UK consumers ditch contouring in favour of ‘glass skin’

By Lucy Whitehouse contact

- Last updated on GMT

UK consumers ditch contouring in favour of ‘glass skin’
Latest figures show that prestige skin care is up 6% in the UK, while makeup sales declined 2% over the three months January to March 2018.

Analysts with NPD Group, a global data company, suggest that this indicates consumers are opting for higher quality skin care in the bid for more natural looks, and stepping back the makeup.

Overall though, sales of makeup are still strong: the total UK market for prestige skincare was valued at £594 million in 2017 whilst prestige make-up was valued at £835 million in 2017.    

The firm suggests an appetite for K-Beauty complexion trends may be driving the consumer interest in skin care over makeup.

A ‘complex story’

After two years of double digit growth, prestige makeup is by no means in an unhealthy place in the UK. However, in 2017 makeup sales began to slow, while skin care sales blossomed.

The trend has continued into 2018 where make-up sales have declined and skincare sales have increased, the firm says.

The increase in skincare sales and decline in make-up sales is a complex story​,” explains Helen Duxbury, Senior Account Manager, NPD UK Beauty.

“There was a post-Brexit boost in prestige beauty with global shoppers flocking to the UK to purchase designer beauty brands and make-up really benefited from this trend.

“It’s also important to remember that there was a social media frenzy around contouring and pronounced, heavy make-up styles on Instagram popularised by Kim Kardashian.

“However, we are now seeing the K-Beauty trend for ‘glass skin’ take hold and as a result skincare sales are improving dramatically, especially cleansers, masks, and serums.”

Glass skin: K-beauty influence

The K-Beauty trend for glass skin emerged in the UK throughout 2017, and NPD Group suggests it was particularly picked up by social media influencers and the beauty press.

This look is achieved through a regime of skin care, rather than masking skin with makeup, and the data firm suggests its popularity has led to an increase in high-performance skincare that delivers these results.

The sale of anti-ageing skincare and moisturisers grew 10% in the UK in the period January 2018 to end of March 2018 whilst cleansers grew 2%, toners grew 15% and the sale of serums increased by 12%.

Duxbury confirms: “The trend now is more towards natural enhancements and certainly the K-Beauty trend for ‘glass skin’ is increasing in popularity especially with the increase in sales of cleansers, toners and serums which are so crucial to this regime.”

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