For 2020, context is key. Beauty is taking notes from the streetwear space, with beauty brands increasingly leveraging tactics common in street culture such as limited-edition products and collaborations. Also, the industry is increasingly becoming tech-enabled. Technologies including AI, 3D printing, and perhaps even blockchain, will continue to make the beauty product lifecycle more efficient and personalized for consumers. Excited? You should be. So, what trends can we expect over the months ahead?

Smart beauty devices to get smarter Big beauty corporates are lining up to showcase their tech savvy in the consumer devices category. In recent years, L’Oreal has developed wearable sensors to track sun damage and skin pH levels. L’Oreal-owned Clarisonic is also trying to position itself as a high-tech, science-driven brand. Other major players like P&G, Johnson & Johnson, and Shiseido have unveiled their own tech-enabled systems. Shiseido’s Optune, an Internet-of-Things-powered skincare system launched in 2019, integrates a mobile app that leverages AI to detect users’ skin conditions and then dispenses a personalized formula each day. Optune is capable of delivering 80,000 possible combinations. Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson has developed a host of personalized skincare systems, ranging from skin scanning devices such as the Neutrogena Skin360 to 3D-printed face masks through its Neutrogena MaskiD technology.

A post-Fenty inclusive beauty vibe Since Fenty Beauty’s launch in 2017, “inclusive beauty” has become an industry buzzword, encompassing new demographic markets that are becoming increasingly important for the beauty industry to target. While the mainstream media has historically targeted women when it comes to beauty and grooming products, more options for men’s personal care products are emerging. Personal care and pharmaceutical companies have been selling male-focused products such as razors or hair loss prevention pills for over a century. Now, many of today’s brands are employing direct-to-consumer distribution and refreshed packaging to attract a new generation of male consumers.

Gender-neutral beauty products “Boy beauty” and gender-neutral products support this greater focus on inclusive beauty. Companies like Asos, Calvin Klein, Yves Saint Laurent, Clinique, and others offer makeup for men, while startups like Context and incumbent brands including MAC, Tom Ford, and Marc Jacobs have all launched gender-neutral makeup lines. To cater to this trend, beauty incumbents like Maybelline and Covergirl have also announced male brand ambassadors.

Boomers Though much of the marketing in beauty has focused on millennials and Gen-Z, major opportunity exists in meeting the needs of female baby boomers. Even though they represent one of the most affluent segments, beauty brands and marketers have tended to ignore this demographic. Consumers have taken notice: 70% of women aged 40+ want to see more beauty products targeting perimenopausal and menopausal women.

Teens, tweens, and children Beauty brands are also looking to babies and children for untapped opportunities. Though the category is much smaller than adult skincare, it grew by nearly 9% last year. And 3 out of 4 parents say they would spend more on personal care products for their children rather than on themselves!

Skin tech Skin tech became all the rage in 2018, with an increasing number of companies incorporating AI and other technologies for personalized skincare recommendations. One of the major questions with skincare as a category is whether products actually deliver on their promises. Subsequently, tech brands are focusing on evidence-based skin analysis and developing mechanisms to track skin changes over time. Many brands have used artificial intelligence to personalize skincare analysis and user recommendations.

Sustainable packaging “Clean” beauty today is not just about what’s in consumers’ products, but also how products are produced and packaged. Sustainability is a hot topic across virtually every sector, but it’s become a particularly important conversation within an industry with replenishable products historically featuring single-use packaging. Consumers — especially millennials and Gen-Z — are leading the shift away from single-use plastic. This shift is accelerating as government regulation in the EU and select US states pushes companies towards adopting more sustainable alternatives.

Stay wise, and keep your eyes open for these, and more, to change the course of how you choose, buy, and use your beauty products throughout 2020!