Face foward

A few decades ago, the beauty industry promised much but delivered little. Increasingly, today’s cosmetics brands are making good on their promise of radiant and rejuvenated skin, with sophisticated formulations and advanced science and technology that produces discernible results. We chart the new and upcoming beauty launches that are making waves.


It may seem unusual to talk about peptides as ingredients in future beauty products, since they’ve been grabbing headlines for years. But leading cosmetics ranges still can’t get enough of them for their multiple benefits. Peptides are a chemical compound that contains two or more amino acids that are coupled by a peptide bond – according to a recent media interview with Australian cosmetic chemist Ray Townsend, they create specific communication messages within the cellular system and can benefit everything from hydration to healing and collagen production.

Priori Skincare is due to launch an exciting new arm, the Priori MD division, which will deal with physician-only products and treatments. One of their first products will be Clinical Recovery Serum ($220,, 1800 808 993), which has been created with the belief that sunscreen alone is not enough to protect the skin from sun damage.

According to Priori MD, only 45 to 55 per cent of free radicals generated by UVA radiation are stopped by sunscreen use. Free radicals have the ability to damage DNA, lipids, proteins and cellular structures within the skin, leading to premature skin ageing. The company’s response is the new Serum which contains Tx-DNA Complex™, a reparative blend of antioxidants and the highest concentration of DNA repair enzymes available to reduce and repair this damage. The Serum ingredients have been shown to significantly reduce UV damage in independent studies.

Peptides have long been the driving force behind potent anti-ageing range HydroPeptide. The company’s latest launches contain a cocktail of these wonder ingredients, chosen for their soothing and contouring properties.

HydroPeptide Soothing Serum ($190,, 1800 808 993), is packed with calming peptides such as Telangyn to reduce redness, Diffuporine to boost hydration and Neutrazen to neutralise common reaction sensations such as heat.

Those suffering from skin sensitivity are commonly forced to use gentle formulations over results-driven skincare, so it’s refreshing to see the Serum also contains a selection of peptides known to boost collagen.

Another new product, HydroPeptide Uplift ($120), is a lifting and comforting eye gel that visibly and actively corrects. It contains Eyeseryl, an “anti-bag” peptide that increases drainage and decongestion of the under-eye area, Dermapep A350, a topical line filler that also improves luminosity, and other ingredients to hydrate and smooth crepey skin.

Joyce Blok’s new Super Serum contains a combination of three next-generation peptides. Its key ingredients are a biomimetic peptide that encourages collagen synthesis and skin firmness, a neuropeptide which has a relaxing natural Botox-like effect, and a hexapeptide that preserves hydration levels and protects the skin’s barrier function.

The serum claims to boost the skin’s radiance and is Joyce Blok’s most high-performance product created so far ($120,

Blurred lines

Get ready for a new beauty buzzword – Blur. These instantly correcting products sit halfway between skincare and make-up, and contain anti-ageing ingredients plus optical correctors that confuse the eye and blur imperfections such as uneven tone and texture, wrinkles and oily skin.

Blur products can be worn alone or as a primer, and first hit the market a couple of years ago as a way of physically airbrushing the skin in response to high  definition cameras, which can highlight imperfections.

This year sees a reinvigoration of the category, lead by Lancôme’s new Visionnaire [1 Minute Blur] Smoothing Skincare Instant Perfection ($60). The product utilises “photo smooth technology”, which disperses light so that it doesn’t shadow in open pores, lines and wrinkles. The skin feels smoothed, looks more even, and has a matte finish yet cleverly remains radiant and dewy to touch.

“Photo Smooth Technology is the latest trend. Its aim is to create a perfect, smooth skin surface with invisible pores and no surface irregularities. By using a duo of optic agents, Visionnaire [1 Minute Blur] creates a ‘Photoshop like’ effect,” says Karen Barlow, national education manager for Lancôme.

In a similar vein, Dior’s new Capture Totale Dreamskin ($145), works on dark spots, lines,
pores, redness and radiance, with a combination
of anti-ageing ingredients and light diffusers for optical and biological correction.

Dior worked with a behavioural neuroscientist to discover that the human eye perceives optimum skin to have a unified texture and tone.

“The optical active ingredients work on the surface to visibly correct imperfections, while the biological active ingredients act deep down to target sources of imperfections and damage caused by ageing,” explains Edouard Mauvais-Jarvis, Dior’s director of scientific communications.

One-pot wonders

Whether you blame our time-poor schedules, increasingly short attention spans (thanks, Twitter), or the modern ability to get what we want when we want it via the internet, today’s beauty consumer demands products with multiple actions in one.

Thanks to our growing understanding of the daily
need for sunscreens, this sector of the market is becoming ever-sophisticated.

True Solutions’ new Total Age Protector SPF50+ ($60,, 1800 808 993) both shields and repairs the skin from sun damage.

