You didn’t return any results. Please clear your filters.
07 April 2021
The conversations driving skincare in 2021
Cosmetics, beauty aidsSkin care, sun protectionUnited States
The last year has shifted much about our lives, and while many people have socialised less and remained home more, skincare – a category with the rare attribute of necessity among beauty products – is changing as it grows with new Black Swan analysis of unstructured social data revealing the contours of its change in the US market.
Why it matters
Following the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 came the roaring 20s and an economic boom that some beauty companies, not least French titan L’Oreal, expect to supercharge the $500 billion global beauty industry. However, in the pandemic the industry needed to adapt to a widespread adoption of self-care and wellness ideas, which the skincare category is well-placed to embrace.
Analysis of more that 10 million consumer conversations by the data analysis startup Black Swan, which WARC wrote about in late 2019, seeks to illuminate new sources of growth in unstructured social trends. The firm uses a machine learning model and a proprietary metric (Trend Prediction Value) to understand a trend’s relative maturity, allowing it to map growth potential with a strong degree of accuracy (89%). While the following are deep dives into trends, ideas of sustainability and ethical consumption remain core to the category.
DIY Clinical skincare With a 29% increase in conversations, social data suggests that consumers are becoming more interested in beauty solutions (including technology and devices) to achieve salon-quality effects. People now expect high accessibility, products that slot into busy routines, and, of course, similarly effective products.
Black Swan expects products that simplify routines and provide high quality results to do well. Brands like Foreo, which create affordable gadgets and has built an app layer to its offer, help their customers to tailor their own experience.
Life during Covid ‘Maskne’ and hand sanitiser overuse were rare problems in 2019, but now they are skincare problems that reflect the reality of life under COVID, with a 28% growth in conversations. Gentle treatments, with the potential to become a long-term element of skincare routines are seeing big increases, as evidenced by the 42% growth in conversations around the brand CeraVe.
Though vaccines offer a ray of sunlight, preventative products like silk facemasks or products that provide ‘sensorial validation’ of effects like foaming cleansers are increasingly important. Crucially, the biggest opportunity is in long-term adoptability rather than temporary treatments.
Wellness Skincare doesn’t exist in isolation. People are talking about ingredient transparency, natural enhancement, and benefits beyond just skincare. Some key trends are seeing massive increases such as the 52% growth in discussions of vegan skincare, or the 75% conversation growth around brands like Facetheory, a natural-focussed DTC service.
New business models Consumers are researching more than ever, willing to engage with detailed information in the search for quality skincare. Key among their interests are ingredients capable of enhancing the whole body’s wellness, curated experimentation through personalised selections, and ‘informed consumption’, where part of the service is to be in the know about new solutions and trends.
Most important here is the ability to inspire and encourage exploration, with subscriptions and beauty box curation really hot topics. These provide reassurance that the user is not missing out or being duped by a new fad. Similar to above, tailored sets that address specific consumers’ needs are a major opportunity.