Finally! The first in-person Cosmoprof Bologna show (28th April to 2nd May 2022) since the pandemic began and although the Chinese, Japanese and Taiwanese contingents were almost non-existent this year (Korea was the only Asian country with a major presence at the show), the world’s biggest cosmetics trade fair started its first edition in the New Normal with 2,700+ exhibitors from 70 countries and 26 country pavilions. Over 220,000 visitors from 140 countries attended the show.
If you’re interested in what the pre-pandemic trade shows were like: here are the links to my previous articles: Cosmoprof Bologna 2019, Cosmoprof Bologna 2018, Cosmoprof Bologna 2017 and Cosmoprof Bologna 2016.
As always, Cosmoprof Bologna 2022 featured different sections: Cosmo Pack (packaging, OEM/ODM manufacturing etc.), Cosmo Perfumery & Toiletries (finished cosmetics) and Cosmo Hair & Nail & Beauty Salon (professional/salon brands, equipment, furniture etc.).
In addition, there were all the usual Cosmoprof showcases: the Cosmoprime hall (trend-driven niche and emerging brands), the Extraordinary Gallery (a showcase of selected product innovations), the OnHair hair styling event, the Cosmo Talks conference programme, Cosmo Onstage ( beauty and hair product/technique/brand demonstrations) and – brand-new this year – the World Massage Meeting (four days of training sessions for massage and spa operators).
And now let’s dive straight into some of my favourite brand discoveries, starting with organic and natural beauty and then moving into conventional cosmetics!
SUSTAINABLE BEAUTY AT COSMOPROF BOLOGNA 2022
Organic, natural, vegan, cruelty-free, plastic-free, ocean-friendly – environmental and sustainability-related product claims and brand positionings were all over the show this year. This included a substantial percentage of green-washed brands, of course, but the following brands are bona fide organic, no green-washing there!
I also noticed that solid cosmetics were a massive presence at Cosmoprof Bologna 2022, and not just the ubiquituous shampoo bars. Solid facial skin care – serum sticks, moisturising sticks, mask sticks, suncare sticks – was absolutely everywhere this year. There were stick cosmetics from conventional brands and organic brands, from Europe, the US, Asia; big brands, niche brands – I thought about doing a specific section in stick beauty but instead I’ll just highlight these launches as we go along.
Canadian organic beauty brand Attitude has been really changing its focus over the past couple of years, firmly zeroing in on the solid beauty trend and launching several new solid cosmetics ranges.
The Oceanly range, for example, offers around 30 stick face care products packaged in plastic-free cardboard sleeves. The collection is divided into seven ranges: Phyto-Age, Phyto-Glow, Phyto-Oil, Phyto-Sun, Phyto-Matte, Phyto-Calm and Phyto-Cleanse. The products will be available in retail in late 2022 and are priced between 20-45 Euro.
There is also the 20-sku Leaves Bar body care range which will be launched in Germany on Douglas‘ online store soon and which I forgot to photograph. Again these are all solid products – shampoos, conditioners, a dry body oil with a great texture and fragrance, body lotion, hand soap, lip balms, deodorant sticks etc. – packaged in paper and cardboard.
Finally, there a 15-sku mineral sun protection stick range which offers a very wide range of SPF sticks – scented and unscented, for children/babies, tinted and non-tinted, SPF30 and SPF50, including travel-sized version of the main products. Like the Oceanly range, the sun care is packaged in push-up paper/cardboard sleeves.
UPCIRCLE BEAUTY (UK)
I first met Upcircle Beauty in 2019 at their very first Cosmoprof Bologna trade show – check out my article here (Cosmoprof Bologna 2019). Back then the company had just started out; they presented around half a dozen products at the trade show (mostly body care if I recall correctly) formulated with food waste ingredients, in this case coffee grounds which the founder collected from various cafés in London.
Today the company offers 32-sku of face care, body care and accessories. Coffee (grounds, oil etc.) still plays a leading role in the product formulae but these days the brand also uses other food waste ingredients such as fruit waters and extracts, chai spices, date seeds, argan shells or olive stones.
