In-Cosmetics was one of the very first major tradeshows to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic back in 2020. At that time, very few of us had realized how challenging the situation ahead would be.
Fast-forward to April 2022. Many things have changed, but uncertainty remains. The cosmetics industry itself went through rough times: drastic changes in consumer behavior, supply chain issues, and price peaks. But at the recent In-Cosmetics event – held two weeks ago in Paris – some things stayed the same. Everyone was eager to finally meet face to face with suppliers, customers, or service providers.
Of course, the show alleys showed the stigma from two years of the global pandemic. Face masks and safety protocols had appeared, hand sanitizers were spread through the exhibition floor, and attendance was slightly lower than usual (especially due to fewer visitors from Asia). On the other hand, the industry was on full display. Ingredients suppliers were competing for the largest and most beautiful booth, and a plethora of new ingredients and concepts were presented.
As someone who has been walking this show since 2008, I found it very similar to previous instances — but at the same time, it had many specificities. Usually, there is always a focus or theme that can be found across many companies’ new products or marketing messages. In past years, this might have been multifunctionality, skin microbiomes, or sun protection. This year, a rather conservative approach was taken by many, with messages in line with what the industry’s expectations have been for years: being green and sustainable.
As shown by products being honored with innovation awards, these two concepts are still driving the industry. IFF – Lucas Meyer Cosmetics and its Wastar Pink Berry, which won the gold award for active ingredient, is a perfect example. A botanical extract (and therefore a natural product), which claims sustainability and upcycling thanks to being made of byproducts, is exactly at the crossroads of naturality and sustainability and checks two boxes that are at the top of the list of many cosmetic product formulators. Other innovation award winners follow similar trends, and green and sustainable can be seen behind most of them.
While the industry seems to be still looking for the “next big thing,” an interesting increase in ingredients and solutions for solid formulations could be observed at the show. Concepts such as inclusive beauty were also present at a number of booths.
Of course, concerns about the geopolitical situation, the availability of raw materials, and the uncertain trajectory in the sales of some products were palpable. But over the last two years, the industry has shown, once again, its resilience against an adverse economic environment. Therefore, In-Cosmetics 2022 was a long-awaited occasion for the industry to meet, regroup, and look forward to a brighter — and greener — future.