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1. Personal and environmental care

The environmental impact of the cosmetic industry affects the entire sector: from the ingredients in the products to their packaging and distribution.

Consumers of cosmetic products are becoming more informed and demand that cosmetic companies make more environmental efforts. In this way, an environmentally conscious buyer not only looks at the type of product, but also at the possible recycling of its packaging.

A recent study by PwC showed that more and more consumers around the world are avoiding the use of plastic, buying products with environmentally friendly packaging or less packaging in general [1]. In fact, 43% of consumers in the United States are willing to pay a higher price for products if their packaging is respectful with the environment [2].

In order to effectively meet the environmental demands of the cosmetic consumer in the coming years, transparency will be key. This transparency must go well beyond product labelling and address waste in the production process. Therefore, companies are also beginning to explore minimizing the number of packaging or supplying refillable type containers [3].

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2. Personalised care

The skin of each person is different, each one requires a different care that is appropriate to its needs. This is going to be a shift from what used to be a general approach to cosmetic products.

In this sense, a study conducted by InsightAce Analytic predicts that the global market for personalized cosmetic products will grow from 38 billion dollars reached in 2019 to 72 billion dollars in 2028 [4].

The personalisation of cosmetic products begins in the purchase process, where advisors and experts can recommend the best personal care routines. Thanks to current technological solutions, it is possible to optimize the customer experience in online sales through virtual consultants.

With this information, the consultants will recommend different cosmetic products to add to a personalised routine depending on the skin type, so that care routine is created and directed for that specific skin type [5].

3. Wellbeing

In early 2020, GlobalData published a study highlighting the importance of health and well-being among European consumers when purchasing personal care products [6]. The pandemic caused by the coronavirus only continues this trend into 2021, as consumers are now even more aware of the importance of both physical and mental health.

According to the GlobalData study, 67% of European consumers consider the impact that personal care products had on their health and well-being, as well as on the planet, before deciding on the product.

In the same way, consumers today give as much importance to mental health as to body health, which is why they demand cosmetic products to improve sensoriality, increase well-being and reduce stress. These products are called neurocosmetics and present active ingredients that can either reduce locally the levels of cortisol (a hormone released in stressful situations) at the skin level, or increase the sensoriality of the product by inducing sensations such as heat.

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4. Digital solutions

The confinement measures imposed during 2020 have led to a significant increase in sales made through e-commerce. According to a Caixabank report, the number of consumers who allocated more than 50% of card spending to e-commerce increased from 10.2% in May 2019 to 19.0% in May 2020 [7].

This increase in online shopping indicates a new trend in which consumers are using new technologies for real world solutions. This trend is expected to continue in 2021 with the development of new highly specific marketing strategies for personalised care [8].

The development of artificial intelligence to personalise messages and offer products based on individual needs, virtual personal care consultants or the optimization of e-commerce through gamification, are just some of the examples that new digital solutions can provide in personalised care without leaving home.

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5. At home rituals

In recent years, tools and technologies that used to be found only in the dermatologist’s office have reached the hands of consumers. The merge between technology and skin care has been increased by confinement measures, so that consumers increasingly seek new ways of skin care with the latest innovations [3].

An example of the rise in this trend of at-home rituals comes from the sales of facial toning devices, which have increased by 150% in the last 6 months of 2020 [9]. The cosmetic industry is constantly innovating and in relation to technological solutions for skin care, there are a multitude of mobile applications or gadgets already available in the market, and we described some of them in this post on our blog.

To end up, some of the consumer trends that started or increased in 2020 will continue to be relevant for the year 2021.