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specializing in the personal care products that move us. We formulate, make, fill, and test some of the most trusted brands in skin, oral, and hair care.

Customers rely on our expertise to navigate supply chain workflows and keep product launches on track.


We design best-in-class formulations and provide continuous support from lab to launch

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This Year’s Hair Care Trends

It may be somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy, but if our industry enters a new roaring twenties of brand exploration and development, hair care is sure to shine. Hair care is growing into a new phase of innovation — one with brands diving into the who, what, and how of follicles and what truly keeps our heads nourished and maintained.

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This Year’s Hair Care Trends

It may be somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy, but if our industry enters a new roaring twenties of brand exploration and development, hair care is sure to shine.

Hair care is growing into a new phase of innovation — one with brands diving into the who, what, and how of follicles and what truly keeps our heads nourished and maintained.

The growth rate among brands in the category is driven by a convergence of awareness and exploration. Consumers are excited to research and try out new brands, particularly when it comes to hair care (especially since the pandemic). Our focus on topics like clean beauty and sustainability has been supercharged and we’re ready to double down.

Here are some innovations in hair care that are trending:

Unwash Yourself

The motto for shampoo used to be lather, rinse, repeat. Nowadays, consumers understand the science of scalp care and why daily washes may not be the best for our overall sebum levels.

“Shampoo is an emulsifier that captures and traps excess oil, dirt, and product residue,” Angela Lamb, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai told WebMD.1 Shampoo in effect rinses out both the good and bad of what we have on our heads.

Brands like Unwash are educating consumers on the side effects of daily shampooing and the hair health benefits to approaching hair washing differently.

This education and awareness are leading some consumers to rethink their current brands and try out ‘alternative shampoos.’ Many personal care experts agree that only a small number of us need to shampoo every day. Fitness buffs and those in humid climates will benefit from daily sudsing, but the rest of the population need a few skip days (and maybe a spritz of dry shampoo).

It sounds like a Macy’s/Gimbels gambit, but by getting consumers to use their product less, hair care brands can push more masstige products and increase sales.

Living Proof

Modern Mammals

Living a Sulfate-Free Lifestyle

Brands are formulating innovations in hair care and rethinking the ingredients that do or do not belong. Taboo additives — like sulfates and silicones, alcohols and abrasives, synthetics and sodiums — are all being reconsidered in the quest to develop healthier hair.

This reformulation sometimes requires a reboot of our perceptions of what a product does or how it behaves. Sulfates, for example, are widely used in shampoos and are often responsible for the product’s foaming nature. As a detergent, they’re also responsible for stripping essential oils when we shampoo. Replacing sulfates oftentimes requires an adjustment to our expectations of a shampoo (and that yes, it is still cleaning your hair).

Consumers want to explore products sans sulfates and silicons. They want tea tree oil for retaining moisture, rambutan seed for deodorization, and apple extract to regulate the sebum levels. Beard oils with ginger root can bring anti-aging benefits. Japanese camellia in serums help smooth hair cuticles. The options for moving onto new ingredients have never been greater.

With the clean beauty movement being redefined from the pandemic, it’s now one of the most crucial table stakes in the game.

Men’s Hair Goes Masstige

In the battle for market share in men’s grooming, hair care is entering a new phase of growth. Male grooming overall has seen a 5.2% CAGR and is expected to reach $81.2 billion by 20242 (with hair care being a key component to that growth).

A primary driver of men’s care masstige is the education on the benefits of good hair hygiene and the innovation of brands catering to hair loss, beard care, and better shampoo. Minoxidil is no longer the only treatment for thinning hair and 2-in-1 shampoos are no longer a shower caddy litmus test.

Brands are emerging with an endless line of grooming products that cater to today’s man. These include shampoos with carefully curated scents, beard oils that include ingredients to stimulate growth, and an array of pomades, waxes, and fibers that go far beyond dollar-bin hair gel. Many brands are also developing formulations that address genetic backgrounds, from those with thin to textured hair.

From L to R: Duke Cannon Supply Co., Pete & Pedro

It should be noted that the comeback of barbershop culture and the rise of influencers has helped bring the male demographic on board as well. Both barbers and social gurus are effective ambassadors in educating a new class of guys on hairstyle trends, fashion choices, product categories, and how all of them come together to make a well-groomed man.

Color & Co.

A Whole New Pallete of Hair Care

It’s no secret to anyone that hair coloring has been a major part of the market for decades, but today’s coloring products aren’t what they used to be. With advancements in formulation, packaging, and logistics, hair coloring is reaching a golden age.

Shifts in consumer behavior during the pandemic have led to massive growth in hair coloring products. At the start of the pandemic — when lockdowns were at their peak — sales for hair coloring grew 172 percent.3 This spike was largely caused by a huge demand for at-home products as many salons were shuttered or closed entirely.

