Special edition: Holistic Health & Wellness – Formulating for wellbeing and anti-ageing

COVID-19 has made consumers ‘look inward’ and seek ‘intense reassurance’, says GlobalData

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Consumers are leaning on beauty brands for reassurance, full ingredient and claim clarity and recommendations on how to boost holistic wellbeing (Getty Images)
Consumers are leaning on beauty brands for reassurance, full ingredient and claim clarity and recommendations on how to boost holistic wellbeing (Getty Images)

Related tags wellbeing wellness holistic beauty Consumer trends COVID-19 beauty claims mental health ingestible beauty supplements Bathing

National lockdowns and social distancing measures during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis have forced consumers to consider internal health and wellbeing more carefully, propelling greater expectations from beauty than before, says GlobalData.

In May last year, GlobalData highlighted wellness as one of its important trends to watch in 2020​, alongside digitalisation, personalisation, and sustainability, and more recent data showed it had really taken hold.

GlobalData’s December COVID-19 Recovery Survey Tracker showed 44% of European consumers remained extremely or quite concerned about their physical fitness and health and 40% were concerned about their mental wellbeing due to the pandemic. Importantly, 37% were seeking tips on personal health and wellbeing from brands during the pandemic – greater than demands for updates on latest product trends, launches or initiatives.

“The demand for products which promote a feeling of holistic health and wellbeing is not novel, however consumers now seek intense reassurance from brands,”​ said Lia Neophytou, analyst at GlobalData.

“…Beauty brands that offer advice and make recommendations on how beauty and grooming routines can be enhanced and developed to promote holistic wellbeing would stand out from competitors amid the pandemic period,”​ Neophytou told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.

Beauty faces ‘intense scrutiny’ around ingredients and claims

COVID-19 and its lockdowns and social distancing had forced consumers to “look inward”,​ she said.

“It is becoming important to prioritise one’s sense of health and wellbeing while examining which products or practices can be incorporated into one’s lifestyle to help elevate this,”​ she said.

And for beauty, this meant “intense scrutiny” ​of ingredients and product claims associated with wellness, Neophytou said, with digital consumer engagement fuelling this further.

“Internet usage has informed consumers and enabled a deeper understanding of individual ingredients and their impact on internal health as well as outward physical appearance, in turn encouraging consumers to analyse and contemplate product purchases more deeply prior to usage.”

Some beauty brands had already responded to this, she said, by making consumers aware of the origin of ingredients and communicating their benefits clearly on-pack and in marketing campaigns.

Any claims associated with reducing stress and promoting relaxation in categories such as bath and shower, for example, would do well among consumers in current circumstances, she said.

Top categories to watch in beauty wellness?

Asked what beauty categories were best suited to play into the continued rise of holistic health and wellness, Neophytou said beauty supplements and ingestibles; skin care products; and bathroom items were the three main opportunity spaces.

“Beauty supplements and ingestibles are well placed to capitalise on the ongoing wellness revolution, given the established understanding that healthful ingredients consumed internally can also impact the outward appearance,”​ she said.

However, this category remained niche, she said, as many consumers preferred “instantly visible cosmetic benefits” ​like those provided by topical skin care products or makeup.

Skin care, therefore, was poised to continue its positive trajectory in beauty wellness, Neophytou said. “Skin care brands are providing increasingly personalised and hyper-targeted solutions, mitigating the need to conceal ‘imperfections’ with colour cosmetics, which may provide a route toward improving overall confidence and wellbeing.”

In addition, she said the bathroom category had been “reshaped”​ by COVID-19 as it became increasingly associated with rest and relaxation, and various brands had played into this already – developing formulations that claim to reduce stress through aromatherapy-inspired scent innovation.

Moving forward, Neophytou said beauty brands would do well to continue engagement on mental health and wellbeing – a topic “gradually becoming destigmatised”​ as consumers shared experiences on social media and brands used their platforms to encourage this discussion.

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