Trends: We dissect the topics the industry is talking about

This month we discuss the popularity of bar soap, turmeric and blunt bobs


Bar soaps are back.

1. Solid options

Traditionally considered, harsh and irritating to the skin, solid soaps have been upgraded with nourishing actives and their often plastic-free packaging has made them curry favour with the growing demographic of environmentally conscious consumers.

Lush MENA marketing specialist Sara Sayed commented on the comeback: “Consumers are becoming more savvy and aware of the amount of waste the industry is putting out there as well as the amount of products, routines, and tools that have become somewhat overwhelming and so you see more and more people going back to efficient and straight to the point products such as soaps. #BackToBasics.”

In fact, Lush has alsways had a basic approach to packaging and with solids, the brand has free reign to create shapes and designs with the actual product. Some examples include the traditionally shaped Sultana of Soap, the gold-tinted Oudhess and the brightly coloured Rock Star. Ameen explains: “At Lush we think less is more, and when it comes to packaging we think none is better. Another aspect that brands can keep in mind is ingredients. Ingredients will not only give consumers choices to pick from but also, picking the right ones will definitely have an impact on the environment. The way that we make our soap has changed over the years. First we found a way to make it without animal fat, then without palm oil, and now without petrochemicals.”

Lush Bar Soap

For Shirley Conlon, founder of  skin care line, Shirley Conlon Organics, solid soap evokes nostalgia but she believes that its popularity has a modern motivation: “For me bar soap instantly transports me back to childhood, and in my case Lifeboy, but thankfully with modern science, innovation and design, there are some fabulous bar soaps being launched. I believe this trend stems from an issue of sustainability. With the current stress on our eco system regarding plastic, we all have a responsibility to make more conscious choices to reduce, reuse and recycle.”

Echoing Ameen's comment, Conlon added: “I believe people are going back to basics and are more conscious that simplicity really is the key to healthy skin and a happy environment. Our (Shirley Conlon Organics) products are all about simplicity and keeping it real.”

Conlon also teased that she might have a solid launch of her own on the cards: “Ingredients and packaging are vital. A product is only as good as its ingredients and packaging has to be environmentally friendly. Design is also very important as we are all becoming much more design conscious and want our product to look as good as it works. We are working on a few ideas ourselves for a new soap at the moment, stay tuned.”

2. Old is gold

Some are ingredients that have been used in traditional wellness treatments for centuries but are only now making their way to the mainstream. Turmeric, also called Indian saffron or the golden spice" is one of these ingredients.

Turmeric has many beauty benefits.

Rich in curcumin, turmeric is a natural active ingredient that promotes the healing and brightening of skin. Women have been applying turmeric topically for hundreds of years. It's especially helpful for those with inflammatory skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea, but anyone can find the ingredient helpful. Turmeric in skincare softens, brightens, and lessens fine lines and wrinkles. A 2014 study found curcumin can help speed up the healing of wounds, and another found that the compound boosts collagen production and protects against free radicals and sun damage. Studies also show that there is a high possibility that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin can help slow down aging. Curcumin also has antimutagenic properties. Some anecdotal evidence also suggests that turmeric can treat dark spots, dark circles, and hyperpigmentation. Speaking to Standard Media, Courtney Chiusano, founder of Courtney Chiusano Skincare in Los Angeles, California said: “Since turmeric is a proven anti-inflammatory and lightening agent, it’s perfect for alleviating certain skin concerns. It also stimulates circulation, which can help reduce puffiness and under-eye darkness caused by poor circulation.”

Lush’s Brazened Honey Fresh Face Mask contains turmeric. The pros have formulated it so there's no orange tint and it's a great option for those with congested skin as it's jam-packed full of spices and herbs used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.

Kiehl's also makes a brightening mask with turmeric and Natura Bissé’s C+C Vitamin Cream contains vitamins C and D and turmeric oil. Both can be used to fade the appearance of sunspots and fight the signs of aging.

The now cult C.E.O Glow Face Oil from Sunday Riley, a brand favoured by the likes of Victoria Beckham, claims to recharge the radiance of the user's complexion. Advanced vitamin C and golden turmeric impart vibrancy and deliver antioxidant defence, while cold-pressed nutrient-rich extracts nurture skin to leave it looking brighter.

3. New short cut

By all accounts, 2019 is the time to be brave and embrace a super-short hairstyle. Blunt bobbed haircuts aren't going anywhere and the chin-skimming styles suit most hair types. This dramatic, angular style, is suited to a wide array of face shapes and hair textures. Actress Emilia Clarke recently took to Instagram to reveal that she was forced to go for the chop after bleaching her hair for the final series of Game of Thrones with the caption: "In other news this FABULOUS new bob is the chicest way to style out some burnt out mother of dragons split ends". Though it was done out of necessity, the resulting haircut perfectly frames her features and will no doubt spur a wave of copycat styles.

According to That Hair Tho (THT) senior stylist Louise Dawson the blunt bob is increasing in popularity. Explaining why she thinks the style has become so popular, she said: “2019 is all about making statements whether through hair, make up or fashion! People are finally getting over their fear of scissors and experimenting! Plus, whether it’s straight, wavy or messy the style still looks on trend!”

Blunt bobs are in.

Dawson also shared her recommendations with regards to the hair type most suited to the style: “I would recommend a blunt bob to anyone with medium to thick hair. Also keep in mind if your hair is curly it will bounce up when left to dry naturally and look shorter, so leave it a few inches longer if you plan on styling it with your natural texture.”

With this type of angular cut, healthy ends are a must, which means that maintenance is very important. Dawson advises: “Serum, serum and serum! Apply a little Pravana Hydrapearl Replenishing Hair Oil on wet or dry hair, avoiding the roots to keep hair smooth and frizz free.”

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