However easy it might be, it’s unfair to credit the pandemic for the entirety of hair coloring’s recent numbers. In actuality, advancements made before 2020 were what allowed the at-home trend to be as successful as it was. Brands have spent the last several years improving online commerce and direct-to-consumer shipping, they’ve developed easier and less messy ways to color, and AI has allowed consumers to choose colors that have essentially been created just for them.

L’Oreal’s brand Color & Co. lets users take an online color quiz or speak directly with a coloring consultant to choose from an infinite selection of shades. Simpler Hair Color has developed an innovative brush application that allows for multiple touch-up applications from a single tube. Color Wow has developed a powder-based root touchup product applied by brush that will last through rain and rinses until your next shampoo.

Hair to Stay

Hair care is an industry to watch because we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible. Today the number of SKUs that cater to washing, conditioning, growth, styling, and scalp health is increasing every day, launching an entire generation of products to tickle a trichologist’s fancy. In overall personal care news, that’s pretty exciting.

The Skin Care Boom How COVID Took a Flourishing Segment and Supercharged It

It was only a few years ago that skincare overcame makeup as the beauty category to watch. Amounting to more than $6 billion a year in growth into 2020, industry analysts were muddled not about whether the boom would continue, but about for how long.

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The Skin Care Boom How COVID Took a Flourishing Segment and Supercharged It

It was only a few years ago that skincare overcame makeup as the beauty category to watch. Having seen its market value increase 60% in a decade,1 skincare was experiencing a significant boom. Brands were popping up in social feeds and on Sephora shelves at a record pace and consumer engagement with brands was at an all-time high.

When the pandemic hit, the beauty and personal care industry experienced the tsunami of market effects many others felt — a lot of which we will be dealing with for a generation. Retail stores went on lockdown, workers we working from home. Date nights were a distant memory and though cosmetic and fragrance brands did suffer, skincare remained resilient.

This tenacity was in part driven by a perfect storm of events: millennials increased their purchasing power, consumers were more educated and open to new trends, and the side effects of COVID have changed our ways of life, possibly forever.

Skin Care Was Already Booming…

It’s important to realize that by the end of 2019 (before social distancing would permeate our lexicon) the skincare segment was already hitting a 5% growth year-over-year, for years. Amounting to more than $6 billion a year in growth into 2020,2 industry analysts were muddled not about whether the boom would continue, but about for how long.

These gains were in large part thanks to a new generation of skincare brands that appealed to contemporary audiences, niche segments, and a new breed of consumers. Companies were, at last, addressing the honest differences in individual skin due to ethnicity, gender, or medical conditions. The industry as a whole was beginning to redefine what the term personal care was all about.

Melanie Bender, from the skincare brand Versed, told Vogue in 2019 that skincare had a personal connection that other categories didn’t.3 “Makeup is temporary and feels like something you put on for others, skincare is an investment in yourself,” she said.

The emerging brands that came about during this period tackled today’s consumer needs, leaned heavily on natural formulations, and appealed to untapped audiences looking for daily skin regimens. They were built on operational frameworks that favored large amounts of small-volume sales. So many brands emerged in fact, that in the prestige channel, the number of brands outside of the top 20 made up the largest share of market sales for the first time in history.4

…And then COVID Hit

When the pandemic’s effect began to influence our industry, a lot of product categories had already suffered crippling setbacks. Color cosmetics were down 37% in just the first half of the year5 and the main drivers of makeup — office work and date nights — were no longer what they used to be. Despite the turbulence, COVID was inflicting upon the world, skincare was able to find a silver lining.

There were two major contributors to skincare’s COVID boost: our collective increase in hand-washing, soap and sanitizers (and the lasting effect that was having on our skin), and the overnight trend of ‘me time’ and what we could do to pamper our souls at home. Overnight antibacterial soap was as valuable as toilet paper, and masstige cleansers filled in the gaps. Skincare treatments guaranteed to ‘bring the spa to you’ were in vogue.

The result was a boon to brands that had been clamoring to get noticed, hoping to be spotted in a field of global CPGs and instantly recognizable brand identities. It heightened our awareness around what it means to take care of oneself, particularly beyond the bounds of basic hygiene and germ control.

Contract manufacturing in turn surged, with thousands of brands — even those owned by the field of large, multinational CPGs — were desperate for more production capacity and safety stock. Trend-worthy products like CBD-based lotion, tinted moisturizer, and at-home hydrating face masks were given the spotlight to shine.

Overall, the pandemic ended up breathing more life into the skincare boom.

A Generation of Connected Consumers

Brands that were growing at a faster pace than the category average — both before and after the start of the pandemic — were those that embraced digital channels for marketing and direct-to-consumer workflows. Millennials — now the United States’ largest living adult population — spend more time online (and do so with an aggregate annual income expected to surpass $4 trillion by 20306).

