Women’s Beauty Habits Post Pandemic – Wearing Less Is More

Who’d have thought that after the pandemic, women shifted their beauty habits by ditching more of their regular use beauty products in favour of going make-up free. With the onset of multiple lockdowns and a work-from-home culture and a massive impact of two years of life during COVID 19, accelerated a shift for women to wear less and less make-up opting for a more simpler beauty routine, the latest official figures show that make-up & beauty purchases declined drastically over the past two years.

According to Kantar, the data analytical company, there was a 19% fall in make up sales post 2019 which also showed that women wearing beauty products fell by a further 35%. Once again, compared to global sales in 2019, applying regular make-up fell by 28% with lipstick sales also down by 40%.

The survey polled 300,000 women globally across 20 different countries surveying both individuals and households and highlighted that female beauty habits in the UK had a more dramatic effect than elsewhere in the world. Whilst the actual number of beauty products fell sharply, there was an increase in demand for more premium products including natural and green eco-friendly items along with products that can be applied quickly.

Analysts at Kantar stated that beauty product manufacturers are going to struggle and will have to find more ways to encourage increased consumer spending in the beauty sector.’

When interviewed by the BBC, the CEO of Boots chemists said that the group saw much fewer sales in what they called coloured cosmetics such as lipstick and much more of a focus on products such as haircare, skin care and so on. Year on year, there is an upward trend in sales but there is a dynamic shift in the kinds of products previously sold

The Shift In Hair Care

Throughout the Covid pandemic, more and more women chose to wear their hair longer – from 58pc in 2017 increasing to 62pc in 2021and wash it less frequently and despite this fall, continuing the demand for more premium products, there was a growth of 5pc in 2020 compared to 2019 and a further growth of 7pc in 2021 compared to 2020. At the top of the list of products was the demand for products that promoted hair growth and scalp treatments, the sales of these types of products were 5 times greater than regular shampoo/conditioner sales.

A Shift Towards The Environment

Kantar also reflected a growing trend in the purchase of products that were more environmentally friendly and sustainable and that was reflected in a 6% increase of sales in 2021 compared to 2017 of beauty products that were manufactured using natural ingredients. Such Eco conscious consumers were also prepared to pay more for products that were natural and sustainable.

A Major Change In Purchasing Habits

With an encouraged working-from-home policy throughout the pandemic, the high streets, malls and retail parks took a massive drop in point-of-purchase sales. Premium designer make-up sales plummeted by 40% and according to researchers at NPD, this was estimated at around £500 million. The cheaper end of cosmetics also took a hit with supermarket aisle sales dropping by £180 million.

McKinsey went on to state that about 30% of outlets selling beauty products were forced to close during the pandemic and that extended use of masks would continue to hamper sales even though stores have re-opened.

Make-Up Free Celebrities

The lockdown affected all of us including the big name celebrities who reflected a growing new trend in being natural and make-up free with their social media pages ablaze with selfies showing faces without make-up. Such names included Jennifer Lopez, Lady GaGa, Heidi Klum, Jennifer Aniston, Dua Lipa….. the list is long.

A responded to the survey was quoted as saying:

Amazingly, this happened me during lockdown – of course there was no need at home for it, but even when going out, I would just put on SPF and go bare and be less concerned by my red veins etc. I have started to like my bare look. Having said that, going back to the office I only use the slightest coverage such as a cream to manage rosacea. I wouldn’t want a heavy foundation. Still, on the other hand I have started using mascara again after many years. Interesting and welcome trend to see women themselves driving an attitude change. Another aspect of the body positive movement let alone the pressure women have been under for so long. The break from the world gave pause and we found ourselves for a while!

Surveyed Countries Include : Great Britain, Spain, France, Mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, India, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Argentina and Colombia.

Markets Analysed for Usage Behaviour : US, Great Britain, Mainland China, Spain, France, Germany and Brazil.