Since 1996, the prestige beauty industry has relied on NPD’s comprehensive beauty market research and business solutions to deliver insights into what is selling, where, why, and at what price. Our research includes information for the U.S., Canada, France, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and U.K. beauty markets. It helps companies address the emerging trends, needs, and behaviors of the next generation of beauty consumers.
We monitor global beauty industry trends – from the “big picture” down to the category, geographic region, and store levels. We can even help you look for opportunities or evaluate pricing strategies.
How do we do it? We bring our robust data assets, along with our industry expertise, and combine them with your data or third-party data to find solutions to your business issues.
Scentiments is a new suite of consumer insights on fragrances and scented products that delivers a robust view of consumers, their attitudes and lifestyles, and shopping and usage behaviors. Brands and retailers use this information to guide product, point-of-sale, and marketing strategies that resonate with consumers and drive growth. Enhanced by our fragrance experts’ industry knowledge and keen insights, Scentiments offers the industry the most comprehensive understanding of the U.S. fragrance consumer.
Learn More About Scentiments
Store-Level Enabled Retail Tracking
Store-Level Enabled Retail Tracking complements BeautyTrends®. It can help you determine whether sales are distribution-driven or whether certain parts of the country are contributing more to national share or driving growth. The velocity measure set that is part of Store-Level Enabled Retail Tracking takes into consideration sales volume (Annualized Industry Volume or AIV) rather than considering store count alone, for a more meaningful read on where products are selling and how they are performing.
BeautyTrends® is the point-of-sale (POS) tracking service measuring the performance of fragrances, makeup, and skincare products. SKU-level detail is captured monthly for more than 75 product categories. Channels reported on include prestige department stores, mid-tier national chain, fine department stores, TV/shopping, and dot-com/Internet pureplay retailers. Evaluate purchasing trends so you can make better business decisions and take full advantage of emerging opportunities across these key channels.
Fragrance data is also available on a weekly basis. Having a faster read on what’s happening in the marketplace is essential for tracking new launches – during the holiday season and all year round.
Beauty Cross Channel Monitor
NPD and Nielsen have partnered to produce the Beauty Cross Channel Monitor. This comprehensive report on the beauty market provides the only total market view spanning both the prestige and mass channels. The Beauty Cross Channel Monitor combines Nielsen and NPD point-of-sale data across a range of retail channels, providing a precise read on sales and performance for all beauty categories including dollar sales, unit sales, and average retail price, in addition to a ranking of the top 75-100 brands. Brand marketers can evaluate the performance of categories, segments, and brands across major beauty distribution channels to better understand and respond to new U.S. beauty market opportunities.
Beauty Multi-Country Topline Report
This report provides consistent, comparative, cross-country views of prestige makeup, fragrance, and skincare sales in the U.S., France, Italy, Spain, and the U.K., from a single source. It looks at the performance of top corporations, divisions, brands, categories, and segments in these key global markets. Use this report to evaluate brand performance across countries to guide marketing and product strategies, understand how product mix differs by country, and guide assortment and distribution plans.
You have opportunities. You face threats. What you need are smart, quantifiable methods of distinguishing one from the other and maximizing your chances of success. NPD’s Analytic Solutions Group includes a team of senior leaders with extensive experience developing and delivering analytic solutions that address strategic marketing, sales, and planning issues.
We combine NPD POS and consumer information, industry expertise, and custom survey research – then add state-of-the-discipline research techniques and methodologies to explain the "why behind the buy.” Through advanced modeling and analytic services, we offer insight into what will happen in the future, not just what has happened in the past, answering your most pressing business questions:
- What consumer segments should we target and why? How do we know if we’re successful over time?
- What is the optimal feature combination for my product?
- How do I monitor my performance in my sales territories, distribution areas, etc.?
- Is your promotion strategy attracting new buyers or just moving forward sales you would have gotten anyway?
- How will a competitor’s price drop impact your sales next quarter, and how should you respond?
- Will my product category grow or decline? Why? What does this mean for my market share?
- What’s the competitive landscape and where are my best opportunities (Food)?
- Which products are hot? How should we respond?
- What’s the sales potential and ROI for my new / revamped product idea?