This results in a consumer market that is more diverse, more educated about the topic of skincare, more interested in what goes into a formulation, and more connected to influencers they trust and listen to. Today, 93% of consumers read product reviews before purchasing,7 and place a great deal of weight on virtual word-of-mouth.

Furthermore, every new brand that popped during this boom has been built digitally from the ground up. Not only do they have easy-to-use websites with integrated stores and subscription pricing, but also connect directly to their audiences through digital ads, social media, and email marketing.

Overall, these improvements to our business have contributed to a collective enhancement of the skincare industry. Our sales are more linked to user behavior, products are formulated to tackle the needs of today, and our supply chain workflows are designed for the future, not the past. We are feeding into an ethos of innovation driven by actual consumer feedback.

When the waves settle around COVID and markets fall back in line, skincare will likely be one that remains on top and continues to grow. Some of our old habits may reemerge and some safety choices will be here to stay, but it’s safe to say we’re no longer the customers we used to be.

The Shopping (Re)Volution The discovery of new brands used to hinge on immersive, in-store experiences. In a post-COVID world, everything changes.

Though we’re still searching for a lot of answers in regards to how the pandemic will affect us over the next decade, it’s clear that 2019 is ancient history. The definition we used to have for a consumer — where they shopped and how they researched new products has been changed forever.

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The Shopping (Re)Volution The discovery of new brands used to hinge on immersive, in-store experiences. In a post-COVID world, everything changes.

The beauty and personal care industry is one that thrives on the in-person shopping experience. With a full 79% of overall spending at least partially done in-store,1 we prefer to discover new brands and products through sight, touch, and smell.

We as consumers are influenced by the branding and ethos of a beauty care store like Ulta or Sephora, and malls are a place to shop for that unknown product we won’t be able to live without. Brand loyalty is still built with the help of out-of-store experiences, but in-store retail has been a crux to the industry’s $500 billion in annual revenue.

So how will an industry survive in a new world — one where our shift to online purchasing is likely to remain high even after a return to normal? One where a younger, more digitally connected consumer base makes up the majority of our economy? One where habits around makeup and skincare have been fundamentally altered by a global pandemic?

Few would be surprised to hear that 2020 saw a huge shift from in-store only purchases to those made online. What is astonishing is just how quickly and how dramatic the shift was. In the decade before the pandemic, the share of online-only purchases went from 6% to 16% — an annual growth rate of just over 15%, or about 1.2% a month.2

A global pandemic later, that rate nearly tripled — growing 44% in twelve months. The $263 billion increase in eCommerce sales from 2019 to 2020 was more than that previous 4 years’ worth of growth combined. Today, more than 21% — 1 out of 5 five purchases made — is done entirely online.2

Our industry saw many winners and losers. Skincare was up, but color cosmetics were down. Professional and salon services suffered, while do-it-at-home brands flourished. Grocery stores and big-box retailers were considered more essential than malls and boutique stores which foundered under the weight of global lockdowns. These measures remained for so long they began to change our behavior in how we buy beauty and personal care items.

Analysts predict that a return to normal will repair much of the damage the pandemic created, and they’re likely right. However, no matter what we do, we will never live in a pre-pandemic world again. Some of the shifts in our purchasing habits will stick with us even after it’s no longer a necessity — the conveniences of online shopping were simply brought to life.

L’Oreal’s Virtual Tap & Try App

Embracing Virtual Reality

When the pandemic started and lockdowns were being established, retail stores were among the most affected businesses. According to a McKinsey report, 30% were closed after the initial outbreaks1 — and with those closures went in-store testers and professional makeup consultants.

Fortunately, beauty care had already made impressive advancements in augmented reality, which helped stabilize sales numbers. AR made for a convenient ally in attracting the large swath of consumers who suddenly found themselves without their traditional sources for beauty care products. Esteé Lauder, Ulta, Sephora — even Amazon had AR tools at the ready.

Wherever they are, customers can try on hundreds of lip shades, tinted moisturizers, blushes, and more. Users can dye their hair as many times as they like without the messy cleanup. Some apps will even simulate new hairstyles and wardrobe choices for a total makeover. Intrinsicly connected to a store’s eCommerce engine, customers can easily take the next step to buy everything that completes their look.

HiMirror Smart Makeup Mirror

Furthermore, every data point is added to a stockpile of customer feedback — research that will lead to better products and new product categories. This information is also being used in the convergence of the physical and virtual worlds, as in products like HiMirror, which analyzes and tracks the effectiveness of the skincare products a person uses.

Living A Sampler Life

There’s the adage that everything old is new again, so it’s no wonder that sachet packets have become retro. What was once a mainstay marketing tactic is now an impactful way to onboard new customers.

