A lot has changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The beauty industry, like many industries, has had to pivot to new territories with most of its in-person events. On the consumer facing side of the industry, beauty fans have changed their routines to accommodate the new normal while still treating beauty and skin care as a form of pampering. While yes, the industry has changed in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are still flocking to beauty products in new ways.
Because the beauty industry is often associated with pampering and self care, purchases of beauty and skin care products have stayed relatively the same amid the pandemic. The pandemic has also opened the door for a lot of new products to come into fruition, and consumers are using their newfound free time to focus on their health in new ways. Things like hand sanitizer and clean, natural beauty products are becoming more popular, while makeup products are not being purchased as often—but some are, as consumers are using makeup to experiment with their style rather than as a utility.
Dermatology products are also seeing a rise as consumers focus more on their skin and skin care routines. Many people are working from home, so instead of wearing makeup they’re focused on using products that will help their skin look its best. Experts have also suggested that the rise in consumer interest for dermatology products comes from a desire to protect oneself from the virus. A focus on healthcare has fueled interest in products that contain vitamins like vitamin C, and other ingredients that are said to boost immunity have become more popular as well.
Consumers are also focused on their health more than usual, and beauty companies around the world are seeing a rise in interest in products that help boost moisture and make consumers feel as if they’re making positive changes to their skin care routine. Many skin care companies are seeing a rise in cosmeceutical products, and they’ve noticed that these trends have only become more popular as the pandemic goes on. In many cases, the products have skyrocketed in popularity as consumers seek at-home ways to pamper themselves.
Other beauty companies have taken the opportunity to venture into making new products that their consumers are likely to buy. Global shortages of hand sanitizer earlier in 2020 inspired many beauty companies to create their own, and companies that had no prior experience making hand sanitizer suddenly found themselves making the products after seeing a gap in the market that created a massive need for the products. Even now, as supply chains have largely returned to normal, beauty companies are still creating new hand sanitizer products with branding that attracts customers that are interested in hand sanitizer, but might not like the traditional packaging, fragrance, and marketing used in the products prior to the pandemic.
Hand sanitizers with creative branding, luxury fragrances, or ‘natural’ ingredients have become popular, and consumers that purchase these trends in their skin care and beauty products are likely to purchase hand sanitizer that has similar branding associated with it. Several luxury beauty companies have already noticed this, and are finding that their luxury hand sanitizer products are doing exceptionally well as consumers adjust to adding a new product to their hygiene routine.
On that note, consumers are also interested in purchasing products that focus more on clean beauty or sustainability now that they’re spending more time at home. With more people staying at home more often, they’re likely spending less money on the products they would have normally needed if they were going to work on a regular basis. These consumers are still spending money on beauty products, but they’re instead spending money on skin care where they once spent their money on beauty. Experts are finding that consumers, if they do spend money on makeup, are often spending it either on natural or “soft” beauty products or high end skin care.
Many natural products also focus on sustainability, and with an increase in conversation about climate change, consumers are feeling the need to invest in products that are transparent about their climate action within their branding. Consumers want to see that the companies they spend their money on are doing good, and companies that also launched donation campaigns early on in the pandemic—whether it be financial or product donations—saw a lot of success in any product launches that came later on. Many companies donated products to frontline workers, from hand sanitizers to hand lotions, and saw a natural rise in good publicity that came from those actions.
Products that are ethically sourced, contain often natural and certified ingredients, and come from brands that focus on sustainability along with profit are seeing a rise in popularity—even as consumers face one of the worst economic recessions in modern history. It is likely that consumers feel more inclined to find a product that suits all of their needs, and they’re not willing to spend the money on beauty products otherwise.
At the end of the day, beauty and skin care products are seen as a small luxury that, even in an economic crisis, feels like a palatable purchase with a long lasting positive outcome. These products are often used to create at-home spa sessions, and skin care is especially looked at as a way of pampering yourself from your home. With everyone stuck at home, they’re trying to make the most of it by purchasing products that will make them feel even a tiny bit better—either through a luxurious, spa-like skin care routine or simply experimenting with new makeup products that they wouldn’t wear outside otherwise.