2021: A Year in Review

2021 was a lurching, stammering year that began in hope, flirted with whiplash, and ended by just narrowly missing another global lockdown. But still, resilience was everywhere.

The world emerging from the worst of the pandemic had a renewed focus for solace and purpose. People invested heavily in multi-benefit wellness products, and we continue to see inclusivity evolve and expand beyond demographic traits. New and smaller brands continue to disrupt and chip away at the “goliaths” of the CPG Industry, while beauty addresses climate change and screen pollution.

New wave of Inclusion

New brand disruption is on the rise

Looking for the ‘Silver Bullet’

Adapting to a changing climate in Beauty

Adapting to a changing climate in Beauty

Climate change-affected weather, temperature fluctuations and ‘Digital ageing’ are continuing to inspire new brand and product launches within the Beauty category


Photo Credit: Leah Romero-Elle Magazine

Skin barrier defense products are on the rise as a result of climate change and increasingly fluctuating temperatures. Elsewhere, pandemic-enforced lockdowns shine a spotlight on screen pollution and immunity defense products, while detoxification becomes a key concept.

Fight Climate Change

A rise in barrier-protective products for hair & skin in the beauty market are targeting environmental temperature stresses to the body. In Japan, ‘Yuragi-hada’ has been coined to identify skin sensitivity caused by seasonal and environmental changes.


Photo Credit: Biolab

Japanese brand Biolab’s new Crème Brillante ‘super barrier-cream’ is an example of the type of phytotherapeutic (plant science-powered) product entering the mainstream beauty space to address the symptoms caused by environmental temperature changes.


Photo Credit: ColorWow/Instagram

US brand Colorwow’s Money Masque Deep Hydrating Hair Treatment with Mediterranean algae and blue sea kelp helps hair retain moisture, and reduces the impact of temperature changes and exposure to nature’s elements


Photo Credit: Andrew McGibbon

“Something’s in the air”

Numerous studies have been done to prove the link between air pollution and certain skin conditions including premature aging, acne, and even in some cases can cause eczema.

According to Collette Haydon, skincare formulator and founder of Lixirskin, ‘Pollutants generate free radicals on the surface of the skin which can lead to sensitivity. When the level of free radicals exceeds the skin’s defense mechanisms, the skin cells are placed in a state of oxidative stress which is the trigger to skin sensitivity and a whole host of issues.’

UK e-tailer Cult Beauty has seen a rise in searches for anti-pollution products, including a 1000% growth vs last year for Dr Barbara Sturm’s Anti-pollution drops.”


Photo Credit: Dr Barbara Sturm

Polluting aggressors continue to drive protective formula innovation, while post-exposure detoxification is on the rise.


Photo Credit: CelleRX

Clinical Reset by the brand CelleRX is a prescription-grade, dermatologist-approved skincare product that removes skin aggressors. “Healthy skin starts with Clean Skin”


Photo Credit: Plume Creative-Getty Images

Green Beauty was yesterday: Now comes Blue Beauty

Digital ageing has become a big beauty watchword, in part thanks to pandemic-escalated screen time. While much of the initial concern surrounding blue light focused on eyesight and disrupting sleep cycles, new research is exposing the effects on skin.

A study done by Unilever proved that 30 hours of exposure to blue-light from smartphones or laptop screens can increase the inflammation level in skin cells by 40%”

Increased interest and online searches for blue-light protection products has many brands seizing the blue-light opportunity and boosting current formulas and innovation with anti-digital benefits.


Photo Credit: Goodhabit/Instagram

US brand Goodhabit is based entirely on a proprietary Blu5 technology, with all skincare products dedicated to filtering and neutralizing effects of blue light and reversing existing blue light damage.


Photo Credit: Milani

Cosmetics brands are also getting in on the action, make-up brand Milani launched a Screen Queen foundation line that features Digital Blue-light Filter technology, which promotes oxygenation, helping to strengthen the skin barrier and restore its capacity to fight against oxidative stress.

Defensive Forces

The pandemic has pushed cleanliness, health and immunity to the forefront of consumers’ minds. Brands claiming protection from different environmental aggressors, banishing effects of blue-light, and services geared toward detoxification will resonate with consumers.