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Self-care is homeward bound

As the outside world becomes more tumultuous, and consumer stress levels rise, the home is increasingly important as a wellness retreat. This is a trend that goes beyond the ‘bathleisure’ pampering that WGSN has been tracking. Consumers are seeking advanced, salon-style treatments that provide serious levels of calm and relaxation, all in the comfort of their own home.

For beauty brands, this is a chance to make a real difference in consumers’ pressurised lives. We talked to Jenni Middleton, Director of Beauty at WGSN, and to one retailer who’s already stepped into the home retreat space, about the products and services that will resonate and win.

“Many of us are looking to adopt advanced beauty fixes as part of our regular home rituals,” says Jenni. “What was once a salon treatment is now something that can be done on the sofa.

“People are definitely more adventurous with their beauty routines in the home. We see the kinds of treatments that you would have traditionally had done in salons now being DIY. Treatments like laser hair removal or gel nails, where you have very strong percentages of active ingredients, are being tried at home.”

Whether on the sofa or in a salon environment, consumers still want their product experience to be soothing. “When developing home wellness products for anxious times, the key question is: what does the consumer want to feel like when they use that product?” says Jenni. “The physical, sensorial experience of using a product at home is key. The fragrance, the texture, the glide as you rub the product in, these are all things that will help a consumer feel comforted, relaxed and destressed by what’s going on beyond their front door.”

 

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Fragrance is an area where Jenni is seeing real innovation. “The sense of smell is never turned off, even when you’re sleeping,” she notes. And while the use of aromatherapy isn’t new, it’s the ways in which brands are using fragrance that is evolving.”

Jenni cites Marram, whose new range of men’s shaving products is doing something different with scent. “It’s the first time I’d come across this,” she says. “They’ve used aromatherapy within a men’s range to help a guy in different parts of his life. If he’s having a lazy Sunday, there’s a relaxing scent for that, but there’s a different scent to energise him for a big meeting.”

One retailer that’s stepping into the home self-care space is Clean Market in New York. “We offer everything from medical grade supplements, non-toxic beauty products, organic pantry items, adaptogens and more,” says founder Lily Kunin.

Products include The Nue Co.’s Magnesium Ease spray, which delivers 45 mg in three sprays to aid sleep or post-workout recovery. Another is the Beauty Chef’s vegan collagen booster, made with its Flora Culture lacto-fermentation process, which supercharges ingredients.

These sort of products support “a desire to take back control over our lives”, says Lily. “It allows the customer to take the experience of self-care home and integrate it into their everyday lives.”

 

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Lily also uses fragrance in-store to set a wellbeing mood. “We are very mindful of creating a space that feels like a relaxing oasis, and a large part of that is diffusing certain essential oils,” she says. “We also provide a number of functional scents that consumers can buy, depending on whether they’re looking for stress-relief or energy.”

With consumers eager to bring new wellbeing experiences into their homes, brands have the opportunity to make a big difference in their customers’ private lives. The home is definitely the new beauty hotspot.

 

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