Beauty as self-care increased during lockdown, research shows

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

© Lim Weixiang - Zeitgeist Photos / Getty Images
© Lim Weixiang - Zeitgeist Photos / Getty Images

Related tags: Sun care, self-care, Lycopene

The focus on beauty as a form of self-care and the role diet and nutrition play on our beauty habits grew for consumers during lockdowns amid the Covid-19 pandemic, says research by ingredient firm Lycored.

New research published by Lycored in a new whitepaper called Back to life: Beauty and self-care in the post-pandemic world​ reveals the elevated consumer focus on beauty, self-care and the relationship it has with their diet and nutrition during lockdowns.

The carotenoid producer for ingestible skincare surveyed 562 consumers in the US and UK in June 2021. Among those surveyed, all respondents had purchased a beauty, grooming or skincare product, and had spent more time at home due to lockdowns over the previous 12-month period.

Impact of lockdowns on beauty

Lockdowns resulted in a shift in consumer behavior relating to the relationship between beauty and self-care. Early on in the pandemic, there was a general expectation that lockdowns would lead consumers to let themselves go,”​ said Zev Ziegler, Head of Global Brand and Marketing of Health, Lycored.

However, the reality was very different, Ziegler added: “Our survey showed the opposite—they were actually more focused on beauty and self-care.” ​Among US consumers, 48% said they had become more concerned about how they looked, with only 21% saying their physical appearance became less important to them.

1. The ‘Zoom effect’ takes hold

“The 'Zoom effect' clearly played a big role in this,”​ said Ziegler. Lycored’s research reveals that 54% of Americans said the increase in video calls had made them think more about their appearance.

Across all respondents, nearly a third (31%) said it had made them think more about the smoothness of their skin, while 27% had considered the appearance of their hair more, 26% thought more about the tone of their skin, and 17% about their skin’s radiance and glow.

“Those concerns translated into actions too, with three in ten saying the Zoom effect had led them to try different beauty or grooming products,” ​added Ziegler.

More than a third (34%) of respondents had tried a new haircare routine due to this ‘Zoom effect’, while 29% had tried different beauty or grooming products. Four in ten said that spending more time at home had meant they were more able to comply with a long-term skincare or beauty routine.

2. Finding more self-kindness

“One of the pandemic’s more subtle impacts has been a new awareness of the kindness we need to give ourselves,”​ said Ziegler. More than a third (35%) of respondents to Lycored’s survey said their focus on looking after themselves generally had increased during lockdowns, while 31% said they loved themselves more.

“It is never been more important to find ways to proactively take care of our minds, bodies and souls—and it’s happening in levels we have never seen before,”​ he added.

Lockdown influence on beauty product popularity and trends: Supplements, suncare and skincare

Lycored believes in the importance of self-care in its many forms and the connection between inner and outer wellness.

“We have seen that when we show ourselves love, we can radiate something more powerful and more visible than any makeup we can put on,” ​shares Ziegler. “And beauty nutrition works on the same principle,” ​said Ziegler.

“By nourishing our skin from the inside out, we can create an even healthier glow than we can with a topical routine alone—and more people seem to be picking up the connection,” ​he added.

Among its survey respondents, 35% said they planned to purchase more ingestible skincare products—a trend that appears to show no signs of slowing, with 51% of US respondents planning to continue their lockdown skincare habits.

“This chimes with our previous research suggesting the beauty from within category is now firmly in the mainstream and may be approaching a tipping point,”​ said Ziegler.

Previous 2021 research by Lycored on the demand for ingestible suncare among active consumers revealed nine out of 10 respondents said they were open to taking a skin and suncare supplement.

When asked to think about their habits beyond the pandemic, nearly four in ten (38%) global consumers said they expected to purchase topical skincare products more often, with only 10% saying they would do so less often. One in three (32%) said they would purchase more ingestible skincare products.

“It is unsurprising that so many consumers plan to purchase more beauty-from-within products in the future,”​ said Ziegler. “Ingestible skincare is firmly in the mainstream and, as this research shows, interest in the link between diet and beauty has increased during the pandemic​."

The relationship between beauty and nutrition

A key finding from the research indicates the heightened interest in the role nutrition plays in both wellness and beauty. Over half (53%) of the US consumers surveyed said they had thought more about the relationship between their diet and their overall health during the period of lockdowns.

In addition, the same number (53%) had reflected more on the relationship between their diet and their physical appearance.

Innovation in beauty post-lockdown

As global lockdowns ease, industry eyes will be firmly on whether the increased beauty focus identified is here to stay in the post-Covid environment.

One area that Lycored anticipates will continue on its innovative trajectory is ingestible skincare. “Demand for ingestible skincare is growing all the time, but it’s vital that brands create products that meet consumer expectations,”​ said Ziegler. “That means using on-trend, natural ingredients and providing scientific backing for claims​."

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