Wellness Trends Of 2018

wellness trends

The New Year brings about a sleuth of new trends in every field and today we’ll be looking at our predictions for the hottest wellness trends of 2018.

  1. Skincare that protects you from pollution

Most of us live in highly polluted environments and are surrounded by screens all day long. Our skin pays the price for this, with UV rays, screen light, pollution and harsh chemicals all taking a tool. A new type of skin care products will address this issue. These products will help the skin battle with the dangers of the modern world. An example would be serums that support the skin as a barrier and help fuel optimal skin function.

Jim Hammer, a cosmetic chemist, says that the character of today’s environment i.e. pollutants and UV rays negatively impact the skin’s natural lipid barrier. This, in turn, causes redness, acne and dry skin. The skin barrier, when working properly, has the goal of keeping the skin hydrated and healthy.

The founder of CAP Beauty, Cindy DiPrima Morisse says that beauty brands are focusing their efforts on creating products that build up the skin’s barriers by nourishing its existing eco-system. Rather than the usual approach of stripping layers away to reveal glowing skin beneath, new products will focus on fortifying the skin’s defences.

Companies such a Biossance, Allies of Skin, Marie Veronique and Mother Dirt are focusing on predicting the challenges our skin might encounter in day to day interactions with the environment, the way these might imbalance the skin and how they can protect it.

The products they have fashioned use ingredients such as ceramides, lipids and live bacteria to strengthen your skin and make it what it’s meant to be – a natural, first-line defence against the environment.

  1. Tech in Birth Control

Giving women easy access to health services has been the focus of a number of women-founded startups. Cycle-tracking apps, at home STI-testing and birth-control delivery services, are just some examples of how these women have worked on giving women power over their own health.

According to Katherine Ryder, founder of online clinic Maven, most stakeholders in all health-related companies are men. However, this is starting to change, bringing women’s health to attention.

Maven is a great example, as it provides 24/7 access to professionals working in health-care, bypassing the waiting period for these types of consultations. Eve Kit and SmartJane are services which enable people to screen for STIs from the comfort of their own bathroom. Nur and Prjkt Ruby are delivery services that bring birth control to anyone’s doorstep. What’s in common for all of these services is that they are easy to access, affordable and do not require health insurance.

Apps are also getting into the health-care game. A period tracking app MyFLO, envisioned by Alisa Vitti, women’s health expert, enables people to get in sync with their periods, which in turn help them perform at the top of their game all month long. The app helps plan both productivity and fertility. Another app to watch out for is Natural Cycles. This is a contraceptive app that according to studies when used correctly, can be very effective at preventing pregnancy.

NextGen Jane also offers a tech approach to periods. It is developing a smart tampon with the goal of tracking biological changes, thus being able to prevent disease. According to Lauren Bille, women’s health is an area where very little innovation has been done in the past. However, all these new companies are finally expanding the field and bringing in sorely needed innovation.

  1. The In-Home Gym

Jane Fonda’s workout tapes were all the rage in the 80s. Today, anyone from gyms to fitness gurus and personal trainers is making an attempt to monetize on digitally reproducing the gym experience.

The idea is to bring everything that makes a personal trainer or a group workout so appealing into your home. An example is Peloton, a streaming service giving access to live cycling streams as well as archived workouts. It’s latest funding was valued at around $1.25 billion.

Going digital allows fitness brands the access to a much larger audience and gives their instructors and products a much bigger stage to work on. Anna Kaiser, the founder of AKT dance cardio workout, says that through the AKT on-demand app, they have been able to access a hundred times the amount of people they see in a studio weekly. A digital platform gives the brand higher visibility and can aid growth exponentially.

Developments might also be taking a turn for the sci-fi, with AI trainers “living” in bio-sensing earphones, courtesy of a new company Vi. Another possible break-out brand to watch is Tone It Up with their new Studio Tone It Up app, a platform for hourly group classes. The Tone It Up community consists of around 5 million women globally. Other options are audio workouts led by trainers in any field, from running to yoga and prenatal sessions, all set to playlists from Aaptiv or virtual personal training sessions from Equinox, a luxury fitness club. Another interesting possibility are virtual-reality workouts, as Amazon has recently acquired body-mapping technology.

