The impact of COVID-19 on beauty industry trends

Research company Mintel has launched a report looking at how the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdowns arising from it have affected trends within the beauty industry. The report looks at effects from the last recession and makes suggestions on how the industry can best cope with the consequences of a post COVID-19 recession.  

Research conducted with Italian consumers suggests that trends of spending money on luxuries such as beauty products is low down on their agenda. As these consumers prepare for a downturn in the economy, 51% are cutting back on non-essential spending. There is a trend towards looking for the best value items and 15% have bought more products in bulk.  

Meanwhile, Spanish consumers are using beauty as a way to cope with dark times and are using extra time at home to indulge in beauty rituals. Consumer trends indicate that they have spent 18% more time cutting their own hair, 15% more time on skin treatments and 13% more time on hair and scalp treatments. Over a third have bought a new, previously un-tried, product online and 17% have experimented with something new – such as a lipstick shade. Spanish local businesses have benefitted with 31% of consumers spending more locally. However, trends showing time spent in shops overall is down, with 51% limiting the time they spend in-store. 

The effects of discount culture are best fought by providing value to the customer through expertise as well as with budget ranges. During the last recession private labels doubled their share of the personal care market and consistently account for 20-25% of launches in the almost 10 years since. However, as consumers feel the pinch it is predicted that they will turn to grocery and mass brands. When times are tough people look for ways to treat themselves whilst making savings and this has previously led to luxury labels selling smaller versions of popular products. Thus, enabling customers to indulge in escapism at an affordable price. These days escapism has morphed into the trend for self-care, a behaviour which runs parallel to mental wellbeing – something that will certainly be seen as paramount in the times ahead. 

Hand creams, gels and sanitiser sales see major increase 

According to a report by Grand View Research, the global hand sanitiser market size is anticipated to reach USD 13.7 billion by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 22.6%. Gel based sanitisers are anticipated to dominate this market sector. 

Major sanitiser manufacturers ramped up production capacity to cater for the unprecedented spike in consumer demand for sanitisers worldwide, particularly at the start of the pandemic. Hand hygiene and its importance in preventing the spread of infectious diseases will act as a key driver for the expected continued growth of this market. According to findings, 77% of the population surveyed have a preference for sanitiser. According to the studies, classroom application of hand sanitisers is expected to reduce absenteeism of students due to illness by 20%. However, growth of the market may be hampered by the usage of chemical ingredients associated with the product causing allergies to some people. 

Cornelius can help:  We have formulated a hand sanitiser, which is Taurate-based and leaves a soft after-feel on the skin. The formulation is non-sticky, rubs in quickly and leaves hands feeling smooth. 

Trends of bulk buying and value packs are gaining in popularity; for example, Boots has a section dedicated to value packs and bundles on their website. Items found here include the Immunity and Protection bundle which contains 20 disposable face masks, a vitamin D supplement and Nemesis eH20 Anti-Viral Hand Sanitiser, a multipurpose alcohol free skin antiseptic which is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and kills 99.9999% of harmful micro-organisms. 

Avon is also selling hygiene kits. Their antibacterial Moisturising Hand Gel contains 64% alcohol and is dermatologically tested and fragrance-free. It comes in two different sizes and is sold separately as well as in a set with masks. 

L’Oreal, under La Roche-Posay brand, has launched Biotherm hygiene travel kit. This contains 75ml bottle of no-rinse purifying hand gel and 100ml tube of age-delaying hand and nail treatment cream. Packaged in FSC and PEF-C certified cardboard box – no cellophane, plastic or stickers. Sold exclusively at airports in Europe and the Middle East. 

Alcohol free sanitisers are trending too, as consumers realise the drying effects that alcohol has on the skin. Boots’ own brand Anti-Viral Hand Foam kills 99.9% of viruses and harmful bacteria whilst being gentle on the skin. Its active ingredients Didecyldimonium chloride and Chlorhexidine digluconate are effective against Influenza A virus subtype H1N1, rotavirus, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas, aeruginosa, Enterococcus hirae, E.coli and MRSA.  

Pure Touch Moisturising Hand Cream by UK beauty brand Creighton’s is biocidal and designed to kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses instantly – in the same manner as a sanitiser. The moisturising and nourishing formulation is ethanol-free to reduce the chance of it drying the skin. Additionally, the cream is substantive to the skin, maximising its efficacy between uses. Creighton’s is first to the retail market with this new innovative product and say that “customers’ interest pre-launch had been considerable.” A patent is currently pending on the new formula.   

‘Maskne’ – the new skincare issue affecting consumers

Many people are experiencing new skincare problems due to the increased prevalence of face masks and “maskne” (mask-induced acne) is becoming a real problem. The “constant rubbing of the masks against our skin causes micro-tears, allowing easier entry for bacteria and dirt to clog up our pores” explains dermatologist Angeline Yong. The Singapore-based expert goes on to say that she advises clients to opt for lightweight moisturisers under masks.  

