cosmetically approved fluorescents. They are available in several neon shades, including pink, orange, blue and yellow and can be used in a variety of colour cosmetics.

Our Hair Colour Gellée formulation adds temporary colour to the hair which washes out with one shampoo. The light emulsion base leaves hair feeling completely natural, and any pigment can be added to it, providing huge scope for colour options. The formula contains Pecosil® SH-25L, a material that forms a covalent bond at the pigment surface to create a siliconic coating, improving colour adherence to the hair for longer wear time.

Our new Powder Styler formulation is texturising , mattifying and provides extreme volume. PVP has been blended into a powder base to provide high strength formula which provides maximum root boosting and a re-workable finish, allowing for style touch-ups throughout the day. Additionally, it contains hair re-growth and conditioning actives to improve hair health.

In Conclusion

Considering the values and expectations of today’s distinct consumer groups is of vital importance to brands launching into today’s complex beauty arena, when formulating, the careful consideration of raw materials which appeal to the conscientious consumer in terms of provenance and efficacy is more important today than ever before.

If any of these consumer groups, brands or ingredients were inspiring for your future development, or you would like to discuss any of these trends in more detail, please reach out to our knowledgeable team of experts; from formulators, product managers and market insight specialists, we can help you: