‘They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself’ (Andy Warhol). Kirsty Cole, head of growth at Anthem Benelux, takes a look at brands blurring boundaries – emerging trends and smart innovation shaking up the personal care category and beyond:

As the early adopter mindset filters out into mainstream thinking and behaviors, brands need no longer target their innovations towards a small group of consumers – the floor is open and the consumer demand growing across all demographics for brand innovation.

The boundaries of what we might have traditionally considered as ‘personal care’ are shifting with brands exploring new territories and opportunities to take care of the body and mind from a more holistic perspective.

Here we take a look at a selection of ten current and emerging trends from brands leading notable movements of change.

New occasions

Brands developing targeted personal care solutions for the more active amongst us are on the rise. Natural luxury spa brand Espa have launched a new body care collection designed for use post workout, and include a Muscle Rescue Balm and Fitness Shower Oil specially formulated to sooth tired muscles.


Mantastic expressions

Practical and affordable male grooming brand Harry’s questions conventional definitions of what it means to be a man, celebrating the ‘messiness of masculinity’ and championing social causes that challenge outdated stereotypes. The subtle and playful illustration of a Mammoth on pack calls attention to the brands message of extinct perceptions of masculinity that need to be abolished.


Sustainable living

Born from a belief that small changes can have a big impact, Eco + Amour have collaborated with some of the trendiest eco-conscious brands to offer a refillable, more sustainable, beauty, personal care and home care shopping experience. No doubt I’m not the only one with at least three different moisturisers and deodorants in the bathroom at any one time - refreshingly, Eco + Amour encourages consumers to only buy what they need.



Netherlands based designer Don Yaw Kwaning is exploring sustainable innovation using the soft rush plant. Through a process of separating the pith from the fibers you are left with a foam which has lightweight, shock-resistant and insulating properties all without the need for bonding agents. The fibers can be developed into materials such as paper and corrugated cardboard, a fantastic new eco-packaging solution.


Clean living, clean design

The broader trend towards clean living (both in terms of health and sustainability) and clean beauty has been broadly adopted across the personal care category particularly by more agile brands. For the most part, the fragrance category has been slow to respond, continuing to follow traditional premium colours, codes and cues. Minimalism is the new luxury and Le Labo is a great benchmark - a sight for sore eyes and indeed has clear stand out on shelf against the swathe of rose gold and metallic designs of other fragrance super brands. Taking cues from the premium spirits category with the bottles heavy foot, the label design also mimics tasting notes as though from a distillery. A fantastic example of the value in looking cross-category for design inspiration.


Leveraging health and wellness

In support of the ever-popular self-care movement, personal care brands have an opportunity to incorporate health and wellness solutions into their product functionality and design. Japanese haircare brand Feather Aqua explores holistic health and wellness for the scalp – founded on the premise that taking care of your head takes care of your hair. The brand uses amino acids and natural plant extracts coupled with aromatherapy fragrances to also elevate the state of mind and mood of the consumer.


New wave supplements

Wellness start-up has recently launched a special natural supplement designed to combat the negative effects of using contraceptive pills. The ‘Top Up Tonic’ reportedly relives symptoms such as bloating, mood swings and breast tenderness.


Harnessing advances in technology

World leader in regenerative medicine, Professor Augustinus Bader has utilised the restorative power of stem-cell technology to provide consumers with the ultimate solution in high-end anti-ageing skincare. The TFC8® patented technology activates the body’s stem cells to biologically repair damage to the skin caused by lifestyle and environmental factors – mobilising our body’s natural abilities to renew.


Delicious derrières

Never has Sir Mix-A-Lot been more relevant. Products aimed at targeting elasticity, firmness, dry skin and sagging of the bottom have flooded the market over the last year. Masks in particular are on the rise. Niche Los Angeles brand Anese brings us ‘Down with the thickness’, a collagen mask that detoxes, plumps and softens your bottom.


A sculpting revolution

The onslaught of easily accessible fitness solutions across social media and personalised app technologies has begun to filter out into the personal care market. Be for Beauty brings us a ‘BOD’ range (‘Body on Demand’), a ritual of products designed to tighten and sculpt the body through the reduction of water retention. The range includes bath salts which are designed to tone the body, clear out excess toxins and can supposedly eliminate up to 3lbs of excess water retention weight all within a 20-minute soak.