Consumers’ preferences have drastically changed due to the pandemic – from the increase of fully functioning home offices to hybrid working models that have impacted how the public groom themselves.
The latest McKinsey & Co report, highlighted notable trends including the exponential growth of male-oriented cosmetics and skincare while female cosmetics sharply declined in 2021. In addition, raised mental health awareness has also shaped development in sectors such as self-care and body care.
As a new year unfolds, we look ahead to what may shape beauty in 2022.
- Pared down minimalist beauty
The new normal is healthy, bare skin. People are letting their skin breathe and applying fewer chemicals and using less harmful ingredients (i.e. parabens, sulfates). Findings also highlighted that consumers are cutting back on the sheer amount of products bought and simplifying their beauty routine — which means fewer products clogging up their bathroom cabinets and fewer bottles clogging up our landfills.
- Conglomerates eco-conscious shift
More prominent beauty brands like L’Oreal and Estee Lauder are making an extra effort to create cruelty-free formulations and enforce their commitment to sustainability. In addition, a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, called Powered Brands aims to create a new kind of global conglomerate made up of sustainable and digitally focused beauty brands.
- Reduced-waste packaging
Saving the planet starts with home practices. From encouraging the use of minimal plastic packaging with bar soaps to introducing refillable packaging, beauty brands are stepping up sustainability initiatives. For example, hair care brand Shiseido Professional reduced its overall use of plastic by 75% to support the concept of Circular Economy.
- Mission-driven beauty
Planting a tree with purchase, recycling initiatives, or empowering women worldwide are just some of the causes leading the mission-driven beauty movement. Trends like Fair Trade beauty are taking up more real estate as well as companies like Tacha which donates towards a day of school through Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program.
- Inclusivity for all
Inclusion, be it identity, age, race, gender, or lived experience, will define the future expression of modern beauty. With regard to the exponential growth of male-oriented cosmetics, V&V’s sister company, The Soothe has started more inclusive beauty conversations including aesthetic beauty for men and manscaping for your mental health.
All-in-all, reports show consumers are seeking brands that align with climate positivity and inclusivity in every area of their lives, and also natural, clean beauty for their skin, so expect to see more brands shift towards these trends in 2022.