One of Upcircle Beauty’s most recent launches, for example, are the Hand & Body Wash and Hand & Body Lotion which are formulated with left-over kiwi and bergamot fruit water. The brand has also just launched two hand-poured soy candles with coffee-inspired flavours, Chai Latte (a bit too sweet for my taste) and Espresso Martini which is a great scent blending juniper and coffee notes.
SOLIDU COSMETICS (Lithuania)
Organic beauty brand Solidu Cosmetics was launched in 2017 and offers around a dozen solid beauty products: shampoos, conditioners, a body butter which melted super quickly as soon as it touched my arm and which I will be ordering off Zalando Beauty (one of Solidu Cosmetics‘ German online retailers) once I’m back in Berlin – I’ve been searching for a travel-friendly non-sticky solid body butter for ages!).
Anyway, the products are all hand-made in Lithuania, great product fragrances and a really cool hexagonal shape which handles beautifully. Priced at 9-14 Euro which is a very fair price, I think, Solidu’s products are sold in 15+ countries in Europe and the US. They’re latest product is the Rock Your Body shower bar. Oh, the brand also has a range of essential oil blends which are based on the most popular product scents; so if you love your conditioner fragrance, for example, you can also get it as a natural essential oil blend for your aroma diffuser or whatever device you use.
BEN & ANNA (Germany)
Ben & Anna started out as a baking soda deodorant brand many years ago but they’ve long since expanded their focus to embrace other bath and body care categories in the natural and plastic-free space.
The brand’s newest launches include DIY liquid hand soap tablets which are available in two scents – I love the packaging colours!, see picture above, and four DIY shower gel flakes kits. These sets include a refillable plastic bottle and a compostable sachet of shower gel granules. Add to the bottle with water, shake, let it sit, shake again and the shower gel is ready for use.
Ben & Anna have also recently founded a paper packaging manufacturing company with a view of eventually producing all of their own paper and cardboard packaging.
I remember the first time I met Resibo at Cosmoprof Bologna (check out this article here: Cosmoprof Bologna 2017): they were still a newcomer brand with a small skin care portfolio, maybe half a dozen products or so? Since then Resibo has prospered and currently offers 50 sku. The entire range was also repackaged and renamed over the last five years or so; I really like the new pack designs. The brand’s big new launch is its 6-sku hair care which offers two shampoos, three conditioners and an anti-frizz/gloss serum.
The range offers a deep cleansing shampoo and a gentler everyday shampoo, a regenerating conditioner with proteins, a shine-enhancing conditioner with emollients and a hydrating conditioner with humectants.
If you read my blog regularly you’ll know that Urang Natural is one of my favourite organic Korean beauty brands! It was such a pleasure to see the brand again at Cosmoprof Bologna 2022 and check out all the exciting new product launches of the past couple of years! The most recent introduction is the Moringa Hair Bar – a solid shampoo which foams up well – and a Calendula Hair Conditioning Bar which has a lovely citrus-inspired scent.
In August 2021 Urang had launched a Cactus Cream which I now finally had the opportunity to try it out. The cream is based on 71% of organic prickly pear extract (the precise type of cactus is opuntia humifosa) plus squalane, hydrolyzed quinoa, fermented soybean and saccharomyces extracts and centella asiatica; the texture is beautifully light and fresh – it almost feels like a cream gel – and the colour is a very light blueish-green. Should be the ideal summer cream; I can’t wait to try the product out properly.
Sioris is another of my organic K-beauty favourites. The brand was launched in October 2017 and their 15-sku face care range is currently sold in ten countries. I first came across Sioris around a year before my last trip to Seoul (which would have been in April/May 2019 for Cosmobeauty trade show) and was super excited when I managed to find two of the brand’s products in one of the city centre Olive Young drugstores. I remember I posted the Calming Day Ampoule on my Instagram feed because I was so excited to finally get my hands on the products!
Today Sioris is available in Germany and Europe but only online, so I used the opportunity at the trade show to really test out every single product at the booth!
