No Sweat: Meeting the unique needs of active beauty consumers

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

No Sweat: Meeting the unique needs of active beauty consumers
Beauty brands are increasingly positioning themselves to align with consumers’ growing interest in physical exercise by creating products designed for an active lifestyle.

Today, exercise continues to be seen by many as a key component in their pursuit for physical, mental and emotional health. According to Mintel’s 2017 report the active beauty trend, 54% of Indonesian consumers say managing stress is one of the most important factors of a healthy lifestyle.

The same report found that 59% of Chinese skin care consumers said they were willing to exercise more if it would improve their skin, showing how beauty and fitness are converging.

As such, beauty companies can expect consumers to continue seeking out these niched products that will help them look and feel their best during and after their time at the gym.

The business of looking well

According to Euromonitor International, wellness has transcended to becoming a status symbol for the consumer, who flaunt this luxury by splurging on sessions at boutique fitness studios, chic athleisure wear and health food or drinks.

“At a time when consuming ‘stuff’, once an indicator of wealth, is now taking a back seat, the lack of things, of excess fat, of wayward thoughts even, now defines aspiration and is at the heart of the consumer interest in wellness,”​ said the firm’s 2017 report on the wellness trend.

The business of looking the part of is well-documented in the world of fashion. “Athleisure” ​is now a staple part of the wardrobe. Consumers are no longer confined to picking out joggers and sneakers from Adidas and Nike, with choices from high fashion houses like Fendi and Dior.

This trend is swiftly trickling into the beauty world, with brands like Tarte and Clinique creating capsule collections with products made for sweating it out.

Works well, looks good

The CliniqueFIT line consists of eight products that also claim to be able to withstand a tough workout session with sweat and humidity resistant properties, as well as sun protection. This includes a long-wearing mascara, a broad spectrum tinted-moisturiser, and a lip and cheek stain.

Indie beauty brands are also jumping on the active beauty trend, with entire brands dedicated to catering to the needs of active beauty consumers, such as Sweat Cosmetics. According to the company, its mineral-based “high endurance beauty equipment”​ was tested on professional athletes and promises to take consumers from the gym to the boardroom.

Beauty subscription service Birchbox tapped into the athleisure beauty trend with its own brand, ARROW, which specialises in breathable yet long-wearing cosmetics and “refreshing”​ skin care that can keep up with an active life.

Though important, an active beauty line is more than what it claims to do. With illuminating moisturisers and mattifying powders, Tarte’s Athleisure Beauty Collection contains several products were designed to give a fresh faced look and help consumers exude an effortless flair of being comfortable in their own skin – a look that radiates health.

Practical in purpose

Another important factor consumers look for in active beauty product is its practicality. More than just the aesthetics, consumers want an ergonomic product that is designed to fit into their active lifestyle.

This means lightweight and portable products that consumers can toss into their gym bags without worry. CliniqueFIT products not only fulfils the criteria with its minimalist, no-frills bottles and tubes, they also go the extra mile with built in mirrors, sponges and pumps to dispense products neatly.

Similarly, Sweat Cosmetics houses products in containers with built-in brushes, eliminating the need to tote around extra tools. Practicality also extends to formulation as well, which needs to be easy to blend into skin with fingers, without the need for brushes, sponges, or even a mirror.

Beyond the trend

As consumers seek balance between work and life, the active beauty trend is expected to reflect the rise of the wellness movement.

Aside from make-up and skin care, the industry can expect innovations in fragrance. Luxury fragrance subscription service Scentbird, is already been catering to active beauty consumers with a dedicated category of fragrances it recommends for working out.

With its mood-enhancing functionalities, beauty companies can leverage fragrances as a way to elevate moods and energise consumers before and during work outs.

According to Mintel’s report on active beauty, the current innovations are only the tip of the iceberg. Its report predicts that the market will see formulas that are activated as work out progresses and body temperature rises.

“Expect to see brands playing with temperature and encapsulation to create products that melt into the skin as it heats up, forming a hydrating, nourishing barrier as it cools. Water-activated powders, balms and lotions also present opportunities for new product development.”

Active beauty brand SweatWELLth utilises this technology with its Lip Quench Electrolyte Balm. The product features an encapsulated time-released formula that is triggered by moisture, heat, and activity. Once activated, the product delivers cooling ingredients like electrolytes, minerals, potassium and magnesium to combat electrolyte loss while exercising.

The report also states that it expects beauty brands to partner with DNA analysis providers “to help consumers determine which fitness regimes work best for them​”. With such data, beauty brands can harness it to tap into the personalisation trend and take active beauty beyond its current functionalities.

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