This rich cream can be used in place of your normal moisturiser, and contains zinc oxide to protect against UVB rays that cause burning, and UVA rays that are linked with collagen damage and possibly skin cancers.

Uber antioxidant vitamin E is added to this, which scavenges free radicals created by UV exposure, and allantoin to soothe and smooth the skin.

BB creams are the ultimate one-pot beauty solution, and 2014 sees no slowing down in our thirst for these multi-taskers. Decléor’s Hydra Floral BB Cream 24 Hour Moisture Activator ($70,, 1800 808 993) ticks off five functions in one.

It contains SPF15 filters for UVB and UVA protection, mineral pigments to even and brighten skintone, and grapefruit essential oil to improve texture and correct imperfections, while providing 24-hour moisturisation and protection from urban pollution. The result is hydrated and glowing skin, with a natural-looking coverage finish.


Personalisation is becoming huge in the beauty industry; imagine a skin cream that adjusts to benefit every user, tailoring to their individual needs.

This is the future path of rejuvenating and protective beauty products, with advanced ingredients that target your skin’s own strengths and weaknesses.

Chanel’s new Le Lift line is based around a balancing act between microRNAs, fragments of RNA (a nucleaic acid) that modulate protein in our cells, and so-called “youth proteins”, which are responsible for things like elastin and collagen production.

After researching the mechanisms that control protein synthesis due to lifestyle factors such as stress, pollution, diet and emotional upheaval, Chanel discovered that our lifestyle can affect the ageing process, as the result of a decrease in these “youth proteins”.

Le Lift, which comes in three formulations – light, medium and rich creams ($179) – are designed to intuitively regulate your skin’s production of microRNAs as and when needed, resulting in a stimulated production of the “youth proteins”, and an increasingly smooth and toned face.

Superfood skincare

We aim to eat a balanced diet and increasingly the same theory is being applied to skincare. Just as you should aim for fresh produce in your kitchen, there is a growing trend towards bioactive ingredients in skincare.

Bioactives are constituents in foods that have a positive benefit to the body over and above their nutritional value – take, for example, the antioxidant quality of blueberries.

Decléor’s new Aroma White C+ products use an unlikely food ingredient to target melanin: peas. Mother always maintained they were good for you and it turns out she was right.

Decléor’s unique “Melano-lock system” helps to limit the expression of a protein that causes the darkening effect of melanin colouration and is based on an active component found in peas.

The range includes Intense Translucency Fluid ($80), and Anti-Dark Circle Multi-Brightening Eye Care ($70, launches this March,, 1800 808 993).

Estée Lauder’s new Nutritious collection contains highly potent Pomegranate Nectar Infusion and antioxidant-rich cranberries, blueberries and wolfberries.

The range comprises six products including an Essence Oil and a 2-Step Treatment geared towards promoting the skin’s natural antioxidant activity, helping it to detoxify irritants and neutralise free radicals, while infusing it with hydrating nutrients.

Estée Lauder has put the pomegranate through a special fermentation process that helps the skin to absorb it more easily, making its effect powerful ($40).

Meanwhile, Clinique’s new Superdefense SPF 20 Daily Defense Moisturizer and Superdefense SPF 20 Eye Cream contain a powerful combination of berry-derived antioxidants rich in vitamins C and E, and extracts from barley and wheatgerm, which intensely moisturise and strengthen the skin barrier function (from $50).

Facelift creams

Experts at the recent Cosmoprof Asia professional beauty convention spoke of a move away from the cosmetically frozen look and a trend to more natural lifting that allows for expression lines.

Appropriately, then, we are seeing the emergence of skincare products and treatments that promise the ability to increase skin tautness and facial contours.

Lancôme’s new Absolue Yeux Precious Cells Global Multi-Restorative Eye Concentrate focuses on the
general eye area from lower forehead to temples and top of cheekbones – a major target for surgical and non-surgical procedures.

While not a fauxtox product, Absolue Yeux focuses on expression lines and crow’s feet, drooping eyebrows and lids, dark circles and cheekbone volume ($200).

A recent study by Clarins into the hormonal changes experienced by women in their 50s discovered two genes that are affected by hormonal deficiencies, and as a result affect the form and structure of fibroblasts, leading to less supple and more wrinkle-prone skin.

The new Clarins Super Restorative Day Cream ($120) contains organic harungana extract (a tropical flowering tree), which according to Clarins has the ability to boost collagen synthesis and has proven to be more powerful than traditional anti-ageing molecules such as Retinol.

The future of beauty

What industry-changing innovations can we expect in 2024, and how will the next generation of beauty products and services look, feel and behave, and what will they do?

Wired wear

Sony recently filed a patent for a wig that contains small sensors and uses wireless technology to connect to other devices. Wearable gadgets are predicted to be huge in the future, thanks to the launch of Google Glass, a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display. And other wearable technologies, like Sony’s SmartWig, are a natural extension of beauty accessories.

