The personal care category was looking good, real good at Natural Products Expo West 2011 in Anaheim. And beauty-product enthusiasts had a lot to celebrate—from Weleda’s 90th birthday to companies responding to demand for transparency, efficacy, convenience, education, and more. Find out how old ingredients got a makeover, sun care stepped up its game, and technology hit personal care in our beauty picks gallery, and read on for more top trends from the show.

Innovation for education
Manufacturers and cosmetics organizations are transforming the point of sale into the point of experience by using technology to bring information to consumers—as they’re shopping (two standouts: Mychelle’s imaging system and NaTrue’s QR codes). "A consumer needs that holistic overview of what a company is doing," says Julie Tyrrell, NaTrue director general. Other companies are relying on creative marketing campaigns to get shoppers to join conversations that go beyond products. I am woman hear me … talk about those things I was never supposed to talk about, urges Emerita’s new campaign, which the company launched along with its new feminine hygiene products.

Cosmetics for a cause
It’s always gratifying to see companies supporting social and environmental causes, while manufacturing efficacious products. And it doesn’t hurt that these efforts help build a brand’s identity. Leading the way was the push toward more fair trade in the natural personal care sector. Although you won’t yet see (you probably will soon, however) any personal care products completely Fair Trade certified—since most products contain various ingredients that can’t even get the cert—you will find many more beauty products containing Fair-Trade Certified ingredients, according to Fair Trade USA. In fact, over the past year, aromatherapy and body oils with this label increased by 19 percent and skin and body care products by an impressive 32 percent. Eco Lips One World balms are some new products to look for. Plus, environmental support came from Weleda, which will donate $25,000 to Conservation International this year, and Derma e, which has moved to 100 percent wind power.