Comment Consumer Brand Comms
18.10.2021

The biggest trends impacting the beauty industry in 2021 and beyond

The biggest trends impacting the beauty industry in 2021 and beyond

Share

by Esther Knox

In September, I had the pleasure of listening to some of the beauty industry’s most experienced marketing professionals and experts discussing the movements and trends shaping the beauty landscape.

First up, was The British Beauty Council’s fantastic British Beauty Week, where I attended talks by experts in the Industry Hub, followed in quick succession by The Beauty Trends & Innovation Conference, a jam-packed day of panel-talks and insight sessions led by the likes of Benefit, No7 and Tangle Teezer.

For an industry that usually thrives on newness, the last 18 months have seen a slower pace and a shift towards spending more time at home, which has changed our beauty buying habits. But is this shift here to stay? From personalisation and inclusivity to the pro-aging movement, here are the top beauty trends for 2022, as predicted by the industry’s finest

Consumers will demand personalisation and inclusivity

Inclusivity has been a hot topic in beauty for some time now, with some brands being hailed for extensive shade ranges and skincare offerings to suit all skin types and ethnicities and others being called out as archaic for their lack of efforts. The spirit of inclusivity looks set to reign on with consumers demanding that products be personalised to, not just their skin type or ethnicities but, their body type, skin tone and gender identity. By 2065 it is predicted that there will be no ethnic majority in the US, and with the UK’s ethnic diversity on the increase too, it comes as no surprise that the consumer appetite for products that are personalised to them is set to grow.   

The rising ‘skinification’ of haircare

The pandemic and corresponding time in our homes has propelled us to focus on optimising our skincare routines. Not only have we had more time than ever to focus on improving and understanding our knowledge of what works for our skin type, but we’ve turned to it as a form of self-care in what’s been a tough year. And the focus on skin hasn’t just been restricted to our face. The ‘skinification’ of hair is the biggest haircare trend of the moment and experts predict it is here to stay.

There is an increased focus on the health of our hair, and most importantly the scalp. We have seen an advancement in ingredient type and quality used in our haircare products as well as a new sub category of products focusing on scalp health. Beauty fans have long understood the importance of quality ingredients in skincare routines and are becoming increasingly interested in what to put on their hair too – expect a greater demand for quality and ingredient driven haircare. 

The pro-aging movement will pick up momentum

We’re all very familiar with the body confidence movement, which encourages us to challenge negative external influences so we can start to accept and perhaps even love our bodies. Now a similar movement is emerging in the aging space and we’re set to hear a lot more about it. Pro-aging doesn’t mean a rejection of make-up and skincare, but rather a more targeted approach towards products designed to enhance appearance at any age, instead of hiding and fighting symptoms of aging. The philosophy behind pro-aging is to remove all “anti” claims and replace them with a more positive rhetoric.

Amy Catton, Global Product Manager at No7, spoke of their brand attitude towards pro-aging at The Beauty Trends & Innovation Conference: “We are an anti-aging brand but we know that women are so empowered now and that phrase is old school. It’s all about pro-aging. As a business, we are in this phase of getting rid of anti-aging as we are all about women feeling their best.”

With this in mind, brands should be focusing on empowering consumers and equipping them with the information they need to make educated product selections that will enhance their confidence at any age instead of positioning ageing as a problem to be solved. 

Insatiable appetite for new ingredients

The word ‘skintellectuals’ has been bandied around for some time now – a savvy generation of beauty trailblazers who are clued up on the active ingredients and formulations in their cosmetics. Skintellectualism is all about knowing what works for your specific skin type and which ingredients help to address particular skin concerns. They can tell you the difference between AHAs and BHAs, retinol and Vitamin C, and they are constantly on the look out for advanced, scientifically backed ingredients in new formats, that optimise their skincare regime. With 25% of the top beauty searches being ingredients led, it really is what’s inside that counts when it comes to the next generation of beauty products.

What It All Means

This is by no means an exhaustive list – clean beauty is set to be as hot a topic as ever, sustainability is key especially with the impending EPR reform and overall experience (in-home and out) will hold more of a place in our hearts than ever before as we move out of the pandemic. With all this upcoming, it’s as exciting a time as ever to be involved in the industry and I am excited to see how beauty brands will adapt to the ever-changing face of the UK beauty landscape.