What Companies Behind The Scenes In Beauty Believe Will Be Big In 2022

In this edition of Beauty Independent’s ongoing series posing questions relevant to indie beauty, we ask founders and executives at 15 companies operating behind the scenes in the beauty industry: What areas of your business do you believe will grow or recede next year?

Courtney Regan Director of Global Marketing and Brand Development, Cosmetic Solutions Innovation Labs

Sexual wellness products with a focus on female sexual health and menopause will continue to scale. The days of one-size fits-all are over. Inclusion is the name of the game. There are over 1 billion women over the age of 50 looking for effective personal care products that address a number of very specific needs, and we’re seeing brands realizing this and wanting to fill the white space.

Products and packaging with a more impactful sustainability message are rising higher and higher. More beauty brands are finding ways to minimize the impact they leave on the world when they make products. The sustainability promises are getting more complicated and specific. Not only do they claim to brighten or tighten, for example, but many are cruelty-free, vegan, water-free and sustainable with fair and ethical sourcing.

Total wellness is on the rise. More than ever, we are seeing product development requests that are looking to tie well-being into formulations for a holistic approach that touches upon the mental health aspect of wellness, too. They are searching for formulas with active ingredients that address challenges like anxiety, stress and fatigue. Moving into next year, we expect to see a continued growth and alignment between beauty, wellness and health.

Amy Hart Chief Innovation Officer, Elevation Labs

Next year, we believe we will see even more customers become interested in Raw Material Safety Stock Deposit options to ensure global supply chain delays are minimized as much as possible.

Next year, we believe we will continue to see more interest in clean hair and body care innovation. This has been an area of growth over the past year and a half as consumers continue to have a mixed working from home routine needing great hair on camera as well as taking care of themselves in a spa-like experience at home.

Next year, we believe we’ll continue to receive more requests for color-plus-skincare hybrid type formulations versus color alone. As consumers continue to get more and more savvy, color-alone products aren’t as interesting when compared to color with skincare benefits. Multitasking is always a good thing!

Jordan Erskine President, Dynamic Blending

We believe that men's skincare will grow next year. We have seen a significant increase in men's skincare within product development. With companies like Harry's and Manscaped branching out into more personal skincare for men, men will soon have many more different products to choose from.

More and more men are signing up for monthly subscription boxes because they can get amazing products for shaving, skincare, cologne, etc. There are not as many men-focused subscription box offerings to choose from as women have. This means there is a huge opportunity to reach customers at their front door.

Andrea Rodriguez Account Specialist, Indigo Private Label Cosmetics

I hope people will start to be less trend-driven and more focused on their hero product(s). Thus, our production side of the business will grow and our development side may recede. Sustainability initiatives and supply chain disruptions are putting real roadblocks in the fast-fashion lane of the beauty industry.

We think brands will stop wanting a million new SKUs and realize it’s better to invest in a quality formula. That way they can build a loyal following and guarantee supply for their customers and retail partners. It would be more economical for their business, lessen waste and minimize their carbon footprint.

Cynthia Johnson Founder and CEO, Cindy J Cosmetic Labs

Because the beauty industry has shown the lack of diversity and inclusion, I see beauty companies partnering with cosmetic chemists that represent their consumer base. It is important for brand owners to collaborate with minority business owners to show authenticity and transparency. Cosmetic chemists like myself will continue to serve the underrepresented audience by striving for strong brand positioning.

Kristen Flaharty Founder and Owner, Trilogy Laboratories

I believe that the entire personal care industry will continue to grow along with the focus on health and wellness, regardless of economic conditions. We saw a shift in buying trends during the pandemic to online purchases of health and beauty products and DIY at-home professional strength treatments. Similarly, during the last recession, 18% of U.S. launches in personal care focused on professional style beauty products for use at home. Even in uncertain times, there is demand for personal care products.

We are forecasting double-digit growth in our private-label and custom-manufacturing business for 2022. Reasons include the low barrier to entry with e-commerce platforms as well as the trend toward small niche brands. Many who struggled with their career during the pandemic, including spa owners who closed temporarily or permanently, turned to selling products online for income. Our online inquiries for private-label services have increased fourfold from pre-pandemic levels.

Julie Christiansen CEO, Gordon Labs

We will continue to see strong growth in clean beauty, specifically product categories like sunscreen and serums. We continue to see the positive effect of social media influencers on formula categories that help with skin brightening and creating a glow. Everyone wants to look good on their Instagram feed! We are seeing a drop-off in formulas containing CBD due to the impact of large retailers requesting brands to remove the ingredient.

Devin Garcia Director of R&D and Innovation, Accupac

As consumers, all of us are redefining our preferences and priorities for a post-pandemic world. A critical part of this in the beauty and personal care space will be increased formulation development and packaging design services.

We see brands looking to reinvent products to combat secondary concerns like maskne or hyperpigmentation. We see brands responding to consumer preference around clean formulas made with sustainably sourced ingredients that are vegan or cruelty-free. Packaging is also evolving. We are getting more and more requests for packaging that is biodegradable, refillable and even plastic-free. This demand is calling for new innovations in the packaging space.

