Masks and masking: Google on global cross-market trends

By Lucy Whitehouse contact

- Last updated on GMT

Masks and masking: Google on global cross-market trends
Google has emphasised that masking is increasingly a dominant, global trend: we take a closer look at the internet giant’s findings on the segment.

The company recently released a beauty trends report that identifies and compares consumer habits and demands across three key global markets: the US, France and Japan.

It looked at monthly search data for top volume beauty queries between September 2014 and September 2016.

Masking was one of its two essential ‘themes to know’, meaning the segment is seeing significant worldwide consumer interest.

Global spread

As the Google report notes, masks are a trend that was born in Asia, particularly Japan, and have seen sudden, enthusiastic global uptake in the recent years (if anything, it is now beginning to drop off in Japan itself).

“Masks have been most prominent in Japan over the past five years as a sustained riser,”​ the company asserts.

“The skin care trend was also a sustained riser in the U.S. and France, but recently took off as a rising star in both markets. The trend has picked up quickly in the U.S., while user interest is beginning to decline in Japan.”

What do consumers want?

The report pulls out the key skin problem areas for which consumers are searching for masks.

In both the US and France, acne, blackheads, and oily skin are all top three concerns, while in Japan, the top three are acne, whitening and sensitive skin.

Searches in France and the US both put hydration/tackling dry skin as number four concern, whereas in Japan, it is skin darkening.

Earthy masks: a US favourite

Trends like carbonated face masks that started in Japan have already hit the U.S., and carbonated cleansers may be next, says Google’s report.

In the U.S., consumers show interest in earthy masks with charcoal, clay, and mud masks being used most across top concerns. Top U.S. concerns associated with masks are mainly tied to removing excess oils for acne purposes.​”

In France, however, the focus is much more on skin removal rather than oil cleansing.

“Relative to other trending face masks in France, peels are the most associated with the top concerns related to masks.”

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