The strength of Love Cosmetics Awards lies in its professional jury. Anita Błaszczak, economic journalist of „Rzeczpospolita” daily newspaper, presents us her reflections on the competition with focus on Polish market characteristics.

Applications for the Love Cosmetics Awards contest confirm what beauty market experts have known for a long time: the cosmetic products industry is today not only one of the most competitive, but also one of the most innovative. The ones who benefit from this are the customers, who, having a huge selection of brands and products, can – regardless of the thickness of their wallets – compose their own shelf of good and nice-looking cosmetics.

As our contest proves, strong competition means that even inexpensive, mass products are up to standard and try to include market novelties, including today’s fashionable natural ingredients. The rate at which cosmetics companies react to new trends, including the fashion for bioactive, ecological components or the ever stronger anti-smog trend, is impressive. A few companies have already submitted “urban” cosmetics to the competition, including “anti-pollution” and “urban garden” creams that protect against polluted atmosphere.

After this competition my shelf will certainly grow significantly – a large group of trusted care brands I have used for years, with AA, Bandi, Dr Irena Eris and Ziaja, at the front (alphabetically) will be increased by Ava, D’Alchemy, Make Me Bio, Hagi , Resibo, Stara Mydlarnia or Szmaragdowe Żuki. However, in fact almost every brand competing in the competition showed something worthy of the Love Cosmetics Awards among the products.

The limit of 30 items, which initially seemed quite high, with the influx of subsequent submissions quite quickly became constricting – because to add a new product worth showing, something had to be removed from the list.

We have the same dilemma as customers. There is no way to try out all the new products, especially because alongside new series and lines of well-known companies, there appear totally new brands. Applications for the competition showed that young brands not only have big ambitions, but they do have something to be proud of. Sometimes they set new trends, for example by popularizing packaging made of dark biophotonics glass, or natural oils. They are also a serious competition for renowned companies, which are also increasingly moving towards natural, organic ingredients (also in make-up products) as well as ecological packaging. It already appeals to many consumers, especially those from the Y generation. Due to their age they are not yet looking for cosmetology novelties that help maintaining a young look. They do not ask (as my friend does when evaluating my beauty products shelf), why there are no UV filters in that natural cream to protect the skin against photo-aging, and why the other cream smells so strange?

Our competition confirmed that today there is something for everyone on the cosmetics shelf. The admirers of natural beauty care products have as much choice as the fans of advanced innovations – sapphire carrier or wrinkle iron, three-dimensional lifting or brightening metamorphosis. There is also the return to convenience: after years of ever-stricter specialization (creams, scrubs or lotions for each body part), there appear multifunctional, unisex solutions, useful even while travelling.

The most probably still needs to be done in the field of packaging. In spite of the trend for pro-ecological minimalism, some companies still believe that large boxes wrapped with additional foil are the thing. Maybe some people think that it reinforces the impression of luxury, but today even luxury has to remember about ecology.

 

Anita Błaszczak: Journalist and editor in the Economic Department of the opinion-forming daily “Rzeczpospolita”. She specializes in issues related to branding (for years she has been editing the appendix to the “Most Valuable Polish Brands” ranking), building a professional career, and the cosmetics market, where she captures new business trends and describes significant changes in the Polish cosmetics industry.