3 hot beauty textures: jelly, water and serum capsules

I've got news for you, transformational textures are in. Jelly, water-gel, serum capsules and colour-changing textures are changing basic beauty products into hybrid wonders that are innovative, timesaving and, most of all, fun to use. 

Although the trend is in its early stages, these shape-shifting products are growing in popularity because they deliver on the interactive experience as much as the efficacy. But, why the shift and why now? 

Well, with social media and influencers changing the way we view and use beauty products, 64% of Generation Z (16–20 year olds) now want items that are “fun to use”, such as colour-changing or heat-activated products, according to industry analyst Mintel. So, the race is on for brands to launch skincare and make-up that does just that and some are already well ahead of the game. 

Take indie make-up cosmetic companies Chaos Makeup and Dawn Eyes Cosmetics for example, which have taken swatching to a new level, causing a storm on Instagram. Chaos’s wave of multi-chrome pigments transform into different hues in certain lights, while Dawn Eyes Mystical eyeshadow switches from teal to purple to magenta – just like magic.

Meanwhile, household name Shiseido relaunched its make-up line this year with a focus on the experience as much as the colour, offering a range of 21 products classified into four categories – inks, gels, powders and dews – all of which have “unique sensorial textures”, says Jill Scalamandre, president of Bare Escentuals and global development at Shiseido Makeup. 

We give you the lowdown on three of the hottest beauty textures – jelly, water-gel and serum capsules – and reveal how your salon can tap into the trend.

JellyJelly textures

Jelly-like textures have been steadily infiltrating the market ever since Instagram favourite Glossier launched its Milky Jelly Cleanser, receiving praise for its efficacy and cool multi-texture. Now, professional brands are turning to this wonder texture to give thirsty complexions a much-needed boost while also making treatments more profitable.

British skincare brand Katherine Daniels was one of the first to tap into the trend, launching make-up and face cleanser Miracle Cleansing Jelly. Packed with coconut and glycerine, it transforms from a jelly into an oil when emulsified with water, giving a deep clean while adding a more sensory experience to the application. 

“We know the jelly trend is a huge one right now. For us, it’s about the lifestyle of our customers and their preferred method of cleansing – how they prefer their skin to feel post-cleanse,” says Donna Tait, co-founder of Katherine Daniels. 

Meanwhile, spa brand Germaine de Capuccini’s Saffron Spiced, Cinnamon Delight, Black Tea and Green Tea Jelly massage mediums are helping therapists deliver greater results in the professional realm. “For body massage purposes, a jelly-textured product provides the best value. Other mediums often require reapplication throughout the treatment whereas this doesn’t,” says Carole Jones, director of Totally UK, which distributes Germaine de Capuccini.

“Our jelly texture also makes body massage a low-cost treatment to provide – one sachet of the medium is just £3.72. It also emits an evocative aroma to help clients enjoy their experience, leaving a lasting impression of quality, wellbeing and relaxation.” 

The number of jelly-based products on the market is set to rise over the coming year as consumers become more aware of the importance of how they feel when applying a product. For example, British skincare brand Elemis is adding a jelly product to its popular Superfoods range in the first quarter of 2019. 

“Creams, foams and oils are common formulas found in skincare, but we are seeing an ever-growing trend into other unique formulas that will add a bit of interest to clients’ daily regime,” says Nicci Anstey, training and education director at Elemis.

“Jelly is the perfect texture to add to our Superfoods range. The jam-gel texture in our Superfoods Blackcurrant Jelly Exfoliator will not only look and smell like blackcurrant jam but will also allow customers to really work the product around the face to nourish, smooth and revitalise skin.” 

Water-gel textures Water gel

Water-based skincare has been popular for a while but the trend is kicking up a notch with the arrival of water-gel products. Not only is the texture light but it forms a weightless barrier drenched in H20 to protect skin against environmental aggressors such as pollution. 

Pro brand Dermalogica was quick to realise the benefits, launching its Calm Water Gel moisturiser this year. “A water-gel is much lighter and suitable for all skin types, including those that are over-producing oil,” explains Candice Gardner, education curriculum manager for Dermalogica. “The texture also locks in moisture and doesn’t trap heat in the skin, allowing a cooling effect to reduce irritation.”

Dermalogica will launch two new professional products in 2019 – a massage medium and conductive masque – both of which will use gel technologies. 

Skincare brand Murad also made its mark with Nutrient-Charged Water Gel. Using Replenicell Hydration Technology, a solution that includes osmolytes, amino acids and trehalose, water is attracted and bound to the skin, helping to lock in hydration.

“It’s comprised of a mesh structure that slowly releases a moisturising complex and key nutrients into the skin barrier over a sustained period, so it can lock in hydration,” explains Dr Howard Murad, founder of the eponymous range. 

Serum capsulesSerum capsule textures 

These wonder orbs are making waves in the industry because of their ability to keep ingredients such as vitamin A and C stable – so they can do their job effectively.

Although serum capsules have been around for some time, take Elemis’s Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules and Environ’s Vita-Antioxidant Hydrating Oil Capsules for example, their benefits are back in the spotlight as consumers become aware of the damage sunlight can do to degrade skincare ingredients – especially if in a petri-dish-style product packaging.

Therefore, capsules that contain the right dosage of serum and pack an active punch are becoming beauty cupboard staples, which is why Exuviance launched its AF 20% Vitamin C20 Serum Capsules this year, using a capsule made from a bio-degradable substance to house the serum’s potent ingredients. 

“The capsule is perfect for single use to keep the vitamin C serum stable and to limit exposure to light, air and humidity, which can all effect freshness. The capsule blocks oxygen and light from degrading the vitamin C; protecting its integrity,” says Lorna Bowes, director of Aesthetic Source, which distributes professional brand Exuviance. 

Social media platform Pinterest has revealed its most searched-for 2019 beauty trends