In early 2021 the brand launched the My First essence /serum hybrid (Sioris calls this product type Essener) and in March 2022 this intensive hydrating serum was followed by another Essener : The Only One which is based on bellflower extract. The company has also introduced a new hand cream which is called Bring Back Memories.
One of my favourite brand discoveries on the third day of Cosmoprof Bologna 2022: Lebanese apiculture beauty brand Beesline has been around since the mid-1990s but their most recent iteration is super contemporary: a collection of paper-packaged stick cosmetics: deodorants and antiperspirants, body oils, butters and lotions, face masks, moisturisers, you name it. These are jumbo-sized sticks which nonetheless are easy to handle.
They have also just brought out a product that won one of this year’s Cosmoprof Awards: a refillable deodorant tablet roll-on – a refillable tablet roll-on deodorant? (whichever way I phrase it the product descriptions sounds weird!) It’s basically a refillable plastic roll-on deodorant container and compressed deodorant tablets. Put a tablet into the empty container, fill up with water, shake and let sit for a while and presto, a liquid roll-on deodorant.
I’ve come across scores of tablet or powder-fuelled DIY body care products in the last couple of years – shampoo, liquid hand soap, shower gel etc.; it’d been a huge trend over here in Germany – but never a tablet deodorant formula. I like! Beesline says that this might be the last roll-on deodorant you ever need to buy; there are differently scented tablets so you can switch it up and the container is infinitely refillable. The company also offers shower and shampoo tablets which retail in a small cardboard tube; you just put them into the palm of your hand, crumble them up, add water and use the straight away. Very travel friendly.
Beelines‘ products are all manufactured in the Lebanon; the honey, propolis, pollen etc. are sourced domestically as well – the company works with local communities in the more rural areas to build up and develop ethical beekeeping structures, helping these community generate income whilst saving the honeybees (which I guess as as endangered in Lebanon as they are in Germany) and the craft of beekeeping. Great concept.
One of the first European snail beauty products I ever used was the Bioearth Snail Serum! This was at least ten years ago – I think I met them at a Vivaness show first or maybe it was my first Cosmoprof Bologna? I get the dates confused. Anyway, I still associated Bioearth with snail beauty products but the brand has grown quite considerably since then, launching more face and body care ranges.
One of Bioearth’s most recent launches is a personalised beauty range – customisation is a huge personal care trend as we all know, and personalised face care (together with personalised hair care) is right at the top of the consumers‘ wish lists. Anyway, the Bioearth Elementa range was introduced in mid-2021 and offers two facial base creams and one body base cream which can then be tweaked with eight face care actives (Zinc & Niacinamide, Peptides & Hibiscus, Hyaluronic Acid, NMF & Sugars, Caffeine & Ginseng, Silicium & Microalgae, Q10 Co-Enzyme, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Buffered Glycolic Acid) and four body care actives (Caffeine & Centella, Fucus & Pineapple, Ginseng & Green Coffee and Sweet Almond & Rosehip).
Organic Danish beauty brand Unique is probably best known for its hair care portfolio, especially the key active whey which forms the basis of all of the shampoos and conditioners. A couple of years prior to the pandemic, Unique expanded into the fragrance sector with a range of organic perfumes (I seem to remember seeing the perfumes at Vivaness trade show that year). But their latest launch is the most exciting yet, I think.
Beauhei::t is Unique‘s new premium beauty brand. Unveiled on the occasion of Cosmoprof Bologna 2022 the range offers 114 sku of organic, vegan and gender-free face care, body care and hair care – around 60% of the portfolio is skin care, 40% hair care.
Because the brand is still so new distribution channels etc. are not yet decided but it is very likely that the Beauhei::t product range will be sold in perfumeries, concept stores and indie retailers rather than organic supermarket. The price tag is definitely in the luxury category, with products starting at 20 Euro for plant oils and then climbing up to 100 Euro for the more sophisticated face care formulations.