In addition to that, our day-to-day routines and shopping behaviors have changed. Virtual meetings have made us more focused on skincare, but. as we come out to the pandemic, we will start to see a resurgence in makeup. We are more prone to DIY haircare treatments, and we shop a lot more online and less in the grocery store. We expect brands to respond by extending successful brands into lateral segments, expanding a 10-SKU hair care brand into a 20-SKU hair and skincare regimen.

Mark Broussard Founder, Desert In Bloom Cosmetics Lab

The general themes for new product development that are trending in my practice are products that support the skin microbiome, skin barrier repair, two phase (oil/water) products, CBD and minor cannabinoids (CBG, CBC) products, and upcycled ingredients. There is also a focus on functional product lines where the products are complementary and address the core skincare needs: cleansing, moisturization/hydration, exfoliation/renewal, barrier repair and UV protection.

Sustainably sourced and renewable ingredient sources are in high demand as is reusable packaging and recyclable packaging with more requests for glass and aluminum base packaging materials. There is a growing trend towards clean formulas with a minimal number of ingredients that are proven performance actives. The distribution channels (retailers) are increasingly placing more limitations on preservatives that are acceptable in the products they carry, particularly restrictions on the use of phenoxyethanol.

These trends are primarily driven by consumer consciousness seeking a straightforward skincare routine comprised of clean products formulated with highly functional ingredients that are sustainably sourced in recyclable packaging meeting their skincare needs and their desire to help protect the environment.

Taylor Zeigler Sustainability Expert, Genie Supply

We will see a steeply increased demand for sustainability throughout the entire beauty supply chain. Consumers and manufacturers will demand reassurance that products are ethically sourced and responsibly produced. This will require brands to redefine consumers' relationships with the products themselves in order to create a more circular economy.

Challenges will include sourcing reputable, transparent packaging manufacturers, pushing the limits of what's possible and practical for sustainable packaging, transparency in the ingredient supply chain, and shifting the onus of end-of-life analysis from consumers to brands to avoid greenwashing and make real, measurable environmental impact.

Marc N.G. de Mul Founder, Measured Innovation

With Measured Innovation, one of our activities is helping new brands launch their first products. Recently, I have seen increasing interest from founders who are launching brands in the beauty industry and beyond. Most are focused on clean and sustainable beauty.

I think that next year that trend will continue with more sustainable and environmentally friendly product launches, especially sustainable packaging has a lot of room for innovation. Carbon neutrality is another sustainability claim that may finally find traction with consumers.

If the pandemic ends and masks come off, maskne claims should end up in the dustbin. Consumers will meet more in person, with an increased focus on their personal appearance, which will drive them to buy more beauty products.

Debra Myers Founding Investor, Enfusia

Since the FDA is removing all temporary hand sanitizer production policies, we see that portion of our business dying completely. It's too expensive to gain permanent status, and there are too many big players in the space. On a positive note, we purchased small fill equipment that can be used in other areas of our business such as fragrance, bubble bath and sprays. I wouldn't trade the real-world experience for anything as it had made us sharper, faster and able to pull together as a team to solve problems.

Claude Desmarais President and Owner, CYD Packaging

Sustainable packaging alternatives will continue to grow and become the norm because of the consumers being more aware, educated and all of us being concerned, doing our part about saving our planet.

The sustainable packaging alternatives include bio-resins to replace virgin plastics to reduce fossil fuel dependency, and biodegradable paper products using agricultural waste such as hemp to reduce our dependency on trees and reduce the water used to produce virgin paperboards that use an enormous amount of water.

Brands should develop packaging that are produced using one material/resin, ideally PCR materials, to ensure they can be recycled as one piece, and develop packaging that can be easily separated if using more than one type of material prior to being placed in recycling. An example would be to make sure that a windowed gift box can be easily separated, meaning the window can be removed from the paper box to make sure both parts are recycled. If the windowed gift box is placed in a recycling bin not separated, it will end up in a landfill or ocean.

Local manufacturers will be sought-after because of the unpredictable global shortages of supplies causing extended shipping lead times and costs. The short-term future challenges and advantages will be felt and possible for all packaging sources.

Liz Scott CEO, EC Scott Group

I interpreted this as where we are investing time, energy and money versus pulling back. We are growing our category and retail landscape expertise. We’ve been busy geeking out on data and trend analysis to support our partners’ success in the new normal.

We are growing inventory fulfillment optimization and speed to market. After all, having the right inventory at the right time is the most basic building block for retail success. We are growing our team, and brand and retailer partners. We are focusing our resources on the people we believe most in.

There will be a pullback on physical office space, and investment more in meaningful off-sites, face time with partners, wherever that is, and tapping into talent beyond previous geographic limitations.

Valerie George Founder, Simply Ingredients

In looking at the beauty industry overall, I think we’ll see people trying more brands, especially independent ones. The smaller companies can navigate better through supply chain issues because volumes required to produced batches are typically lower. Larger brands will suffer the most due to their inability to get ingredients due to the high volumes they require.

We’ll continue to see supply chain issues well through mid-2022 as ingredient feedstock markets get even tighter and shipping delays continue, so I expect consumers to get curious and try new things!

If you have a question you’d like Beauty Independent to ask beauty service providers, please send it to editor@beautyindependent.com.