Trade show report: Three beauty trends spotted at Cosmoprof Asia 2023

Trade show report: Three beauty trends spotted at Cosmoprof Asia 2023

Cosmoprof Asia returned to Hong Kong this November in (almost) full pre-pandemic strength. With more than 2,400 exhibitors from 44 countries and over 65,000 visitors from 119 countries/regions, the 26th edition of Asia-Pacific’s most important beauty trade fair was busy throughout the four days of the show.

As usual, Cosmoprof Asia took place in two venues – Cosmopack (supply chain / packaging) at AsiaWorld Expo, and Cosmoprof (finished products) at the Hong Kong Conference and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) in Wan Chai – with overlapping opening days (14th to 16th November for Cosmopack, 15th to 17th November for Cosmoprof). Cosmoprof Asia’s usual features were also back this year, including the Cosmotalks series of lectures and panels, Cosmo on Stage (workshops and product demonstrations) and the annual Cosmoprof Asia Awards.

The event attracted 65,582 visitors from 119 countries. This marked a remarkable 64% increase compared to the previous edition held in Hong Kong in 2019 (which was impacted by the protests), and brought the visitor numbers close to the levels achieved in 2018.

Strolling the aisles of the event, Premium Beauty News spotted three key trends:

Active ingredients and the microbiome

One of the most visible trends at the trade show were active ingredients-led face and body care launches, featuring ingredients such as niacinamide, peptides and retinol. Retinol proved to be particularly popular amongst new Asian launches, especially Korean and Japanese brands while cica (centella asiatica) continues to be a standard ingredient in Korean cosmetics.

Korean face care brand Dr. Oracle new three-sku RetinoTightening range contains 0.1% Hydroxypinacolone retinoate, 0.04% adenosine and 2% niacinamide to help improve wrinkles on face and neck. The line-up includes a cream cleanser, ampoule (serum) and moisturiser.

Japanese beauty manufacturer Cogit took the basic formula from its best-selling Cica Method range and added retinol in its brand new Cica Retinol Body Lotion. Several face care products featuring the same combination of cica and retinol are set to launch within the next few months.

Korean brand Dermafirm introduced two launches this September: The Cica AC range comprises five face care products for problem skin formulated with centella asiatica extract while The Peptide is a more anti-ageing focused range and features a moisturising cream, serum and cream mask formulated with 22 different types of peptides.

Microbiome-focused beauty has been a global trend for several years now, and the word “biome” was visible in a number of new brand launches at Cosmoprof Asia.

Russian natural cosmetics brand Natura Siberica extended its Biome range, which was launched last year, and added more than 20 segmented face care products to the line-up. All products are formulated with fermented ingredients and pre-/probiotic actives.

Bulgarian organic beauty brand Alteya Organics also focused on biome protection in the launch of its new Rose Hydrobiome range which contains rose water, marine ingredients and fermented extracts to moisturise the skin.

And Dr. Oracle’s new 4-sku CentellaBiome line, which contains 7 different types of cica extracts (cica root extract, cica leaf extract, madecassoide, asiaticoside, madecassic acid, asiatic acid and cica extract), was formulated specifically to protect and boost the microbiome of sensitive and troubled skin.

Aromatherapy / wellness / functional fragrances

Another major trend were aromatherapeutical/functional fragrance and wellness-focused products launches, especially in the home fragrance category. The related category of sleep beauty/sleep tech (a category which includes digital devices, functional foods and beverages, supplements and beauty products designed to improve sleep quality) was also visible at Cosmoprof Asia 2023, particularly amongst the Asian exhibitors.

Driven by the pandemic, the global market for sleep tech reached almost 17m USD in 2022 and is forecast to grow by almost 18% CAGR until 2028. In Japan, the sleep tech market doubled during the pandemic, according to Asahi Shimbun newspaper whilst Korean company MediC&C has organised an annual Sleep Tech expo in Seoul’s COEX expo center since 2020. Unsurprisingly, a lot of new aromatherapy/sleep beauty launches came from Korean and Japanese brands.

