In 2023, the world’s most important organic beauty trade show Vivaness (together with its sister show Biofach) finally took place again at its traditional time of year: in February! 14th to 17th February, to be precise. Nuremberg is usually rainy and cold (and on occasion snowy) in February but this week the weather was pretty great throughout – blue sky and sunshine, with moderate temperatures.
Anyway, it was wonderful to be back at Vivaness in the show’s usual Hall 3C. At last year’s trade show (Vivaness 2022 had been postponed to July so it was a summer edition), the beauty exhibitors had been dribbled around the Biofach halls rather than grouped in a single exhibition hall, which wasn’t great. But in 2023, everything was back to normal. More or less.
Obviously things are still a bit shaky on the international trade show circuit. Besides Vivaness 2022, I visited three international beauty trade fairs during the past eight months (Cosmoprof Bologna 2022, Cosmoprof Asia 2022 and Cosme Tokyo 2023). And let me tell you, not one these shows were back to normal yet!
They all had significantly fewer exhibitors and visitors than their respective pre-pandemic/pre-war editions (I went back to my old trade show articles and verified the exhibitor and visitor numbers). And I think it’ll be another couple of years before things are fully back to normal.
What with the war, recession, cost-of-living and energy crises plus the recent devastating earthquake in Turkey (and of course, the pandemic is also still with us) – frankly, it’s amazing that trade fairs are happening at all when you think about it! So it was really encouraging – not to mention just plain wonderful – to see so many people back at Vivaness/Biofach.
In 2023 there were 222 exhibitors from over a dozen different countries at Vivaness (including 15 start-ups and 14 Breeze companies) while sister show Biofach featured 2,543 companies from around 60 countries; with 36,000 visitors from 135 countries across both fairs.
I also went back to my Vivaness 2020 article to check the stats of that year. The last pre-pandemic in-person Vivaness took place a few weeks before C*vid reached Europe and Germany went through its first lockdown. And Vivaness/Biofach 2020 were already impacted by the approaching pandemic – I remember that many exhibition booths across both shows were vacant and there were very few Asian visitors at the shows. A number of European companies also skipped Vivaness/Biofach that year.
At Biofach 2020, there were 3,680 exhibitors while Vivaness had 292 exhibitors from 42 countries. However, in the end only around 270 exhibitors actually exhibited at Vivaness. Biofach also had a lot of vacant booths that year (the Asian exhibitor sections were amost non-existent), so we can assume that the realistic Biofach exhibitor count for 2020 was actually a good bit lower. A total 47,000 trade visitors attended both fairs.
Just for comparison: I also checked the Vivaness 2019 stats. 2019 was the last „real“ Biofach/Vivaness when both trade shows were at their full strength. Biofach that year featured 2,989 exhibitors, Vivaness had 284 exhibitors from 41 countries that year, with a total of 51,500 trade visitors across both shows.
Rather interesting: Vivaness/Biofach 2020 actually had more exhibitors than the 2019 edition but the rumours of a disquieting new illness originating from China (which also affected Cosme Tokyo that January, I remember – C*vid was already considered a real threat in Japan in January 2020, much more so than in Europe at that time) seems to have had a stronger effect on visitor numbers.
Anyway, all of that is ancient history; today the world looks very different and we’re here to talk about all of the cool brands and product launches that I saw at Vivaness 2023! Before I forget: If you’re interested in my previous Vivaness coverage, 2015-2018, plus the digital version in 2021, here are the links: Vivaness 2015, Vivaness 2016, Vivaness 2017, Vivaness 2018, Vivaness 2021.
A brief housekeeping note: Many of the newcomer brands at this year’s show – like Teethlovers, Toen, Labrains, 4 People Who Care etc. – were also present at last year’s summer edition and I wrote about them in my 2022 trade show report; so I’m not going to mention them in this article. Also, a number of brands presented products that I had already seen at either Vivaness 2022 or Cosmoprof Bologna 2022 (like Chobs, Attitude, Kia Charlotta or Banbu Cosmetics) and I mentioned them in the respective articles, so I won’t cover these brands either.
The first section focuses on the bigger/better-established beauty brand; the second section on the newcomers. And as usual, brands are listed in no particular order. Let’s go!
VIVANESS 2023: BIG BRANDS
I+M NATURKOSMETIK (Germany)
I+m Naturkosmetik is one of the organic pioneers in Germany; the Berlin-based beauty brand was first launched in 1978 and its product portfolio has been vegan since 2000. Products are formulated with a very high percentage of fair trade ingredients which in turn supports various organic agricultural projects in countries around the world.
