Beauty and fitness part 1: The new industry collaboration

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Beauty and fitness
As consumers and brands alike have recognised the connection between fitness and beauty in recent years, we spoke to Sharon Kwek, Senior Innovation and Insights Analyst, Beauty and Personal Care, Mintel, to see how this trend is developing.

Wellbeing is top priority

Today, consumers are increasingly considering the impact that cosmetics and personal care solutions may have on their total wellbeing.

“Consumers’ lifestyles have definitely changed in recent years – they are now seeking ways to achieve physical, mental and emotional balance, as well as ensuring that wellness is generated from the inside and out,”​ said Sharon Kwek, Senior Innovation and Insights Analyst, Beauty and Personal Care, Mintel.

The media has had an influence of this industry direction: “As product and ingredient ​scares make headlines globally, consumers have been driven to pay more attention to their health and wellness, and also to the products they are consuming,”​ Kwek adds.

As the fitness industry has seen a significant rise in consumer interest “the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle is now a global obsession, and this is reaffirmed by the rise in the number of fitness centres, yoga studios and gyms”.

A prosperous partnership

In today’s busy consumer world, the importance of wellbeing is discussed regularly with the emphasis placed on achieving physical and mental wellness through our daily activities.

With consumers seeking products that support their fitness goals, beauty brands are recognising the power that this cross-industry collaboration can have on creating viable opportunities and new markets by combining beauty and personal care with fitness.

Sharon Kwek, Senior Innovation and Insights Analyst, Beauty and Personal Care, Mintel emphasises how these collaborations “aren’t rare these days, [as] more brands have started to take notice of the potentially lucrative gap between fitness and beauty and personal care”​.

“With the rise in active consumers out there, brands see the potential in capitalising this market – bridging the gap between fitness and beauty and personal care,”​ highlighted Kwek.

Serving two needs

“While consumers understand the importance of exercise for attaining physical and mental wellbeing, they are turning to products for further enhancement,”​ added Kwek.

Brands may therefore adopt a dual approach when it comes to R&D and marketing their beauty products to fitness-conscious buyers. While promotional messages may focus on looking good through sweat proof cosmetics, they can also highlight the need to feel good on the inside too.

An intuitive campaign could attract consumers from both the beauty arena and the fitness sphere by combining these messages to create a solid proposition.  

“Products in the athbeauty, also known as Active Beauty, scene don’t necessarily lean towards any one side; in fact, there are various products out there that fulfil the different needs of active consumers, be it to look good or feel good.”

Beyond sun care

“The perception of Active Beauty within Asia started out, and is still very much centred on, sun-care," ​said Kwek.

“However, as sports and fitness activities move indoors, the Active Beauty segment in Asia will start to steer away and go beyond sun protection.”

The segment is now at a time where it is ready to expand and so, "while many Asian brands will continue to offer sun protection, there are plenty of other opportunities in this space that these brands can leverage.”

Niche no more?

Although Active Beauty still remains a niche segment globally, the trend “shows no signs of stopping – it’ll continue to grow and expand as it did with fashion”​.

“While niche, Active Beauty offers brands looking to capitalise on this trend plenty of room for product innovation,”​ emphasised Kwek.

As this niche sector continue to gather a fan base, an increasing number of brands will drive the active beauty trend by launching new and innovative products.

R&D efforts will focus on solutions and tools “that not only prepare and support consumers before and during physical and mental activity, but aid in the recovery process as well”,​ Kwek stated.

More than ever before, consumers are turning to the beauty industry to help maximise physical, mental and emotional balance to support a healthy lifestyle.

As the beauty and fitness industries collaborate in 2017 to strengthen their appeal to the active consumer, cosmetics companies are expected to focus on formulations that provide solutions to this target audience through helping active beauty lovers achieve a healthy lifestyle.  

The second part of this article will be published on 6th March 2017. 

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