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Published October 2nd 2023

6 Beauty Industry Consumer Trends Marketers Should Be Watching

What are the latest consumer trends in the beauty industry? From the most sought-after ingredients and evolving consumer behaviors to discussions on diversity, we've got you covered.

How have consumer habits changed recently? Read on for the latest trends in the beauty industry.

Consumer habits are constantly changing, with some trends fading and others emerging. It’s important for brands to be aware of these shifts to avoid losing customers and remain competitive in the market. Online conversations can provide valuable insight into consumer opinions and preferences, and these insights can help brands make better business decisions. 

Let's take a look at six of the biggest consumer trends in the beauty industry right now.

Trend #1: Consumers prefer products with hyaluronic acid 

Consumers have a wide range of products to choose from when looking for skin- or haircare products. Depending on why they want to buy a new product, ingredients play a big role in their purchase decision. 

We see that in cosmetic conversations online, where ingredients are a big topic of discussion. Consumers like to share their experiences or ask their peers for advice. For marketers, these conversations can provide insight into what ingredients are popular and what trends are emerging.

Online consumer conversations often mention ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and retinol. Collagen and niacinamide are also popular.

We identified the online conversations that grew the most from August 25, 2022 to August 24, 2023 compared to the previous 12 months, and mentions of the following ingredients showed the biggest growth:

  • Ceramide: Mentions increased by 46%
  • Niacinamide: Mentions increased by 33%
  • Cica: Mentions increased by 32%
  • Retinol: Mentions increased by 27%
  • Glycolic acid: Mentions increased by 20%

Trend #2: Anti-hair loss products are getting more popular 

Consumers often choose beauty products to solve a specific problem. What are the most common concerns? In online consumer conversations, blemishes or acne, wrinkles, and dry skin are the most discussed. Consumers are actively looking for skincare and haircare products to improve the health and appearance of their skin and hair.

By looking at online conversations and how they evolved over time, we can see what trends are emerging and which ones are fading. Hair loss is the topic that has grown the most over the time period analyzed, with an increase of 6% in mentions. Hair loss discussions also have the highest percentage of mentions of all analyzed topics expressing sadness. 

Consumers are looking for haircare products that will stop their hair loss and help them regrow their hair. In online conversations about anti-hair loss products, consumers discuss their experiences with different products and whether their expectations were met. Not seeing the desired results of using a product is one of the most negatively discussed topics around anti-hair loss products.

It's important for beauty brands to monitor consumer conversations online to identify the most common pain points, which can inform product development and future marketing campaigns.

Trend #3: Consumers care deeply about sunscreen products 

Consumer interest in sun care products is growing. According to Google Trends, search interest in sun protection products has seen a steady increase over the past five years, reaching a 5-year high at the end of May 2023. 

This is also reflected in online conversations. Not only is sunscreen the most mentioned skincare product in conversations about cosmetics overall, but conversations about sun care products also increased by 11% from August 25, 2022 to August 24, 2023 compared to the previous twelve months.

Consumers are discussing sun care products as part of their daily skincare routine. They are looking for facial washes and cleansers that remove sunscreen at the end of the day. A pain point for consumers is finding suncare products that address their specific skincare needs, such as products suitable for sensitive, dry, or oily skin.

Consumers are particularly interested in higher SPF sunscreens. While online conversations about products with an SPF of 20 or lower have decreased, conversations about products with an SPF of 50 or higher have increased by 31%. It seems that consumers have a growing need for safe sun protection products.

Trend #4: Conditioners are a favorite in solid cosmetics conversations 

Solid cosmetics (referring to products that contain minimal or no water) are popular with consumers who are more conscious of sustainability. Because of their solid nature, they require less packaging and can help reduce waste, especially plastic. And consumers are here for it. 

The number of people talking about solid cosmetics increased by 21%, resulting in 14% more mentions from August 24, 2022 to August 25, 2023 compared to the previous 12 months. Sustainability is a key topic in these conversations. Consumers are discussing vegan products, organic or natural ingredients, and (less) plastic packaging.