When scaling a business today, digital is the way to go, and the fitness industry is no exception. It is forecasted that by 2022 the global digital-fitness market will reach a worth of $27.4 billion, growing at a compound annual rate of 33%.

  1. Brain-enhancing supplements

In recent years various films (think Limitless or Lucy) have dealt with increasing our cognitive capabilities via different methods. Nootropics are supplements, originating in Silicon Valley, which can actually help improve brain function and lower stress levels. In 2018, they are aiming for reaching a much wider audience.

Most of these enhancing supplements contain ingredients such as amino acids (l-theanine for reducing stress, in products from companies such as Tru Brain and HVMN) and happiness-hormone boosters (phenylethylamine). Highly enhanced omega 3s, chewable coffee and so-called uber-honey, are also among ingredients used in these type of products.

A sure sign that this will be a booming trend is heightened interest from investors. According to Research and Markets, in 2015 this business was valued at $2.3 billion, with a projected growth of up to $11.6 billion by 2024. Companies such as Nootrobox, Trubrain and Neurohacker Collective are examples who have already received millions in funding.

This increased interest in brain health is a natural progression to the wellness movement, according to Drew Ramsey, MD, a Columbia University psychiatrist. Mood, creativity, confidence and focus are all commodities the brain provides and it is only natural that tech will progress in the direction of making them more easily available.

  1. Ageing well

Ageing and its mechanisms have been a target for research for a long time. The goal was to understand how ageing comes about and how we might live longer and healthier lives using the underlying processes.

However, the goal isn’t to only eliminate wrinkles and fine lines (though it might be a benefit). The focus is on understanding how all of the body’s elements make ageing happen. Telomeres are an example. These tiny compounds on the ends of DNA strands may be slightly altered thus slowing down the process of ageing. They were brought into the spotlight via the research done by Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, a Nobel Prize-winning biologist and Elissa Epel, PhD, psychiatrist.

Mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, is another term to be popularized in 2018. According to research, stronger mitochondria means a stronger brain and body and creating new mitochondria is essential for ageing well.

The Human Longevity Project is an upcoming documentary series that focuses on the healthiest centenarians and how they interpret ageing. It will have its global premiere in 2018 and its focus will be more than just skin-deep.

  1. Activewear style shift

2018 brings about a shift in the look and feel of active wear. Mostly known for black spandex, tight silhouettes and vibrant colours, activewear is making a change towards softer, pastel hues and silhouettes fitting a calm lifestyle. Think nudes, pale greys and pinks, instead of strong patterns and relaxing nature walks versus an intense session at the gym.

The likes of Outdoor Voices, Lululemon and Athleta, all trendsetters in this field, give the impression that workout clothes will aim to make you feel relaxed and cool.  “We launched Restore this year to underline the power of mindfulness, and the need for women to give themselves the permission to pause,” said Sarah Carlson, Athleta’s VP of Design.

According to Stephanie Dardenne, director of merchandising at Carbon 38, while black remains the most popular colour, the demand for neutrals has seen a doubling recently. Jennifer Bandier, owner of five active fashion stores agrees. She says that customers are warming up to softer activewear and it is a rising trend with companies such as Koral and Varley.

The silhouettes are becoming more loose, such as semi-fitted joggers from Athleta or drapey sweatshirts from Alala and Monrow. The overall effect aims for a comfortable, hygge-like sensibility. Materials are also following the trend, with a shift towards soft and sustainable modal and cotton. The change can be seen in major brand such as Reebok and Nike, both showing more relaxed silhouettes in soft colours for the coming year. In 2018, athleisure will show it’s softer side.

  1. Nut-yoghurt

As veganism gains on popularity, we’re seeing some interesting innovation in the food industry. The newest such product is yoghurt from nut milk. Almond milk is an example of how a fairly unknown product, mainly aimed at lactose-intolerant people, can rapidly gain in popularity and it seems a similar fate awaits nut yoghurt.

