The pandemic pushed digitization and innovation in ways that have changed virtually every global industry as we know them. For the beauty industry, the pandemic shifted consumer interest toward more sustainable and creative products that let consumers play with beauty in new ways while contributing to positive environmental change. From ease of access to personalized products, augmented reality, sustainable products or even youthful beauty and makeup trends, both the beauty and personal care industries are facing major shifts. Here are some of the ways that these industries are changing: 

Growing generations of consumers such as Generation Z make up an overwhelming percentage of consumers that are looking for new products, especially online. Data released from CeraVe this year discussed the ways in which younger audiences are learning about new products they’d like to buy, giving invaluable insight into the consumer trends that dictate the direction of the beauty industry today. 

We’ve covered Gen Z trends in the past, and have highlighted the ways that this consumer demographic differs from their older counterparts in how they use makeup and personal care products. Where older generations seek makeup that accentuates their natural features, Generation Z tends to favor makeup products that enable them to show off their creativity. Popular products include things like graphic eyeliner, glitter gel and other colorful products. 

Jelly beauty, for example, is a leading trend among new, innovative beauty formats that we’re seeing a rise in today. The makeup product has multiple uses, enabling consumers to determine how they want to use the product on their own. From masks and skincare to multi-use blush or lip products, jelly beauty plays into the playfulness of Gen Z beauty trends as well as the futuristic theme of using different textures and compositions in beauty products to create something new. 

Teen social media personality Charli D’Amelio, for example, released a line of makeup products under the Morphe brand that ventured away from celebrity partnerships that the company has done in the past. D’Amelio’s collection pays homage to the playfulness of youthful beauty trends and brings quite a few of those jelly textures into the line, along with ambiguous uses for the products to enable consumers to find their own use. 

Other products like graphic liner and glitter gels are becoming more popular among younger consumers too. These makeup trends allow consumers to express themselves with their products and find new ways to utilize makeup. Products like this line of colorful liner from ColourPop demonstrate this trend while keeping the product affordable, knowing that younger consumers are less likely to spend more on products they may not use every single day. 

Affordability is a key motivator in emerging beauty formats, especially as drugstore brands evolve to create products that fall in line with what younger consumers are interested in. Many young consumers like to try new products more often, and budget-friendly products enable them to do that while shopping at retailers like Target or other drugstore beauty centers. 


Rising trends in sustainable products, packaging or supply chain processes are contributing to innovations in beauty that will likely continue into the 2020’s. With mounting concern for climate change and a shift toward a more sustainable future, consumers are often focused on purchasing products that match their moral and ethical beliefs. Whether it be in using less packaging, using products with sustainable or natural ingredients, or products that align with their vegan or vegetarian lifestyles, sustainable products are here to stay—at least according to what consumers want. 

Refillable products, solid beauty and paper-wrapped personal care and beauty products are becoming more popular. Take a look at brands like Package Free Shop and Lush, which advertise their lack of packaging as an incentive to shop in their stores. Package Free, a smaller brand that was founded on the idea that consumers should be able to cut plastics out of their lives if they wanted to, allows consumers to refill products in-store using their own containers. 

Refill stores that offer refill stations on products like hair products, laundry detergents and even makeup enable consumers to cut back on single-use packaging without compromising on product quality. These types of stores have become more common throughout the last several years, and consumers have shown a genuine interest in shifting to these types of models in the coming years. Often, the refill store movement also supports small and local businesses, which is another cause consumers are often aligned with. 

Other popular innovations are things like natural skincare and beauty focused on the wellness industry, with brands like Goop, Glossier, and Poosh leading initiatives on finding products that emphasize health first. Supply chain trends like ingredient upcycling utilize products that would otherwise go to waste, helping consumers feel that they’re helping the environment by purchasing a product even if it uses single-use packaging. 


The driving force of many of these innovations and trends is technology. Innovations in beauty industry technology enable companies to come up with new ways to create fun new products for a younger market, utilize ingredients in new ways, cut back on packaging or even use consumer data to get a better understanding of the market, cutting back on excess or unsold products that go to retail stores. Technology has a massive influence over supply chain processes, and can help beauty and personal care companies make smarter decisions that are good for both their company and the environment. 

For consumers, technology also enables a new customer experience. Experiences like personalized beauty and augmented reality (AR) product try-on have enabled one of a kind experiences in the digital age, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic forced brick and mortar retailers to close their doors for extended periods of time. 

Function of Beauty’s personalized product experience gamifies shampoo shopping by having consumers fill out a quiz before being assigned a product. Customers can pick from a range of specifications, such as hair thickness and type, their hair goals, and even their favorite scents. Answers determine a product, and customers are encouraged to buy the product thinking it was created specifically for their needs. On the Sephora website, customers can try on products like lipstick and blush virtually through a camera feature within the app. For customers that shop online, the feature lets them find the perfect shade or simply see what a product might look like against their skin tone or eye color. 

Though each of these beauty trends cater to different demographics, the common ground they all share is that beauty and skincare is becoming more diverse and environmentally friendly. Both beauty and personal care are often marketed as a tool to help consumers improve their lives, whether through their health or their appearance, so the products that they use should help them feel that they’re improving the world around them as well. 

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