- Is our online advertising set up for off-line sales success?
- How effectively will a new in-store display we’re developing boost point-of-sale transactions?
- Which of the new communications we’ve worked so hard on communicates the product’s value proposition most effectively?
See how clients have used our analytic solutions to solve their business challenges in our Analytic Solutions Case Study Library.
This quarterly report was created by a team of NPD analysts known for their experience, knowledge, and passion for the beauty industry. It puts data into context, giving you the story behind the data with detail on category drivers and industry insights across makeup, skincare, and fragrance. Use it to uncover opportunities and refine your strategies.
Polish up your nail care consumer knowledge. This report's information and analysis will help to ensure your marketing tactics are aligned with consumers' needs. Use it to understand the roles color and brand play in at-home nail polish purchase decisions, and see what sets at-home nail care consumers apart from their salon-oriented counterparts.
Spending expectations. Attitudes toward spending on beauty. Shopping dynamics. Emotional motivators. And more. Now you can explore the consumer mindset related to beauty and today’s economic reality in the 2015 edition of the Annual Beauty Consumer Economic Indicator Report. The report covers the impact of today’s economy on beauty spending, featuring select data originally presented at our February 2015 Hot Off the Press event. Produced since 2008, the report includes comparisons between our latest insights and previous years’ findings.
Avoid relationship trouble. See inside the relationship between women and their makeup — discover what consumers want, why they buy, how they use your products, and more.
The U.S. prestige beauty industry is off to a slightly slower start this holiday season, with year-to-date sales up 6 percent through October, or 1 percentage point less than this time last year, according to global information company The NPD Group; however, this should not be interpreted as discouraging news. It is a case of ‘feast or famine’ for the industry this holiday season, and while consumers may not indulge in every makeup, fragrance, and skincare category, they will have more than their fill when it comes to others.
It’s Beginning to Smell a lot like Christmas: Home Fragrance Most Important When Company is Expected, NPD Finds
In preparing their homes and minds for the holidays, and the festive family gatherings they bring, consumers turn to scent and décor to get into the holiday spirit. Home fragrance is most important to consumers when company is expected, as scents are a way of honoring their guests and ensuring they have a pleasant visit, according to Scentiments, a new suite of consumer insights and tools on the fragrance industry from global information company The NPD Group.
The Internet Surpasses Print and Broadcast Advertising as Preferred Source of Makeup Product Information, According to NPD
Defining many of the most popular, growth-driving trends in makeup today from contouring to draping, the internet went from the least-frequented source of product information four years ago, to the fastest-growing in 2016, swaying both styles and sales, according to global information company The NPD Group’s Makeup In-Depth Consumer Report 2016. More women today are looking to the internet for information on makeup products and brands, up 11 percentage points versus 2014, or more than any other information source.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends sunscreen that offers not only broad-spectrum protection and water resistance, but a Sun Protector Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. According to global information company The NPD Group, sales of prestige skincare and makeup products with any SPF reached $1.4 billion in the 12 months ending May 2016 (June’15-May’16), growing by 7 percent over the last two years. Coinciding with the AAD’s guidelines, such products with an SPF of 30 or higher are seeing the greatest growth and outpacing the total SPF market by at least twofold
While the U.S. prestige fragrance category as a whole has been experiencing increases in both dollar and unit sales, the greatest lift is coming from the $49.9 million niche of the home scents market*, according to global information company The NPD Group. The heightened popularity of prestige candles and diffusers combined with their higher price tags is driving much of the growth within fragrance.
Over the last decade, skincare led the gains within the prestige beauty industry, fragrance was challenged as consumer usage declined, and Boomers drove demand and influenced innovation within the industry. However, 2015 marked a turning point for the beauty industry, driven largely by shifts taking place within skincare and the heightened importance of Millennials, according to data from global information company The NPD Group.
The U.S. prestige beauty industry reached $16 billion in 2015, a 7 percent increase over 2014 sales*, according to global information company The NPD Group, Inc. Makeup experienced the healthiest sales growth (13 percent), while the fragrance category outperformed skincare for the first time; fragrance dollars grew by 4 percent, and skincare by 3 percent.