As you would expect from a brand like Unique – which has traditionally focused on regional and local ingredients in its product manufacturing – the formulations are beautiful, almost all products are based on organic aloe vera juice with a ton of other Scandinavian herbal, fruit and berry extracts. All the product flacons are numbered, by the way, to make it easier for customers to navigate the extensive portfolio. I tried out several products and likes the textures and subtle herbal scents very much.
Unique has also launched a number of new products in its hair care range this year, including three great-looking scalp serums.
SEVENTYONE PERCENT (France)
Seventyone Percent is a really cool French sun care brand; originally founded in 2010 with a focus on heavy-duty sunscreens for surfers. Two years ago the brand decided to start exploring the more mainstream beauty market and launched the 14-sku range you see in the picture below. I love the packaging colours, by the way, a most unusual look for a sun care range!
The line-up includes the SPF-enriched anti-pollution moisturizer Urban Feel Good, Feel Good Intensive Moisturiser, a water-resistant Dry Sun Oil with SPF30, the lightly shimmering Feel Good Oil (no sun filters), four coloured SPF50 sunblock sticks, a clear water-resistant SPF50 Sun Spray and the SPF-free Multi Balm moisturizer.
The products are priced between 15-29 Euro; in France the range is retailed online and offline – one of their key offline distribution channels are sports/equipment/outdoor stores but Seventyone Percent is also sold in parapharmacies and the Monoprix chain of department stores. Outside of its home market the brand is available in a further 15 countries including Germany where you can find the products online at Zalando Beauty and Douglas.de.
Keve is a Hungarian beauty and personal care manufacturer which has been around for 30 years. The brand’s newest launches, however, are firmly contemporary, including a range referencing one of the biggest skin care trends at the show: functional ingredients serums.
The #Serum line was launched just recently and offers four face serums (niacinamide 10% & Zinc 1%, hyaluronic acid 5% & panthenol 1%, vitamin C 20% and aloe vera 2% and Salicyclic acid 2% & Sarcosine 0.5%) which are retailed for 8-9 Euro per product. In Hungary, the #Serum range is exclusive to Rossmann stores. The brand has also introduced a new CBD range.
Fler is a charming women’s shaving brand from Italy launched in late 2021. The founder told me that she was studying in the UK when she first came across the concept of razor subscriptions. When she returned to Italy she decided to take action: Fler offers monthly razor cartridge refills by post.
The product line-up includes a aluminum-handled razor which is available in three colourd, two shaving foams and a Hair Growth Inhibiting Lotion. Product prices are mass market: 10-11 Euro for the shaving products and 20 Euro for the razor. Fler has managed to build up a pretty solid distribution in Italy, they sell online and offline in selected retailers, including the Italian Pinalli chain.
Lovbod was launched in 2019 and that was also the first year I met the brand at Cosmoprof Bologna. During the pandemic the brand broadened its focus, branching out into clean beauty body care. The portfolio still includes the Bum Bum Mask and the other sheet mask products though!
The new body care range offers 6 sku: two multi-body sticks (Fine Lines and Dark Spots), one body scrub, two body creams and in two months they’ll launch a body sleep cream scented with lavender and rose geranium. Today Lovebod is sold in Spain, Poland, Romania, Greece and the Netherlands.
Mixsoon (the brand name combines „mix“ and „soon“ which means pureness in Korean) was launched in July 2020. Currently its 50-sku product portfolio of face care, body care, oral care and household cleansers is sold in eight countries plus Korea.
Amongst the brand’s latest launches is the 6-sku Master series launched in collaboration with Korean influencer UNA. The Master series line offers a cleansing foam, a serum which includes just five ingredients (bifida ferment, centella asiatica, panthenol and two sizes of hyaluronic acid; great texture!), a toner, a barrier-protecting sheet mask and two different moisturising creams. There are also two new moisturising skin care sticks, Centella Stick Balm and Bean Stick Balm.
I particularly like the brand’s 11-sku range of single ingredient essences which includes variants like hinoki, heartleaf, reishi mushroom, galactomyces ferment, panax ginseng root, centella asiatica, lotus flower and bifida ferment. Feeling the desperate need to own them all! Interestingly enough Mixsoon also offers oral care products (which is, I think, rather unusual for a classic face care brand) and household cleansing products (washing-up liquids, laundry detergents etc.)
