How Wellness Has Redefined Skincare Market Trends, Reports NPD

COVID-19 has changed many facets of our lives, including our definition of wellness. Prior to the pandemic, wellness research was more focused on physical fitness, as well as self-care rituals where skincare plays an important role. But as the pandemic variants increased and continued to stress our lives, our collective notions of wellness began to change – and so did the landscape of the skincare industry.

In the years before the pandemic, wellness in skincare was closely tied to the rise of natural brands. In fact, at one point, natural brands captured the largest share of the skincare category. However, COVID-19 has changed the consumer’s approach to wellness, as greater appreciation from the medical community and interest in proven antibacterial chemicals has become a priority. Clinical brands founded by doctors, chemists, apothecaries or beauticians have always competed against natural brands for market share, but the pandemic has helped shift consumer attention to clinical brands, which has pushed these marks above. Clinical brands now account for 34% of skincare category sales in the US, while natural brands have stagnated at 28%.

Lockdowns and social distancing have added another layer to the evolution of wellbeing. At first, creating a spa-like environment at home meant putting on a face mask and lighting a candle. It was more than enough to give us an “om” moment. But two years of COVID-19 (and more) have reinforced our need to address mental wellness. Consumers are grappling with COVID fatigue and are looking for products, rituals and activities that not only bring them a moment of peace, but can also bring them joy.

The extra self-care habits that incorporated more steps into our skincare routines during the pandemic may need to be scaled back, as social activities return and fuller schedules are established. This is partly why the concept of “skinimalism” is trending, garnering over two million hashtags on TikTok. The main idea here is to use fewer products that have the greatest impact on our skin. Consumers are looking for products containing vitamin C, retinol and other potent ingredients that provide a versatile effect. In fact, nearly 60% of women in the United States say the inclusion of vitamin C is important when making skincare purchasing decisions. Nearly half (47%) say the same about retinol, according to NPD’s 2021 Facial Consumer Report.

Wellness continues to be a mindset that consumers crave, but wellness priorities are shifting and, in turn, fueling skincare trends in a different way today. today than before the pandemic. Brands that stay with their followers throughout this journey and engage with them accordingly will earn their trust.


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