When browsing social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat, it’s common to stumble upon videos showcasing incredible transformations to the skin, attributed to the use of cosmetic care products packed with active ingredients.

Just a few days ago we saw a popular video on YouTube by HopeScope in which she is trying an active skin cleansing cream from a Japanese brand that has come to her attention as a viral sensation because of its miraculous before-and-after images (see below – a leg with tape on it to showcase the transformation after applying the cream). The product is promising incredible results: In this case, skin that looks so dramatically changed after using the cleanser, it is almost unreal.

When Hope tried the product herself (picture below) the results weren’t as convincing as in the original video, and she ended the product test quite disappointed. 

However, these visuals are captivating (Hope´s video on YouTube got 1,5 million views, @rowleye’s most successful clip in this style on TikTok has 18,7 million views) and while there are questionable products out there, we have also seen some impressive active based body care launches lately that really do the job.

So let’s have a look at these new active based body care products and what they can do.

2. Active-based body care products – The beginner’s guide

Active-based body care products are formulations infused with potent and purposeful ingredients designed to deliver specific benefits to the skin, such as enhanced hydration, exfoliation, or rejuvenation.

Their effectiveness lies in the use of concentrated active components like hyaluronic acid, retinol, vitamin C, or glycolic acid. These ingredients possess scientifically proven properties to address various skin concerns such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, keratosis pilaris, and dryness that can significantly impact the skin on various parts of the body. 

Most of us have for example quite dry skin at this time of the year all over their body. My legs look a little like the Sahara desert at the moment but a great niacinamide body lotion came to my aid. 

When choosing a beauty product for the face we are by now quite used to the active components mentioned above. We roughly know what ingredient does what, that we all have different skin types and that some products are an ideal match for us and some aren’t. We all have different needs. 

Many of us willingly invest in high-end facial skincare (the most expensive facial treatment I used to buy on a regular basis was a serum for 159€ for 30 ml) but do not pay the same attention to the quality of body care products (for me usually 6€ for a body shower oil and that was that), somehow it’s just not really on our radar: For years, the beauty industry too predominantly emphasized facial skincare while relegating body care to the sidelines with less attention and lower-quality products.

Many of us willingly invest in high-end facial skincare but do not pay the same attention to the quality of body care products

However, things are changing. Hooray! A paradigm shift is underway as people recognize the significance of holistic skincare. Put in simple terms, the skin below the neck has needs too and people are aware of it.

This increasing awareness highlights the importance of pampering and nurturing the skin all over the body, prompting a growing demand for effective, quality body care products that provide the same level of care and attention as facial skincare routines. As a result active-based body care products are on demand more and more.

3. Active-based body care products on demand – The ingredients we love

So lets look a little closer at these actives, what they are doing and how they can be used in body care products:

Retinol (Vitamin A Derivative)

Known for its anti-aging properties and skin renewal benefits, retinol can be incorporated into body creams or serums to address signs of aging on the body, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and crepey skin, promoting collagen production and improving skin texture.

Body lotions with retinol can aid in reducing the appearance of stretch marks or scars by supporting skin regeneration and promoting even skin tone. Retinol is known for working wonders on the décolletage.

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)

Renowned for its soothing and barrier-strengthening properties, niacinamide can be beneficial in body creams or lotions to alleviate dry, irritated skin or conditions like eczema or psoriasis on the body.

It´s anti-inflammatory characteristics can help in calming redness and improving the overall health of the skin when applied to larger body areas.

Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid)

Recognized for its antioxidant properties and ability to brighten and even out skin tone, Vitamin C can be beneficial in body lotions or serums, aiding in reducing hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and sun damage on areas like the arms, chest, or legs.

Incorporating Vitamin C into body care formulations can promote collagen production, improving skin firmness and elasticity while providing protection against environmental stressors for a radiant and youthful appearance on the body skin.

Hyaluronic Acid

Typically revered for its hydrating abilities in facial serums and moisturizers, hyaluronic acid can be included in body lotions or body washes to boost skin hydration, combat dryness, and maintain moisture balance across larger body surfaces.