Solid shampoos, conditioners, and body washes are the most mentioned products. Conditioner is also the product with the highest percentage growth in mentions, with a 19% increase. Solid conditioner is also the most positively talked about of all the products analyzed. Half of the emotionally categorized mentions express joy.

In joyful conversations, consumers praise the positive results of using solid conditioners, such as obtaining soft and clean hair, products being suitable for long hair, and having a pleasant smell.

On the other hand, consumers are less satisfied with solid body wash products. A whopping 64% of mentions categorized by sentiment are negative. What causes this frustration? Consumers complain that they get dry skin or can't use bar soap because they have sensitive skin. The higher price is another pain point. Others don't like the smell, or the product leaves too much soap scum in the bath or shower after use. 

By monitoring these conversations, brands can identify the most common pain points consumers have with solid cosmetics. These insights can help marketers connect with their audience, create better products, and ultimately increase sales.

Trend #5: The rise of skinminimalism

In the beauty market, there’s a variety of products that consumers can add to their skincare routine, from cleansers to serums to moisturizers. Beauty influencers share their multi-step, multi-product skincare routines in so-called "get ready with me videos" on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. 

But there seems to be a shift from a complicated, multi-step skincare routine to a simple skincare routine with less or no makeup, also called skinimalism.

Online conversations on Reddit increased by 39% from August 25, 2022 to August 24, 2023 compared to the previous 12 months. 30% more people on Reddit are talking about simple skincare routines and wearing no or only minimal makeup. They post photos of themselves in subreddits like r/selfie to encourage others or to discuss the best products for a simple makeup look.

The top emotion in these conversations is joy. The number of mentions expressing joy also saw the largest increase, with 53% more joyful mentions. "Beautiful" is the most mentioned word in those mentions around minimalistic skincare and makeup routines. Consumers are embracing the natural look and how a simpler skincare routine is easier to keep up with on busy days.

Beauty brands can leverage this trend by promoting makeup products for a simple makeup look or by offering multi-purpose skincare products to appeal to consumers who want to keep their skincare routine simple and easy.

Trend #6: The pro-aging movement 

The beauty market has (finally) seen a wave of diversity and inclusivity in recent years. Consumers are questioning beauty standards, and a new movement has emerged: The pro-aging movement. Beauty brands such as The Body Shop have changed their communication from "anti-aging" to more age-positive terms.

And consumers are embracing it. From August 25, 2022 to August 24, 2023, the number of people talking about pro-aging in the beauty industry increased by 29% over the previous 12 months. And they are talking about it in a very positive way. A whopping 69% of all emotionally-categorized mentions express joy.

It’s worth noting that older creators are becoming increasingly popular on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. They share glimpses of their daily lives, create entertaining videos, and share fashion and beauty tips, much like typical beauty content creators, but their unique focus is on embracing and celebrating aging. Using Influence, we analyzed the top beauty influencers on Instagram who talk about pro-aging in their content.

Here are 10 pro-aging beauty influencers on Instagram:

  1. Ting Ma - @tingmingstyle
  2. Jin - @agingwith_style_and_grays
  3. Elan Bongiorno - @beautybyelan
  4. Lauren Dimet Waters - @fountainof30
  5. Helen - @simpson.house
  6. Simone Schmied - @soebine
  7. Simone Adams - @frau_mone
  8. Valeria - @cocolavieenrose
  9. Roxanne Gould - @roxmod
  10. Tanya Darby - @darby_in_the_desert

Instagram post by Ting Ming

Instagram post by Jin

Instagram post by Elan Bongiorno

Beauty brands can benefit from working with older creators to embrace more diversity in the industry and reach new audiences. Adapting messaging to include more body-positive language can help consumers feel better about themselves, ultimately attracting new customers and deepening customer loyalty.

Discover the latest consumer trends in our new CPG trends report 

Read our latest report on the consumer packaged goods industry to find out about the latest consumer trends, including:

  • How consumer buying habits have changed
  • The online conversations behind the quiet luxury trend
  • The most popular ingredients in beauty products
  • The sentiment in consumer conversations about off-brand products
  • And much more 

Read about the latest consumer trends in the CPG industry.

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