A year of innovation? Top 5 EMEA beauty trends to watch in 2022

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

CosmeticsDesign-Europe spotlights the top five beauty and personal care trends to watch in 2022 - think skin, menopause and innovative retail [Getty Images]
CosmeticsDesign-Europe spotlights the top five beauty and personal care trends to watch in 2022 - think skin, menopause and innovative retail [Getty Images]

Related tags beauty trends Consumer trends skin 2.0 Skin health Menopause menopause beauty inside-out beauty beauty from within refill revolution beauty retail

Increased focus on self-care and wellbeing, a desire to find back joy and push forward with the green agenda are just some of the key trends set to shape the European, Middle East & African beauty market next year – here are our Top 5 EMEA trends to watch.

2022 beauty trends to watch across EMEA

After a year of adaptation pathed out by the COVID-19 pandemic, 2022 should see industry turn a corner and begin to truly fulfil many of the new beauty needs laid out by such a tumultuous 18-months.

So, what exactly will take the spotlight in 2022? CosmeticsDesign-Europe believes there will be five key trends to watch in the year ahead:

. Skin 2.0

. Inside-Out Beauty

. Menopause Beauty

. Experience-First

. Refill Revolution

1. Skin 2.0 – a ‘skin beyond skin’ movement

CosmeticsDesign-Europe Trend 1 - Skin 2.0 [Getty Images]
CosmeticsDesign-Europe Trend 1 - Skin 2.0 [Getty Images]

During COVID-19, more time spent at home and extended periods of stress saw consumers look more closely at skin care and skin health, with bath and body rituals soaring and the skin care category booming​.

In 2022, this skin focus will become even sharper, but also broader, to encompass all parts of the body, including scalp care, oral care, underarm care and fem care. Why? Because consumers now have a heightened awareness and understanding around the importance of total body care, wellbeing and self-care from head to toe.

There has already been plenty of innovation in this space, with French microbiome brand Gallinée expanding its portfolio to include oral care tablets​; beverage major Vita Coco edging into scalp care with a scrub​; and Dutch startup Nuud launching an innovative cream format in deodorants​, and big beauty and personal care brands have plenty to offer in this space. Moving forward, they will be able to leverage the depth and breadth of portfolios that cover all these segments to offer consumers all-round ‘skin beyond skin’ rituals and routines.

The key for success in this space will be simplicity and efficacy.

2. Inside-Out Beauty – ingestibles + topicals the future

CosmeticsDesign-Europe Trend 2 - Inside-Out Beauty [Getty Images]
CosmeticsDesign-Europe Trend 2 - Inside-Out Beauty [Getty Images]

Using supplements and ingestibles in various formats for external cosmetic needs will truly gain ground next year. But the movement will stretch far beyond its collagen routes, with innovative beauty ingestibles offering up a far wider range of benefits, around stress, protection and specific skin conditions.

There has already been plenty of potential touted by experts in the field, with startups targeting specific problems like psoriasis​ and key desires like summer glow​. But market analysts believe the biggest potential for ingestibles is in the team-up with topicals to offer consumers a truly inside-out beauty experience. And it’s the big brands that are likely going to be best placed to make this dual offering work, because of brand equity and loyal consumer bases.

What will be key to success here is clear marketing and easy-to-understand concepts.

3. Menopause Beauty – innovation needs science and empathy

CosmeticsDesign-Europe Trend 3 - Menopause Beauty [Getty Images]
CosmeticsDesign-Europe Trend 3 - Menopause Beauty [Getty Images]

Beauty designed for women pre, during and post-menopause will start to take a proud spot in retail in 2022 as taboos unravel and female health needs gain spotlight. Unfolding science will also propel the movement, with growing research into understanding the biological changes and impacts of the menopause, but also studies on certain ingredients and the potential to alleviate or address some of the more common symptoms.

For beauty, this is a category with great potential across a variety of segments, including inside-out with supplements and ingestibles, but also self-care topicals, botanical sprays and other holistic offerings.

This year, leading UK health and wellness retailer Holland & Barret joined GenM​ – an initiative designed to better represent the menopause in products, services, campaigns, workplace policies and wider conversation – and it’s likely other retailers in the health and beauty space will follow suit. Demand and expectations are clearly continuing to evolve in this horizon category.

Success for brands and retailers looking to target this space will require science balanced with empathy, accompanying women through menopause in a supportive and open way.

4. Experience-First – taking beauty joy to the next level

CosmeticsDesign-Europe Trend 4 - Experience-First [Getty Images]
CosmeticsDesign-Europe Trend 4 - Experience-First [Getty Images]

Beauty has long been an experience-led category, but as consumers come out of restrictive COVID-19 times, they are looking for so much more from beauty. They want to feel, play and absorb a brand and its ethos, be that in-store or online, and efforts must be injected into this.

Beauty brands and retailers can consider destination flagship stores that offer a sense of joy and community or innovative virtual try-ons that impart the look and feel of a brand online, even virtual stores​. Investments in concepts like NFT artwork​ and the metaverse will also be worthwhile as the digital world truly digs its heels in. One thing that is clear from all retail experts is that beauty retail will and must look very different to what it did pre-COVID​.

The challenge for industry moving forward will be catering to every consumer need because all consumer groups want experiential discovery and shopping journeys, so catering to the masses in an individualised and engaging way won’t be easy.

The key to success in this space will likely depend on technological advances moving forward.

5. Refill revolution – important to the wider circular beauty movement

CosmeticsDesign-Europe Trend 5 - Refill Revolution [Getty Images]
CosmeticsDesign-Europe Trend 5 - Refill Revolution [Getty Images]

The beauty refill revolution, where refillable packaging and refill stations pick up pace, will be important in Europe next year, with consumers in this region signalling they are ready for such change.

And this refill shift forms part of a much wider circular beauty movement​ that has picked up significant pace in recent months and years, with startups and beauty majors alike investing in circular business models and innovation. On the refill side, UK indie brand Beauty Kitchen is pioneering in this space with the recent launch of its Re programme​ and US recycling major TerraCycle is creating significant large-scale change via its Loop programme​.

As beauty brands and retailers start to invest in more circular processes – from raw material sourcing through to end-of-life and consumer-use phases – the refill aspect will become an important pillar to success.

Collaboration and openness​ at industry level will be key and accessibility and choice vital for widespread consumer acceptance and uptake.

WATCH: Top 15 global beauty trends to watch in 2022

These top five EMEA trends form part of our wider look at what is set to shape the global beauty and personal care market next year. For deeper insight on key trends at a global level, watch our full Top 15 Global Beauty Trends 2022 video​ compiled by our global editors.

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