Skin deep dive: Top 10 stories on skin care innovation and developments in APAC

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Check out this round-up of our biggest stories on skin care this year. [Getty Images]
Check out this round-up of our biggest stories on skin care this year. [Getty Images]

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Check out this round-up of our biggest stories on skin care this year, featuring advancements from brands such as SK-II, Pond’s, Amorepacific, Dr. Ci:Labo and more.

New advancements: Pond’s brand rejuvenation underscored by research and innovation

Unilever-owned Pond’s Skin Institute debuted two skin care product ranges tackling skin ageing and brightening based on the autophagy process at the 25th World Dermatology Congress (WCD 2023) in Singapore.

Pond’s new Age Miracle Ultimate and Bright Miracle Ultimate ranges were developed with the clearance and repair philosophy. At the core of this approach was the autophagy process, which played a crucial role in clearing out damaged or dysfunctional cellular components.

The body’s autophagy ability diminishes not just with age but as the body is exposed to external stressors such as UV rays, pollution, and even heat, explained Erica Liang, senior R&D manager for skincare, Unilever.

‘Intercellular courier’: Shinsegae touted regenerative cosmetics using microalgae-derived exosome tech

Shinsegae International developed regenerative cosmetics using microalgae-derived exosome technology based on its joint research with Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU).

The firm said it applied this technology to its cosmetic brands, Yunjac and VIDIVICI. Launching these new products would be the culmination of two years’ worth of research, jointly conducted by the Shinsegae International Technology Innovation Centre and Dr Kim Jin Woong of SKKU.

The research focused on finding a replacement for human-derived exosomes, which has gained interest in skin care areas such as wound-healing, and discovered a replacement within a microalgae species, Euglena gracilis.

 

Extraordinary excitement: Estée Lauder India sales soared 50% on the back of The Ordinary

Cosmetics major Estée Lauder recorded a growth of 50% in India over the past year, thanks to the success of The Ordinary launch.

The growth in India helped drive the organic sales growth momentum in the firm’s emerging markets.

“Indeed, in fiscal year 2023, our emerging markets delivered organic sales growth of 20%, led by India, Brazil, Turkey, and Thailand. India grew nearly 50% for the year, driven by excellent performance by our long-standing brands in the market and the very successful launch of The Ordinary,” said Fabrizio Freda, president, CEO, and director of the Estée Lauder Companies.

Next generation tech: Delivery system innovation key to Dr Ci:Labo’s latest ‘breakthrough’ retinol launches

Japanese derma brand Dr Ci:Labo’s “breakthrough” retinol products were underpinned by innovations in delivery system technology.

The brand showcased three retinol products at the 25th​ World Congress of Dermatology in July.

Retinol is one of the best-known skin care ingredients. This year, the market saw a surge of renewed interest in this tried-and-tested ingredient.

“What’s interesting is that retinol is not a new ingredient. It’s been around since the 60s and has stood the test of time. It’s the gold standard when it comes to ageing, but it’s also a versatile ingredient and can be used in tone and acne,”​ said Gunasinghe.

 

Triple threat: Amorepacific debuted anti-ageing bioflavonoid ingredient in new Laniege serum

K-beauty major Amorepacific introduced a bioflavonoid extracted from camellia seeds with the launch of a Laneige serum that targeted three key skin ageing concerns.

The new anti-ageing ingredient, RE.D Flavonoid, were camellia flavonoids isolated from Camellia japonica seeds. It eatured in the new Laneige Perfect Renew Serum and will target three specific skin ageing concerns – wrinkles, firming, and skin radiance.

The beauty conglomerate teased the launch at its academic symposium, Ageing-Chain Targeting Technology: New Paradigm of Anti-ageing​, held in December 2022. It also presented its latest research on the new ingredient.

Atypical chartbuster: Fixderma’s sales dominated by cream that treats less talked about skin pigmentation disorder

Indian cosmeceutical outfit Fixderma revealed that its top product is a cream that treats acanthosis nigricans, a relatively common, yet rarely discussed skin pigmentation disorder.

In 2022, Fixderma introduced Nigrifix, a cream to tackle acanthosis nigricans. According to founder Shaily Mehrotra, the company has observed double-digit growth month after month.

Today, 60% of Fixderma’s total sales are dominated by Nigrifix. "That's because there's nothing like it out there,"​ said Mehrotra.

It has topped Fixderma’s wide-ranging portfolio, which includes vitamin C serums, acne treatments, and sunscreens – suggesting that acanthosis nigricans might be a problem faced by more people than previously thought.

 

How to win over… the pro-ageing skin care consumer

Industry players and skin care innovators such as The Body Shop and Caudalie revealed exclusive insights into the evolving consumer preferences and advancements in technology in the ageing skin care market.

Embracing diversity and inclusivity has proven to be a catalyst for reducing societal hang-ups about ageing. It empowered us to challenge rigid beauty standards that prioritise youthfulness. In Asia, it reinforced a culture that traditionally appreciates the beauty and wisdom that come with age.

There has been a shift towards a more holistic approach to skin care rather than solely focusing on the erasure of wrinkles and the preservation of youth. The emphasis now lies in promoting healthy, radiant skin at any age, with an emphasis on self-care and self-acceptance.

The evolving anti-ageing skin category was now aligned with the changing perceptions of ageing, empowering individuals to feel confident and beautiful regardless of age.

 

Lancaster off to ‘dream start’ in China with debut of flagship and ultra-premium line – Coty CEO

American beauty major Coty was optimistic about Lancaster’s future in China as the launch of its new flagship and its ultra-premium Ligne Princiere line took off with aplomb.

March was a busy month for Coty as it kicked off the launch of Lancaster’s Ligne Princiere. The ultra-premium range highlights the brand’s “heritage as the exclusive brand of the Monaco Princely Family, backed by patented and top-testing formulations,”​ said Coty CEO Sue Nabi

Coty also unveiled Lancaster’s first flagship store in Hangzhou, China, in partnership with one of China’s leading department store retailer INTIME in the same month.

Nabi said the firm would continue to open new doors in China’s “most luxurious locations”, ​while also launching online on platforms such as Tmall and Douyin.

 

Active growth: Peptides set to be fastest growing active as China’s beauty industry sees ‘explosion’ of interest

Peptides are set to be the fastest growing active over the next five years, driven by the explosion of supply and demand in China’s local beauty industry.

According to market research firm Kline & Co, peptides were expected to grow faster than the average market for specialty actives, leading biotech and botanicals.

This growth was being driven by demand from China, where there are an increasing number of domestic brands in the mid- to high-end segment driving the use of active ingredients in general.

In the meantime, there are local suppliers producing peptides at a lower cost.

 

‘Uncovering more miracles’: SK-II’s latest breakthrough boosts PITERA relevance to younger consumers

SK-II’s latest research into skin ageing revealed data claiming that it enhances the relevance of its hero ingredient, PITERA, to a younger demographic of skin care consumers.

With more awareness on skin health and skin ageing, the Japanese brand was preparing to meet the skin ageing needs of increasingly younger consumers.

“Consumers as early as in their 20s will view skin ageing differently from here on – they’ll be highly aware of it and look out for skin care solutions that will keep their skin youthful,”​ said Suda Sudarsana, SK-II global research and development leader.

“We expect that consumers will start taking an interest in anti-ageing products and innovations earlier in life, and we must be present to meet the need,” ​said Dr Kukizo Miyamoto, SK-II global principal scientist.

 

Kick-off 2024 by discovering the trends shaping the next generation of beauty consumers. Join us at the Beauty Forward 2024 digital summit taking place January 29 to 31. Register here for FREE​ now.

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