“Brands that prioritize ingredient-driven formulas are what’s driving consumers to replenish their vanities,” reports Andrea Nagel in CEW’s feature story today on innovations in the cosmetic formulation arena. “When it comes to skin care, they’re seeking a mixture of skin-hydrating and barrier-supporting ingredients to round out their routines, according to what’s trending among the finalists of this year’s CEW Ingredients & Formulations Award.

In partnership with the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists [NYSCC], the award recognizes excellence in product formulation.” Nagel highlights some key innovations with the judges of the 2023 award, including Ron Robinson, chemist, researcher and founder of BeautyStat. Robinson highlights a trend for delivering smaller ingredient particle sizes — designed to penetrate the skin more effectively — and an innovation in targeting both dark and white pigment disorders (including acne scarring). Other advances of note include a perfectly portable conditioner tablet and a new generation hyaluronic acid.

In other news, the next chapter in The Body Shop story may well begin soon. Natura, the Brazilian beauty manufacturer and marketer, has announced its exclusive agreement with Aurelius Investment Advisory Ltd. to potentially sell the company which was founded in 1976 in Brighton, England, by Dame Anita Roddick. Natura, who bought The Body Shop from L’Oréal in 2017, has said that the terms and conditions of a possible sale are yet to be negotiated. “The move comes just a few months after a significant chief executive officer switch at The Body Shop, when David Boynton abruptly stepped down,” reports Jennifer Weil at WWD. “He was succeeded by Ian Bickley as interim CEO, tasked with refining the business plan and transformation agenda, as well as with accelerating the road to profitability.”

Meanwhile, fellow British beauty icon LUSH is entering wholesale distribution at Ulta Beauty, bringing its all-natural, sustainably created bath-bombs, shampoo bars et al to an even wider U.S. audience. Products available will include the brand’s much-loved seasonal limited editions (Snow Fairy Shower Gel, anyone?) and a selection of its fresh, handmade formulas.

Read more on these and other news stories here.

Natura Makes Exclusive Agreement With Aurelius in Selling The Body Shop. After much speculation, the Brazilian firm announced the news via a corporate filing, which stipulated “There can be no assurance that this process will result in any transaction”. (WWD)

It’s the Bath-Bomb: LUSH Goes Into Ulta Beauty. “The partnership between Lush and Ulta Beauty is a major move for both companies, as well as a win-win for both Lush customers and Ulta Beauty customers,” writes Karli Poliziani at Grazia. “The partnership is likely to lead to increased sales for both companies, in addition to more innovation in the beauty industry.” (GRAZIA)

CEW Award Finalists Innovate With Cutting-Edge Ingredients. Andrea Nagel reports on some of the brands making breakthroughs with state-of-the-art advances in skin care technology. (CEW)

Unilever’s Venture Arm and True Beauty Ventures Invest in The 7 Virtues. In funding the Sephora exclusive brand for an undisclosed amount, it’s the first time that either party has invested in the fragrance category. (BEAUTY INDEPENDENT)

Mary Kay Releases Special Report on Sustainability 2023. Marking its 60th anniversary, the company breaks down its commitment to “enriching women’s lives and ensuring a sustainable future for all”. Mary Kay is part of a global coalition aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. (HAPPI)

E.l.f. Beauty Reports Continued Surge in Sales. “E.l.f. has benefited enormously as consumers look for ways to save amid high inflation and low-cost “dupes” of premium products have become a phenomenon on social media,” reports Business of Fashion. “Student loan repayments resuming for Gen-Z consumers are also contributing to growth for the brand, which mainly sells items under $20.” (BUSINESS OF FASHION)