‘Hands in the spotlight’: Aromas and actives key to remaining competitive in COVID-19 hand care boom

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Hand care brands need to consider 'new consumer priorities' around self-care, health, hygiene and wellbeing (Getty Images)
Hand care brands need to consider 'new consumer priorities' around self-care, health, hygiene and wellbeing (Getty Images)

Related tags WGSN hand care Nail care COVID-19 scents Active ingredients adaptogens

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has thrust hand care into the spotlight and beauty brands ought to focus product development on multi-hybrids with aromas and active ingredients that protect and inspire wellness, says WGSN.

By 2025, the global hand care market should reach €14.4bn ($16.9bn), according to data from Millions Insights. And fashion and beauty trend forecasting firm WGSN said growth in the category would be fuelled further by an “intense focus on hands”​ amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

In WGSN’s recent report Forecast 2023: The future of hand, nail & foot care​, authored by senior beauty editor Theresa Yee, the firm outlined how beauty manufacturers could remain competitive and relevant in hand care by addressing “new consumer priorities” ​around self-care, health, hygiene and wellbeing.

Tapping into ‘emotional and physical’ beauty needs

“In 2023, consumers will be seeking hand care products that deliver protective and moisturising benefits in one. Antibacterial formulas paired with skin-caring active ingredients to combat dry skin and maintain healthy and youthful hands will be key,”​ WGSN said.

Leave-on treatments and overnight masks for hands and feet would increase in popularity, it said, as consumer self-care rituals shifted to focus on more specific areas of the body. And these hand and feet treatments now had to tap into current emotional and physical consumer needs, WGSN said. This could be done through multi-sensorial and wellness-inspired formulations, it said, such as aromatic scents to aid sleep or boost mood or adaptogens like mushroom and ginseng for wellness.

Jenni Middleton, director of beauty at WGSN, previously told CosmeticsDesign-Europe adaptogens were set to soar in beauty​ as consumers looked for natural alternatives to protect and heal.

WGSN said in its latest report: “Products that provide immersive and therapeutic effects via multi-sensorial textures, transportive fragrances, and even use sound or music to balance the mind and body will have mainstream appeal in 2023 as consumers look for products that deliver pleasure with purpose.”

Hand care brands could, for example, offer ‘boosters’ that enabled consumers to personalise products, like essential oils or active ingredients; offer soothing music playlists to listen to whilst painting nails; or even develop virtual hand massage tutorials online to encourage pampering and self-care.

And as many consumers experienced fear of going out during the crisis, along with financial constraints, WGSN said there would be a clear “uptick in high-performance, salon-quality at-home treatments for the hand, nails and feet”​ that could most certainly be tapped into.

Barrier-boosting formulas for hydration – hands and feet

Beyond aromatic and active ingredients, WGSN said hydration would remain at the forefront of the hand care category, so products developed to boost this would fare well.

New formats, such as glove hand and nail masks or overnight oils, could trigger increased interest amongst consumers looking for something more exciting than a traditional hydrating cream, it said.

These sorts of product development ideas would also garner interest in foot care as consumers looked to adjust beauty routines to fit busy work-from-home schedules during COVID-19, WGSN said.

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