It can assist in plumping and smoothing the skin on areas like the chest, arms, or legs, providing a more youthful appearance and enhancing skin elasticity.

AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids)

Typically found in facial skincare for exfoliation, AHAs like glycolic acid or lactic acid can be used in body lotions or serums to address concerns such as keratosis pilaris (rough, bumpy skin), uneven skin tone, or dryness on areas like elbows, knees, underarms or heels.

Body washes or scrubs containing AHAs can help in smoothing rough skin and enhancing overall skin texture on the body. 

BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids), such as Salicylic Acid

Often recognized for their ability to exfoliate and unclog pores, BHAs like salicylic acid can be beneficial in body washes or lotions, particularly for those prone to body acne or experiencing rough, congested skin.

Incorporating BHAs into body care products can help in addressing acne, reducing inflammation, and smoothing skin texture on areas like the chest, back, or arms, providing a clearer and more refined complexion beyond facial skincare.

Brands offering body care products with actives like AHAs & BHAs ideally prioritize customer education, emphasizing that these actives require time to unleash their effects and cannot be used like a standard shower gel.

These body washes or scrubs need to remain on the body for a duration. While this practice might initially seem unusual to consumers, allowing the product to stay on the skin will ultimately yield noticeable benefits, making the initial adjustment well worth the long-term results. And we definitely see how the marketing for these products can bring in a little fun too: “Ever wanted to roam around naked in your home for 5 minutes for a good cause?“

Some launches we like a lot

Need some real life examples? These three brands have already launched body care products that are known for their active ingredients and efficacy and are worth watching out for:

Elixir Cosmeceuticals Smoothing Glycolic Body Lotion with 10% Glycolic Acids:

This body lotion with a 10% glycolic acid concentration helps to slough off dead skin cells, promoting smoother, softer skin texture. Additionally, it assists in minimizing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone, leading to a brighter complexion. It can also stimulate collagen production, aiding in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.

We really like a great (Norwegian) doctor brand and this is definitely one of them. Also check out their new Pink Serum. 

Tata Harper Resurfacing Body Serum:

This body serum utilizes a blend of fruit-based vitamins, AHAs, peptides, and hyaluronic acid to deliver hydration, exfoliation, and nourishment. These ingredients work synergistically to support healthy-looking skin, providing a brighter, smoother, and more radiant appearance from head to toe.

We like Tata Harper for their brand design too!

Mutha Body Contour Serum:

Mutha’s body contour serum utilizes a blend of caffeine, coffee seed extract, AHAs, and squalane to offer skin-tightening effects, gentle exfoliation, and hydration. These ingredients work together to help firm the skin, improve texture, and promote a more contoured appearance in targeted areas of the body. This serum is clinically proven and has had quite a little moment among media (e.g. Vogue, Forbes) and SoMe. 

4. Expanding the product portfolio – A strategic move with numerous benefits for private labels

Incorporating active-based body care into a private beauty brand’s portfolio can be a strategic move with numerous benefits.

Firstly, it allows the brand to tap into a growing market segment seeking effective solutions for body skincare concerns. The inclusion of active ingredients, known for their potent and targeted effects, adds credibility to the brand’s efficacy, attracting consumers looking for visible results beyond facial skincare.

Expanding into active-based body care not only diversifies the brand’s offerings but also aligns with the current shift towards holistic skincare. This move emphasizes the brand’s commitment to overall skin wellness, catering to customers who understand the importance of nurturing and treating the skin across the entire body.

Moreover, active-based body care products present opportunities for innovation and differentiation within the market. By formulating products with scientifically proven ingredients like hyaluronic acid, retinol, or vitamin C for body treatments, the brand can stand out by offering unique solutions for various skin concerns, setting itself apart from competitors and fostering consumer trust and loyalty.

Currently we are working on a few very exciting body product formulas with active ingredients for two different brands. These products will launch within Spring and Summer 24 and we can’t wait to see their arrival.

You have something in mind too? Get in contact with us. We are looking forward brainstorming with you!