Beauty Trend Spotting in the US: Anal Bleaching and Vaginal Care Products

Karla McDiarmid traveled to New York City to cast her industry eye over the beauty trends making waves overseas in 2024 and beyond.

In March this year, I headed to The New York International Beauty Show (IBS) and International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa Conference (IECSS), each held annually at the Javitis Exhibition Centre. 

It was my first time visiting the New York convention, as I would ordinarily attend the Las Vegas show. Las Vegas is bigger in size with more exhibitors, yet the quality of New York was still fantastic. It’s great to see what [industry trends] are coming a year or two ahead of Australia! For those of us with partners interested in the NRL, conference weekend may align again with the NRL launch in Las Vegas – it would make for a great family trip away!

The expo floor was extremely busy and a hive of excitement, with thousands of exhibitors and visitors like myself in attendance. One exhibitor mentioned to me it was the busiest the show had been since pre-COVID.

I always like to attend a few seminars to gain insights into industry trends, new treatments and products, and to be inspired and motivated to learn more for my own business. I also got to catch up with a few Australian friends that had stands at the show, such as Vida Glow, given ingestible health is really booming right now!

There was one industry trend in particular I was not expecting, but achieved overwhelming interest was that of anal bleaching. Seminars hosted by Bryght accrued line-ups well out the door and far down the hallway and required the largest conference rooms. These seminars were held every day of the three-day expo and were fully booked. In-person training demonstrations were also conducted.

The marketing by Bryght stood out. It was exciting to see their teams in bright matching shirts, blowing whistles and chanting “anal bleach!” as they walked along the seminar ques. I must admit, it got everyone’s attention, and phones were out capturing the line-ups and hype surrounding their brand and the educational workshops that were about to take place.

Given our demographic of darker skins is also growing in Australia, I think there will be more demand for these treatments in the future. They will definitely require a training qualification but I do believe there are businesses in Australia already doing it.

DermaJem hosted seminars on intimate brightening. Derme & Co was in attendance, educating on vaginal PH. Vajacials and feminine hygiene products are trending right now in the US, and I know we will see these treatments gain more attention in Australia. Having attended beauty expos and conferences for over 20 years, I had not seen anything like the hype that I saw for this treatment and training!

When you think about it, we look after our face and body with skincare, but there is a gap in the professional market for skincare targeting vaginal pH and wellness. I worry we are leaving our customers to buy from heavily perfumed products that aggravate the delicate area even more. A great point was made in the seminars around how skin and beauty therapists perform intimate laser and waxing but there is not a big focus on the health of the skin and aftercare for at-home use. I now see this also as a huge future growth area for our industry, where skincare products like Nelly De Vuyst have launched a range just for this reason. I suspect these trends are set to become more popular in Australia in the coming years.

For facial treatments, the focus this year was on dermaplaning, microneedling, and treatments to assist in rosacea, acne, and pigmentations. Under eye patches seemed to be on every row, which I know has always been a topic of conversation at our Australian beauty shows. Unfortunately, I saw quite a few MLM companies on the floor.

Seminars also discussed topics around niching your business, such as ‘How to succeed as an acne therapist’, all of which had a lot of attendees. Other business advice included discussed how to increase retail sales and how to master your client relationships. Artificial Intelligence (AI) was also a major topic of conversation. 

If you are looking to widen your knowledge and experience the US beauty and skin shows, I highly recommend adding IBS and IECSS to your convention bucket lists!

Karla McDiarmid is the Director of the multi award-winning Macquarie Medi Spa in Bathurst, NSW. Her business has been in operation for over two decades, today employing eight staff members.

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