Ingredients Weekly Insight

Over 100 cosmetics, skin care, personal care and fragrance indie brands attended the Indie Beauty Expo in Los Angeles, California in January. The Expo has always been a site of discovery and innovation; major shifts in the industry oftentimes manifest themselves early at IBE. Nimble indie brands have the economies of scale to shorten production lead times and experiment with different formulations, ingredients, etc. very early in the consumer adoption to stay ahead of trends. Ironically, indie beauty has gone mainstream in the last couple of years, with retailers like Sephora, Nordstrom, Anthropologie and more wanting a piece of the pie. For this reason, monitoring the patterns that emerge at these annual Expos is key in attempting to forecast up and coming trends in the industry.

This year’s trending beauty ingredients were all things green and clean. Some highlights were nuts, vegetable oils, fruit seed oils, caffeine, saffron, crystals and watermelon (see full list in chart below). As the health and wellness conscious consumer’s demand for clean ingredients continues to grow, brands are finding interesting ways to incorporate them into complex formulations, fragrances, packaging and copy.


Watermelon: A deep-dive

One star ingredient that Trendalytics suggests to keep an eye out for in the months to come is watermelon. The trend has incredibly high seasonality, experiencing strikingly steady peaks in search and social volume with little to no growth every summer. This is the year we forecast that searches and social buzz around watermelon will increase for reasons beyond its summer-friendly taste. It is the latest in a long line of ingredients trending in K Beauty and its time to enter the world stage has arrived.

Facialist Su-Man says that “the proteins and acids in watermelon improve blood circulation, work as a natural exfoliator, have anti-inflammatory properties and are great at treating the signs of aging”. One key launch that got the conversation around watermelon in skin care going last year was Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, selling out five hours after launch and racking up a waitlist of thousands. Last month, the brand released a moisturizer to join the line and that also sold out on the retailer’s website in four hours.

Currently, only about 40 skin care brands* cite watermelon in their formulations. The brands with the highest percentage of total SKUs are prestige names like Origins, Dr. Dennis Gross, Caudalie and Algenist.  

   *Brands on the Trendalytics platform.

Because of this, 67% of SKUs featuring watermelon are priced between $25-100. Our market stream data indicates that many other brands and retailers are also hopping onto the trend by launching watermelon-featuring products and/or rolling out new iterations of old products on their e-commerce sites.With Spring and Summer launch season still several weeks away, now’s the time for mass brands to act and find innovative ways to incorporate watermelon into their product lines and marketing calendars while the trend’s growth trajectory is strong.