NPD Mexico, a subsidiary of The NPD Group, has purchased Segmenta’s prestige beauty point-of-sale retail tracking service for Mexico. The acquisition extends NPD’s global reach and expertise in prestige beauty, complementing NPD’s beauty tracking services in the U.S., Canada, France, Italy, Spain, and U.K.
Learn how Scentiments lets you deconstruct fragrance consumers’ emotions, attitudes, and preferences, to give you a clear understanding of how to market fragrances more effectively. Learn more about Scentiments.
The future of fragrance is uncertain. Consumers are engaging with scent in a different way. How can you think about scent differently to help guide messaging and product strategy, so you can elevate awareness and inspire fragrance usage?
Discover where Millennials shop for fragrance, what influences their purchase decisions, and how mood affects their fragrance choices.
There’s a lot to learn about today’s fragrance consumer. In this new video series Kissura Craft, Industry Analyst – Beauty, discusses consumer behavior, fragrance wardrobing, and how men and women interact with fragrances differently.
Fragrance is facing the challenge of continuing to engage and excite young people so they’ll wear scent daily. What will it take for fragrance to make a big comeback? Karen Grant, Global Industry Analyst – Beauty, shares her perspectives.
Fragrance usage is shifting and changing. In this new video series Karen Grant, Global Industry Analyst – Beauty, discusses why fragrance and the need for scent still matter in the beauty industry.
Sales Territory Management Tool: How a Beauty Brand’s Sales Team Improved Their ROI (and Got Bigger Bonuses)
A strong Sales function is critical to success – particularly when distribution spans multiple retailers and markets. When growth is good, management looks to the Sales teams to keep it going; when revenue slips, they’re on the front lines to reverse the slide. Our client, a leading beauty manufacturer and licensor, was experiencing a sales slowdown despite healthy category growth. The Sales team knew what had to be done, but wanted fact-based confirmation before requesting the additional resources necessary to help turn things around.
Get an inside look at one of the key features of Scentiments from The NPD Group, your source of data and insights about how consumers shop for, think about, and use scented products. This video shows how you can create customized views of survey data based on your specific needs, so you can make data-driven decisions with confidence. Learn More About Scentiments
There's a lot to learn about today's fragrance consumer, and we've compiled all the insights for you. Scentiments, our next generation of U.S. fragrance market intelligence, brings you a new perspective on consumer's emotions, attitudes, and preferences toward scented products and their fragrance purchasing process.
Learn beauty consumers' shopping preferences and behavior, see the channels and retailers that matter most, and gauge brand awareness, brand usage, and brand perceptions.
Insights and Opinions from our Analysts and Experts
If you weren’t able to visit the annual Macy’s Flower Show in Herald Square earlier this month, you missed a real treat. If you experienced it then you know what I’m talking about. The carnival flower theme was beautifully displayed, but it was the Scent Event in collaboration with the Fragrance Foundation that really got my co-workers and I excited.
The event was aimed at educating consumers on the different aspects of fragrance in a refreshing, fun, and interactive way while, of course, being Instagram and Snapchat worthy.
There were three different aisles that brought fragrances to life. One aisle played video interviews with master perfumers explaining the power of scent, how they became acquainted with their profession, or how they approach creating a scent. A second aisle explained the notes of a perfume with an interactive world map that indicated where different notes, like pine needle and Sichuan pepper, came from whilst allowing you to smell the ingredient straight from the source. In the same aisle was another exhibit that broke down what notes are usually in the base, middle, and top layers of a fragrance. As you walked through each corridor--which equated to a different part of the fragrance accord--a scented mist filled the air.
The third aisle was my favorite part of the exhibit, and it focused on matching fragrances with a mood. There were six scent pods that misted you, on entry, with a scent that represented each emotion. This part of the exhibit aligned perfectly with what we are seeing in NPD’s new consumer survey, Scentiments, in terms of how consumers choose the fragrance they will wear each day. According to Scentiments, close to 60 percent of the total U.S. population of men and women ages 18+ will choose their fragrance based on how they feel. They see fragrance as an extension of their ever-changing emotions, and women are even more likely than men to choose their scents this way*.
