The beauty industry is an ever-evolving business that has been able to thrive despite the global pandemic. This is the industry influenced by cultural change, social media, celebrities, fashion, and all other aspects of everyday life.
Today’s consumers like to be well informed about what they put on their skin and if it’s worth the price. They pay attention to whether the products are eco-friendly, vegan, and made from ingredients advertised by the manufacturer. The Nature Republic is a great manufacturer of makeup products using natural ingredients.
Beauty industry trends in 2021 bring innovations focused on environment, diversity, technology, and shift of the consumers’ buying habits, and here is what to expect.
The expansion of inclusivity
Brands are well aware that they need to be more inclusive and create products that are specifically made for underserved demographics. For example, products for people of color are more available and improved with brands providing support, training, and resources to expand their knowledge. Men now have a wide range of beauty products with carefully planned marketing campaigns, including even makeup.
Inclusivity also means creating products for all ages and genders, from skincare for babies to perimenopausal women. Contemporary people are more aware of their bodies, freedom, and style so they want brands to acknowledge that. To appeal to its consumers, the beauty industry had to accept the diversity in the world and come up with products that leave no one behind.
Consumers want sustainable products
The environment is an important issue for consumers and they are now aware that not all synthetic products are bad. Biotechnological advancements brought ingredients that will replace the ones taken from nature and animals, thus destroying ecosystems. For example, the production of palm oil endangers animals and causes greenhouse gas emissions.
Another focus is on using sustainable and recyclable packaging, something especially important to Millennials and Gen Zers. Most used packaging ends up in landfills and oceans, and not in the recycling facilities. Some brands decided to downsize the use of single-use packaging, like Unilever, while others intend to stop using plastic at all, like HiBar. Another emerging sustainable trend is refill models, like Myro’s deodorants and Asa Beauty makeup.
Beauty appointments available on-demand
The global pandemic has caused companies to make adjustments in order to survive on the market. This led to a rise in booking apps, like Urban and Glamera, that allowed businesses to showcase their work and offer services on-demand. So, instead of going to a location to have a facial, professionals from companies, like Skin Laundry and Heyday, can come to your home.
Some companies use 3D printers, like ManiMe that prints personalized press-on nails and sends them to their consumers. Other companies make devices that will provide the complete automated experience, like Foreo’s facial massagers and Tria Beauty’s hair removal laser.
Big companies invest in incubators
Beauty corporations have been developing incubator programs for some time now to have access to markets reserved for indie brands. Instead of in-house brands, they help companies to start or invest in existing ones, with the possibility for acquisition or partnership in the future. This way, big companies gain access to often neglected populations and test products on the market with minimal investment.
For example, Sephora Accelerate invests in female founders, and Target mentors gender-neutral makeup products Mented Cosmetics. Also, Glossier dedicates funds for Black-owned beauty brands, and Estée Lauder increased its share in Deciem and will own the whole company in three years.
Improved personalized skincare
Product personalization is on the rise as technology to refine formulations is getting better by the day. According to an Accenture study, 75% of consumers want to buy personalized beauty products and are even willing to pay more for them. However, this type of product is not new, but until now it was reserved for wealthier consumers.
The technology has gone so far that it can create products based on your DNA, like the company Allél does with its skincare line. Some, like MAC Shanghai, use 3D printing for custom-made eyeshadow palettes for each consumer.
AI platforms are also gaining in popularity, like Proven skincare that recorded almost 10 million testimonials, more than 4000 scientific publications, and over 100,000 products in its database. Another good example is L’Oreal Perso, an AI in-house device that creates and dispenses personalized products, like foundation and lipstick.
Beauty brands are educating users
Consumers are not satisfied with labels like “natural”, “organic”, and “clean.” They want to know what each ingredient does and why they should buy the products, even though brands are transparent about their formulations. For this purpose, beauty brands cooperated with scientists, makeup artists, hair stylists, dermatologists, and other experts to educate consumers.
But, more and more consumers decide to take a beautician course or attend makeup school so they would gain in-depth knowledge about ingredients. This trend is not going anywhere, if anything it’s only going to get bigger and beauty brands know education is the key.
Virtual try-on tech is gaining traction
For the beauty industry to successfully shift to e-commerce, it has to allow consumers to try the products just like they would in an actual store. This is where augmented reality or AR can play a crucial part in enhancing the virtual shopping experience. L’Oreal, for example, has had ModiFace since 2018 that gives opportunity to users to virtually try on their cosmetics.
Google created an AR try-on tool available from its Search page that lets consumers try makeup from various brands, like MAC. But, the most prominent in AR beauty is the Taiwanese Perfect Corp that can create personalized recommendations through its AI Skin Diagnostic tool.
These beauty industry trends in 2021 are only the beginning and more will come, regardless of the global pandemic. Consumers want transparent products that respect the environment and support their views while being affordable and quality at the same time. After all, if big brands want to succeed they have to adapt and not resist the flow started by the indie companies.
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