Trends and insights from Cosmoprof Asia

Cosmoprof Asia is a massive annual event in Hong Kong. It brings the beauty industry together – brands, suppliers, distributors and retailers all attend.

This year 87,284 people from 135 countries attended! Nearly 70% of those who attended were from overseas – top 10 countries were Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, USA.

There was a dedicated Natural and Organic section which wasn’t small but was still only 4% of total fair.

I want to reflect on some trends from Beautystreams as well as my own observations from this incredible Beauty extravaganza!

Emerging Consumer tribes – which one are you?

The Local Activist – young, self empowered, eco lifestyle, vegan, prefers source locally – like brands who take a stance = Indie brands

The Empathetic Luxury– wants to feel good about themselves, having a social conscience is important. Origin of ingredients is a high priority – social impact eg: fairtrade. They are driven by helping the community but still wants the product to be high end and beautiful.

The Mainstream Maverick– This is one of the biggest tribes – maybe you fit here? They like brands with disruptive communication, provocative even rude.

The Tech Optimists – latest tech, AI, Smart connected packaging (eg: auto refil when finished), early adopters of 5G

The Cautionist – worried, concerned. Specifically anti pollution, anti blue light, allergy free – messaging needs to be very clear to this group.

The Radical dandy – male, young, very focused on appearance. Some identify more as gender neutral and wear makeup

Macro Trends

These trends are not all exclusive to the beauty industry but we are seeing these in many areas and industries.

  1. Activism – people want to stand for something & they want their brands to reflect this
  2. Anti anxiety – in our increasingly stressful world, consumers want mood enhancing, senatorial experiences and products
  3. Empathic luxe–Very focused on using money for good through purchase decisions
  4. Masculinsm– take feminine codes and make them masculine
  5. Creative AI – human intelligence with technological support
  6. Micro targeting – people want to identify with products and experiences so brands who use hyper segmentation are doing well as consumers are really engaged.
  7. Happy Eco – taking a fun approach to sustainability, ridding the hippie stigma eg: eco sparkle, high pay off pigments
  8. Hybridification– blurring lines between makeup/hair/skincare eg: 1 product multi use
  9. Clean movement – safety of ingredients, natural ingredients, oil based fragrances
  10. Mental cosmetics – lift mood, anti anxiety, aromatherapy becoming main steam

Cosmoprof Asia specific trends

Beautystreams a trend Forecasting agency dedicated to the Beauty works with Cosmoprof to analyse all the exhibitors and pull out the key trends. As Cosmoprof is so huge this is a good sample of what is going on in the market as a whole.



1. Australasia – next beauty destination. Post K-beauty, J-beauty.

The image of Australia and New Zealand as relaxed, natural, laid back with a good, non polluted environment as well as the proximity to Asia is helping local indie beauty brands gain momentum. Mainstream mavericks want to differentiate themselves by finding niche brands as they are looking to Australasia!

2. Stem cell renewal – Preventative anti aging with a reassuring novelty. There is a trend in plant cell stem cell focusing on natural efficiency.

3. Stable Vitamin C – this ingredient is popping up more and more. It is Sun proof, natural multi tasker and effective for anti-aging.

4. Overachievers – Products that are multitaskers – this is for many reasons – general desire to simplify, time effective, money saving and increase of nomadism & travel.

5. Sensory enhancement – People are looking for experiences. There is an increase in Slow cosmetics and multi sensorial innovative textures – like mixing up your masks. It becomes a ritual as part of your downtime.

6. Tech enhanced – How to boost ordinary ingredients to make them more effective. Also, Innovative delivery like 3D silicone mask, Micro needle pen for deep penetration.

7. Preserving potency – Natural ingredient purity, focus how are the ingredients processed. And having 1 star ingredient – simple but effective.

Interesting Brands

There were a lot of brands and I certainly didn’t talk to all of them. But in the Natural Beauty section I saw a few interesting ones:

Farm to face from Australia



Green Olive Red Hill – is a family business where they grow olives, grapes, herbs and veggies. They have a vineyard and a restaurant and now a body care range using their own olive oil.




Pure Nut Skincare foundersPure Nut – another family macadamia farm and they have body and face products.





Natto – again a family farm focused on tea tree oil with a range of body care products using this star ingredient.


These brands are really able to address the concerns from consumers about the origin of ingredients as they produce the star ingredients themselves.



Multi Purpose

001 Skincare – this is a skincare brand from the UK. They have a fairly broad product range  with some multi taskers. The Alpha glow can be used as a Serum, primer or a mask.


Venn Skincare – is a Korean/US brand really focused on simplifying your skincare routine – coming from Korea the queen of the 12 step skincare routine. This brand has an all in one concentrate – Antioxidants and Peptides. They are highlighting the clean & clinical angle.



Natural Ingredient potency

Glacier Botanicals – is a New Zealand brand focusing on locally sourced ingredients.

Vatea – A body care brand focusing on natural and organic products for the family. The founder’s motivation lies in wanting to minimise dry skin conditions which are actually caused by ingredients in many mainstream products.vatea-skincare-products

Pestle and Mortar – this line from Ireland was started by Sonia Deasy whose family have a Cosmoprof pestle and mortarlong tradition in natural remedies from India. These products are natural, free from harmful chemicals. Their focus is about formulating stand-alone products with a star ingredient eg: Hyaluronic Acid is only in their HA active serum and other products concentrate on other actives.




Golden 8 – This brand’s star product is crocodile oil. It helps prevents dermal irritation and regenerates the skin whilst providing the skin its daily dose of Omegas to produce clear, glowing, healthy skin. Novel indeed!



I was excited to see so many natural, clean brands exhibiting at the show. There was a strong contingent from Australia and New Zealand as there is more general awareness and affinity in the eyes of Asian consumers when they think of natural products and these markets are small so quickly look outside their home countries in order to scale their businesses.

Most of the brands were looking for distributors either their first in Asia or for entry into new markets. Some brands who had experience with distributors reflected on some difficulties they had had others had so much interest they didn’t know who to choose – these are common problems for brands entering into any market but Asia is particularly tricky as it is so vast and varied. Most markets are their own ecosystems and need a specific strategy.

My advice to brands would be targeted – focus your energy and your investment on a single market first and choose your partners carefully. Sell in is crucial but so is sell out, you need to have a medium term strategy of how to grow your brand otherwise you won’t get past the first order!

If you are interested in having a 1:1 conversation about your options in Asia I would love to hear from you just email me at allie

And do leave any questions or comments below.

Thanks Allie


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