The Scent Event encouraged consumers to shop for fragrance in a way that is meaningful to them. A sheet was provided to attendees, which named all the different fragrances available at Macy’s that corresponded to each mood. Taking this a step further, it would be beneficial to see more mood descriptors or fragrance classifications marketed at retail counters to help consumers match with a new fragrance.
In my opinion, the Scent Event was wonderfully executed as it turned fragrance into an experience. I hope Macy’s will bring it back in some fashion for each successive Flower Show. It would be interesting for the senses of taste and touch to be incorporated as well. This event was a great example of why retailers should consider unique ways to help consumers interact and connect with scent in a more experiential way.
*Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Scentiments: Scented Mind 2016
I like my things a certain way. I order a Grande Iced Caramel Latte with extra caramel at Starbucks; I jump at the opportunity to choose products that I’ll receive in my FabFitFun subscription box; and I appreciate that my social media platforms keep me informed of events happening around me. Customization influences my shopping decisions, and I’m not alone in this. Today’s consumers demand the ability to control the types of products they purchase, and how they interact with them.
While customization is not particularly new to the makeup category, recent initiatives have proven that this trend is ramping up. Customization is core to Bite Beauty’s Lip Lab, which offers customers the ability to make a custom lipstick or lip gloss in store and experience the production firsthand. While the first Lab opened in New York City in 2013 as a temporary establishment, its popularity with consumers resulted in the Lip Lab becoming permanent. Bite Beauty’s Lip Lab has since expanded to two locations in California (Santa Clara and San Francisco) and Toronto as well – a testament to the consumer desire for customized product offerings.
Another testament to the trend is Shiseido’s recent acquisition of MatchCo, a California-based startup that developed a mobile app that scans users’ skin and creates individualized shades of foundation. Customization capabilities factored into the acquisition, according to a Fortune article, as Shiseido CEO Masahiko Uotani remarked that the acquisition would enable the company to “offer more value to its customers through accelerated innovation in rapidly evolving digital tools and customized products.”* As another example, Lancôme recently launched their Le Teint Particulier foundation in select Nordstrom stores, allowing customers the ability to purchase a personalized and custom-blended foundation in the shade that matches their skin perfectly and retails for $80. This custom foundation is packaged in a bottle with the customer’s name on it, as well as a unique complexion ID that allows for easy replenishment. A search on YouTube for reviews on the foundation returns over 1,800 reviews, including those done by influencers Jeffree Star and Jackie Aina.
While makeup continues to lead the pack as the fastest growing prestige beauty category, slowed growth in dollar volume and average price indicate an opportunity for innovation.** Brands can leverage capabilities to offer consumers customized product offerings that fit perfectly into their makeup routines and lifestyles. Coupling this offering with an in-store experience further strengthens the appeal of brick-and-mortar to consumers as well. Overall, pursuing a customization strategy would enable brands to capture part of the innovation pie while remaining relevant with consumer expectations.
*Fortune, “Shiseido Just Bought a Makeup App That Scans Your Skin and Creates Custom Foundation”
**The NPD Group, Inc. / U.S. Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market, February 2017
Growing up in New York City I had access to many things the common teenager did not. Around the corner from my apartment was the city’s first Whole Foods Market. I remember the opening very well and how crowded the natural and organic specialty food store was. But my focus was not the food part of the store. To the right of the main store, in a separate entrance, was a smaller sister store called “Whole Body.” I was obsessed. I more than likely spent more time there than at school (sorry, Dad!).
What I loved about the Whole Body experience was the education I received on ingredients -- not just the naturals that I could use to help solve my skin issues, but the ingredients that were not included in their products and the reasons why. Naturals are having a big moment in skincare. Natural brands are responsible for 55 percent of the overall gains in prestige skincare*, and 85 percent of any gains in the declining brick-and-mortar space**. But there’s this new underbelly of brands that are not making the claim of “natural” and are instead eliminating “unsafe” ingredients.
Beautycounter is perhaps one of the more popular skincare brands that have their feet firmly planted in the “clean” beauty space. The brand is completely transparent with their consumers, telling them that 80 percent of their ingredients are organic, natural, or plant-derived and 20 percent is synthetic. The brand has a download-able “never list” that it has compiled through the more regulated European Union and Health Canada, as well as an additional 100 chemicals that the brand itself has deemed questionable.
