Menstruation is having a moment. From the period emoji to the slew of innovation in the sanitary protection field, Aunt Flo is getting a lot of press coverage right now. And while the sanitary protection innovations are interesting in their own right – especially from a zero-waste perspective – for the beauty industry, all this chat about hormones is also shining the spotlight on cycle-based skin care.
Although hormonal breakouts are nothing new, the skin care industry has been slow to catch on to the potential they represent in terms of product development. It’s really only been in the last year that we’ve seen product innovation explicitly in this field – it’s probably no coincidence that a 2015 article by millennial bible Refinery 29 on period skin care makes no specific product references.
“As education and awareness increases, consumers are realizing more than ever before the importance of hormone cycles when it comes to skin appearance and skin care… Brands should embrace the openness with which today’s consumer approaches their monthly cycle and be more targeted,” advises Sarah Jindal, Senior Innovation and Insights Analyst, Beauty & Personal Care at Mintel.
Fast forward a couple of years and it’s a different story – enter the likes of Amareta and Knours – brands based on the premise that our skin has different needs according to each phase of our menstrual cycle. The latter even boasts an app (U Kno), which gives users bespoke product recommendations based on their cycle and skin type.
“Our skin undergoes a series of changes over the 28-day cycle,” Claire Zhao, Founder of Amareta told Teen Vogue. “Just like the body requires different nutrients during different phases of your cycle, your skin also calls for different treatments.”
There’s also VENeffect where the premise differs slightly – products from this line are designed to be used throughout a woman’s cycle with high-level of phytoestrogens to offset hormonal imbalances – and South Korean start-up Toun28, which is a subscription-based personalized skin care service delivered on a 28-day cycle.
And it’s not just skin care, there’s also a slew of wellness brands that offer products designed specifically to relieve menstrual symptoms. Whoopi & Maya, for example, is a CBD-based bath and body brand offering cramp relieving soaks, then there’s herbalist Live Botanical’s Luna range and Prairie Bloom.
Indeed, the body care offer in this arena, in particular, proves why the time is now for this particular trend. We’re all over skin care, of course, but self care and wellness are also key consumer movements at the moment, not to mention the willingness to talk about periods – cycle-based skin care has all these things – basically, it’s the beauty equivalent of a bar of Galaxy and a hot water bottle.