Expo West 2017: For the Body & Soul

Posted by | September 24, 2018 |

Written by Vera Adamovich

I always enjoy attending Expo West in Anaheim in search of new trends and interesting finds in categories where our GRA clients compete. As a former Nestle and Kraft Foods brand professional, I am typically hyper focused on food trends at these shows, but this year I was especially interested in personal care products. What I found is that the two categories have much more in common than I initially realized.

Kelly, my GRA partner, and I covered the entire show, counting 25,000 steps taken in one day alone on Kelly’s pedometer. We saw a plethora of personal products claiming to be natural, organic, eco-friendly, herbal and scientific for the treatment of various conditions including eczema, psoriasis, rashes and irritations.

We saw brands targeting moms and babies, men and consumers with specific conditions. There were brands tied to locations, like California, Australia and Brazil. We also saw brands with hero ingredients, like Aloe and Ginger. Names spanned from pharma sounding, like TriDerma, to the moon, like Moon Valley Organics.

And then we ran across the Mother Dirt brand, one of my personal favorites at the show. Did you think probiotics were important only to your gut? Think again! The parent company, AOBiome, is dedicated to researching probiotics of the skin, specifically ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB), believed to be essential to restoring skin to a natural state of balance. Their live probiotic, AO+Mist, delivers the good bacteria, AOB to the skin. This soil bacteria is believed to balance out the bacterial ecosystem of your microbiome, helping the other bacteria live harmoniously together. The mist rebalances the skin uniquely for each individual, depending on whether a person’s skin is dry or oily. What’s really interesting is that over time, many users can start reducing showers or lowering soap use in their hygiene routines.

I started pondering whether we have really become more advanced than our ancestors. If we are going back to basics in other areas, like food, have we created problems for ourselves during our evolution? AOBiome believes that historically, AOB would naturally have been present in our skin but our modern day habits have eliminated them, leaving our skin vulnerable to problems.

I realized that current trends in skincare are not all that different from the trends in food or even health and wellness in general. We are going back to the eating habits of our ancestors with the Paleo diet. The Raw foods diet is also about going back to our original ways of eating. We are recognizing the importance of bacteria and introducing prebiotics and probiotics into our bodies through various foods and supplements. Medical professionals are encouraging parents to let their children spend more time playing in the dirt as a way of enhancing their immune systems. We are also becoming more and more aware of what we are putting (or not putting) on our skin, the largest organ in our bodies. Bacteria may just be a healthy complexion’s best friend!