According to beauty giant L’Oréal, the past few months have seen a “strong rise in deep-cleansing products”. While skincare is booming, the make-up industry has taken a hit as more people work from home and avoid heading out. But Jochen Zaumseil, L’Oréal’s executive-vice president in Asia-Pacific, says demand for make-up is expected to rise again as life returns to normal, businesses begin to re-open, and more people start going into work. This is what has been witnessed in China, which is several months ahead of most of the world in coping with the virus. L’Oreal research found that 34% of Chinese women wore make-up in February, during the peak of lockdown, and this increased to 68% in late June to early July. However, there’s been a consistent demand for products that show up above people’s face masks. 

Cornelius can help: Our new COVID-19 Response kit contains a collection of products designed to address current hygiene and skin care trends arising from the ongoing pandemic. Hygiene formulations are included, as well as caring and repairing products for the hands and face.

New for Summer 2020 – Perfect for skin that’s feeling worse for wear 

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Setting Spray Plus is a multitasker that provides up to 16-hour wear, helping keep make-up looking fresh whilst controlling shine. The weightless mist is infused with hyaluronic acid, coconut water, and aloe vera extract and keeps skin feeling hydrated and comfortable. 

Cornelius can help: We supply several grades of sodium hyaluronate in different molecular weights to provide differing levels of moisturisation to the skin. Mini HA’s ultra-low molecular weight allows it to absorb deep into the skin where it provides hydration and plumping for an anti-ageing, repairing effect; whilst the high molecular weight grade is film-forming, moisturising the skin surface and preventing TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss). 

Nip + Fab Purify Salicylic Fix Clay Mask is designed to smooth, detoxify and reduce signs of irritation. The clay mask draws out impurities and minimises pores with the aid of salicylic acid, lotus flower and liquorice root extract. Skin is said to look less congested, brighter and more radiant. 

Cornelius can help: Mediacalm® is a soothing active for sensitive skin which reduces inflammation. Thanks to its calming properties, Mediacalm® soothes skin after single or repeated stresses and restores the normal skin sensitivity threshold.  

Neutrogena Oil Free Clear and Defend Moisturizer has an ultra-light formulation which provides 24-hour hydration without clogging pores. The oil free formulation contains soothing aloe vera and chamomile to help calm congested or irritated skin. Designed to respect the skins natural balance, the formulation helps prevent the appearance of new spots whilst fading spot marks for a smoother, clearer complexion. 

Cornelius can help:  Dermapur HP®  is rich in phenolic acids purified from meadowsweet. It rebalances the skin’s ecosystem by stimulating the synthesis of natural antibiotics, reducing bacterial growth and sebaceous secretions. Additionally, it limits inflammatory lesions and overall improves the appearance of skin uniformity, making it ideal for the treatment of oily skin with a tendency to acne.  

Consumers focus on combatting the effects of blue light damage 

As face-to-face interactions have dramatically reduced, the time we are spending in front of screens has increased. This has made many of us think about the impact blue light has on the skin. US Vogue says searches for blue light skincare have grown by 46.2% over the last 12 months and brands who sell blue light-blocking products say their sales have followed suit. US brand Coola’s blue light-blocking products have seen weekly sales double on Amazon since the start of March, sales of One Ocean Beauty’s Blue Light Protection and Hydration Mist increased by 200% during April and May and Supergoop’s sheer sunscreen and make-up primer are the two of the hottest trending facial sun care products at Sephora. 

Cornelius can help: Silab’s Oxygeskin®, an active derived from the nasturtium flower, restores skin’s adaptive capacity to overcome hypoxic stress caused by digital pollution and natural ageing. It limits the appearance of free radicals and damage to the matrix caused by blue light, restoring a healthy glow to skin. The barrier function is strengthened, and skin smoothness and quality are improved. 

Big comeback for eye make-up 

There is set to be a greater focus on eye make-up trends as the lower half of faces are covered with a mask. Elle recently ran a feature on matching eye make-up with different fancy masks. The piece features ten looks including a purple and blue flowered mask paired with eyes made up with corresponding eyeshadow colours; a sparkly mask worn with diamante false lashes, a plain black mask twinned with jewels stuck around the eye area. 

Barry M has launched its Neon Brights Eyeshadow Palette, a collection of nine neon shades perfect for creating daring eyes this summer. The intensely vivid collection includes Electronic (red), Firework (blue) and Laserbeam (yellow), all nine colours have smooth finish allowing them to blend seamlessly together. Or, if a subtle finish is more your thing, the brand has also released the Bare It All neutrals palette, a beautifully balanced selection of nine naturals in shimmer and matte finishes, designed to suit all skin tones. Both are vegan and cruelty-free and housed in a palette made from sustainable card, which removes the mirror and magnets to ensure easy recycling after use. 

Cornelius can help: BASF Colors & Effects has an extensive range of effect pigments suitable for making the most of the eyes. The company’s latest shade, Cloisonné Vibrant Raspberry is a magenta metallic-like effect pigment based on natural mica sourced responsibly and ethically from BASF’s own US mine. It delivers a unique, vibrant magenta colour without carmine or synthetic organic colorants, providing superior colour intensity for clean and vegan trends. A collection of colour cosmetics, including a very on-trend sparkling Eyeliner Pen, have been formulated showcasing this intense new pigment.  

For more information on the latest trends within the beauty sector, you can contact us