Korean functional fragrance brand Arth was launched in summer 2022 and offers a wide range of scented candles, bath/body care, scented multibalms, solid perfumes, room diffusers, and EDT perfume sprays. All fragrances are unisex and formulated with essential oils to help boost emotional health, offering aromatherapeutical benefits such as improving sleep quality and boosting emotional health.

Aromang, another Korean indie brand, combines aromatherapy with colour therapy. Aromang launched in 2019 with a product line-up including sleep-enhancing pillow sprays, body oils, face oils and guasha massage tools. The brand’s offline POS – there are three stores across Seoul that retail Aromang products – offer colour therapy to guide customers unsure about which fragrance they should choose.

Japanese personal care manufacturer NatureLab recently brought out new range of wellness-focused fabric softeners in its Laundrin range – aromatherapeutically-scented household cleansing products, especially laundry detergents, fabric softeners and fabric sprays. The Laundrin Tea collection range comprises four tea scented variants (darjeeling lemon, white tea, earl grey tea and oolong tea) that offer a soothing and uplifting at-home fragrance experience.

On the sleep side, Naturelab’s launched a sleep-enhancing night-time range. The line-up of Lavons to the Moon line includes room diffusers, fabric softener, fabric spray and scented wardrobe sachets available in two relaxing fragrances.

Japanese body care brand John’s Blend recently introduced an aromatherapeutical bath and body care range available in three fragrances: yuzu, Japanese cypress and spearmint. Each fragrance sub-range is available as fizzing bath tablets, room spray, hand cream and bath oil, with the aim to achieve a relaxing at-home experience even in small living spaces.

Anti-ageing – high-tech and low-tech

Anti-ageing high-tech products and devices are a staple at any Asian beauty trade show, and Cosmoprof Asia 2023 was no exception. The Asian exhibitors in particular were quite innovative in this category.

Chinese beautytech brand Nicemay, for example, introduced a new at-home LED mask equipped with options for red light (said to stimulate collagen production) and blue light (to refine pores and improve skin texture).

Amongst its more high-tech face mask launches, Chinese beauty manufacturer NBC Nox Bellcow presented an EMS (electric muscle stimulation) sheet mask with integrated electrodes. Once the mask is activated, a very low electric current transmitted through the electrode patches will tone the muscles and tighten the contours of the face.

On the low-tech beauty side of things, sheet masks are traditionally a huge category in the Asian facial skin care market and there were plenty of new launches in this sector. NBC’s new Nano Instant Tightening Mask is a sheet mask that leaves a creamy/foamy serum layer on the skin once it is peeled off. Thanks to the nano-sized ingredients which include hyaluronic acid and collagen, the serum layers disappears into the skin extra quickly.

Korean sheet mask manufacturer Adwin’s recent sheet mask innovations didn’t just include a new skin-brightening knee mask (flower shaped for easier application on the knees) but also two hydrogel masks with ingredients targeting specific facial areas. The Purederm Multi Area Only Gel Masks feature a different-coloured hydrogel strip across the eye area. This strip contains ingredients especially selected to hydrate the delicate eye area whilst the rest of the face benefits from more active ingredients.

Another new Adwin launch was the exfoliating Purederm Sebum Melting Clear Mask formulated with AHA and BHA acids. This isn’t a typical sheet mask but rather a half moon-shaped mask sheet was designed to be placed over the nose and the surrounding areas to soften sebum plugs in the nose pores. Unlike pore strips which are torn off and can damage the delicate nose skin, the sebum mask sheet can be easily removed and the blackheads/clogs extracted by hand or with an extraction tool.

In 2024, Cosmoprof Asia will take place from 12th to 15th November (12th to 14th November for Cosmopack, 13th to 15th November for Cosmoprof).


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