Using trial sizes can help brands and retailers in a multitude of ways. New direct-to-consumer companies can introduce themselves without the need for commitments to full-size pricing. Established CPGs can showcase their deep bench of product offerings and how each works in harmony with the other. Retailers and subscription box services can promote an amalgamation of brands that appeal to specific audiences or personal care needs.

From L to R: Glossybox Skincare, Brickell Men’s Products, and Beautycounter

The try-it-before-you-really-buy-it approach works particularly well in the age of eCommerce because it helps to take the anxiety out of not being able to see or smell the actual product. Customers can test the waters and experiment with new brands, eventually converting into loyal customers.

And loyalty is key — since the pandemic began, analysts are finding that 36% of consumers are trying new product brands and among those consumers, 73% plan to continue incorporating new brands into their routines. A full 80% of customers who started using a new private label product during the pandemic plan to continuing doing so once it is over.4

Formulating A Loyal Base

When brands do convert new customers, many are moving to remove shopping from the shopping experience. Through subscribe-and-save options, customers can agree to have refills and replacements shipped automatically, in predetermined intervals, for a discounted rate. It’s like bulk purchases made on layaway.

Brands love it because it helps foment product demand and sales projections. Customers initially loved it because of the discounted prices, but during the pandemic, the benefits of not having to worry about stocking everyday essentials became abundantly clear.

Quip toothpaste reimagined how customers keep supplied with toothpaste, offering customers with no-hassle refill shipments.

When the pandemic forced closures of stores and upended the market, constants in product supply were no longer constant. Toilet paper was a hot commodity, malls disappeared as hubs of commerce, and it wasn’t unusual to find toothpaste short in supply at the grocery store.

Consumers can now subscribe to almost any product — shampoo, shaving cream, perfume, skin serum, even foundation or nail polish. Again, DTC brands had a leg up, already having well-oiled eCommerce apps that helped facilitate subscriptions. Having been versed in the quick processing of small orders, which helps in making these types of automated shipments financially solvent.

A Social Market

With our surge of online shopping, the influencers who champion brands and provide quality reviews found themselves in the spotlight. With stores closed, the conversation around personal and beauty care was happening online.

The largest block of spending power now belongs to millennials, who are the most connected generation we’ve ever seen. Beyond already doing a larger share of online purchases compared with other generations, some 90% of millennials — about 72 million people — are on social media. A full 32 million more millennials subscribe to social media than to cable or satellite TV.5,6

This puts these brand ambassadors into clear focus, acting as a peer-to-peer network for recommending new brands and taking the guesswork out of product exploration. Whatever your personal needs are, there’s an influencer who focuses on that type of demographic or consumer niche.

Influencers also provide a human aspect to a brand in a way that not all celebrity endorsements can. Influencers for better or worse are seen as equals to consumers (and not out-of-touch celebrities). When social issues rose to the top of people’s minds, influencers who were proficient in a cause or issue were able to talk plainly about their views and opinions (and often highlighted brands that subscribed to their ethical code).

Though we’re still searching for a lot of answers in regards to how the pandemic will affect us over the next decade, it’s clear that 2019 is ancient history. The definition we used to have for a consumer — where they shopped and how they researched new products has been changed forever.

When the effects of the pandemic settle, it’s possible we’ll see some market trends return to normal. However, it’s more likely that this revolution in retail behavior will see permanent shifts and we will look back at retail in beauty through ‘before COVID’ and ‘after COVID’ glasses.


Six Key Ingredients to Watch this Year

Formulation is the cultivation of ideas and ingredients to achieve products and efficacy so exemplary, it stands in a league of its own. Formulators can help lead a revolution with revolutionary ingredients, and here are six that will lead the way this year.
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Six Key Ingredients to Watch this Year

In sports, form is everything. Athletes that compete in the highest echelons have the skill and the control to turn a good performance into one that transcends.

In chemistry, ingredients have that power — the power to enhance products and transform formulas into products that are remarkable in their approach towards personal care.

Formulation is more than the act of developing or mixing a product — it is the cultivation of ideas and ingredients to achieve products and efficacy so exemplary, it stands in a league of its own.

As we identify areas of focus over the next decade — restorative hair therapy, nourishing skincare routines, addressing toxic pollution in our environments — formulators can help lead a revolution with revolutionary ingredients.

Here are six that will lead the way this year:

Ginger Root

Zingiber officinale

Ginger root is a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, making it a versatile ingredient in skin and hair care formulations. It is typically sourced from warm, humid areas in Asia and Africa.

Extract from the ginger root brings anti-aging benefits, reduces redness caused by irritation, and repairs sun damage on the skin. It can protect hair follicle stem cells from harmful UVB radiation and can counterbalance the effects of pollution on the skin.

