2020 Vision | Top 6 Beauty Trends

The Beauty Industry’s focus for the decade ahead is laser sharp and it’s pointing straight for more inclusive, responsible and sustainable practices. Lead by conscious consumer demands, these six points are more than trends, but defining aspects of the Clean Beauty movement that we are experiencing now and foresee taking hold into the next decade ahead.

1.     Simplified Skincare – Less is more with potent, pure molecules

The novelty of the K(orean)-beauty multistep skincare routine has worn off, with more simplified, multi-purposed products taking their place. A(ustralian)-beauty is now centre stage with its focus on powerful plant-based ingredients. Leaving our bias aside, A-beauty returns $7 Billion in annual revenue with good reason. Access to new species and technologies has created a new palette of natural tools to work with. A-beauty is about returning to nature, moving away from synthetics towards natural alternatives, reducing the ingredient list and simplifying the routine. It is about delivering just what skin needs, pure plant molecules, more natural formulations.

Multinationals to indie start-ups are demanding Australian ingredients because our pristine yet harsh environment has evolved plants that are efficient in creating and storing high levels of multiple compounds that they need to sustain their survival. Australia is also known for high standards of manufacturing and documentation, providing traceability back to source. Australian innovations like Cellular Extraction harness a range of water soluble phyto-compounds (and their derivatives) from one plant, giving us new information on what a species can offer, and reducing the need for overloading a formulation with ingredients – less can be more. Brands like Evolvesk.in feature these potent Cellular Extracts in single-plant serums, providing ingredient simplicity whilst delivering multiple phyto-compounds – aka nature’s formulation. These individual serums also simplify the routine, by targeting specific needs and age groups.

Lisa Carroll, Native Extracts Director and Innovator, predicts, “in 2020 the AM/PM skin care routine will begin to evolve.”

Many other leading brands formulate using the natural molecules delivered in multiple Cellular Plant Extracts and translate them in conscious and deliberate delivery systems/formulations that are not only efficacious but also kind. Their story is often our story because traceability back to source and eco-sustainable manufacturing is important to their consumers. Growing numbers of ‘skintellectuals’ also prefer ‘free-from’ products that omit synthetics and preservatives and have a few but familiar ingredients on the label. They shop for specific products that target their specific needs, which requires bespoke customisation from companies, not a one-size-fits-all range.

“Skin care is becoming prescriptive and the technology (like skin scanning) is already here” - Lisa Carroll

2.     Green Chemistry

Nature is science, and inversely science is nature. Either way we look at it, they are inextricably linked. Advanced science can now harness and deliver what is available in nature, whereas prior processes destroyed the delicate balance of natural compounds rendering “natural” ingredients in the past as inferior to synthetic versions. Now, the industry has the greatest access to new species, natural compounds in their entourage, greener manufacturing and access to indigenous science.

Brands can no longer greenwash the consumer with earthy Instagram accounts to sell their ‘natural’ products. Ingredient-aware consumers’ desire to reduce their impact on the planet is spurring chemists to make products with natural or eco-safe chemicals, reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources, create natural preservative systems, etc. … it is not going to be ‘easy’, but manufacturers have the responsibility to reduce our impact on people and planet – it is an individual and business obligation.

So much of the world’s plant benefits remain to be discovered. With over 70+ native species analysed, NATIVE EXTRACTS has the largest library of Australian plant profiles in the world, yet we are constantly discovering new compounds from new sources. 

“In 2012, Australian species had little data on their water-soluble profiles. Over the last 7 years, we have researched, recorded and shared this knowledge for the benefit of brands, consumers, growers, communities and science,” says Lisa. She continued, “We foresee a scientific renaissance, exploring new ecosystems for new compounds, new solubilities and delivery systems, researching the variables to enhance the skin’s absorption of natural compounds, a new look at delivering internal nutrition, and experimenting with unique manufacturing processes that redefine concentrations.”

3.     Sustainable Ingredient Stories

Eco-sustainability is more than a trend. It’s a paradigm that is shifting how we consider our environmental impact and it’s driven by a desire for connection back to Country.

In Beauty, we’re seeing these 5 themes emerge when it comes to sustainable ingredients:

1.     Raw, plant-based ingredients are narrowing the meaning of the term ‘natural’. Many synthetics are naturally occurring, but they might not necessarily come from nature. A shift to plant-based ingredients traced back to origin will differentiate and help to define what ‘natural’ truly means.

