Premium Beauty News - What does “Transformative Beauty” mean?

Leïla Rochet - This is a time of huge transition in the US - socially, politically, economically, environmentally - and these macro shifts are having a significant impact on how people relate to Beauty. Change is in the air, and it is being fast-tracked by new technologies that are quite literally transforming the Beauty landscape in front of our eyes. Transformative Beauty highlights the need for brands to look at innovation through the lens of progression and transformation as people strive to meet radical wellness ambitions, achieve self-determined levels of perfection and adapt their regimes to their transient lifestyles. Transformative Beauty is both an aesthetic and emotional aspiration.

Premium Beauty News - What are the main lessons from the report?

Leïla Rochet - Performance continues to be the #1 priority for consumers - derma-brands are dominating Google searches and the SkinTok conversation. When you match these expectations with new ambitions of longevity (linked to anti-aging) and the emergence of new technologies then you have the prospect of Amplified Skin. This is a universe of biohacking, AI-optimization and ultra-precise solutions. There are some really interesting new narratives opening up in this space.

At the other end of the spectrum we have a universe that is much more grounded in lifestyle: Flex Care encompasses the impact of increased travel, soaring temperatures, increased time spent outdoors, remote working… These are becoming really powerful influences on skincare, driving brands to prioritize climate adaptable formulas, cooling sensations, and portable formats.

And it is impossible to ignore the influence of Hailey Bieber on Gen Z skincare trends - in Just Dew It we get into the roots of the latest desire for an ultra-hydrated complexion which can be traced back to her viral social media posts. But this is also about the fetishization of wellness. What does this look and feel like in skincare? What are the new techniques and textures that elevate the daily moisturizing ritual?

Premium Beauty News - What effect is the normalization of aesthetic procedures having on the skincare category?

Leïla Rochet - Gen Z has really taken the taboo out of procedures, thanks to TikTok. The platform has become the go-to space for people to share their transformation journey, and the culture of creativity has helped spawn a whole new vocabulary for tweakments which are now commonly used in clinical settings. Skincare brands should be inspired by Gen Z’s open and candid approach. In terms of innovation, there is now a huge opportunity to develop new categories for products that replace, replicate or prolong the effects of treatments. For example, we are tracking a big surge in at-home acid peels. And the market for aftercare is set to grow exponentially as more and more people opt for cosmetic procedures.

Premium Beauty News - How is the rise of AI aiding transformation? What are the implications for brands?

Leïla Rochet - We can not escape the influence of AI. It is having - and will continue to have - a seismic impact on the industry as a whole. In skincare, this is quickly shifting from AI-powered skin-health quizzes to mega-personalized biohacking tools- such as Skin Dossier’s Precision Skin Health Advisor which aggregates a cross section of data (blood and urine samples, geolocation) to develop the most accurate product, supplement and medspa treatments. AI is also powering the incredibly nuanced analysis of ingredients, which will allow labs to optimize formulations for absolute potency and personalization. As consumers become more comfortable and familiar with AI, their expectations of its capabilities, applications and end-benefits will increase. Brands will have to keep pace, but we see huge potential for AI to support a truly intersectional beauty space.

Transformative Beauty: Skincare & Wellness Inspiration from the US was released Early October 2023. Also available at the agency, Transformative Beauty: Makeup report released summer 2023.

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