Ginger root's antioxidant and anti-irritant properties allow for an array of target problems including redness, sun damage, smog damage, and inflammation

SymVital® AR (Symrise) is a pure extract of ginger root and has been shown to even skin tone and fade dark spots. In a clinical study, the extract reduced redness after three weeks of use and smoothed wrinkle depth by 12% in six weeks in 83% of participants. SymVital was also shown to protect against environmentally-induced pigment spot darkening.1

The ginger root has been found to stimulate our natural antioxidant responses from the inside, boosting the natural capacity of the skin to repair itself. These properties help ginger root translate well to skin and hair care products, including serums, oils, and masques.

Rambutan Seed

Nephelium lappaceum

The rambutan plant — a tropical fruit plant aptly named after the Malaysian word for hair due to the seed’s shaggy exterior — is rich in antioxidants and minerals and ideal for a wide variety of hair care products. The seed of the rambutan can be extracted for use in shampoo and conditioners, providing moisturizing and repairing effects to damaged or malodorous hair follicles.

Rambutan is typically sourced from southeast Asian or South American countries like Vietnam, Thailand, or Suriname. Farmers who cultivate the rambutan plant normally only utilize the fruits, but the nutrients in the peels, leaves, and seeds can also be extracted for cosmetic products.

Rambuvital ® and Nephydrat™ (BASF) are extracts from the rambutan seed and peel, sourced through BASF’s Rambutan Program. The program is a socially-responsible endeavor to upcycle leftover materials and provide local populations with incomes, gender equity, health insurance, and safe working conditions.

Rambuvital detoxifies pollutants to protect sebum. In clinical trials, 87% of participants reported better scalp health, 64% said they experienced less splitting hairs, and 80% said their hair smelled better for longer.2 Nephydrat helps fight against the negative impacts of daily stressors on your body. It has been shown to fortify the skin’s barrier and improve hydration for more radiant skin.

All of this makes the rambutan seed an ideal extract for prestige hair care products like hair masques and serums.

Japanese Camellia

Camellia Japonica

Known as the rose of winter, Japanese camellia is an abundant plant with a pink or red flower and large brown seeds. It has been found to be a powerful anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, making it a prime ingredient for skin and hair products.

The camellia is native to China, Taiwan, and Japan, but is often cultivated around the world — it’s even the state flower of Alabama. Oil from its seeds, also called Dongbaek oil, is rich in fatty acids, providing nourishment for damaged hair. The extract from the flower and seeds help to protect the skin and hair from pollution and irritation.

K-Oleo (Clariant) is a compound of Japanese camellia oil and extract, castor seed oil, and the tea plant (camellia sinensis). In testing, researchers found smoothing of the hair cuticles and increased ability to retain moisture, particularly when tested under thermal and chemical aggressions — the kind of stuff our hair is exposed to in daily life. Results indicated a 21% increase in tensile energy and a 55% increase in hair shine.3

Due to the intense restorative properties of Japanese camellia, its practical use in shampoo, conditioner, and other hair care products are far-reaching. Look for this type of ingredient to cornerstone a prestige hair serum or treatment mask.

Round-Headed Bush Clover

Lespedeza capitata

Innovators are always in pursuit of counteracting the stresses we incur throughout our day. Research has shown that stress — both physical and environmental — disrupts our body’s natural circadian rhythm which has a direct impact on our overall health as well as our skin. Round-headed bush clover is an ingredient that can provide some respite.

Native to North America, bush clover is a hardy plant, tolerant to drought, and provides nitrogen fixation. It was originally discovered by Native Americans and has been used as a tea, medicine, and antidote.

Stressors — like exposure to blue light from electronic screens — causes an increase in reactive oxygen species and weakens our skin’s natural detoxification process, making our skin look tired and dull.

B-Circadin™ (Clariant) is a leaf and stem extract that contains key actives, like carlinoside and isoschaftoside, which help maintain and regulate our circadian rhythm, fighting against blue light damage. In a clinical study after four weeks of use, a 35% improvement in skin complexion was observed and over 75% of volunteers reported they felt their skin looked radiant.4

Citrus Unshiu

Citrus unshiu

Unshiu is a fruit that goes by many names — unshu mikan, cold hardy mandarin, naartjie — and is rich in synephrine and hesperidin, which help to regulate eotaxin synthesis and histamine release. Citrus unshiu extract can help to combat many skin abnormalities, including atopic-prone and hypersensitive skin, often caused by pollution and allergens. It has also been shown to strengthen the skin barrier and provide hydration.

The fruit is grown over several regions, most notably in South Africa, South America, and Asian regions like South Korea’s Jeju Island.

Eosidin® (Clariant) contains citrus unshiu peel extract, which Clariant touts for its green footprint since it is extracted from the juicing process’s leftover waste. Normally discarded, the peels are upcycled and the raw materials are extracted, contributing to a more sustainable supply chain.