But it’s not just smaller brands that are paying attention to potentially harmful ingredients. Retailers like Whole Foods have encouraged its vendors by creating the Premium Body Care Campaign. Walmart and Target have both pushed to include safer, more natural brands in their product mix. Procter & Gamble released a “preservative tracker” just a few weeks ago. The website tracks preservatives that consumers might be trying to avoid but are used by various brands across their portfolio in categories like hair care, personal cleansing, and skincare.
Skincare is a very intellectual and emotional category. Have you ever watched someone talk about how acne affected their teen years and shaped their life? Or have you ever seen the desperation of someone so eager to figure out what is responsible for the red patches on their face? Brands like these are able to speak to that consumer. They provide information, dialogue, a potential resolution, and a cocoon of safety for the consumer to explore. While natural is certainly taking up the spotlight in skincare, brands with a “clean” approach are certainly waiting in the wings.
*Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / U.S. Prestige Beauty Total
**Source: The NPD Group, Inc./U.S. Prestige Beauty Department Store/Specialty Brick & Mortar
My grandaunt always said, “A lady needs to have a signature perfume.” So, for years I have been on the hunt for a fragrance that I could call my own. I always dreamed that in the wake of my signature scent, people would say, “Kissy was here” when they walked into any room I once occupied. But the problem is that I have found too many fragrances that I’m in love with and can’t choose just one to wear for the rest of my life. Realizing I have fragrance commitment issues, I have given up trying to find “the one” and have amassed a wardrobe of scents. Still, I’ve felt guilty for not being ‘loyal’ to just one fragrance.
Data from NPD’s fragrance consumer survey Scentiments, however, tells me I shouldn’t feel this way. Through the survey, we see that consumers who have a signature fragrance are in the minority, accounting for only 10 percent of the fragrance-wearing population. They are more likely to be 45-years old and older, men, and White. I’m actually part of the majority, where close to 90 percent uses more than one fragrance. Forty-three percent are very engaged like me and have a wardrobe of fragrances, as we like to try new and different scents. These wearers are more likely to be under 45 years old, women, and Black or Hispanic. The other 46 percent tend to be White, and are somewhat engaged with a narrow selection of fragrances, as they stick to just a few favorites.
If fragrance marketers communicated the mood or feeling of a fragrance, doing so would speak to the nearly 70 percent of wearers who like to let their moods dictate which fragrance to wear. The idea of a signature fragrance has been eschewed for a more liberal view; if consumers want to wear a different scent each day, they can. I’m glad to know that there are others like me who believe that having several favorite fragrances is acceptable. The more the merrier, I say. Fragrance is supposed to be fun.
Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Scentiments: Scented Mind 2016
Impossible! Unprecedented! For all the naysayers and doubters, what a wakeup call this is. The discounted “one-hit wonder” is now at the top of the hill.
Like a game of thrones, the little guys and gals in beauty have come to the fore as they are the ones increasingly making the loudest noise.
While these may sound like headlines pulled from the political stage, they quite fittingly describe the upheaval we are experiencing in the world of beauty. The changes that we saw rumbling in prior years have gained energy and reached a magnitude that has toppled the established order of things. In 2017, we can expect more of the unexpected.
At a high level, we see that the “next gen” influence, like a force of nature, is at the forefront driving the fundamental shifts across industries and in beauty. Beyond being defined by the traditional, generational boundaries—“young Millennials” or “Gen Z”—this ‘gen’ is upending every facet of our industry – manufacturing, retailing, marketing, packaging, and messaging – in their wake. Beauty today is in many ways unrecognizable to the beauty we knew just a few years ago.
Offsetting the proliferation of “indie brands” is a surge in industry consolidation. While one or two giants once controlled much of the market, the wave of acquisitions across beauty is leveling the playing field. As a result, lines are crossing between the prestige and mass markets. In 2017, we can expect accessibility in price and channels to play a bigger role.
Look who’s smiling now! Trends are moving, it seems, at the speed of thought, and beauty has become revolutionized. Embracing change as never before, this industry is harnessing the energy of healthy disruption. In beauty, here is the lesson learned: never discount the little one, as they may be the next champion to rule the hill.
