Many industries have changed during the pandemic, and beauty and skincare are no exception. This is mostly due to the change in health and self-care behaviors during the pandemic. In fact, it has changed so much that the size of the global skincare market is expected to reach $189 billion by 2025. Spending more time indoors meant people adopted new behaviors to cope and find connections with others. The question that needs to be answered is: how much has this impacted the beauty industry as a whole? As months in lockdown transformed the focus from makeup to skincare, this business is anticipating a more radical shift in the years to come.
THE SHIFT FROM MAKEUP TO SKINCARE
Beauty and skincare have changed in several ways due to the shifts in the way of life in lockdown. The first and most notable shift was in the environment, from spending time in office spaces or outdoors to staying at home. Many activities that were part of regular routines, such as wearing makeup for work or casual outings, were no longer being done. Now, there’s more emphasis on having good skin versus using makeup to cover up imperfections. More people have turned to skincare products during the pandemic, as a greater emphasis has been put on achieving a natural look. With this new trend, products that provided skincare for acne became more popular as they also helped minimize pores and smooth out wrinkles. In fact, a lot of people have embraced bare skin even as normal activities have started resuming, reflecting a different set of priorities for beauty compared to before.
Skincare also took makeup’s spot thanks to the trend of becoming more health-conscious. As consumers developed a deeper relationship with their wellness, they also became willing to try more products and services to promote various aspects of health. For instance, people have tried natural dental care, new exercises, and alternative diets over the past year. And thanks to the internet, people have grown more aware of skin risks and issues, which contributed to the sudden interest in skincare. The benefits of a dependable daily routine are also emphasized here as people seek to add structure to their days. This in turn influenced the way brands package their offerings, highlighting an end-to-end experience for the consumer and subscription programs.
Technology is now also at the forefront of the skincare boom. More brands including L’Oreal and Sephora are using omnichannel experiences combined with the traditional shopping experience to provide teleconsultations and shopping advice to their customers in real-time. It provides the same value in-store consultations gave customers without the added pressure of making a purchase straightaway. These consultations can also supplement any research that consumers have done beforehand to provide clarity on the products best suited for their needs. Ultimately, it has never been easier to discover, shop, and share anything in beauty, all while being as informed as possible.
THE FUTURE OF SKINCARE AND BEAUTY
The beauty industry has undeniably gone through a paradigm shift. As consumers continue to become more ingredient savvy and conscious of their health and the environment, a greater level of transparency is demanded from brands. Customers could easily jump to the next competitor if they find that products do not align with their expectations. And with information so readily available on the internet, no generation of consumers are as meticulous as that shopping today.
This is likely to become the new normal for makeup as well. As restrictions ease and people start to resume regular activities that will encourage cosmetics use, consumers will likely apply the same approach used for skincare to ingredients in makeup. Some trends already growing are the interest in products that are paraben-free and the inclusion of SPF. And as people of different backgrounds embrace skincare (men included), it’s possible that men wearing makeup will start to become more mainstream, especially with the popularity of models like Louie Akinwale and Korean pop sensation, BTS.
The new reality is challenging, but it is also an opportunity for skincare and beauty companies to meet customers where they are. It can be transformative in the best way if brands are willing to take the first step.