Unshiu’s practical applications include any kind of prestige skincare product — including serums and liquid-based masques. In a clinical study, 88% of participants observed a decrease in itchiness, and 100% experienced a decrease in dryness.5 With pollution on the rise and more skin sensitivity due to a variety of allergens, this type of skincare can make a big difference.

The oil of the baobab seed is yellowish in color, has a light nutty smell, and is easily absorbed into the skin with no oily feel.


Adansonia digitata

Known as the “upside-down tree,” the baobab is a deciduous plant native to Africa and Australia and is considered the largest succulent plant in the world. An individual tree can live more than 2,000 years in dry climates, due to its ability to store up to 37,000 gallons of water. The baobab has a long history in pharmacology, having been used as a treatment for fever or as an agent in wound care therapy.

The seed pods of the baobab are extremely rich in vitamins A & E, as well as phytosterols and fatty acids, which provide a variety of benefits, such as moisturizing effect and anti-irritation. This combination of nutrients makes the baobab an attractive ingredient for hair and skin applications, like leave-in conditioners, skin rejuvenators, and masques.

Phytolea™ Baobab EC (Crodarom) is an oil extracted from baobab seeds via cold pressing. Its composition of fatty acids like oleic, linoleic, and palmitic acids, make it an ideal ingredient for beard oil or other hair treatments to improve dry, brittle, damaged hair, as well as nourish the skin underneath.6

Brand Marketing

The Influencers The Beauty Care Industry is Thriving on a Network of Social Ambassadors

Influencers are social media users who have firsthand knowledge in a particular niche and help to shape the conversation of beauty care online. Their posts cover hair, makeup, fashion, grooming, styling, and overall well-being. Through the memes, photos, and videos they upload across social platforms, these trendsetters amass millions of followers.
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The Influencers The Beauty Care Industry is Thriving on a Network of Social Ambassadors

It was not long ago when brands and celebrities were the winning formula for product endorsements and primetime tv was where we found our product placements. As our digital world grew, social networking became a part of our routines. It has facilitated the rise of a new kind of celebrity: the influencer.

Influencers — social media gurus with firsthand knowledge in a particular niche — help shape the conversation of beauty care online. Posts cover hair, makeup, fashion, grooming, styling, and overall well-being. Through photos and videos uploaded across social channels, these trendsetters amass millions of followers who are very loyal and very engaged.

Influencer reach overall is so expansive, most online transactions can be traced to having had some influence from an influencer.

The job of an influencer seems simple. Snap a pic and post. In reality, though, there’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes in order to make all of the carefully curated posts represent the influencer’s brand and following. Professional photographers, camera crews, agents, and Photoshoppers can all be part of the entourage. Content needs to be added every day for follower counts to keep climbing.

Influencers are overwhelmingly trusted by their followers, a result of the open two-way relationship they have with their online connections. Influencers are open about their values and beliefs, appear down-to-earth, and are pretty accessible — most reply to comments or respond when direct messaged.

They also provide something many other marketing channels can’t: insight. Every tweet, post, or pic can be traced by marketers and connected by and actual social profile.

Influencers can be found across industries and consumer markets, and generally fall into one of three categories:

Mega Influencers

Most often celebrities (but oftentimes not), these influencers have followings of millions of users. Their posts command top dollar for a single post — often in excess of $1 million. Most have built a sophisticated network of production and distribution across various platforms. Many have agencies dedicated to making advertising partnerships with companies.

Macro Influencers

Consisting mostly of micro-bloggers with an angle, these influencers have 40k to 1 million users. Macro influencers tend to be more accessible, offering glimpses into their personal lives or responding to comments and messages. They are often topic gurus specializing on a specific consumer niche.

Micro Influencers

With followers under 40k, these influencers don’t have a cult-like following, but they can be more effective with brand recommendations due to their integration in the social-sphere. Micro influencers have been known to grow from relative obscurity to full-fledged A-list celebrities in a very short time period.

A 52 Billion-Dollar Industry

No longer an upstart industry, social media is so integrated into our lives that the simple act of checking one’s feed is as routine as brushing your teeth. (We might check our feed a little more often, actually.) The five of the most popular, ad-accessible social networks — Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Tik Tok, and Twitter — account for 6.7 billion social accounts 8 accounts per person.6

Influence marketing is the future of online marketing. It works with the baby boomers for today, and the rate of adoption for social media only increases with each generation. After all, 9 out of 10 millennials are on social media.7

The numbers above show that while baby boomers and millennials are relatively comparable in terms of population size — 69 million to 72 million respectively — millennials have 65 million social media users. That’s almost twice as many users as the baby boomers have.

With marketing budgets increasing each year, brands see value in social advertising. Influencers drive a $9.7 billion-dollar industry, with a large portion of that invested in beauty and personal care brands.

Making an Influence in Beauty & Wellness

These social ambassadors have been successful in connecting with health and beauty consumers.