Another great i+m initiative is the Fair Edition: These are limited edition bath and body care products, such as shower gels, liquid hand soaps or body lotions whose proceeds go towards specific social projects.
Over the last few years, i+m has also become one of the most innovative organic beauty brands; especially with the products they launched over the past 12 months –trending ingredients, like AHA fruit acids, vitamin c, azelaic acid and bakuchiol, or cool textures like the gel-to-milk cleanser; my personal favourite from last year was the fragrance-free Clean Beauty range. The moisturising fluid is amazing and calms my skin right down.
And here we are right in the middle of the brand’s new (or recent) launches which include the Deep Water Hydrator, a moisturising Asian-style essence (it’s a thick liquid toner which you pat into the skin) and the two-phase Hydrating Concentrate (shake before use!) with squalane, peptides and prickly pear oil.
Last November, i+m launched the Rosy Glow cream (very on trend!), the Clean Beauty range was extended with a Rosehip Facial Oil (it’s based on squalane which makes this oil blend beautifully light) and a tinted SPF 30 sun protection fluid (with a great texture) will come out in March.
I’ve written about Naveen many times; the beauty brand’s from Taiwan (they attend even more trade shows than I do : )) and I really like their products. Naveen is not just certified organic but also halal; and they’re a regular exhibitor at Vivaness.
The brand’s most recent launches include two products suitable for travelling – a cleansing powder and a solid body moisturiser. The moisturiser comes in a nice, compact format rather than the usual great big slabs of solid body butter. I like this; it is truly travel-friendly.
UOGA UOGA (Lithuania)
Uoga Uoga doesn’t really need an introduction any more, at least not amongst German fans of organic beauty: Launched in 2010, this Lithuanian face care and makeup brand is now widely available across a number of international markets, it’s sold online and offline and has been exhibiting at Vivaness almost every year since 2016.
Great products, a super successful packaging relaunch a couple of years ago and the brand’s latest products are equally good: a 6-sku range of lipsticks which are just the right blend of creamy and shimmery, and a new lipgloss shade (Foxberry) which I’ve been wearing pretty much every day since the trade show.
Hemptouch has been manufacturing CBD and hemp beauty long before this ingredient became globally trendy and all of a sudden, everyone was doing CBD beauty.
The Slovenian company was launched in 2014 and the first time I met them at a trade show was in 2017 (Cosmoprof Bologna) although Hemptouch is also a regular Vivaness exhibitor. I really like their products: Very high quality face and body care produced with three hemp-derived ingredients – hydrosol, oil and CBD. The formulae are usually based on of these three ingredients and the textures are lovely.
At Vivaness 2020, Hemptouch presented a hydrating essence (I just checked my 2020 trade fair report, the product name back then was Luminising Deep Moisture Face Lotion; it has since been renamed Moisturising Bright Essence) which remains one of my favourite Hemptouch products.
Over the last couple of years Hemptouch has launched several body care products, a hand cream, lip balm and a new body butter (all of which I forgot to photograph individually). The brand’s products are produced near Novo Mesto in the South West of Slovenia with locally cultivated and harvested hemp.
ECO COSMETICS (Germany)
I still think of Eco Cosmetics as a sun care brand although the German brand has long since branched out in face and body care, and they even launched a younger beauty brand (Ey! Cosmetics) a few years ago.
At this year’s Vivaness, Eco Cosmetics presented its brand new face care range for mature, demanding skin: Revital offers nine sku with grape seed extract and hemp seed oil as key ingredients. I tried a number of the products out on my hand and while the product scent is a bit strong for my personal taste, the textures are very pleasant.
The regular Eco Cosmetics range was repackaged in 79% mono material and the packaging of the brand’s sun care range was also updated.
I’ve written about Korean beauty brand Urang many times over the past six years or so, ever since I first met Urang’s founder Jina and her brand at a Cosmobeauty trade show in Seoul (I just went checked my old articles and it was Cosmobeauty 2017!). It’s wonderful to see how this indie brand (female-owned and founder-led) has been growing every year since then, adding new international markets and distribution structures to its business.
Urang Naturals has a pretty solid online distribution in Germany these days, the brand’s products are sold in all of the major organic online beauty stores, such as Ecco Verde, Blanda Beauty and Miin Cosmetics as well as the online stores of perfumeries Douglas, Flaconi and Zalando. Urang is also available in selected offline stores across Germany, like Belladonna right here in Berlin.
