Physical appearance ‘no longer the defining factor of beauty’ – Euromonitor International

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Consumers today instead consider a 'healthy appearance' and 'inner confidence' amongst the most important aspects of beauty [Getty Images]
Consumers today instead consider a 'healthy appearance' and 'inner confidence' amongst the most important aspects of beauty [Getty Images]

Related tags Euromonitor international Consumer trends COVID-19 Health wellbeing functional beauty active beauty beauty from within confidence Beauty apps

Consumers worldwide now believe a healthy appearance, hygiene and cleanliness and feeling comfortable in yourself is what defines beauty, opening plenty of opportunities for functional, efficacious and authentic innovations, according to Euromonitor International.

This year, beauty trends, ingredients and product development had continued to fast evolve, with many shifts propelled by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But as industry pushed forward with innovation, Euromonitor International said brands and companies had to work to align with a fresh consumer vision of beauty that took the ‘beauty from within’ concept to new levels.

‘The definition of beauty continues to evolve’

Between June and August 2021, Euromonitor International conducted its latest voice of the consumer survey in beauty amongst 20,000 respondents across 20 core global markets*​. The market research firm’s white paper 2021 Beauty Trends: What do consumers want and how can brands deliver? ​outlined findings, identifying an overall shift in sentiment around what beauty meant to consumers.

“The definition of beauty continues to evolve as consumers become more well-versed in their beauty needs and acknowledge that one size does not fit all,”​ wrote report co-authors Aiste Kriauciunaite, senior survey analyst, and Amrutha Shridhar, senior consumer insights consultant.

Importantly, findings showed physical appearance was “no longer the defining factor of beauty”, ​they said.

Euromonitor International’s survey indicated more than 50% of consumers defined beauty as ‘looking healthy’. This was followed by beauty being about ‘hygiene and cleanliness’ amongst just under 50% and ‘being comfortable in your own skin’ amongst 44% of global consumers. Inner confidence (42%) and ‘embracing yourself’ (32%) were also important perceptions of beauty today.

Just over 20% believed beauty was about glamour and only 10% believed beauty was about ‘being on trend’.

*Markets covered in the survey were: France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, United Kingdom, Poland, Russia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, USA, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea and Thailand.

‘Functional benefits, ingredient formulation and effectiveness’ key

“2020 marked the return to core foundations and basic health principles,” ​the report authors wrote. “Consumers started prioritising essentials, such as skin care, balanced diets and active lifestyles, in respect to prevention and protection in health and beauty routines. Increased self-care and wellness also amplified during the pandemic, leading to the adoption of more holistic solutions to issues like anxiety.”

And when it came to purchasing beauty products, they said consumers would do this according to “functional benefits, ingredient formulation and effectiveness rather than on-trend products”.

Understanding these consumer needs and behaviours would be key to a successful strategy across product development, sales and marketing in the future, they said, and brands that were able to create “authentic connections and experiences”​ would resonate most and have long-term success.

Moving forward, the authors said it would be especially important beauty brands and companies prioritised “simplicity and minimalism”​ when innovating; creating “simplified brand messaging, formulations and routines” ​that were focused on “health and enhancing inherent beauty”.

The rise of derma beauty and digital apps

Within this, Euromonitor International also identified rising consumer demand for pharma, lab and dermocosmetic or derma beauty brands, particularly within skin care, driven by consumers looking for skin and health benefits, more specifically proven benefits and visible results.

On top of this, there was an increased and growing appetite for digital beauty apps. The market research firm said 36% of global consumers could now be considered ‘digital beauty shoppers’.

“Beauty apps are gaining popularity among users seeking more information about specific products, usage and tips. Now, consumers expect to get high-quality expert advice through these digital platforms instead of solely in person. Beauty apps that easily allow users to check ingredients, read reviews and sort products by desired effects will resonate with digital shoppers,”​ the authors wrote.

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