As sensors become ever smaller, false nails, eyelashes and even reusable cosmetics (see below) could one day be embedded with this technology.

Imagine putting on your make-up and having it analyse and communicate your skincare needs and concerns wirelessly to your beautician or cosmetics counter prior to your arrival.

Reusable cosmetics

Michael Nolte, forecast director at the Paris-based beauty industry trend and intelligence company Beautystreams, predicts that self-regenerating and touch sensitive materials will be big news in the future.

“One of Stanford [University’s] researchers recently created a material that repairs itself after being cut, like the human skin. Imagine packaging that ‘repairs’ itself after being broken or a lip gloss that stays in place perfectly the whole day, that you can [take] off in the evening like clothing and reuse it the next day.”



The next 10 years will be the decade that sees consumers and beauty companies embracing age, rather than fighting it. The year 2013 was a huge one for the prominence of older women in fashion and media. The year’s hero was style icon Iris Apfel, who’s in her early 90s. Apfel rose to prominence with the influence of Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style blog, book and upcoming film.

Advertising campaigns in 2013 featured the likes of 40s-plus Nicole Kidman for Jimmy Choo, Julia Roberts for Lancôme and Christy Turlington for Prada, while British make-up brand Illamasqua’s 2013 campaign, Beauty Before Age, featured street-cast women up to age 72.

MiNDFOOD predicts a filter-down impact, as brands create pro- rather than anti-ageing ranges. Research has found that women are more concerned with radiance than wrinkles; according to, only one in four Baby Boomers use facial skincare products with anti-ageing properties.

Digital perfumes

For the past few years, perfume e-tailers such as LA-based Commodity and apps like fragrance expert Roja Dove’s Scent Selector have been guiding consumers through the online purchase of perfumes, which are then posted out for them to trial. We can expect this concept to take the next step over the coming decade, as 3D printers merge with scent creation and are able to “print” olfactory notes and blended perfumes for customers in the comfort of their home.

Respected fragrance nose Francis Kurkdjian recently told influential British trend forecasting and brand strategy agency The Future Laboratory that 3D olfactory printers would also one day allow perfumers to create new scent molecules to engineer truly individualised scents.

“Consumers are seeking what suits [them], individually, rather than buying into things they’re told to … 3D Printing provides a huge array of potential to fine tune this even further and also engage with consumers, offering them a level of interaction in the process and room to experiment, too. It also invites them to become experts in scent and the science of scent.”

Inside out

Imagine taking a pill to fix your beauty ills. We’re not talking the usual collagen-boosting supplements here, but drugs and neutraceuticals that perform external miracles from the inside out.

Nolte says, “With L’Oréal’s anti-gray hair pill launching in 2015, ingestible beauty solutions [will] gain interest. Concepts of effective eatable deodorants and perfumes, treating from the inside out, are approaches already existing. Thinking further, this could evolve into effective ingestible skincare treatments, and why not pills that change the eye, skin or hair colour of the consumer?”

Emerging world brands

In the 1970s, the Western world had never heard of Japanese beauty companies. Now, brands like Shiseido and SK-II are ubiquitous and have influenced Western businesses in return. Get ready for the next influx of brands from Asia and Latin America.

Natura is a Brazil-based beauty company with an emphasis on natural ingredients and ecological practices, with huge influence across Latin America, USA and France, while Chinese beauty brand Herborist takes a traditional Chinese medicine approach to product formulations and ingredients – it was recently tipped to be the country’s first beauty brand to break into
the West.

Luxury brand giant LVMH’s private equity fund L Capital Asia recently invested in another Chinese brand, Marubi, and Estée Lauder launched their own dedicated Asian skincare brand, Osiao.

DIY Cosmecuticals 

The rise of home chemistry kits is seeing consumers making their own medical drugs, as DIY biology companies like Ginkgo BioWorks – which sells engineered organisms – allows customers to
bioengineer medicines.

In her film The Alchemist, Design Academy Eindhoven student Nina van Bart predicts the bathroom will become a laboratory, with people engineering products by creating drifting mists, nutrient membranes and solidified balms.

Active skincare

Sport-focused skincare products are an emerging niche. The Future Laboratory points to Spanish brand Fisix, whose bodycare range is designed for different stages of athletic activity, with some products to stimulate and others to soothe.

The University of Sheffield recently collaborated with the London College of Fashion to create CatClo, a detergent that when washed onto clothing removes pollutants from the air using photocatalysts (materials that in the presence of light catalyse chemical reactions). Nanoparticles of titanium dioxide grip onto the fabric when washed; after coming into contact with nitrogen oxides in the air, they react with these pollutants and oxidise them in the fabric. Such technology could be added to bodycare formulations, such as moisturisers, to remove body odours and excreted toxins during workouts.

Self-cleaning cosmetics – that’s one future beauty trend we can’t wait to see.