At Vivaness 2023, Urang presented its new Purple Shield Essence Toner (which I already got to test last year, and it’s a great product!): This hydrating liquid is based on 81% balloonflower extract (Platycodon Grandiflorum), yarrow and kudzu extracts as well as hyaluronic acid and pea protein. The colour is all natural, by the way: the toner also includes butterfly pea plant extract.
It’s the first product in the new Urang Prestige range and there is already a second product in the pipeline, an eye/neck cream. Looking forward to seeing it at the next trade fair!
I was drawn to Dhyvana’s exhibition booth by the gorgeous packaging of the Spanish brand’s ampoule sets; I mean, just look at those colours!
Also, ampoule beauty (by which I mean the European definition of ampoule: Intensive treatments individually packaged in slender single-use glass bottles) is not something you usually find in organic beauty – I associate this format with salon cosmetics and professional beauty treatments. So I was intrigued and went over to check out Dhyvana.
And I liked what I saw. Dhyvana was launched in 2014 or 2015, I can’t remember, and they offer various ranges of face care, sun care and body care. And the ampoule sets, of course: Eight variants which are priced at 17 Euro; with really cool ingredients.
BEN & ANNA (Germany)
I enjoy checking out Ben & Anna’s new launches at trade shows, they are always interesting and almost always truly innovative. Ben & Anna started out with cardboard-packaged baking soda deodorant sticks back in 2016. In 2019, the company branched out into oral care – their Vivaness launches that year were spectacular: toothpaste creams packaged in glass jars as well as fruit-flavoured toothpaste powders and mouth washes (also packaged in glass bottles).
And let me remind you, this was several years before plastic-free oral care became super trendy and the category was flooded with newcomer brands all selling exactly the same kind of oral care (vegan floss, bamboo toothbrushes, toothpaste tablets/powders…). In 2020, the brand’s key novelty were the shower and shampoo tablets – you can check out my Vivaness article of that year here.
At this year’s Vivaness, Ben & Anna presented toothpaste in aluminum tubes, but that’s not what got me excited: No, the true innovation is their new deodorant cream container which is made entirely from potato starch and fully compostable in regular household compost. Eventually the Ben & Anna deodorant creams will be available in these cornstarch spheres – I’ll definitely buy them then as I am already a Ben & Anna deodorant user, and I actually prefer their creams (which are currently packaged in alumum jars) to the cardboard stick packaging which gets messy after a while.
Another interesting German beauty brand that I’ve seen at Vivaness several times: Shaoyun from Speyer (one of the oldest cities in Germany and located on the river Rhine) offers certified organic TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) beauty.
This year, Shaoyun presented a spectacular new launch, a true premium product: The Shaoyun Lip Flower lipstick range is entirely made from plant oils, butters and extracts but that’s not the most exciting thing – check out the embossed lipstick design! This is something you’d usually find in the product ranges of guochao-inspired Chinese makeup brands like Florasis (guochao roughly translates as “Chinese hip/trendy heritage”) rather than as part of European makup ranges, let alone in the organic beauty market.
The lipsticks are beautiful: Each lipstick shade has a different pattern embossed on the colour and the metal lipstick sleeve features a silk cover. The colour pigments (all natural, from the various fruits and flower extracts used in the respective formula) are, of course, titanium dioxide-free, and almost all colours are vegan, except for a few shades that include pearl powders. Two lipsticks also have tiny 24 karat gold flakes swirled into the colour. Basically these lipsticks are almost too pretty to use!
Prices range from 35-49 Euro and like all Shaoyun products, the Lip Flower lipsticks are manufactured right there in Speyer where the company’s headquarters are located. There is even a kind of refill service on offer: If the lipstick is used up you can send the clean metal sleeve to Shaoyun by post and they will refill it with the colour of your choice.
No intro necessary, Farfalla is well known amongst organic beauty fans in Europe.
I had last met Farfalla at BioNord 2022 trade show in Hannover last September (I posted their new sleep beauty range on Instagram) and at this year’s Vivaness, the Swiss aromatherapy brand presented its new Alpine Rose A+ face care range.
There are three products in the new range, a moisturising cream with a fantastic texture – light and fluid yet rich; formulated with jojoba oil, rose water and rose oil as well as bakuchiol; an eye fluid with similar ingredients and packaged in a roll-on with a rose quartz roller ball applicator, and a facial oil.
I also revisited the brand’s Intense Sleep night-time beauty range which I posted about in my BioNord 2022 Instagram coverage from September – very nice products indeed, the pillow spray is absolutely divine.
VIVANESS 2023: NEWCOMER BRANDS
This is an interesting newcomer brand – their colourful exhibition booth was so eye-catching. The packaging is striking, and so are the ingredients.
