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Global Gen Y Health & Beauty Trends, May 2013

May 2013

By Claire Brooks, President, ModelPeople

Beauty, more than ever before, is not just skin deep. Consumer awareness of the synergy between beauty, health and diet continues to grow, and category convergence in skin, hair and oral care, supplements and beverages manifests in some curious product innovations. This is true around the world, though with a different emphasis, depending on local beauty culture and traditional practices. It’s also increasingly true for men. Male grooming is booming, especially in emerging markets like India and Turkey.

This month, ModelPeople’s Global CultureBloggers℠ have tracked four trends in health and beauty. Urban young adults are setting the bar high and looking for brands which help them feel good, look good and do good, creating huge opportunities for global health and beauty brands that can leverage understanding of global trends in the context of local consumer culture and practices.

Beauty Fundamentals
In Western Europe, healthy skin, hair, nails-- and more recently teeth-- have long been considered the beauty basics, with cosmetic beauty taking a distant second place. In London, Audrey Hepburn’s trichologist, Philip Kingsley, sends rich clients home with wet hair because blow-drying is harmful. In Milan, beauty starts with a smile and with Vicco, an Ayurvedic toothpaste that claims to strengthen gums better than cosmetic toothpastes.

The Inner Source of Beauty
Japanese consumers take pride in their healthy diet and longevity, so it’s not surprising that the growing trend is in oral supplements and beauty beverages made from ingredients like hyaluronic acid and even placenta, which treat the skin at the source. In London, superfoods and skin supplements from Dr. Perricone are popular with upscale consumers, while Sao Paulo has seen a similar trend in prescribed vitamins for battling the aging process.

"All-Natural" Overkill
Over-use of catch phrases "all-natural" and “cruelty-free" claims in NYC has raised the bar on ingredients and certification for brands, like vegan Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics and Demeter-certified Green Zen Organic Spa. In Tokyo, this trend is completely passé. In Bangalore, by contrast, brands like Garnier “Skin Naturals" launch products using traditional herbals, like Neem.

Emerging Male Grooming
In Turkey, the term "metrosexual" is no longer frowned upon, and Western brands, like Sephora, have become destinations for men as well as women. In India, male versions of popular women's products, such as fairness creams, are being developed, and there’s even a deodorant to whiten armpits.

Please take a look at our video below, tracking beauty trends in Germany and vitamin trends in Brazil.

Health & Fitness
Consumer Electronics
Food & Drink
Blog Issue: 
Claire Brooks is the president of ModelPeople Inc., which conducts deep insights, qualitative, ethnographic and creative research into global consumer behavior and cultural trends.
Madame Figaro Japon featuring Fancl product
NYC's Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

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