Mintel has released its beauty forecast for the year ahead, and it’s full of surprises, from microneedling and DNA sequencing to luxury care for vulvas. The market research company’s annual report is based on beauty and personal care analysts’ predictions, bolstered by data from 36 markets.
And while beauty may be only skin deep, the research shows just how profoundly consumers have been affected by recent changes. Consumers are finding new definitions of wellness and mental health as they prioritize self-care. And even as they cut back on spending, they’re placing more value on feeling and looking good.
Mintel says these three trends are so strong they’ll likely continue to shape the industry for several years.
*Medicalization of beauty
The beauty business has always been full of faux science, with counter associates wearing fake lab coats. But these days, consumers demand proof, looking for value through ingredient-led products. The pandemic increased the demand for at-home treatments with professional results. And as they return to salons, they want better performance.
Among the trendsetters? Launched this year in China, Youngmay SpaceTime Hydro Lifting System is a micro- needling device that uses serums that mimic mesotherapy -- the injection of vitamins and enzymes– at home.
Shiseido’s Bio-Performance collection uses bio-skin that integrates seamlessly with natural skin to remodel, smooth and firm. It’s also researching skin diagnostics through bacteria, “taking the concept of the ‘biome’ to the next level,” writes Mintel.
Ingredients are key to this trend, with 75% of Chinese women saying they pay close attention to them, while 53% of American consumers research the effectiveness of ingredients.
“Beauty is intended to be uplifting and can contribute to a post-pandemic sense of self-care that includes sexual wellness, the hormone journey and wellness for every life stage,” Mintel says.
Increasingly, consumers expect this expanding universe of care to be available to everyone. “It’s critical to ensure that all consumers feel seen and spoken to. Identity, representation and body positivity are changing how consumers see themselves.”
In the U.S., 72% of consumers now believe beauty standards are defined too rigidly, and 57% want to see more beauty products for people with mobility challenges.
Gender, sexuality and hormones are all very much a part of the wellness conversation. The world’s first luxury intimate care brand recently opened a physical store in Singapore. TwoL(i)ps focuses on vulva care, offering hydrating products and charcoal-activated masks.
In the U.K., health food retailer Holland & Barratt trained more than 4,000 menopause advisers to offer free consultations.
And Vitalbeautie, a Korean beauty-food brand, claims its products are based on research about traditional ingredients and modern technology while considering customers’ age, gender, body shape, psychology and lifestyle.
The self-care conversation is already moving to the community level, “as people recognize the importance of helping one another to help everyone live better and feel better. This concept will apply to everyone, regardless of age, gender or life stage,” Mintel says.
Shiro, a Japanese beauty company, has plans to open a concept called “Everyone’s Factory.” Aimed at revitalizing the community, it developed the idea in workshops with residents.
*New rules of engagement
As beauty brands charge into the metaverse, Mintel says it’s clear that beauty consumers now expect disruption. Playing with products makes consumers feel good, and brands look for new ways to develop rapport.
Foope Fragrance, based in Canada, offers people a five-day trial before purchasing its vegan perfumes. And in Japan, vending machines powered by artificial intelligence are already in use, with large touchscreens and cashless payments.