Djusie was launched in 2022 and I was told that their products are already widely sold in Finland, both online and offline and in organic and non-organic retailers. Now Djuisie wants to conquer the international markets and frankly, the brand is interesting enough that they might actually do it!
There are currently three products in the Djuisie line-up: The squalane-based Liquid Silk Perfect Cleansing Oil, Acid Bloom Balancing Essence (a toner formulated with reishi mushroom and vinegar) and the Fruit Glaze Vitalizing & Brightening Oil which contains squalane, acai berry oil and flowering quince oil.
The product are manufactured in Finland, most of Djusie’s ingredients are also sourced from there and there is a whole range of further face care coming up soon. The new products include a cleansing cream, facial moisturiser, eye cream, facial essence and hand cream and a product I am already coveting: The Potion Adaptogenic Mushroom Booster, a serum formulated with reishi, chaga and lion’s mane mushrooms!
I’ll definitely keep my eye on this brand – it really was one of the most exciting new brands at the trade show this year.
Another very interesting brand discovery, this time from France. Sexual wellness products for women are still not that widely available in Germany – or Europe, for that matter – and in certified organic quality: forget it!
Goliate was launched in 2021, the company is based in Lyon and they manufacture sexual wellness products and intimate care products. Most of these products are designated for women but can also be used by other genders.
The line-up is pretty comprehensive: Various lubes, lotions and massage oils, a vulva balm (which can also be used on other parts of the body, it’s basically a shea butter based multi-balm), a hot/cold clitoris gel with lavender essential oil and even a sex toy cleanser.
I was told that in France, the Goliate products are very widely sold, including in Galeries Lafayette (department store chain) and Douglas and Nocibé perfumeries, in organic beauty shops, concept stores and pharmacies.
I’m not too certain about how I feel about the pack design – the visuals and imagery are so ultra masculine, aggressive and ever so slightly phallic – but the products look great. Keeping my fingers crossed that Goliate will soon be available in German Douglas stores, too.
VUJO FRISCHLING (Germany)
Vujo Frischling is a really cute German newcomer brand which offers alcohol-free and fragrance-free baby care. “Frischling“ is the German word for a young wild boar and the brand’s mascot is named Paul – you can also see him on the packaging.
Vujo was launched in 2022 and its 7-sku line-up includes a baby skin care cream, a body oil, body wash and foam bath, body lotion, nappy cream and lip balm; and there is even a small picture book featuring the adventures of Paul and his little forest friends. Such a lovely idea!
The prices for the new range are very mass market-friendly, ranging from 5-12 Euro. I look forward to seeing the products in-store soon.
TOOT! (The Netherlands)
I am usually a bit conflicted when it comes to makeup for young girls – I feel that these days, the pressure on girls to conform to what our male-gaze driven society says women should look like (hello, Western beauty standards) is starting a lot earlier than when I was a kid.
But this range here is different: Toot! is a start-up brand from The Netherlands launched in 2021. The brand founder’s young daughter wanted to experiment with makeup and her mother didn’t want her to use adult makeup products and colours. However, there were no organic products suitable for delicate children’s skin available on the market, so she launched her own range.
The Toot! range offers six mineral makeup powder eyeshadows, two blushes and four lip glosses, all in pastel shades and vegan. The packaging is pretty, prices range from 8-15 Euro and in the Netherlands, the brand is sold in childrens wear stores, organic beauty and concept retailers and even at Schiphol Airport.
ELTERN FÜR DICH (Germany)
Another new baby/family care brand on the market: Eltern für dich (I was told that eventually, the brand name will probably be Eltern Naturkosmetik) is a just-launched 17-sku range which in turn is divided into three sub-ranges: baby, mama and family – bath and body care care, skin moisturisers, foot balms, lip care, that sort of thing.
The product range was launched in cooperation with German parenting magazine Eltern – the publication has been around for 60-odd years and it has an exeptionally high recognition value, over 90%. Even with people who don’t have children, like me – I recognised the magazine logo despite the fact that I’ve never read a single copy of the magazine.
At the moment the packaging is still mostly PCR (Post Consumer Recycled) plastic but eventually the entire range will be packaged in compostable cornstarch-based containers. Sadly there is no Instagram account or webshop yet (the brand was literally launched during Vivaness) but I’m pretty certain that it will be in-store soon – prices (6-10 Euro) and distribution will be classic mass market, with organic supermarket and drugstores as the anticipated retail channels. And yes, I can totally see this product range in DM or Alnatura stores.
The next Vivaness trade show will take place from 13th to 16th February 2024. I’ll leave you with a few more images from the 2023 show. Thanks for reading!