What do you say? Do you believe all the reports? Do you believe that we have become so detached from what else matters that we don’t care about anything but appearance? I don’t believe that.
Some say it doesn’t matter. Some say it does. Such is the split decision around fragrance and its future.
Fragrance and the need for scent will not disappear, but it is undergoing change. Usage is shifting. That is a fact not just in the U.S., but also in other well-developed markets. Even in France, the venerable fragrance capital where two-thirds of prestige beauty sales is generated in that category, fragrance is facing the challenge of continuing to engage and excite the younger population to wear scent daily. Innovation in messaging, packaging, and delivery is sparking buzz and excitement. There will need to be more of it, as the younger generation relates to brands differently and prioritizes those that help them make a statement.
Consumer engagement continues to expand to embrace the personal and holistic experience. While legacy issues and limited innovation continue to erode topline results in fragrance, look beneath the surface to see the whole story. For the individual, designer classics reimagined for a younger generation and olfactory expansive artisanal scents outpace category growth at rates more than double the industry average. For the broader scent experience, differentiation in offerings for the home is growing at more than triple the industry average for total fragrance.
In the split decision of going with or without fragrance, know that fragrance is going through a rebirth of sorts. While fragrance engagement changes, as the trend of old-new world rediscovery takes hold, fragrance is poised to gain importance.
What happened? The experts and pundits declared it. They thought, “This is a no-brainer.” Every woman cares about these issues! This is the women’s platform, and men care, too. “Who’s got the experience?” they derided. We’ve got this, right? Wrong.
The losses of skincare have put beauty constructs and our long-held beliefs in something of a tailspin. Is skincare defeated? For 2017, the answer is yes, but at the same time the answer is no.
What is defeated? It’s the singular focus on anti-aging. While this spectrum of products is still relevant and necessary, it no longer rules the mindshare of the overwhelming number of skincare shoppers. In the majority of countries tracked by NPD, the weak results of 2015 further eroded in 2016. In the U.S., internet sales account for all category growth as brick-and-mortar stores post ongoing declines in skincare sales. Anti-aging, once the powerhouse and the go-to authority of beauty’s future, faces reinvention or potential generational irrelevance.
What is not defeated? Care. Primary care and prevention bond with makeup preparation to offset the losses from the continued declines in anti-aging. The little categories once ignored or overlooked are now the giants of growth in facial skincare, as consumers turn to lip treatment, masks, complexion treatment products, and others for solutions and quick fixes. Expect formats to expand and increase in importance. There will also be new attention on the once overlooked category of sun care and high SPF products, as this works in tandem with the growing awareness of prevention. And, the adornment in hair care will only grow in importance to meet appearance needs.
Is skincare relevant? Will skincare ever rise again? The glimmers we already see in the mass market say a definitive yes! Far from over the hill, skincare, with a new focus and messaging to meet the needs of the broader consumer base, will rise to see a new day.
Blowing away the competition and upending our world as we once knew it. If you ever doubted the power of the internet, social media, and the appeal of the personality, now you know. This force is real and turning everything we know, or thought we knew, on its head. Politics? Think again…
Makeup, the winner in 2016, stands to trump all again in 2017.
For years, makeup has been watched and followed – remember the famous ‘lipstick index?’ – as an economic market indicator of where women invest during tough or uncertain times. Now, makeup has moved so very far beyond that; it defines the selfie-obsessed, image-driven, influencer-made culture of our time. Yes, makeup is still followed and watched, but now it is by most every woman looking to learn, find a new option for self-expression, for the quick-fix to look instantly younger, or to achieve that perfected ‘natural’ appearance.
Growing at a pace unseen in all NPD U.S. prestige beauty tracking history, makeup is also enjoying this momentum in virtually all countries tracked by NPD. But what about the “no makeup” trend, you may ask? As has often been stated, looking as though you wear no makeup takes a whole lot of makeup. Today, not only is there an increase in the number of women wearing makeup compared to when the ‘no makeup’ trend emerged in 2014, but of the women wearing makeup, two out of every five women aged 18-54 are wearing at least five or more makeup products on a typical day!
