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Body Positive movement: The role of natural cosmetics

In a society where appearance prevails, faced with ever-increasing beauty standards, consumers are losing self-esteem. The "Body Positive" social movement is fast-emerging to advocate for the acceptance and appreciation of all human body types. This well-wisher trend encourages a natural beauty, without taboos: all bodies have the right to exist, to be seen, to be cherished. No more standards apply to beauty. Let alone the most unrealistic ones! Beauty is for all. The definition of being beautiful is now open to being vibrant, radiant, full of energy and in good health.

The diversity of ways a body can be beautiful now relies on truth and inclusivity, there are no more cases to fit into! A new wave of holistic cosmetic products is hence showing up on the market to give the body the attention it deserves and at the same time challenge society’s taboos about beauty. Undergoing evolution towards skinification and healthification, these cosmetics promote a daily body care routine using multifunctional and high-performance natural ingredients. They bring targeted solutions to the body’s real problems, and help consumers reconcile with their image and limit the complexes that arise from it.

Discover how a selection of Crodarom’s and Alban Muller’s innovative botanical extracts, based on honesty and inclusivity, fits very well the body positivity movement and the evolutions of the body care market.

What is body positivity?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, body positivity is “the fact of feeling good about your body and the way it looks. It is rooted in loving your body and gaining self-confidence”.

The global Covid-19 crisis has accelerated the growth of the body positive social movement and is helping a new beauty shift to grow, aiming towards uniqueness of each body and highlighting the simple beauty looks.Repeated confinements lead to a realisation: as a lot of aesthetic diktats were still conveyed during confinements, mainly on social media, asking women to keep fit and pampered even when they were all stuck at home, the standardised beauty has greatly caused body dissatisfaction for many people and damaged their self-esteem.

Some statistics are speaking for themselves:

  • 2 out of 3 women admit to having complexes about their bodies. [1]
  • 68% of French people claim that looking good makes them more confident.[2]

In the recent years, the Body Positive movement emerged to question these aesthetic diktats and the injunctions imposed on women and men, and to celebrate the body in all its shapes. It helps people understand how popular media messages from TV to social networks contribute to the relationship that people have with their bodies, including how they feel about identity, food, exercise and clothing, but also self-care.

The topic ‘Body Positive’ is mainly present on social media, with more than 18.2 million posts tagged with #bodypositive on Instagram as this article is issued. This kind of content portrays images of people with diverse bodies, in terms of body size and shape, skin colour or gender identity.

Psychological research carried out at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia showed the benefits of Body Positive images on social media. When people have been exposed to these, they treat their bodies and themselves with more care and kindness. And most of all, they will experience a greater physical and psychological well-being. Remarkably, they will also tend to promote positive body image around themselves, creating a snowball effect! [3]

Advocating self-acceptance and a healthier and more realistic relationship to their bodies, body positivity is thus doing a great job at:

  • Challenging how society views the body, not only based upon physical size or shape, but also on age, race, gender, sexuality, disability.
  • Promoting the acceptance of all bodies.
  • Helping people build confidence and acceptance of their own bodies.
  • Addressing unrealistic body standards.

So how can we sum up being Body Positive? Surely by asking yourself these questions: “What if I stopped dreading how others look at me? I know I'm not perfect, that my body is far from perfect... but who is perfect after all?”

Calling for a new beauty that brings us together, the Body Positive revolution is up and running. And with it comes the skinification of body care products.

Body positive illustrations 

What is the difference between skinification and skin positivity?

Skin positivity is a sub-trend of body positivity, only applied to skin. It also calls for normalisation and acceptance, for freeing speech on skin problems, because there is no perfect skin.

On the other hand, skinification is applied to cosmetics. It brings the body at the centre of the attention with new cosmetics products. Body care needs are equally important to face care needs and is something that was relegated to the background for too long.

Many consumers wish to take care of their bodies minor issues, and at the same time feel better about their body image:

  • 48% of Thai adults would like to have fewer dark spots on their body. [4]
  • 36% of Britons would be interested in cosmetics products offering additional advantages. [5]
  • 50% of Chinese body care product users agreed that taking care of the body skin is as important as taking care of face skin. [6]

While body positivity enhances the consumers’ desire to take care of their body, skinification promotes daily care routines which include multifunctional and high-performance ingredients, previously reserved for face care. Such ingredients are even better if they ally naturality with high-quality and performance, without forgetting the respect of the skin microbiome.

With the skinification trend, cosmetic products offer targeted solutions to the body’s real problems: irritations, stretch marks, dryness, pigmentation, odour, hydration, anti-acne, anti-ageing, … Body care is becoming as important as face care and with the body representing 91% of the average adult skin surface, it deserves great attention!

How can cosmetic ingredients help with body positivity?

With simple and straight-forward formulations, multifunctional natural cosmetics can help their users gain a healthier and more realistic relationship with their bodies. The skin becomes a barometer of global well-being. Poor mental management impacts the body, and it may cause the appearance of skin problems such as eczema or acne.

Such paradigm takes skinification to a further level with healthification. Consumers take pride in taking control of their health, both mentally and physically. The body is cared for as a true sanctuary, and consumers are attracted to efficient and multifunctional cosmetics, able to treat small skin issues and to protect the skin barrier, all whilst improving consumer’s mental state.

Not neglecting sensoriality, natural ingredients can be a great part of a holistic routine. With high-performance and emotive properties, they can face the real malaise in relation to self-esteem consumers may have developed due to societal pressure.

