Could it be that we're finally leaving the era of faux beauty? Spas have traditionally embraced and encouraged the value of inner health leading to that outer glow. But over the last few decades, beauty seekers have pulled, poked, painted and prodded, using a ever-widening wide range of hair and beauty treatments and products to make skin look tighter and younger, and hair smoother, fuller and longer. From red carpets to runways to the office, the "maybe she's born with it" notion of beauty became so outmoded, it wasn't unusual to see people who looked like cartoon versions of themselves.
However in recent years there's been resurgence in less-invasive treatments that revive skin, hair, and nails and make humans look human again. This new era of beauty focuses on the nude, the natural, and a high-tech, low-risk beauty, where organic products, science and technology intersect to deliver minimal-downtime results that are seemingly produced by nature.
And with the growing popularity of photo-sharing apps like Instagram and Snapchat and nearly universal use of Facebook and Twitter, the "selfie" trend, where people are expected to look their best 24/7, isn't leaving anytime soon.
In 2014, we'll see even more of this back-to-basics approach, with spas remaining the torchbearers of a whole-health beauty and further establishing their role by offering even more customized treatments. We'll also see "technology as friend, not foe" in the mix, as machines become better designed for a quick route to lasting, natural loveliness.
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Fueling the Trend
Organic, Organic, Organic
Demand for natural, organic products shows no sign of stopping. According to a 2011 survey by Kline & Company, sales of "natural" personal care products worldwide rose 15 percent to reach US$23 billion. Asia alone accounts for over 35 percent of the global natural and organic personal care market.1
Consumers Want Less-Invasive Treatments
At the same time the non-surgical cosmetics procedures market has grown by almost 500 percent over the last 20 years.2
All-Natural Even Dominates the Runway
The new natural look is seemingly everywhere on the fashion pages (Think Calvin Klein) and fashion shows are featuring a much more minimalistic approach to beauty. Complexions and nails are left nearly bare and glowing and hair effortless and healthy in order to truly feature not only the clothing but also the natural beauty of the woman wearing it.
The Natural Beauty Industry: Clean and Green
First, the organic and holistic components of natural beauty: The skin is the human body's biggest organ and absorbs 60 percent of topically applied products, according to The Herb Research Foundation. And as people become more aware of the food they put in their bodies - with the spotlight on farm-to-table eating and GMO labeling - they are also becoming more cognizant of what they put on their bodies.
And there's reason for concern. According to the Environmental Working Group, "1 in 5 of all products contain chemicals linked to cancer, 80 percent contain ingredients that commonly contain hazardous impurities, and 56 percent contain penetration enhancers [which make it easier to penetrate the upper level of skin]."3
As awareness of these harmful ingredients grows, so does the trend towards safe, clean, natural and organic skin and beauty care products, free of toxic chemicals and their potential side effects. The