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The Era of Ingredients: How Skincare and Science Are Merging

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In the space of premium skincare, brands are being forced to change their stance as they face more direct competition from a variety of both old and new players. They are also up against a new consumer culture that is hyper-informed and driven by the reality that they have more choices than ever. As consumers get more and more savvy, their need for increased effectiveness from the products they buy is growing. In this age of the influencer, what was once a market for image-based brands, is now transforming into one that is forcing all brands to play, at least partly, in the era of ingredients.

For instance, the Ordinary markets their products purely by ingredient. The success of the brand, which has the 10 best selling products from its parent company, Deciem, caused Estee Lauder to invest in them in 2017. They now have pop up stores in New York City.


Drunk Elephant is a brand that focuses on active ingredients. Launched in 2014, the brand’s focus on spotlighting ingredients on their simple packaging led them to Sephora. Just two years after launching, they became the top-growing skincare brand in Sephora.


Skincare Ingredients: A way to ensure the effectiveness demand is being delivered

Signals Analytics and its cloud-based data platform, Signals Playbook™, connects disparate data collected from consumers, products, markets and technologies to help brands better identify, validate and act on evolving trends. Around skincare, for instance, we can see which benefits consumers are looking for that are not yet met by the market.


Source: Signals Playbook™ Insights


In terms of ingredients, we can see where consumer discussion outweighs market offerings, and where patents are a sign of potentially emerging ingredients that will hit the market. We can see that charcoal continues to own a lot of consumer attention, despite being a “bubble” in skincare for the past couple years.  Known for its effectiveness in removing toxins, charcoal is a key player. Retinoids are also taking up a large proportion of consumer conversation, with relatively fewer products in market.


Source: Signals Playbook™ Insights


Ingredients are a way to ensure the effectiveness demand is being delivered to consumers. Brands that aren’t speaking in ingredient terminology will continue to see their business stolen by brands that are. It’s not difficult to foresee the concentration (or amount) of active ingredients being the next step in this progression of customer focus.


Written by Erin Stavi


Director of Product Marketing at Signals Analytics. Erin has a decade of experience working with leading CPG companies in various analytical functions. Erin has played a key role in helping Fortune 500 clients drive their businesses forward.


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Chris Thatcher
5W Public Relations 646-430-5161
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