Tati Westbrook (@glamlifeguru)

A former makeup artist, Westbrook talks about cosmetics and fashion. She experienced some notoriety during a public feud with influencer @jamescharles.

Patrick Starrr (@patrickstarr)

Starrr stars in his own brand of beauty and fashion, collaborating with other influencers to construct a genderless approach towards makeup.

Joseph Andrews (@blumaan)

Andrews began his career on YouTube, focusing on men’s style and hair. He quickly gained a following and now has his own hair styling product line, BluMaan.

Michelle Phan (@michellephan)

Phan is a former makeup artist and owner of the best-selling brand EM Cosmetics, famous for her video on How To Get Lady Gaga’s Eyes.

Yasmin Maya (@beautyybird)

Known for her bilingual YouTube presence, Maya posts beauty content under both BeautyyBird and Spanish-language PajaritaBella.

Scott McGlynn (@scottmcglynnofficial)

McGlynn started as a fitness blogger and then branched out to an entire lifestyle brand portfolio, including his gossip podcast, The Scott McGlynn Show.

#hashtag Worthy Conversation

There are plenty of successful brand-influencer partnerships, most of which focused on the medium’s strengths: multimedia components, viral word-of-mouth, and real-life examples of the product in use. Some noteworthy pioneers:

Glossier is now a one-billion-dollar brand, with much of its success thanks to the use of micro influencers in the company’s early years. According to CEO Emily Weiss, these “regular women” helped to elevate the new brand in a saturated market. Glossier now has a sophisticated referral program offering discounted and free products to influential posters.

YouTuber Jaclyn Hill raved about Becca products so often that the cosmetics company and vlogger teamed up to create Champagne Pop, an ultra-fine highlighter. After promoting the new line to her followers, Hill helped the company set a record on Sephora’s website, selling 25,000 units in only 20 minutes.

Direct-to-consumer men’s grooming brand Hawthorne has relied on influencers to advertise to a market that is largely untapped in beauty and personal care. The company’s mission was to create a brand that addressed the lack of education and discoverability in the men’s care segment. Influencers like @captainbarto and @rudybundini were easily able to combat these barriers and increase brand awareness.

Global CPG L’Oreal has been investing heavily in digital marketing over the years. Their “Beauty Squad” campaign — which featured honest testimonials and reviews by a number of influencers — helped boost sales and gain a combined follower reach of 5.5 million users.

The Influence of Personal Care

Social media gave rise to our ability to become our own publishers, allowing us to build a narrative of our lives for everyone to see. It allowed trendsetters to capture audience attention, build a following, and provide beauty care brands a peer-to-peer pipeline of marketing.

It’s unclear how brands will ultimately use influencers in the years to come, but one thing is certain: These social reps will continue to create, inspire, innovate, and influence personal care.


Sustainability Trends to Watch for in 2021 Brands are doing More to tackle the most pressing challenges of our industry

Leaders in the beauty and personal care industry have been innovating sustainable practices for decades, constantly reinventing the products they carry and the methods used to produce them. We are embarking on a new era of planet-friendly innovation. One that explores bold ideas and unconventional thinking to help reverse the damage ours and other industries have done over the years.
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Sustainability Trends to Watch for in 2021 Brands are doing More to tackle the most pressing challenges of our industry

Leaders in the beauty and personal care industry have been innovating sustainable practices for decades, constantly reinventing the products they carry and the methods used to produce them. Today, however, we are embarking on a new era of planet-friendly innovation — one that explores bolder ideas and more unconventional thinking. Companies are taking more action to reverse the damage we’ve all contributed to.

L’Oréal recently released its ‘For the Future’ sustainability plan, setting goals and expectations to combat climate change by 2030. Shortly after, Unilever released its own ‘Sustainable Living’ plan, outlining their pledge to combat environmental impact over the next two decades.

The actions being taken by brands of all sizes signal to the world that climate change is no longer a part of our mission statement, but a collective, foundational principle influencing our companies at every level. We are building an industry that celebrates the beauty as much as it does beautifying the earth.

Since the pandemic, our focus on sustainability and clean beauty has only intensified. If sustainability was a general concern before, it’s a major focus now — a part of every brand, every formula. In many respects, our blinders have been lifted to the types of packaging we use, the ingredients that are safe and natural, and how the manufacturing process affects the world we live in.

Our collective awareness has ignited a revitalized push for not only better, but more innovative approaches to addressing climate change, possibly moving us five years ahead of where we’d be without the pandemic. Shoppers are ready to take action and support brands that follow through on their promises (even if it means sacrificing cost or convenience).

The great news is that there is no shortage of new ideas hitting the market. The innovative nature we have in our industry is driving all of us forward, challenging ourselves to go further than we used to (and once we do, go beyond that). We understand the value (financially and ethically) of helping the earth and have moved past the inability to address uncomfortable taboos. We are revolutionizing our industry — from sourcing to shipping.

