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WELLNESS and Its Impact on Innovation in the Cosmetics Industry

WELLNESS and Its Impact on Innovation in the Cosmetics Industry

The wellness trend, according to the Global Wellness Institute (GWI – Global Wellness Economy Monitor), denotes “the active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.” This trend is highly popular in the cosmetics industry, and wellness products are designed to improve appearance, skin condition, and overall well-being. In this article, we focus on the impact of the wellness trend on the development of formulations and the innovation of cosmetic products.


How does the wellness trend influence innovation and formulation development?

Impact of Fragrance

The first point of contact between the product and the consumer upon opening the cosmetic is its fragrance. Therefore, developing the right scent is crucial as it influences mood, feelings, and emotions. It’s worth noting that some scents can evoke positive experiences, while others may be associated with negative ones. Therefore, to develop a wellness-oriented fragrance, the technologist should firstly understand the target audience of the cosmetic and conduct research on this group to better understand their needs. Creating a fragrance should consider factors such as cultural background, physical environment, skin type, and healthiness, as well as the age of the user. Cosmetic companies often use citrus scents (perceived as invigorating) for producing shower gels. Lavender used in night creams or serums exhibits relaxing properties. The increasingly popular “unisex” trend in the cosmetics industry should encourage brands to focus on fragrance notes suitable for both genders rather than typically “masculine” or “feminine.”

Importance of Sensory Experience

Sensory science describes phenomena occurring in the environment through human senses. Humans perform sensory analysis using their senses, and smell plays a significant role in this process. The impression of fragrance arises from the stimulation of receptors with various properties. Consumers attach great importance to sensory properties, often assessing the effectiveness of a cosmetic product based on them. Formulators must ensure the product has suitable characteristics. If a cooling serum provides the consumer with a moisturizing sensation, and thick shea butter evokes associations with exclusivity, the recipient will be more inclined to use the cosmetic, which will be one of the factors influencing their purchase decision. Brands should pay attention to describing the sensory properties of the product – it should not be created in the same way for all target groups. Different arguments will appeal to women, others to men. Similarly, with age groups or consumer segmentation based on place of residence.


Color is one of the factors shaping the wellness experience, leading to the connection of body and mind. Most cosmetics or packaging are colorless or white – this is not a random choice, as they are associated with simplicity and freshness, desirable traits in cosmetics. Historically, white color is associated with healing and spirituality. Cosmetic manufacturers under their own brand or cosmetic companies often favor pastel shades – they are associated with gentleness and provide a sense of peace and relaxation. Companies are increasingly opting for colors symbolizing joy and positive energy. Innovative textures – cleansing sand, melting pearls for hair, can positively influence the mood of consumers.

Impact on Body and Mind

Formulations should affect the improvement of well-being in a specific way, solving specific problems. After-sun care formulations not only soothe sunburn but can also improve the consumer’s well-being. A refreshing mist allows the consumer to take a moment of respite during a busy day. Anti-dandruff shampoos not only should remove dandruff but also provide freshness and restore hair aesthetics, making the recipient feel better. Remember that all declarations regarding the properties of ingredients should be supported by reliable studies and data that can be easily verified.

Sustainable Development

Consumers, following the Sustainable Development trend, expect formulations based on natural, biodegradable, certified ingredients. Communication on this issue should be based on transparency.

What to do to ensure formulation development is consistent with the principle of sustainable development? We recommend cold formulation (without the use of heat), which allows for reducing the carbon footprint and energy. Thanks to “anhydrous” formulations (without water) or formulations with reduced water content, water consumption can be significantly reduced. Packaging in line with this trend should be recyclable. An alternative is to introduce a “refill” solution. Sustainable Development practices implemented by cosmetic brands provide consumers with peace of mind and relieve them of guilt.


To create personalized wellness products such as vegetarian, vegan, kosher, tailored to different skin types, a simple base can be created to which enhancers and active ingredients can be added. This allows for creating personalized products tailored to different target groups.

Hybrid Products

Wellness products are increasingly multifunctional. There is no longer a need for multi-step skincare routines, reducing the need for consumers to buy many products. One product can serve multiple functions and satisfy many consumer needs, providing relaxation and a sense of well-being. Multifunctional wellness products include CC creams, which combine aspects of color cosmetics, skincare, and UV protection. An example of hybrid products is the phenomenon of sunification, which combines the action of skincare products with sun protection.

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