Beauty, Clean and True

What’s Up

The Body Shop has made changes to one of its best-selling skin care lines, Drops of Youth. The range is now known as Edelweiss, and is a part of a conscious effort by the company to move away from branding that promotes ‘anti-aging. The products themselves are reformulated to include more natural ingredients — 90% of the ingredients are now from natural origins — they are now vegan certified, and the packaging is more sustainable as well.

What it Means

This move from The Body Shop underscores claims that rank most important with beauty consumers: clean beauty, sustainability, and inclusivity.
The clean beauty movement, sometimes called “skinimalism” has grown out of the pandemic and is defined by consumer desire for doing more with less, both in terms of ingredients and packaging. According to NielsenIQ, by May 2022, beauty and personal care products that meet the “clean” definition saw an increase of 18% versus 4.3% growth across the entire category. Power Review’s Meeting Beauty Shopper Digital Expectations in a Post-Pandemic World 2022 study found that 85% of consumers said it’s important to them that a beauty product is sustainable by using natural ingredients (aka “clean”). Further, 71% reported plans to purchase more clean products in the future. To meet these needs, we’re seeing more brands and retailers highlight products and packaging that fit into this clean beauty landscape:

  • Ulta: Conscious Beauty highlights products which are vegan, cruelty-free, and have sustainable packaging, clean ingredients or are otherwise environmentally friendly.
  • Sephora: Clean at Sephora is a program which identifies products as either “clean” or “clean + planet positive.”
  • Target: “Target Clean” and the “Target Zero” icons appear on Target beauty and personal care products that are free from unwanted ingredients.
  • Brad Pitt recently announced the launch of his gender-neutral clean skin care line, Le Domaine while musician and fashion designer Pharrell Williams’ gender-neutral skin care line, Human Race is entering its third year on the market.

The Body Shop’s change in the name of the product line also aligns with consumer expectations around inclusivity and authentic acceptance of self. The traditional idea of inclusivity had a lot to do with multiculturalism. According to McKinsey data for 2022, Black consumers are three times more likely to be dissatisfied than non-Black consumers with the options available for hair care, skin care, and makeup. A majority of Black beauty consumers (75%) said they can be convinced to buy beauty products via ads that feature various skin tones across races. Alternatively, 75% reported being dissuaded from purchasing an item when ads do not reflect racial diversity.

This rebranding from The Body Shop which distances itself from “anti-aging” widens the definition of inclusion and incorporates more aspects of diversity. The consumer preference for “natural” beauty includes a variety of skin tones as well as beauty across different age demographics. Beauty ads and products that celebrate and embrace all stages of life will be able to capitalize on this growing acceptance and expectation of more authentic and representative beauty.

The idea of clean beauty is driving the beauty category and the concept itself is multidimensional. It encompasses natural ingredients, sustainability (in product and packaging), authenticity (of ingredients and representation), and responsible transparency. Digital marketers and brands can work together to strip down messaging and product development alike to simplify offerings. Messaging must navigate these complexities while communicating why products are right for consumers.

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