From left to right, top to bottom, brands focusing on sustainable beauty: rms beauty, Cocokind, Saie, Lesse, Biotherm, OGX, Yay for Earth, Nécessaire, LOLI, Ilia, Hard Working Gentlemen, Nuud, Head & Shoulders, Acure, Native, Keune, Dove, Humankind, i + m Natural Cosmetics, Helmm, Exa, Colgate, True Botanicals, Seed Phytonutrients

Becoming a Less Trash-Centric Industry

It’s no secret that the beauty care industry has been a notorious contributor to the amount of waste our society throws away. According to Zero Waste Week, the global beauty and personal care industry generated 120 billion units of packaging in 2018 — almost 329 million units per day.2

This number becomes even more concerning when you consider that most plastics can take half a millennia to decompose. That means that every single piece of plastic that has ever been created still exists, and will continue to do so for hundreds of years.3 More than 8 billion metric tons of plastic have been created so far — about the equivalent weight of 23,000 Empire State buildings.

Addressing packaging waste has been an objective for decades, but now more than ever we have the drive and the insight to make a difference.

Billions of plastic containers have been made over the years — even today 91% of it isn’t recycled4

These efforts have included the use of thinner, more lightweight containers; bio-based plastic alternatives, and reducing pollution through eco-friendly dyes. We’re seeing more modular packaging with recyclable inserts, and innovation is removing water from formulations to save on shipping impact.

Entire brands are thriving on this type of eco-approach. The oral and skincare brand Humankind, for example, mandates that all of its products reduce single-use plastic by 90% (or altogether, if possible). Procter & Gamble has allied with Greenpeace to build beach-debris-recycled bottles and educating palm oil farmers about more sustainable agriculture techniques.

Going Below Zero

One of the most pressing movements in sustainability — reducing one’s carbon footprint and achieving carbon neutrality — has advanced greatly over the years. Many personal care brands are taking corporate-level steps to reduce their carbon levels to zero net output. Some other brands though, think this isn’t a step far enough — what we need is to achieve carbon negativity.

For a brand to achieve this honorific, more than 100% of the carbon dioxide emissions created by a company need to be offset with the removal of carbon from the environment. It’s a lofty goal that requires dedication, ingenuity along every step of the supply chain, and an advanced insight into how our actions affect the environment around us.

Sugarcane requires few resources making it an ideal crop for bioplastics

For men’s grooming brand Bulldog, they took this challenge and incorporated Brazillian-grown sugarcane tubes into all of its product lines.

Using the new bio-based components results in no changes to form or functionality, but makes a huge dent in the output of carbon emissions. For every 100 tons of sugarcane plastic used in their products, Bulldog is removing 309 tons of CO2 from the environment. Due to the sugarcane plant’s absorption of carbon throughout its natural lifecycle, and the minimal rainfall needed for it to grow, it is a highly sustainable material.

There are innovations like this entering our market all the time, as companies assess their carbon footprint, identify areas they can save on, and implement simple changes to enact multilayered outcomes.

Making a Commitment to Clean

The concept of clean beauty is more than just a formulation that’s good to our skin or free from unwanted ingredients. Clean beauty has evolved over the years to define a mantra towards living a more pure, sustainable life.

Though the industry has sometimes stumbled to define what it means to be clean, we now understand it to mean beauty that’s about transparency in ingredients, sustainability in its manufacturing processes, and a formulation without useless synthetics and byproducts.

Product formulation requires the pairing of surfactants with ingredients to achieve basic product requirements — to aid in dispersing pigments in cosmetics or emulsify oil for use in skin cream. Research and development teams have found ways to reduce ingredient lists while still achieving previous benefits and claims. It’s all part of a “less is more” approach to beauty care.

One of the most beneficial outcomes of the clean beauty movement is its self-fulfilling nature. Mainstream consumers didn’t notice what products were made of, or how the ingredients were sourced until brands started promoting themselves as clean. Innovation begets more innovation, and even a seeming public relations stunt can make an impact on the environment.

The Conservation of Personal Care

Leading personal and beauty care brands into the next generation of sustainable products is no easy feat, and we’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s possible. Even the definition of sustainability continues to evolve, as we come up with new ideas and angles to reduce the impact we have on our surroundings.

Finally reaching a tipping point among consumers, this movement is mainstream and will continue to flourish. Every new product launch, every new tweak to pumps or caps, every pledge of a company to do more serves to move our entire industry forward.

The personal care market is quickly evolving, experiencing shifts in consumer behavior and a boom in innovative ingredients. Accupac supports brands through manufacturing support and the spearheading of new product launches.

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Read our article, The Influencers The Beauty Care Industry is Thriving on a Network of Social Ambassadors

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