High-performance ingredients to take body care to the next level

Crodarom recently launched a Sichuan berry extract, Zanthocare™, which is a perfect example of high-performance ingredients fitting very well with body positive paradigms. It is truly the perfect well-being ally for a multifunctional beauty product, highlighting well-being, inclusivity and naturality. This great universal ingredient offers balancing, protecting & soothing benefits while respecting skin microbiome. And this should not be neglected as bacterial balance is essential for protection and well-being of our skin. Skin problems can affect and modify the skin microbial ecosystem, while unbalanced bacterial activity is one of the main causes for bad body smell. [7]

Speaking of bad body smell, the armpits are often the first culprit of bad body odour. Recent years gave way to greener deodorants, inspired by the same claims and applications than face care. Two of the Botanical Alliance ingredients can be great compounds of such deodorants:

  • Crodarom® Banana Flower EC contributes to protecting skin microbiome in the armpit region, while providing a positive wave of softness and hydration.
  • Cytokalmine™ EC is a hyperactive concentrate from pomegranate, which soothes sensitive areas and protects skin against oxidative stress.

And both ingredients are extracted from food-industry by-products!

High performance ingredients for body positive cosmetics

How about cosmetics for forgotten or tabooed body areas?

Cosmetics with targeted body care solutions does not only apply to the specific body issues we cited before. They can also be applied to body areas we often forget to take care of.

If you want great examples of forgotten areas, elbows, knees, heels are very good candidates. These sensitive areas lack sebaceous glands. They hence dry out quickly and are likely to become rougher. Due to friction or unusual positions, these areas become more fragile, the skin thickens, losing its suppleness and elasticity. A gentle exfoliation or an intense moisturising will protect them, and you can count of our natural ingredients.

  • Scrubami™ Almond 200/300 ER is the ideal natural exfoliant. Made from almond shells, it helps removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, revealing a softer, more radiant texture.
  • Cosme-Phytami™ Physalis could be your hero revitalising ingredient. This romantic and emotional extract helps to restore suppleness and softness to dehydrated areas that lack sebaceous glands.

While we are at it, let’s talk about taboo body parts: breasts, buttocks, and intimate areas! The taboos apply to men as much as to women but the body positive movement has led to a de-stigmatisation of care for these areas. Several ingredients from Crodarom and Alban Muller can be good assets for localised body care, able to change beauty care into genuine rituals:

  • Phytessence™ White Peony is a natural solution to even out the skin of the bust and make it more luminous by reducing irregularities caused by environmental factors.
  • Padinami™ EC is a perfect ingredient for cosmetics claiming a firming effect for breasts or buttocks, as this marine active enhances skin structure through a boost of collagen, hyaluronic acid and sulphated GAGs, while stimulating skin cell communication.
  • Red Clay ER offers the buttock region a great content of trace elements known to stimulate microcirculation, reduce redness and soothe discomfort.
  • Amiderm™ helps to maintain natural skin pH down there to avoid irritation and unpleasant odours, while preserving the skin's balance.
  • Cosme-Phytami™ Cucumber EC is a universal extract for all these areas, ideal to provide freshness, well-being and radiance to dried-out, tired or irritated skins.

A rise in skin barrier concerns

Interest for skin barrier has accelerated, mainly among young consumers thanks to educational content from TikTok influencers. On this social platform, #skinbarrier accounts for more than 300 million views! As consumers become more precautious and are moving away from short-terms glows, they prefer a healthy skin with long-term glowing benefits. With that in mind, skin barrier becomes the centre of all attentions.

Cosmetics ingredients that strengthen the skin barrier can contribute to body positivity by improving skin health, reducing discomfort and irritation, empowering individuals through self-care, boosting confidence, reducing the need for heavy makeup, addressing skin concerns, and promoting a holistic approach to health. These benefits can help individuals feel more positive, confident, and accepting of their bodies.

During spring 2023, Crodarom launched PhytAura™, a blend of 4 extracts inspired by the ancient herbal remedies of Traditional Chinese Medecine. Phytaura has been eco-designed to stimulate the body’s own restorative mechanisms and improve skin balance and comfort. While most ingredients seek to provide instant relief, PhytAura acts on the source of discomfort and imbalance, thanks to proven soothing (anti-redness), hydrating and skin strengthening properties.

Crodarom® Beech is a hero ingredient for such applications. This emotive extract is inspired from Sylvotherapy. Thanks to the antioxidant, antibacterial and moisturising properties of beech bark, it acts by mimicry, thus protecting, cleansing, and soothing the skin.

Body care ingredients for forgotten areas

 

The products we here presented are a short list of the great range of Crodarom and Alban Muller’s high-quality & multifunctional natural ingredients. Inspired by the intelligence of plants, our products are particularly adapted to the rapidly evolving market of body care products, following the trends of body positivity, psycho-dermatology, skinification and healthification.

Our high-performance and emotive botanical extracts bring a lot to the table with the new wave of holistic cosmetics. Our ingredients allow consumers to view their body as a true sanctuary, deserving lots of attention.

 

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Sources
[1] Petry, V. (2019, 6 mars). « Body positive », le mouvement qui encense tous les corps. Madame Figaro.
[2] Rapports Mintel Hidoussi , V. (2022, 10 avril).
[3] Manning, T. M., & Mulgrew, K. E. (2022). Broad conceptualisations of beauty do not moderate women’s responses to body positive content on Instagram. Body Image, 40, 12–18.
[4] The Reinvention of Body Care. (2021). Stylist Magazine
[5] Cosmetics Inspiration & Creation. (2018, 8 janvier).
[6] Euromonitor
[7] Les produits qui respectent le microbiome. (2019, novembre). Cosmetique Mag

 

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