Inspired New Year Wellness Resolutions

New Beauty, Health and Wellness Trends

Words by Hannah Gay

Mindfulness is the new mantra when it comes to taking care of your health, your body and our planet.

They say beauty is skin deep but it’s really about a total approach to your mind, body and spirit. The key? Being mindful about what you buy, how it’s made and the impact on our bodies and the environment.

Wellness

If you haven’t already, it’s time to enrol in the school of wellness. The buzzy social trend gained momentum in 2018 and #wellness has been tagged on 20 million occasions in Instagram’s history. The trillion-dollar trend is so far-reaching, it has spilled over into the beauty industry, where brands are releasing an array of wellness-inspired products, from ingestible capsules designed to improve the look of the skin, to topical treatments packed with antioxidants and plant extracts. Not only does our interest in wellness relate to how we look, but also to maintaining a healthy gut (which has been proven as vital for good mental health) and ensuring our home and work environments are stress-free.

We’re looking for ways to engage in healthy habits that can be incorporated into our busy schedules. Emma Seibold, founder of Barre Body, recently launched a class created with the wellness philosophy in mind. “We combined the things women need – cardio, strength and mindfulness – into one class,” she explains, “so that instead of scrambling to fit all these things into your routine, it’s already done for you.”

Centring yourself and tuning in – especially when you’re exercising – is so important for your mental health, plus it helps keep you safe from injury.” 

When it comes to keeping up with your physical fitness goals, a 2018 report by The Future Laboratory discussed the role fitness trackers are playing in our lives, noting they are allowing people to get a better picture of their own health – leading to fewer visits to the doctor. “Individuals are already amassing a clear picture of their everyday habits and building up their own comprehensive health profile due to the rise of sleep and fitness trackers,” says the report. In turn, the onus is on us to ensure we’re monitoring our physical and mental health. According to London-based market research firm Mintel, 65 per cent of Generation Z (16- to 24-year-olds) use apps and health websites as their main source of health information – and this growing trend is likely to continue for the next 12 months.

Gut health is also a huge area of interest, with “a 215 per cent rise in people saving pins [on Pinterest] of recommendations and recipes associated with the trending topic,” according to The Future Laboratory. And while kombucha and hemp got you talking this year, cauliflower will take centre stage in 2019 as a superior source of antioxidants, along with remedies like bone broth (which contains high levels of collagen to repair the skin). Given that we’re clearly willing to pay more for organic and natural products, we’ll likely see a rise in brands offering these types of products, too.

New Beauty, Health and Wellness Trends

WelleCo The Super Elixir Nourishing Plant Protein Powder in Vanilla, $59, contains vitamin B to fight stress, acai to help eliminate free radicals, and protein to build muscle. FitBit Versa, $299.95, allows women to keep a log of their menstrual cycles as well as monitoring heart rate and sleep patterns. Dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon, $120, is a gel-cream that works to hydrate and brighten the skin, while the scent of French lavender oil can promote sleep if inhaled from the palms of the hands.

Sustainable packaging

This year, we’ve seen increasing concern over the excessive use of plastics and non-recyclable materials by manufacturers. On a macro level, big-name Australian grocery stores stopped offering free plastic bags at checkouts, while, on a micro level, local cafes advocated the use of reusable cups in place of the takeaway paper option.

Interest in the movement is extending to our beauty products, where more of us are educating ourselves on the correct ways to recycle our empty moisturiser jars and shampoo tubes in an effort to help the environment. Here at home, MAC runs a program called “Back 2 MAC” in David Jones stores. This initiative encourages customers to return their empty MAC cosmetic containers in return for a free lipstick. Old containers are then taken to appropriate waste management centres. 

Big beauty brands such as L’Oréal and Unilever are gradually getting on board by investing in sustainable skincare brands and practices. For example, in 2017 L’Oréal replaced virgin materials (those not used previously) in their products with over 7000 tonnes of recycled matter – this represents a 10 per cent increase on the previous year.

Marketing consultant Neil Farmer says we need to consider biodegradability, compostibility, plant-based materials and extending shelf-life. He suggests we keep an eye out for packaging made with polyethylene furanoate (PEF), which – unlike the more familiar polyethylene terephthalate (PET)  – is made from vegetable matter and is recyclable. “It costs,” Farmer adds, but notes that we need to invest more in these technologies. “They’re the future.”

Leeds University professor Chris Rayner says the ultimate goal is to increase consumer knowledge. To create real change, it is up to consumers to shop more mindfully and start asking questions. This will in turn encourage brands to create more products that are truly sustainable.

Conscious beauty

With an increasing interest in vegetarian and vegan eating, it’s no surprise these philosophies have crossed over to the beauty industry. Vegan beauty products are becoming more popular and the trend will continue to grow in 2019. We’re not just searching for the best anti-aging cream, we’re searching for the best anti-aging cream with a vegan-friendly list of ingredients. By 2025, the global vegan cosmetics industry is expected to reach $20.8 billion, with a reports finding that more consumers see cruelty towards animals as unethical. KORA Organics, WelleCo and The Beauty Chef are just three Australian brands already working with this in mind, with Melbourne-based brand BEAR new instore and already making an impression in the beauty and wellness scene with its powders and supplements.

Wellbeing on-the-go

Your smartphone can be a handy tool to keep your mind focussed and your attitude positive – once you download mobile apps designed to help clear your mind and promote calm. Buddhify is a textbook of meditation and mindfulness exercises that range from 3 to 40 minutes so they can easily be incorporated into your day. Smiling Mind helps people monitor and track their mood levels, with programs designed to address anxiety and stress in both adults and children. The Resilience Project works by encouraging its users to focus on the positive things in life through the practise of gratitude, empathy and mindfulness.
All apps are available to download on the App Store and Google Play.

Photography Bruno Poinsard/Trunk Archive/Snapper Images