3 consumer expectations are driving prestige skin care business

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

3 consumer expectations are driving prestige skin care business
Recent data from market research and consumer trends group NPD shows that just a few key factors boosted Q2 prestige skin care sales for 2018 to $1.3bn—a figure that’s up 12% compared to the same quarter last year.

“In skincare, this year we are seeing greater success coming from existing products than from newness,” ​says Larissa Jensen, executive director and beauty industry analyst at The NPD Group, in a media release announcing the latest US sales figure for prestige beauty.

Beyond skin care, the prestige hair business had the biggest percent-increase, with a 24% lift over Q2 last year translating to $178.4m in sales for the quarter.

Fragrance was up 7%, tallying $910.8m in sales. And, color cosmetics sales in the States were flat year-over-year, according to NPD data.

“Prestige skincare growth continued to outpace makeup,” ​affirms the research group, “with sets and kits, facial moisturizers, age specialists, and sunscreen among the facets of the market contributing the most dollars gained to the skincare category in Q2.”

In her commentary on all things prestige beauty, Jensen calls out 3 key skin care category drivers that are impacting the business:

1. Wellness

The wellness and self-care movements have more consumers looking for easily portable products; products that pair well with healthier lifestyle choices; and even skin care that looks a lot like health care.

Expanding into the beauty-from-within / functional food / supplements market, beauty makers like Avon have launched health and wellness divisions (read more about that here on Cosmetics Design​).

Just this summer, the aptly named indie skin care brand Well Within launched supplements​: “We strongly believe that wellness and beauty are inextricably linked,” ​Renee Tavoularis commented—in effect, explaining why beauty brands, consumers, retailers, etc. are expanding their focus to include wellness products.

2. Clean Ingredients

With a global view on ingredient safety, time-honored beauty rituals, and scientific scrutiny; consumers are looking for ingredients that suit a particular understanding of ‘clean’ ingredients and formulations.

Brands like the blend-it-yourself skin care maker LOLI Beauty are meeting expectations here with reusable, clear glass packaging for face and hair oils like Plum Elixer, skin and body balms like Chia Carrot Brulee, and scrubs like Purple Corn Grains.

3. Natural Brands

While debate over the validity and meaning of ‘natural’ continues; retailers, consumers, agile brands, and shrewd ingredient makers are moving forward.

L'Oréal-backed brand Seed Phytonutrients made headlines when it debuted a natural skin care portfolio packaged almost entirely in cardboard. (Read about that brand and other disruptive ventures here on Cosmetics Design​.)

And this month Naturally Serious, the new skin care brand from June Jacobs​, will be showing up in Sephora stores.

According to NPD analyst Jensen, “the biggest driver [of prestige skin care] remains the consumer interest in wellness, clean ingredients, and natural brands. These market trends continue to fuel the category and motivate both retailers and consumers across the brick & mortar and online channels.”



Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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