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Global Beauty and Personal Care Trend: Water - The New Luxury

Posted By Vivienne Rudd, Mintel, Wednesday 22 November 2017

Water is the new luxury

According to Mintel’s Global Beauty Analysts, “Water - the new luxury” is one of four key trends set to impact the global beauty and personal care industry over the next decade. This trend explores the role of water in beauty products, including looking at formulations that use water extracted from fruit and plants and assessing the possibility of using recycled water, or no water at all.

In this article, Vivienne Rudd, Director of Global Insight, Beauty & Personal Care at Mintel, discusses new opportunities for brands to tap into this trend.


Tapping into new water sources

New sources of water are emerging. Beauty brands can enrich their formulations with various fruit, vegetable and herb waters that offer an element of distinctiveness and reassurance, promising extra benefits and a layer of glamour.


Watermelon water is the new coconut water

estee lauderFruit waters are an attractive addition to a beauty product, appealing to consumers' trust in food-related solutions. For example, 19% of Spanish and French consumers say they wouldn't put anything on their body that they wouldn't eat.

Watermelon water is positioned as a healthful alternative to coconut water thanks to its vitamins and moisturising benefits. The fruit has most recently appeared in Estée Lauder's new Double Wear Water Fresh Makeup, forming part of an intensive moisturising complex, and is present in skincare and wash products. However, none of these products have explored the sensoriality of watermelon water, something that essences, toners and hair rinses and the material would do well.


Banana water could be next

A peek at the drinks industry reveals a potential new fruit water for the beauty industry. Banana Water is said to be an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, making it a great option for skincare and haircare products. So far, banana extract, not water, has been championed by Korean giant LG to add nourishment and moisturisation to a number of Su:um 37 face and suncare products. In other parts of Asia, beauty brands have explored banana's antiseptic and energising properties in hand and foot creams. So far, such products have focused on banana extract and puree. However, by using banana water, beauty brands can differentiate their products and give a healthfood-style positioning in addition to their commercial appeal.


Cactus water pricks the imagination

Prickly pear cactus extract has appeared in a small but growing number of skincare products as a plant water, comprising the bulk of the formulation and headlining the marketing. Nature Republic's Soothing & Moisture Cactus 92% Soothing Gel is a case in point. The gel contains prickly pear grown in the Korean district of Pyeongchang and name checks the amount in the formulation to promote an image of transparency to consumers. Cactus water's fragrance and composition makes an interesting option for refreshing body sprays and splashes, and cooling post-exercise lotions.


Supercharge your H2O

Bottled mineral waters are increasingly boasting functional benefits based on their origins or on added minerals, vitamins or molecules. Beauty brands can adopt this approach to amplify the appeal of their water-based products.


Find new ways to convey purity...

Many consumers drink bottled water because they view it as a healthier, purer alternative to their tap water. Urban Decay found a fresh way to talk about water purity in beauty. It describes the Japanese hot spring water in its Hot Springs Hydrating Gel as 'hypotonic', meaning ultra-pure. This purity allows the water to penetrate the skin's barrier more easily, ensuring better hydration.


Alkaline waters claim anti-ageing benefits

Beauty is increasingly linked with diets, and alkaline is one of the latest buzzwords. Alkaline water is linked with improved energy levels, cell regeneration and anti-ageing benefits for the skin.This association with purity and anti-ageing can turn alkali from a negative to a positive term in beauty products, countering fears of irritation with anti-ageing and acid-balancing claims.


Vitamin waters flow in the bathroom

Vitamin C showerheads have made it from the luxury hotel to the standard bathroom. Showerheads such as the pH Rejuvenate Vitamin C Shower Head Filter claim to improve water pressure by 200%, while saving 35% of water. However, the chief selling point is the vitamin C block in the filter, which is said to effectively remove chlorine and chloramine to leave skin, scalp and hair smooth and soft. The citrus adds an invigorating, stress-busting touch.


Formulate with less water

One in five UK consumers said at the beginning of 2017 that they had changed their bathroom routine for environmental reasons, such as saving water. Yves Rocher has taken note and introduced Concentrated Shower Gels under its I Love My Planet eco-banner. The small bottles contain a concentrated formula that provides 40 showers, and a handy closure ensures that consumers don't dispense more than they need. So far, genuinely concentrated products are thin on the ground, so brands have room to create products that save water yet offer sensorial and active benefits.



  1. Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 30 is described as a lightweight, anti-pollution, super-protective and oil-controlling foundation. It claims to be instantly hydrating thanks to a moisture complex of ingredients including watermelon, lychee seed and apple.
  2. Label Young Banana Hair Essence is formulated with banana juice and features a three-step hair nourishing system to protect hair from perm, dying and drying, while softening it.
  3. Nature Republic Soothing & Moisture Cactus 92% Soothing Gel is described as a moisturising, non-sticky gel made with pear cactus and Eastern prickly pear, designed to be used on face, body, sensitive or dry skin areas and hair. 



Vivienne Rudd, Director of Global Insight & Innovation, Beauty & Personal Care at Mintel, has been writing about the beauty industry for more than 20 years. The former editor of European Cosmetic News and Cosmetics International, Vivienne has travelled the world, interviewing leading industry executives and reporting on corporate, consumer, marketing and product innovation developments.

For more information on how Mintel can help your business, contact Ciara Rafferty, Director Mintel Ireland on +44 (0)28 9024 1849 or

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