SHAKEUP COSMETICS (UK)
Men’s care brand Shakeup Cosmetics launched in late 2019 just before the pandemic but the company managed to make it a success anyway: currently Shakeup Cosmetics is sold in a number of international markets – China through cross-border, Australia, South Africa, the US and the UK (in the UK the products are available in Superdrug). The two skin care sticks were launched in March 2021 and the newest launch is the Face4Ward range of 4 sku which joined the family in March 2022.
The line-up offers two stick products, the You Do The Mask purifying clay mask with coconut charcoal, and the Hydrate in a Hurry travel friendly moisturiser with witch hazel and cucumber extract, hyaluronic acid and vitamin E. Lip Life To The Full is a voluminising lip balm and Set & Done is a 3-in-1 facial spray; there is als the Let’s Face It BB SPF25 Tinted Moisturiser (one of the brand’s bestsellers in China) and an eye cream.
The new range includes the Multi-Action Daily Face Wash with fruit acids and willow bark to exfoliate and cleanse the skin, a clarifying toner with glycolic acid and fruit AHA, the Pro-Youth Serum with tiger grass, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide and the Matte Effect Gel Moisturiser with Matmarine complex and hyaluronic acid.
Glowoasis was launched in 2020 and is what I’d call a typical Korean-inspired clean beauty skin care brand. Vegan, of course, because which new clean beauty brand launch these days isn’t! However, the brand has an interesting twist: their entire range focuses on vegan probiotics (lactobacilli ferments) as a key ingredient. Hello microbiome skin care!
There are 12 sku of face care that are priced from 30-50 USD. The line-up includes a cleansing balm, a foam cleanser, powder to foam enzyme cleanser, calming toner, moisturising milk toner, hydrating serum, the Probiotics & Squalane Double Up cream-in-serum (great texture and completely based on lactobacilli ferment), an eye cream, two moisturising creams and a lip balm.
Glowoasia is sold in the US; they were at the trade show to find European distributors. I can totally imagine this brand entering the European market; it’s brand positioning ticks all the right boxes: GenZ focus, clean beauty, vegan, microbiome, #kbeauty….this is exactly the kind of brand that an online beauty behemoth like Douglas.de would snap up.
DICARA URBAN FIT (Spain)
This was a pleasant brand discovery on my very last day! Launched in 2018, Dicara is a well-established Spanish brand that has been around for a long time. However, the brand has a rather old-fashioned image, I was told, and in 2018 launched Dicara Urban Fit, a more contemporary personal care brand.
In total there are some 60 sku of bath and body care and fragrances. I particularly liked the I Own This City fragrance range – priced at around 15 Euro for 100ml. Dicara Urban Fit is sold in 30-40 countries; in Germany they sell through Douglas.de and Amazon.
One of my favourite exhibitors always! The Kocostar booth at Cosmoprof Bologna this year was small – at their Asian trade shows, Kocostar always has the most eye-catching booth designs! – but they had all the latest launches, including the new sun care capsules that won one of the Cosmoprof Awards.
There is also the anti-spot treatment Face Therapy, a white thick liquid containing cellulose, LHA, niacinamide, betaine salicylate, sulfur and tea tree leaf oil. You apply it with a cotton swab and it will then dry into a thin clear film to help the active ingredients absorb more easily into the skin. You can also apply makeup on top of it.
GENETICA 23 (Italy)
This was a rather interesting exhibitor. Genetica 23 was launched in 2020 in the near-by city of Modena and they specialise in formulating cosmetics based on a combination of DNA analysis and in-depth face scanning. I’ve come across a number of DNA beauty brands over the past few years (even before the pandemic this was already an emerging trend especially amongst Asian and US brands), and face scanning as a base for product recommendations is an old hat. However, I think this is the first time I’ve seen a European company offering a combination of these two approaches.
