The UK beauty industry took a big hit during the Coronavirus pandemic, as national lockdowns meant a decreased demand for cosmetics and certain beauty products (source: Pulse Light Clinic). However, as the effects of the pandemic subside, what trends can we expect to see?
How did Covid-19 impact the beauty industry?
There was an initial decline in the sale of beauty products as the nation went into lockdown. With people forced to stay in their homes, there was less demand for makeup products as people had nowhere to go. “Au natural” was the go-to for many across the UK as their professional and social interactions shifted to virtual realms.
However, even during the lockdown demand for certain beauty products remained high. Demand for hair care products throughout lockdown remained high with consumers seeking shampoo, conditioner, male hair clippers and hair dye as people took to DIY hair cuts and styles.
There was a huge focus on self-care during the pandemic as people had more time to focus on their skincare regimen. Lockdown took away the need for time-consuming commutes leaving people with more time on their hands to get ready in the morning. For many, that meant spending time and money on skincare products.
Another clear trend that was highlighted during the Covid-19 pandemic was a rush towards personal hygiene products including antibacterial gels.
Along with this, there was an increase in hand creams, presumably to negate the dehydrating effect of the antibacterial gels. This is something that continues to be a trend even as we come out of the pandemic, with people taking hand sanitation far more seriously than before the pandemic.
Post-Covid trends in the beauty industry
As the effects of the pandemic subside, there are a few key trends emerging in the UK beauty sector:
1. Online shopping
The pandemic forced consumers to do their shopping online, a solution which many found more convenient and easy than shopping in-store. Although with beauty products many have a preference for the physical retail experience, online shopping has opened up a range of options and beauty brands will need to have a virtual presence if they want to capture this market.
2. Beauty subscription services
It has been estimated that the value of the subscription box market in general has grown by 72% with services like Glossybox and Birchbox pioneering the sector. The opportunity for consumers to try different products each month and “try before they buy” has been a gamechanger for the beauty industry and is something that looks to continue even in a post-pandemic era.
3. Increased ingenuity
More people than ever are now looking to get back to work and the beauty industry is no different. There has been a large increase in the numbers of people around the world looking to now startup beauty businesses, with loans for people needing startup capital growing once again (source: Kallyss), as people seek to start up businesses and move once again into the thriving beauty industry around the world.
4. Bespoke beauty
There has been an increased demand for personalisation of beauty products with many brands offering quizzes and virtual makeover rooms in order to create personalised recommendations for consumers. Tailor-made recommendations, and even in some cases tailor-made products, will be a huge trend in the beauty industry going forward and will encourage consumers to spend more; if people think they are getting a personal recommendation, they are more likely to purchase the beauty product.
5. Ethics and sustainability
Covid-19 has brought about a higher demand for eco-friendly and all-natural cosmetics. Generally speaking, consumers are demanding more ethical brands – this is especially true for cosmetics and beauty as consumers are more aware than ever before about what they are putting on their skin, face and hair. As such, there is a demand for vegan, natural, recyclable and GMO products.
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