And, it doesn’t stop there. Even during the holidays—the perennial fragrance season—makeup now rules. Surpassing fragrance sales in the fourth quarter, U.S. prestige makeup sales look to generate over a quarter of a billion dollars more in revenue than fragrance during the holiday season. Yes – makeup is now not only the category of choice every day, but also for the holiday season. Do we live in a world where, for an increasing number, it’s all about me?!
Yes. Today, in this age of appearance driven e-reality, makeup trumps all.
My sister is a millennial mom and, like many millennial moms, she tries to keep her family’s impact on the environment to a minimum. As an example, when giving out Christmas gift ideas for her daughter, she asked for no plastic toys. Plastic is bad for the environment, she explained. Yeah, I get that. But trust me when I tell you, finding non-plastic toys is more challenging that it seems.
The ideology behind my sister’s gift request is one that is permeating practically every industry on the market today. In beauty specifically, words like sustainable, organic, and natural are keywords in many of the brands and products experiencing success. This especially holds true in skincare.
Natural brands have long been experiencing their heyday within the skincare category, and given the current consumer sentiment, their momentum will continue to thrive -- even during the holidays. While the season may be more traditionally tied to items like plastic toys, electronic gadgets, and apparel, natural beauty in the prestige skincare market has proven that it has a place under the Christmas tree. In fact, natural brands and products have outpaced total skincare performance during the holiday month of December for the past two years, growing at double the rate of the category.
What does this mean for skincare, and for beauty as a whole? The bottom line is, we need to acknowledge and react. Not all brands can be natural, but most brands can be sustainable and/or safe from harmful ingredients. The consumers of today, and tomorrow, are going to demand more of this accountability from the brands they buy, whether in beauty, toys or any industry in between. It would be nice if one day plastic toys are outnumbered by toys made of more environmentally friendly materials. The planet will benefit… and it would make my Christmas shopping so much easier.
A friend recently went on a trip to Asia and before he left he asked if there was anything I wanted him to bring back for me. Silly question, of course there was. In fact, I had started researching and compiling my list as soon as he had told me his itinerary. Korea and Japan are the beauty meccas of Asia and many of the beauty trends that make their way around the world originate from there. Alphabet creams, sheet masks, exotic ingredients in moisturizers; all have been tried and tested by me and now I was ready to jump on the next bandwagon, whatever that may be. To make it easier for my friend to shop, my list included: names of the products, pictures, and stores where these treasures might be located.
The search was going well as I got constant updates on what he had found and crossed off on my list. I was excited by the prospect of my overseas loot until it was almost the last day of his trip and I realized I had not heard about the one product that was the biggest must-try for me. I inquired about the last product on my list and got the devastating news that it was not found yet. My heart sank. The other items were nice and all, but this last one was the thing I really, really wanted – facial cleansing powder.
In skincare, so much innovation and newness happens with the moisturizer and treatment categories that cleansers used to be an afterthought and a throw in at the end of a purchase. Well, not anymore and the numbers show it. The facial cleansing category generated $50 million in sales for Prestige Beauty in Canada in the last 12 months, and has seen double digit growth in the last 2 years. In this segment it has been all about textures. The white bar soap no longer satisfies our need and people have graduated to having a sensory experience while cleansing their face. Nothing highlights this fact more than the surge in popularity of cleansing oils, where sales have doubled in the last two years. This segment will likely continue to grow as more products are launched. When cleansing oils first came on the market, like most people I was a little skeptical about trying them but quickly fell in love. Problem is, now I want more. Now that I see that there are new and innovative products in facial cleansers, I want to test the next big thing.
So far, there are only a handful of cleansing powders on the market, and they mainly belong to smaller niche skincare brands. Still in its infancy, it’ll be interesting to see if they will reach a tipping point and take off in popularity. Overall reviews online have been promising, so maybe someone just needs to start spreading the word. I know I’ll certainly be keeping my eye out for them at the beauty counters.
So what happened when I received my loot bag from Asia? My story has a happy ending of course. Nestled at the bottom was my container of powder. Found and purchased in the 11th hour at the airport duty free shop. I tested my new acquisition that night, and I have to tell you, it did not disappoint!