Recently, I read that bodycare is the latest white space in beauty. Straight after I’d googled what white space was, I got on board. I’m totally into bodycare, on the basis that I really care about my body. It has been good to me, and I want to be good to it.
Only, there’s one small problem. Time. Apparently, the whole white-space-bodycare thing pivots on one key ingredient: a bath. Which totally makes sense, because you can’t really apply exfoliating scrubs, gaze at a fizzing bath bomb or luxuriate in the detoxifying powers of Epsom salts in a shower. A shower is geared towards speed and efficiency. A shower is prosaic. A bath, on the other hand, is a sign that you’re winning at life. “Get me,” you can say, one leg akimbo, bubbles gently winking round your breasts. “So together is my shit that I can even wash lying down.”
It goes without saying that the patron saint of bathing is Queen Gwyn. “Gwyneth really believes in the power of a hot bath,” Goop’s senior vice president of beauty told Business Of Fashion, adding that Gwyneth approached Goop’s bathing range: “Thinking of a bath as being this ideal remedy for the needs of our modern lifestyle, whether that’s a racing mind, emotional overwhelm, sore muscles, a body that’s overindulged or when you’re feeling under the weather.” All of the things, Gwyneth. ALL OF THE THINGS. I’m writing this while 14 12-year-olds maraud downstairs, shortly after running to the party shop to buy paper plates, paper cups and napkins. Earlier, I tried to have a wee and text three of the 12 year olds’ mums at the same time. This is not normal. Or maybe it is. Maybe everyone views the 10 seconds that they sit down to wee as a brilliant opportunity to catch up on texting. Maybe this is what our lives have become.
If the beauty giants have their way, your bedsheets are soon to be strewn with glitter the way they once were stained with self-tan
If this is true, then it doesn’t bode well for us luxuriating in the bath any time soon. But then, maybe lack of time is the reason that, in 2017, body care comprised only five per cent of prestige skincare sales, with a Euromonitor survey finding that only a fraction of the $128.1 billion global skincare market was spent on the body category. From a marketing point of view, no wonder body care is the new white space. But, even if it’s an under-served, untapped market, who are these mythical creatures who potentially have the patience, money and time to look after their bodies?
One person banking that there’s a fair few of them is Rihanna. Given the huge success of Fenty Beauty, it’s clear RiRi is no fool when it comes to divining where the next dollar is to be made (hello, 40 different shades of foundation). Earlier this week, she teased two new body products, Body Lava and Fairy Bomb, on @FentyBeauty’s Instagram feed (3.2m followers, and counting). Their unifying ingredient? Shimmer. Happily for the time-pressed, no bath is required: simply rub on the Body Lava or apply the Fairy Bomb with a giant powderpuff, like you’re 16 again. Actually, you probably are 16. Aren’t body-shimmer products the sole preserve of teenagers?
Apparently not. While forecasters predict bath scrubs and salts will have the most growth, body cream is the category that sells best, hence manufacturers being focused on providing exciting new spins. It's not just Fenty Beauty, either – Mac has just launched a version of its best-selling Strobe cream for the body (£25), offering a similar result to the Fenty products. If the beauty giants have their way, your bedsheets are soon to be strewn with glitter the way they once were stained with self-tan. With Rihanna’s glistening products due to be released on 6 April, if they’re copied as much as her 40-shade foundations were, expect fans the world over to be shining bright like a diamond.
Where does this leave the time-pressed, bath-shunning woman? Well, if she can park her prejudices that shimmer is only for 16-year-olds and reconnect with her teenaged, Clueless-loving self, then maybe she’ll find that shimmering moisturiser is a quick fix for her poor, neglected body. Applying a slick film of glow-in-a-tube might not be as relaxing as a bath, but at least it’s faster. I reckon this Rihanna lady is on to something.