There have already been launches of products such as Greek-style yoghurt made from almond milk and drinkable cashew-gurt. Kite Hill is a breakout brand that has won over large numbers of customers with yoghurt made from almond milk. While until recently it could only be found at places such as Whole Foods, because of an $18 million investment, it will spread like wildfire. John Haugen, interim CEO of Kite Hill, says the goal is to bring non-dairy products to all customers. He claims that until now, taste has been the primary reason customers hadn’t considered plant-based yoghurts. However, he adds that nut yoghurt can now deliver on both taste and texture, thus making it a potential spotlight product.

Mainly driven by millennials, there are predictions that this category of products might grow to about $35 billion by 2020. Customers are now considering different options from dairy and are ready to pay for them.

The new year will bring many new products in the category, with an apparent focus on coconut. The Coconut Cult is a raw coconut yoghurt with a horde of early adopters (and a hefty price of $25). GT’s Living Foods, a kombucha brand, plans on launching a living coconut yoghurt. Probiotic kefirs from coconut will be offered by New Earth Superfood, while Coco Rico will produce French -style coconut yoghurt. In January, expect a completely plant-based Greek-style yoghurt from Ripple. So, it seems 2018 will be the year of plant and nut-based yoghurts. Enjoy!

  1. Tech in the bedroom

For years we have been told that the bedroom should be tech-free and that powering down our devices an hour or so before going to bed will result in a higher quality sleep. In 2018, these rules go out the window and gadgets are welcomed into the bedroom.

The tech we’ll see will focus on creating a pleasant environment for sleeping by controlling temperature, it will record our REM stats and help us wake up naturally. Digitized beds are an example of how technology will be used to improve our sleep. These types of product are highly sought even now, which is why this field has seen such an increase in both research and innovation and funding. Customers are ready to buy products that enhance their sleep.

Smart mattresses are such a product, analyzing the REM cycles of up to two people. This information helps a smart alarm wake you up in an optimal time i.e. a stage of light sleep. The product also allows control of temperature for a more comfortable sleeping climate. The two mattresses, Tomorrow Sleep and Eight Sleep, are offered by Serta Simmons Bedding. Both are smart-home compatible too, meaning they can be integrated with other devices in your home.

There are also sleep trackers that work with traditional mattresses, such as S+ by ResMed, Sleeptracker and Emfit. Placed next to your bed, these gadgets send data to an app on your phone. AppleWatches on the other hand might be used to detect hypertension and sleep apnea.

According to Matteo Franceschetti, CEO of Eight Sleep, this personalized sleep trend is akin to a personalized diet. The more you know about how your body reacts and what suits it better, the better quality sleep you can get.

  1. Clean make-up that looks great

Clean or non-toxic makeup usually brings to mind light, nude hues and a no-makeup look. Recently, clean cosmetic companies have been focused on producing more strongly pigmented makeup, while keeping the products non-toxic. The category has grown quickly and is seemingly only beginning to expand.

Long-existing brands such as Rituel de Fille and Au Naturale Cosmetics, as well as recent launches like Lawless and Velvet, are all offering strong, vibrant lipsticks and full-coverage foundations. What’s new is that these products can hold their own against larger, non-clean brands. This means this market segment can expect an expansion soon.

Annie Jackson, VP of merchandising at Credo Beauty, confirms this. She says that clean cosmetics have drastically gained in popularity. At the moment, she is stocking the seven stores with products that offer the boldness of mainstream cosmetics sans all the potentially toxic ingredients. According to Alison Hahn, VP of merchandising at Sephora, these changes are brought about because of a cultural shift towards using natural product made by transparent brands. Customers at Sephora are more inclined to buys clean products from brands such as Bite Beauty, RMS Beauty, Antonym and others.

The cosmetic industry is noticing this shift, so more and more resources are being dedicated to perfecting clean-products so that they can compete on the market. As around 48% of customers look for organic and natural products, this is a trend that is sure to stay.

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