Genetica 23’s founder believes that predictive beauty will be the future of skin care. First you get your face thoroughly scanned and photographed from all angles – you can see what the machine looks like in the picture above – so we have all the parameters that measure skin health: depths of wrinkles, sun damage, hyperpigmentation, hydration levels, texture, pore size, elasticity, irritation/redness etc. Then follows a DNA swab and a detailed questionnaire to account for the lifestyle aspects that can also affect skin health: smoker/non-smoker, urban or rural life, works outside or in an office, plays lots of sports or not, and so on.
Based on all of this accumulated data Genetica 23 will then formulate a face cream and serum for you (they only offer these two products at the current time but soon there will also be some cleansers). The customer then takes the products home, tries them out for three months and then returns to have another face scan taken so the progress or otherwise can be measures. If there is no significant improvement the product formulae are then tweaked again to offer an even more customised product.
I was quite impressed by this very comprehensive concept – the brand seems to cover all angles, they also acknowledge that skin improvement takes time and that there are no instant solutions.
PET CARE AT COSMOPROF BOLOGNA 2022
This is not really my area of expertise – I don’t even own a pet – but I did seem to notice an astonishing number of cat and dog cosmetics ranges at the trade show this year! Most of these brands were from the organic brands but there were also some conventional exhibitors. Now, I do know that the number of pet owners, especially cats and dogs, has grown strongly during the pandemic, not just in Germany but internationally.
The Bugalugs range was launched two years ago and features 20 cleansers, lotions, colognes and sprays for dogs. The line-up offers nine shampoos including the deodorising Stinky Dog shampoo, an All in 1 Shampoo with lemongrass to clean, soothe and nourish the dog’s coat and reduce shedding and the Luxury 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner scented with papaya and coconut.
There are also colognes such as the One in a Million for in-between washes to refresh the coat; two detangling sprays like the Baby Fresh Detangling Spray (there is also a matching cologne) and a Nose & Paw Balm which is available in stick form and as a cream balm as well as an ear cleanser and four deodorizing sprays. The most recent Bugalugs launch is a Dry Shampoo, by the way.
WILDA SIBERICA (Russia)
Natural beauty brand’s Natura Siberica latest launch is Wilda, a really pretty pet care range with 9 different cleansers for dogs and cats. The product names are really funny: Delicate, for example, is sub-titled „be soft as a tundra bunny“ and is said to be especially suitable for young pets and pets with delicate skin. Whitening is for animals mit white fur. Detangling (Be smooth as an Amur Tiger!) contains wild amur velvet tree bark and is good for animals with a lot of fur. Urban-Detox (Be free as a forest deer!) is for animals that life in urban cities, cleanse and refresh the fur coat.
Antistress is for pets with itchy skin and contains wild kamchatka bearberry, Hydro-Boost (be fresh as a polar bear) is for dry coats that need hydrating; Shed Control is for animals who shed excessively with altai juniper as key botanical, Glow contains wild foxberry and is for pets with dull coats, Oil-Plex is for pets that have dry brittle hair and need shine and contains Siberian cedar oil.
Solid beauty brand Banbu was launched in 2018 and specialises in, well, solid and water-free liquid and creamy cosmetic products,, see picture directly below.
Amongst their launches is also a solid dog shampoo; a square block of dark grey and white cleansing soap called Wow!, formulated with purifying, deodorising and anti-parasitic active ingredients.
Italian organic brand Bioearth has also just brought out a pet care range which includes two liquid shampoos/cleansers for dogs – one shampoo is an antioxidant formula, the other is a sensitive variant for dogs with delicate skin.
Then there is a leave-in cleansing lotion for cats (at least it had a cat on the bottle!) and spirulina supplements for dogs.
Well, that was Cosmoprof Bologna 2022. For more launches check out my Instagram feed @annika_trendtraveller; I also packed all of my Insta Stories videos into a Highlight which you’ll find on my Instagram profile. I’ll leave you with some more pictures from the show! This year I also managed to swing by the professional beauty halls – the last dozen pictures or so are from Cosmo Hair & Nail & Beauty. Enjoy.