Immunity boosters: Need to reinforce skin defences driving demand for microbiome, adaptogens in beauty

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

The obsession with health and protection will drive the demand for beauty products that can protect and strengthen the skin’s defences. ©GettyImages
The obsession with health and protection will drive the demand for beauty products that can protect and strengthen the skin’s defences. ©GettyImages

Related tags trends Skin care COVID-19 Forecasting

The impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the obsession with health and protection will drive the demand for beauty products that can protect and strengthen the skin’s defences.

This is the view of beauty marketing intelligence firm Beautystreams, whose EVP of business development Jayanne Jin said consumers would seek products that can enhance their immune system from a holistic approach.

Jin elaborated: “They will seek products that will enhance their immune system via a holistic approach. Food and traditional Chinese ingredients like ginseng as well as good old vitamin C enriched formulations promote better immunity system will transition into beauty products.”

The spotlight on the health crisis has also pulled focus towards science in beauty industry and consumers are now looking towards science and expert opinions as trustworthy sources.

“While sustainability remains one of the key drivers for making purchase decisions, scientific credentialism is expected to take centerstage for years to come. The main challenge will be to make products safe and efficient, yet also to offer more sustainable and cleaner solutions,” ​said Jin.

She added: “The COVID-19 crisis has shown scientific researchers at large corporations are in a race to safeguard humanity, therefore expect consumers to gain more trust scientific approaches in general.”

As such, science and medically driven innovation that conveys trust and safety will take precedence, even over 100% natural formations.

“In order to survive in this environment. you really need to understand the change in consumer behaviour and deliver that wow factor in our brand overall experience.Without the evidence of science, without proper storytelling, brand experience will not be as effective,” ​said Jin.


Join us and our esteemed panel of industry experts for our Skin Microbiome webinar where we will discuss scientific advances, regulatory hurdles, and product innovations worldwide. We will also take stock of how the trend has evolved in recent months, the impact this will have on the skin care category in 2020, and what industry can expect in the coming years. Click here to register​ now.

Superfoods, vitamins and minerals

These consumer concerns will boost certain existing trends, such as superfood as beauty ingredients.

For instance, Australia-based skin care and supplements brand The Beauty Chef has developed Well Spray, that contains superfoods such as elderberry and pomegranate designed to support skin immunity as well as digestion.

While the superfood trend in beauty is not new, but Jin expects it to remain a key area of focus and continues to resonate with consumers.

This is especially for Asia, as most consumers are familiar with the principles of Eastern medical philosophies that see food as both nourishment and medicine.

Jin expects ingredients such as ginseng, an herb used by Chinese and Koreans for centuries to treat various disorders to rise in prominence.

Similar to superfoods, Jin believes we will see more beauty products highlighting the usage of vitamins such as the Skin Immunity Booster by US-based beauty brand Roezen which utilises vitamin C and E protect and prevent damage caused by stressors such as free radicals.

“Vitamins are back and the superhero essential to drive all cellular activity and strengthen the body's immunity. They also provide a powerful source of micronutrients that support the skin barrier.”

In addition to vitamins, Jin also expects to see more interest in minerals, such as electrolytes, which support the body’s hydration

“Electrolytes are super minerals that are essential to the function of our cells and organs. The immune system relies on the bloodstream of transport fluids and nutrients. Any disturbances in electrolytes can have a very harmful effect on our health.”

Shiseido-owned clean beauty brand Drunk Elephant recently introduced the F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial Hydrating Mask which claims to replenish the skin barrier with an ‘electrolyte cocktail’

Following F-Balm, Jin expects to see more hydration products featuring electrolytes as a key ingredient.

Bacteria, herbs and fungi

The microbiome beauty trend is likely to track upwards in light of the current circumstances with the mountain of scientific research backing their importance to overall health.

“[Microbiome] remains one of the most exciting opportunities for immune-boosting applications as science continues to unveil more evidence about the microbiota and its link to our health,” ​said Jin.

UK-based microbiome beauty brand Gallinée recently launched its first beauty supplement containing living probiotic strains as well as pre- and post-biotics. 

The brand claims that each capsule is as “concentrated as 25 probiotic yoghurts”.

The product works by acting on the intestinal microbiota to help reduce signs of inflammation and skin sensitivity.

Another interesting trend returning to the forefront is the use of adaptogens in beauty products.

Adaptogens are healing herbs, roots and mushrooms known for promoting a state of wellbeing and for their ability to help the body boost resistance against stressors.

“Stress is one of the more virulent deterrence of a healthy immune system, making it adaptogens one of the best agents to bolster immunity. This was a big trend in 2018 and will continue to become a category of its own,” ​said Jin.

An example of an adaptogenic beauty product is US-based beauty brand Agent Nateur’s (Holi)youth oceanic adaptogen blend.

It contains ingredients such as holy basil, spirulina and marine collagen which claims to reduce inflammation while calming the mind.

Jin was speaking on the role of science in cosmetics in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak for Cosmoprof Asia’s CosmoTalks series.

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