Why the age of the expert will transform the health and beauty industry

category - strategy
sector - beauty
type - features
sector - health & wellness
Hard data and science are bringing trust back to the beauty sector that has typically been powered by inflated claims and surface-level results. Rachael Stott, senior strategic futures analyst at The Future Laboratory, examines the key strategic take-outs from our new macrotrend, Accredited Beauty

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, increasingly frequent climate disasters and rising living costs, it is science and biotechnology that consumers have turned to for clarity, and most importantly, for solutions in these turbulent times. It is no surprise that Wellcome Monitor found that 72% of people in Britain reported a high level of trust in scientists during the pandemic, compared to 52% who trust the government, demonstrating a growing inclination for fact over opinion. This renewed faith in certified expertise is driving broader shifts across consumer sectors, in particular health and beauty where the age of the expert is proving to be key in elevating industry standards. Businesses are being pushed to validate their claims with undisputed proof points, and to champion the scientists behind the products with intrinsic technical knowledge over uncertified beauty influencers.

Looking ahead to 2023 and beyond, the goals of beauty businesses will be to position their in-house expertise as their USP and make scientific innovation their point of difference in a crowded marketplace. This is particularly important when consumers are experiencing growing financial pressures from post-pandemic inflation and seeking reassurance that their investment in a product or service is value for money when it comes to efficacy. 

Developing a transparent and data-led dialogue with consumers is a key opportunity to change the narrative about effective synthetic ingredients that have previously been shunned for ‘clean’ ones. An example of this is The Ordinary’s Pro-sulphate haircare. ‘I think anti-sulphates messaging can be attributed to marketing strategies, sharing of misinformation, and even misunderstandings regarding the safety and environmental impact of these incredibly effective ingredients,’ notes Prudvi Kaka, The Ordinary’s chief scientific officer. Education on why synthetics are vital to the future of the industry also builds the foundation for acceptance about advances in biotechnology, which is changing the sector’s trajectory. These next-gen products will accelerate everything from product potency to reducing environmental impact, amplifying nature’s capabilities through scientific intervention.  

Published by:

17 June 2022

Author: Rachael Stott

Image: A Punctuated Equilibrium by Phillip Peters


The Future Laboratory

As a health and beauty business, are you prepared to support your innovation claims with rigour, scientific integrity and proof points? Do you have the tools and communication channels in place to break down barriers with consumers and unpack concepts and expertise?

Key thought-starters:

Forget binary definitions
Future beauty consumers will no longer recognise binary debates about nature versus science, or organic versus synthetic, instead viewing them as a wider spectrum of beauty and wellness solutions. How might you integrate these ‘opposites’ into a marketing philosophy that is inclusive and non-judgemental?

Take inspiration from innovators such as IRÄYE, whose science-backed synthetic skincare also has additional natural health benefits by activating the lymphatic system to help clear dead skin cells, boost circulation and reduce inflammation.

Champion sci-fluencers
It’s time to move beyond beauty influencers and celebrity ambassadors who lack technical or scientific credibility. Instead, consider how you might use your in-house experts to promote your prowess and unpack the proof points behind your products.

Look to brands like Beauty Pie, which has recently appointed a dermatologist-in-residence, Dr Andrew Markey, who features across its content and unpacks the science behind new product launches in a way that is relatable and accessible.

Shed light on the lab
In future, radical transparency and collaboration will underpin solutions-first brands. How might you use communications channels to tease out new product developments or lab-based innovation?

One Skin is a key example of a brand that is unafraid to amplify the science and data behind its products – clinical studies, statistical findings and insights are all shared on its homepage. ‘We want to promote a culture of scientific integrity and transparency, so consumers look to all brands to uphold this standard,’ notes Carolina Reis Oliveira, co-founder and CEO.


Our team of strategists have developed a wide-ranging set of strategic decision-making tools to help provide future-first solutions for our clients. If you would like to discuss how our Redemptive Diets macrotrend could support future planning for your brand, or if you have any questions about embedding our macrotrends into your business, send us a message at hello@thefuturelaboratory.com. We look forward to accelerating into the future with you.

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