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I don’t know if it’s factually correct that the face makes up just 10% of our skin, but I’ve often heard body care referred to as “taking care of the other 90%.” The category has been steadily growing for the past couple years and is set to explode in 2023.
The tail end of 2022 saw an explosion of both new body-care brands and body-care expansions from existing brands. Tatcha launched its three-piece Hinoki collection, inspired by forest bathing. It includes an exfoliating body wash, a lotion and an oil. Fast-growing, affordable skin-care brand Naturium broke into body care with six body washes, featuring ingredients like vitamin C and glycolic acid. Josh Rosebrook, known for its skin-care and hair products, debuted three body-care products: a body wash, an exfoliating body serum and a vitamin C-based body cream. And on December 26, after launching a “Booty Balm” in July, JLo Beauty added a body serum and cream to its assortment. As for entirely new brands that debuted, there was Gente, co-founded by model Marianne Fonseca. It’s based on enhancing the impacts of Brazilian lymphatic drainage massage, an increasingly popular body care service. Iota was another newcomer, it focuses on the health of the microbiome, and uses pre and postbiotics in its body wash and body serum.
All of these launches speak to growing trends that can be expected to continue to flourish in the new year. To understand the potential of the body-care market, first consider the skin-care consumer, who is more informed than ever before. Josh Rosebrook, founder of the eponymous brand, said interest in the category starts with a question: “Why am I not treating my body with the same level of actives as I am my face?” This question served as the inspiration for his body-care products, which include active ingredients the modern skin-care consumer is already aware of. Think: peptides, vitamin C and glycolic acid.
Jen Smoot, svp of global business development at Bliss, echoed the sentiment that consumer education is contributing to the body-care boom. In August, Bliss launched its Texture Takedown Skin Smoothing Body Butter, which is formulated with a 10% blend of AHAs to help address keratosis pilaris, or KP, a common concern in the realm of body skin care.
“[Before, customers] didn’t know what [the condition] was even called, but there’s so much information now on TikTok and Instagram, they’ve learned,” said Smoot. She noted that, on TikTok, showing one’s body-care routine has become a trend. The hashtag #bodycareroutine has over 800 million views.
Founded by two Glossier alums, body care brand Soft Services launched in 2021. Co-founder Annie Kreighbaum said her background in editorial served as insight in developing the brand. Thus far, it’s focused on products targeting often stigmatized body-care concerns like acne and KP.
Kreighbaum recalled a time when she worked at XOVain, a beauty site that’s since shuttered, as its story about “chub rub,” also known as “thigh chafe,” blew up. “Clearly, a lot of other people [had this issue],” she said. “That article dumped organic traffic onto our site because people were online looking for solutions.”
She added, “With some of these more taboo concerns, people feel like they’re alone. But body acne [is common], and 40% of adult Americans have keratosis pilaris. It’s just not something that’s covered in mainstream beauty discourse.”
She said she expects body care will see an evolution similar to skin care, in terms of concerns going mainstream, consumer education catching on and offerings becoming more accessible.
Also set to contribute to the category are aging millennials, Kreighbaum said. “They’re starting to see changes in their body, and they’re trained to look online for a solution; they expect there to be a product,” she said.
Soft Services will launch a retinol serum for the body next year, based on expectations that the product will spark the same level of demand as retinol for the face. After-care for plastic surgery, as well as postpartum products, also present opportunities in the body product category, Kreighbaum said. The same goes for dedicated men’s products.
“There’s a new generation of people who are going in for plastic surgery — they have different expectations, when it comes to the products they use,” she said. They’re not going to [shop] the pharmacy at the hospital.”
A brand often referenced in conversations about the new-and-improved body-care market is Necessaire, which launched at the tail end of 2018 with only body care products. It has since launched hair and face products. Of the brand’s origins, co-founder Randi Christiansen said, “We felt that body [care equated to] fragrance,” she said. “And what we really wanted [to create] was efficacy for the body. We wanted [to be] a skin-care destination for the body.”
The goal was for Necessaire’s products to be able to stand on their own, based on their performance rather than their scent. Products like its body wash and deodorant are offered in fragrance-free variations, as well as in scents including Eucalyptus and Sandalwood. The brand’s body lotion and serum remain available solely in fragrance-free options. Much like a facial hydrating serum, the body serum uses five molecular weights of hyaluronic acid. It’s been awarded the Seal Of Acceptance by the National Eczema Association.
Christiansen said the category remains “poised for growth,” thanks to new products allowing people to “trade up” to something better.
Miranda Kerr’s Kora Organics relaunched its body-care collection in the fall with a scrub, a lotion and a body wash, all of which are available online at Sephora. “Sephora wasn’t as into body in the beginning as they are now,” said Kerr. “People are now becoming more aware of what they’re putting on their skin, and they understand that their skin is the largest organ on their body.”
For beauty brands, embracing body care can be a challenge. As Rosebrook said, “the [required order] volumes are higher, the margins are lower, the shipping is higher — it’s all more expensive.” What’s more, today’s customers won’t spend as much on body products as they will on those for the face. At the same time, they’re newly seeking out active ingredients, putting pressure on brands to develop products accordingly, while still affordably. “That’s why there are so many brands that just do basic lotions and body scrub,” he said.
“Take care of your body like you do your face” is a common refrain among people hyping body-care routines. However, Kreighbaum said Soft Services actually disagrees with the sentiment.
“Your body has different needs,” she said. “You have fungal concerns on your body and using the same emollients and oils that you put on your face can actually exacerbate body [skin problems]. We believe in taking a more thoughtful approach to body care.”
Launches to know, end-of-2022 edition
Including sparkly, New Year’s Eve-worthy palettes and a lip mask essential to surviving winter, these six recent beauty launches are ones to have on your radar
Fresh from the second collection from makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench’s new brand is this jewel-toned palette. It’s got 12 shades, many in the jewel-toned family, to mix and match for a super glam look. Even the rhinestone-eyed-horse-bedecked packaging is giving glam.
The celebrity makeup artist hasn’t launched a new palette since first launching his brand in 2020 — and this is the first one that mixes mattes and metals, in pinks, browns and other neutral but glam colors. It’s already sold out multiple times.
Put this on your bedside table and leave it there. The rich, goop-y texture is just what bone-dry, cold-weather-exposed lips so desperately need right now.
This multi-tasking serum can do a lot for a lot of skin types. Use it to reduce redness, tighten and shrink the appearance of pores, or generally even out a blotchy complexion.
Drunk Elephant’s newest product is a leave-on mask made with trending ingredient azelaic acid, as well as classic, blemish-busting salicylic acid. Azelaic soothes and brightens skin, and is good for redness-prone complexions, while salicylic helps keep pores clear.
The latest from Charlotte Cho, founder of both K-beauty e-comm shop Sokoglam and skin-care brand Then I Met You, is this hybrid cleansing tonic. The hero here is Korean sea water, composing 86% of the formula, to be exact. And the formula works to cleanse and tone the skin.