2.     More upcycled by-products are being featured as hero ingredients, highlighting their impact on reducing waste (i.e. coffee ground scrubs, extracts created with rain harvested water)

3.     Reduced carbon footprint strategies – Zero-Carbon Emission products promote waterless products for lighter packaging or none at all (i.e. shampoo bars). Organic ingredients are being sourced closer to manufacturers to reduce the impact of travel-related emissions.

4.     Organic, petrochemical free products will continue to rise in sales, instantly equating to a reduction in pesticides. Natural products had more than $1.5 billion in sales in 2017, according to Nielsen, but Grand View Research reported that the organic beauty category will reach nearly $25 billion by 2025 globally. 

5.     Trust, Truth and transparency - Beyond the direct impacts of the products, consumers want to know how the ingredient was grown - is it sustainably harvested, who grew it, how they impact the land and local ecosystems, cultural inclusion and future proofing new primary industries.

“The backstory will come to the foreground and feature throughout Beauty Brands’ marketing, and smart brands will leverage new technologies to bring the consumer closer to the grower,” informs Lisa.

4.     Inclusivity in Beauty

Do we let media and advertising decide what is “beautiful”? Aging is inevitable, a celebration in many cultures of life lessons, wisdom and passing on knowledge. The next decade will see the market take “anti-” out of aging and hear “bolder not older”.

Marketing and brand language must connect and demonstrate empathy in terms of the individual’s skin journey, embracing all people - ages, genders, lifestyle, ethnicity and individuality – whoever a brand’s target market is, it must be delivered authentically. The audience is truly seen as individuals, with unique needs to be met. Once an audience is seen for the individuals in it, brands can customize products to suite them. Here are some sub-trends we are seeing in this area:

1.    More Men’s skin care lines and gender-neutral brands

2.   “Active/Positive Aging” replaces anti-aging, emphasising wellness, embracing and enhancing natural skin, and considering the effects of aging like menopause and hair loss.

3.     Clean Beauty / Ethical and Sustainable Beauty will no longer be for niche markets with premium prices, it will be inclusive and become a staple in the bathroom. We will also see more innovation on recyclable, sustainable packaging solutions, i.e. consumers opting out of necessary outer-packaging, shipping solutions and more compostable, waste-reducing practices.

5.     Hair Care starts at the scalp – and goes natural!

Natural phyto-compounds will transform hair care products in 2020. We’re documenting significant progress in using NATIVE EXTRACTS to promote hair growth and conditioning. Based on extensive peer-reviewed research, we have found four phyto-compounds that have a positive effect on hair health and growth.

NATIVE EXTRACTS’ research has resulted in products that optimize the viability of hair follicles and thus pivot the focus to scalp care, enhancing the market for hair treatments such as hair serums, daily and weekly treatments, mists, hair sprays, etc. NATIVE EXTRACTS has partnered with several prescriptive salons, like Alotopia, conducting field trials of serum blends for hair and we’re seeing astonishing results on hair growth just within a couple weeks.

Advances in technology like hair coding or scalp mapping will also offer customized solutions. With Grand View Research expecting the global hair care market to reach $211.1 Billion (USD) by 2025, now is more exciting than ever to rethink the way we treat our hair, starting with the scalp. “Heathy hair goes beyond what you can see, the condition, nourishment, heath of the scalp and environment where the hair follicle exists is vital to the optimum growth of strong & healthy hair,” says Lisa.

6.     Power of Collaboration

2019 was the year of social media influencer marketing, but 2020 is about strategic brand collaborations. For brands that share similar values and audiences, this will be a clever way for brands to grow their reach. We’ve seen large brands collaborate like Frank Body, Go-To and Sand and Sky’s A-Beauty Box.

At NATIVE EXTRACTS, we collaborate with several indie brands taking them from product development to market, as well as work with growers and producers to introduce new ingredients to market.

NATIVE EXTRACTS is fortunately positioned between plants and products, where we oscillate from inspiring new plant-based ingredient trends to being inspired by brands and their product vision.

Wrap Up

2020 is going to be one of the most transformative years for beauty, and we are thrilled to be driving innovation in Clean Beauty market. While, contributing to the growth of a more sustainable industry this year with the launch of: a new Cellular Extracts Range, New Native Oil Infusions, the world’s 4th Blue Oil (newly discovered from a sustainable source), and high concentrated ingestible Native EssenXces for the food and beverage industry. 

So that’s our take on the trends for 2020. What do you foresee transforming this space in the next year or decade to come?


The NATIVE EXTRACT difference – More 2020 and beyond industry trends are available. EMAIL US to book a discovery session to learn more.