When it comes to the beauty sphere in Southeast Asia, suffice to say that it is a beautiful melting pot where traditional techniques meet modern technologies, coming together to create amazing innovations in the industry.
Although countries like Thailand and Indonesia are renowed for their Spa Industries and the region's respective local beauty industries have certainly taken a step forward, there's always still room for improvement. The beauty and wellness industry in Southeast Asia is progressing fast, and 2016 will be an exciting year of new developments.
So what exactly can we expect? Here are some of the trends to look out for!
1. Beauty from the inside out
More and more people are realising that beauty comes from the inside out rather than the outside in. You are what you eat -they are ditching processed foods, hormone-injected chickens, sugar bombs and other wellness-destroying stuff as they know that what they eat will show on their skin. Aside from cutting out unhealthy foods, “superfoods” and supplements are becoming more prevalent as people strive to live healthier lifestyles. There are lots of simple ways to start integrating wholesome, healthy foods into your diet.
For instance, throw in the extremely versatile chia seeds into your water, oats, pudding, smoothies for a protein and fibre boost while adding some texture to your meals. Or, try spinach, a green that is commonly found throughout the region - it is packed with tons of vitamins and minerals and can be eaten both savoury (sauteed, stir-fried) or sweet (as a green in a smoothie).
2. Back to basics
While the past few years saw many people looking for super sophisticated crèmes to make their skin look younger, wrinkle-free, whiter, shinier and brighter, we are now slowly going back to the basics. When I say “basics,” what I really mean is “simple, natural and organic” soap and coconut oil for everything.
Given that our skin is the largest organ in the body and eats (aka absorbs) everything we put on it, consuming natural and organic food is not enough. The body care that we apply on our skin should be natural and organic too.
3. Co-creating offers
Although much of our beauty care will be moving back to basics, we will still have the desire to co-create offers. Instead of choosing from a range of lipstick colours, eye-shadows, blushers, creams and more, we will want cosmetics which are uniquely suited to our skin type and colour. Consequently, initial consultations with experts and “mixologists” will become even more important to help clients get a product that serves their individual needs.
4. Re-discovering and appreciating what’s on our doorstep
Southeast Asia is blessed with a countless array of locally grown herbs and plants - some of which have been known for generations, and others which have only been discovered recently. As an example, tongkat ali, native to Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos and Vietnam helps with male potency while centella asiatica, indigenous to Southeast Asia, is considered to be a “miracle elixir of life.” These are only two of the many herbs and plants which are available in the region, and we will see more of them being integrated into products that will play a pivotal role in our daily lives.
5. People as Secondary wellness travellers
Much like the rest of the world, Southeast Asians are becoming secondary wellness travellers. What this means is that whenever they decide to travel for business or leisure, they will expect a workout space and healthy food options wherever they go. This is a good sign because if you’re going to travel, you might as well do it healthily! Check out all-access fitness pass providers such as GuavaPass or KFit, which provides members access to dozens of gyms and other fitness communities throughout participating countries. Sweat away, even when you're away from home!
6. Sensory deprivation
Emails, WhatsApp messages, phone calls, Facebook posts, Instagram photos, Tweets, LinkedIn updates and Snapchat stories - our modern lifestyles are over-stimulating our senses.
In reaction to this “noisiness,” silence will become increasingly sought after. And one of the ways that people will seek it will be through sensory deprivation tanks! Sensory deprivation tanks give people a private space to get away from the outside world. When you are inside a sensory deprivation tank, the majority of your senses are not even required as you cannot see or hear anything.
7. Wellness in and around your home
“Mixed Developments” that combine condominiums with a shopping mall have been popping up in Southeast Asia over the last few years. It won’t stop there though as the next evolution of this trend is wellness communities.
Wellness communities aims to create a holistic environment for the development of a healthy mind, body and soul through an eco-driven design and construction. Featuring wellness centers and numerous other health enhancing facilties to benefit the health and wellness of their residents, it's no wonder that wellness communities are trending rapidly.
8. Shifting from having to being
Affected by consumerism, generally the mentality people have has has lent towards the materialistic for a good number of years. Fortunately, more and more people are now realising that it is not possessions which bring us happiness, but “being” which does.
Over the next few years, we will see things like family, friends and experiences regain the spotlight that it deserves as people explore alternative ways to obtain happiness.
Much like the other trends of 2016, things are slowly getting back to what nature intended. And this is a good thing for our overall wellbeing. The question is, which of these trends will you be integrating into your beauty and wellness routine?