Few markets move faster than beauty and personal care – which leaves brands with the choice between setting trends and following them. 

As experts in labelling and packaging compliance, we’re fascinated by how cosmetics and skincare companies innovate in line changing consumer behaviour and evolving industry regulations. Here are some of the industry disruptors that have caught our eye: eight exciting beauty and personal care brands to watch in 2022.

1. AKT

The growth of the clean beauty market has led many consumers to seek personal care products created using natural ingredients. 

Upmarket deodorant brand AKT has developed a range of vegan products in plastic-free, recyclable packaging, delivered direct-to-consumer. The brainchild of two West End performers who tired of mainstream deodorants failing to meet their high performance needs, AKT features on GQ’s list of natural deodorants that actually work.

In addition to three scented deodorant balms, AKT customers can purchase an assistant tool to wring every ounce of product from each tube, and a gua sha inspired applicator to spread product evenly while encouraging lymphatic drainage. And to help AKT reach new audiences in 2022, the deodorant company has just received £1.5 million funding from digital-first consumer brand investment firm, Stonebridge.

2. Dr.PAWPAW

While Dr.PAWPAW has been making waves in the beauty industry since 2013, the consumer shift towards clean products is boosting sales. And it helps that celebrity fans of the brand include Victoria Beckham!

Created by husband and wife team, Johnny and Pauline Paterson, as a natural solution to their daughter’s eczema, Dr.PAWPAW’s multi-purpose products can be used on lips, skin and hair. And the brand will be expanding into the bodycare category in 2022 with the launch of its first ever hand cream collection – with the help of £2 million funding from HSBC to keep the pace of production in line with demand.

3. Faculty

Inclusivity has been a major focus for the beauty industry in 2021, with many brands looking at how their products can be developed for wider, more diverse audiences. 

Canadian-based Faculty is a great example of a brand making waves in male grooming with alternative products, having launched a range of nail polish and stickers specifically marketed towards men. 

The brand is founded on the premise that men need more ways to express themselves through unconventional beauty products, and Faculty has already caught the attention of Estée Lauder – the lead brand in Faculty’s recent $3 million seed round.

4. Nøie

While beauty is a trend-driven industry, smart brands are tapping into the reality that no two consumers need the same product formulation – like skincare brand, Nøie.

Nøie was founded by technology guru, Daniel Jansen, whose first act was to create a database of skin profiles to help him understand how to solve problems like acne, eczema and psoriasis. Data intelligence is core to Nøie’s offering, as customers build their skincare profile to receive customised product recommendations. 

After receiving backing from investors including former Pandora CMO, Thomas Ryge Mikkelsen, Nøie has subsequently raised €9.9 million in a Series A funding round. This will enable the brand to put more resources into R&D, as well as expand its personalised skincare capabilities into more European markets.

5. Openface

Continuing the theme of tech and skincare, Openface is another beauty brand to watch in 2022, as it is using science to bring customised products to a mass audience. 

Openface customers complete an online questionnaire on their skincare needs, which is used to identify the specific active ingredients and blends they require to reach their beauty goals. 

Although the female-founded and run firm is still at the test stage, its AI-powered software has already received funding from the private VC club Digital Disrupt. And personalised D2C cosmetics is only the first market opportunity for Openface; over time, the Lithuanian company hopes to build a big health solution for the medical industry – helping dermatologists to diagnose patients and recommend the most suitable course of treatment. 

6. RENEE Cosmetics 

We’ve already touched on the subject of inclusivity in terms of gender – but skin tone diversity is another major opportunity that beauty brands are making more effort to address. And innovative companies like RENEE Cosmetics are enjoying rapid growth by giving under-represented markets their creative voice through a range of tailored products. 

RENEE Cosmetics was founded by former model/actor Aashka Goradia Goble with a desire to create a high-quality makeup range for Indian women – a market worth more than $11 billion

All RENEE products are FDA-approved and cruelty-free, with a strong emphasis on convenience; its 5-in-1 lipstick gives customers access to multiple shades of lip colour in one purchase. 

7. Starface 

As we discussed in our piece on the Korean beauty market, fun, kitsch branding and packaging can have a significant impact on sales. And Starface is using this knowledge to build a unique position in the skincare market as an ‘acne positive’ brand. 

Its range of bright, creative pimple patches encourages self-expression while helping acne sufferers to avoid picking their spots. Designs include rainbows, stars, and even a tie-in with Sesame Street – customers can cover their blemish with Elmo, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch or Cookie Monster’s face! 

Watch skincare influencer James Welsh’s review of Starface products to see how they work: 

8. We Are Paradoxx

Consumers’ penchant for clean beauty isn’t just about using natural, cruelty-free ingredients; eco-friendly packaging is also important. And plastic-free personal care brands like We Are Paradoxx are gaining major traction in this area. 

We Are Paradoxx founder, Yolanda Cooper, has become an activist in sustainable beauty. Her entire range uses aluminium packaging as a greener alternative to single-use plastic, and the company even started Plastic Free Beauty Day to raise the issue of reducing plastic in beauty packaging. 

After receiving investment from retail heavyweights including New Look founder Tom Singh in March, the Belfast-based brand was given a further financial boost in September to accelerate We Are Paradoxx’s international growth strategy in 2022. 

Hooley Brown: helping beauty brands reach international audiences 

In a highly regulated industry like cosmetics and skincare, complex regulations can often hold back new product development. But as the beauty brands we’ve featured demonstrate, with the right resources there’s always potential to reach new customers and markets. 

Hooley Brown helps beauty and personal care companies to reach international audiences by providing a single, reliable source of regulatory intelligence and product & packaging localisation. We treat product compliance as a journey of constant refinement rather than a pass/fail decision that leads to major reworking. Empowering cosmetic and skincare companies to align their language and legal requirements with their business objectives, accelerating their speed-to-market. 

Contact us to find out more about labelling compliance and localisation by Hooley Brown or follow us on LinkedIn for more beauty industry insights.  

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