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Nicola Mira
Mar 23, 2017
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Active beauty a major trend in 2017, linking cosmetics to sport

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Mar 23, 2017

According to UK market intelligence agency Mintel, which produces annual forecasts on the international cosmetics market, the Active Beauty trend is here to stay, and is fast gaining influence. It is a response to the increasingly pivotal role played by the willingness of consumers to adopt a healthy lifestyle, inspired by the motto 'a healthy mind in a healthy body'.

Biotherm's Skin Fitness range, launched in March 2017 - Biotherm

"Going forward, a growing number of brands will be launching innovative products which prepare and assist consumers before and during physical activity, and are also designed to facilitate recovery," said Vivienne Rudd, Director of Global Insight and Innovation at Mintel's Beauty and Personal Care division.

The Active Beauty trend emerging in the beauty industry goes of course hand in hand with the advent of Athleisure, already a factor in the fashion world for several seasons, as a host of ready-to-wear labels have added activewear collections to their range. According to Euromonitor, one sixth of global consumption expenditure on apparel and shoes falls in the sportswear category.

It is no surprise then that skincare and make-up consumers seek practical, multi-functional products suited to sporting activity, and promising a beneficial effect on their health. The Mintel survey has spotted several international indicators confirming this tendency: 59% of Chinese face care product uses are willing to exercise more to have better skin, while 39% of American women using make-up are frustrated by products with a short life-span. Elsewhere, 30% of British women who work out in gyms use their club's spa and wellness facilities, while 53% of Italian consumers are reportedly interested in body care products which strengthen and prolong the effects of physical activity.

Several beauty brands have already sprinted into this segment. Biotherm for example has unveiled the Skin Fitness range dedicated to "the skin of athletic women." The L'Oréal group brand has called on Véronique Lebar, a sports medicine specialist, to develop a toning emulsion containing camphor, which is believed to enhance recovery.

In February M.A.C Cosmetics launched a 39-item make-up line inspired by fitness training, and developed a series of fragranced facial mists, designed to refresh after physical effort. Last December, US label Tarte Cosmetics introduced a make-up capsule collection aptly called Athleisure, featuring for example a tinted hydrating cream with sunscreen, for outdoor aficionados, and a perspiration-resistant mascara.

One of the products in M.A.C.'s 'sporting' line is called No Pain, No Gain - M.A.C Cosmetics

British label Eyeko’s adverts highlight the benefits of its waterproof eye-liner, which "won't smudge, even after intense physical activity." Staying beautiful thanks to sporting activity seems to be one of the mantras of Millennials, the prime target for this type of product and often fanatic about keeping their figure in shape.

Mintel also points out that men are not overlooked in this respect. Many cosmetics products targeted to men insist on performance and are marketed with an extreme sports slant, notably emphasising sunscreen properties combined with wind, rain and maximum temperature range protection.

Most of these products feature efficient, inexpensive packaging, for example pods or travel-sized make-up containers eschewing brushes and sponges, and brands must be careful about their positioning. "Brands seeking to capitalise on the Active Beauty trend must consider carefully their products' claims and benefits, and make sure that their message clearly spells out how and why Athbeauty products are different from those in their traditional range," admonished Mintel.

But the Active Beauty trend is no ephemeral fad. The survey predicts it will spawn a plethora of innovations, such as micro-encapsulated, thermally activated products and also, in a cross-sectional vein, sport outfits "which transmit information on skin temperature and hydration levels to apps tasked with identifying which products to use at any given time." 

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