Beauty Innovations Unveiled: Insights from the 6th China International Import Expo
BY Rita BaoNov 15, 2023

The China International Import Expo (CIIE) is increasingly becoming a global hub for beauty innovation and a global launchpad for groundbreaking products. At the recently concluded 6th CIIE in Shanghai, industry leaders including L'Oréal, Estée Lauder, Shiseido, Coty, P&G, Unilever, Amorepacific, Kao etc, showcased an unprecedented array of new products, technological innovations, and strategic plans. Through these presentations, glimpses of evolving trends in China's beauty industry can be discerned.

Enhanced Efficacy Through Cutting-edge Technologies

Shiseido aimed to meet the skincare needs of Chinese consumers, particularly in anti-aging and whitening, by introducing novel ingredients. For anti-aging, Shiseido unveiled the patented CoreXymide and Pure Retinol. For whitening, the spotlight was on their unique ingredient—4MSK, crafted over 13 years of research. CoreXymide is set to feature across Shiseido's diverse brand products, showcasing the brand's commitment to continuous innovation.

L'Oréal's clinical skincare brand La Roche-Posay introduced a breakthrough anti-aging technology named REGENAMIDE-22 with the launch of the REGENAMIDE series during its anti-aging forum at the CIIE. Additionally, the brand SkinCeuticals released the Expert Consensus on Perioperative Integrated Skincare for Noninvasive Energy-Based Medical Aesthetics Procedures in Clinical Practice in China, establishing a theoretical foundation for clinical diagnosis and treatment in the field of skin science.

Estée Lauder not only introduced new products like Clinique Smart Clinical Repair and the Estée Lauder Re-Nutriv series but also hosted a skin science seminar within the exhibition hall. Experts from its Chinese innovation research center delved into the technologies behind the efficacy of their products, emphasizing advancements like sirtuins and peptide anti-aging technologies, as well as skin rejuvenation formulas.

Unilever unveiled a breakthrough in the skin antioxidant field—the Glutathione Amino Acids Precursors technology. Developed by Unilever's Chinese R&D team, this technology enhances the skin's intrinsic antioxidative capacity by promoting the synthesis of glutathione in skin cells. The debut product, Vaseline body lotion using this technology, is scheduled for launch in the Chinese market in 2024.

Amorepacific showcased a multi-faceted approach to skincare with a range of patented ingredients such as GinsenomicsTM for anti-aging, RE.D Flavonoid for anti-aging, green tea lactobacillus GTB1TM for skin microecological balance, and Melasolv for whitening. These patented ingredients have been applied to products such as Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng series, Innisfree Green Tea Seed Hyaluronic Serum, Laneige Perfect Renew 3X Signature Serum, etc.

The integration of technology into beauty research and development promises to redefine the beauty landscape, providing consumers with advanced efficacy and performance in their skincare routines.

Refined Beauty Experience Through Technological Innovation

Innovative beauty technologies, often dubbed "black technology" in the beauty industry, are reshaping consumer experiences. From smart devices to advanced applications, industry leaders showcased groundbreaking advancements at CIIE.

L'Oréal presented 18 cutting-edge technologies, including four new-to-Asia beauty tech offerings:the AI-powered scalp and hair smart camera, Kérastase K-SCAN; the handheld skin health diagnostic device, Giorgio Armani Meta ProfilerTM; the smart eyebrow makeup applicator, Shu Uemura 3D shu:brow; and inclusive smart makeup device, HAPTA

Kao introduced its latest research achievement—the Kao Life+ online smart application, enriching beauty experience through augmented reality (AR) features. This application's AR color testing function helps users find personalized makeup and hair colors by capturing skin color, skin brightness, and facial contour data.

Estée Lauder showcased the VISIA CR 5.0, a new-generation scientific photography system that earned the title "hexagonal warrior" in the skincare detection realm. This revolutionary system captures comprehensive images, from skin color to surface contour, in a single shot. In addition, Estée Lauder presented the Moisture Map, a skin moisture distribution tester, and Hirox, a skin digital microscope. These technologies empower consumers with deeper understanding of their skin and provide personalized skincare strategies.

Yatsen Group integrated emotions into skincare technology, employing AI electroencephalogram emotion testing instruments for EVE LOM products. This scientific approach to emotional skincare signifies a novel intersection of technology and emotional wellness in the beauty industry.

As beauty transcends traditional boundaries, these innovative technologies collectively represent a paradigm shift, offering consumers not just products but an immersive and personalized beauty journey. The integration of technology and beauty holds the promise of a more connected, convenient and intelligent experience for beauty enthusiasts worldwide.

Venturing into the Oral Beauty Segment

Shiseido introduced InRyu, an oral beauty brand specifically developed for Asian women. Its standout product, the Intensive Beauty Drink series, is formulated using the Nutri-Vessel Network Technology along with Shiseido's patented ingredients and formula technology. This series is tailored to address nighttime repair, dual-action oxygen and glucose resistance, skin whitening, and protection for sensitive skin barriers.

Unilever ventured into oral beauty with Nutrafol, its oral nutritional hair care brand. Nutrafol leverages the Synergen Complex patented formula, incorporating natural plant ingredients like saw palmetto, sensoril, tocotrienols, and curcumin, to address hair health concerns influenced by hormones, stress, lifestyle, metabolism, aging, and nutrition. It provides diverse nutritional support for hair and caters to the distinct needs of both men and women.

Exploring Diversity in Sustainability

Beauty industry leaders showcased a rich tapestry of approaches to sustainable beauty at this year's Expo. Shiseido established a special "Beauty of the Earth" exhibition area, spotlighting the refill schemes of Ultimune and Eudermine series. Notably, the Ultimune Fountain scheme will be soon launched at Shiseido counters in Shanghai.

Estée Lauder's high-end professional hair care brand Aveda exhibited the Invati series. This series features 94% naturally sourced ingredients and utilizes blockchain technology for supply chain transparency. Moreover, Aveda employs solar and wind power for production and incorporates post-consumer recycled plastic in its green packaging initiatives.

P&G introduced the global debut of the Versafill memory honeycomb paper packaging, made from recyclable paper with a stretch structure adaptable to different products. This material minimizes storage volume by an impressive 85%, marking a substantial reduction in environmental impact.

Amorepacific showcased its commitment to sustainability across various facets, including RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil-derived raw materials, low-energy emulsification technology, FSC-certified environmentally friendly packaging. The group demonstrated a comprehensive approach to holistic sustainability.

Coty Group unveiled a groundbreaking fragrance—Gucci The Alchemist Garden Where My Heart Beats. This sustainable perfume utilizes 100% carbon-captured ethanol, a result of the innovative CarbonSmart ethanol technology developed in collaboration with LanzaTech. This process transforms atmospheric carbon emissions into high-purity ethanol for creating premium fragrances, marking a significant stride in eco-friendly perfumery.

As these initiatives unfold, the beauty industry embarks on a journey where diverse sustainability practices converge, illustrating a collective commitment to harmonize business operations with environmental responsibility.

 Disclaimer: All images used in the article are from the Internet.

Rita Bao
ChemLinked Market Research Analyst
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