Recently, facial masks have been one of the hottest trends in the prestige facial skincare market, helping to drive sales while also attracting the attention of major category players. Estée Lauder’s acquisition of GLAMGLOW earlier this year is an acknowledgment of the growth potential the beauty giant sees in the segment. As facial masks continue to emerge, consumers are discovering the latest development of the popular trend: multimasking.

The rise in popularity of multimasking, which is the exercise of using different facial masks on different areas of the face at the same time, is likely driven by a move toward more customized skincare solutions along with improved ease of use. As such, consumers perceive improved efficacy from skin treatments such as masks. In fact, Mintel research shows that 13% of US adults who use facial skincare products agree that facial treatments give them better results than everyday skincare products.

Motivations for using facial masks are as varied as masks themselves and are largely dictated by skincare concerns as they relate to lifestage. According to Mintel’s Facial Skincare and Anti-Aging US 2015 report, younger facial mask users  key drivers of the multimasking trend  are more likely to cite treating acne, pore size, blackheads and oiliness as skin concerns they want to treat, while consumers age 35 and older are more motivated to treat signs of aging, wrinkles and uneven skin tone.

However, when asked to evaluate their skin type, consumers are dispersed across a variety of different attributes with most facial skincare users falling closer to the middle, or neutral zone, of the scale. This neutrality to skin type could be driven by the changing needs of skin, potentially creating confusion among consumers about where they fall on the continuum (i.e. skin can vary based on the season, hormonal changes).

The need for variability in skincare products is no doubt driving the multimasking trend, and Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) has tracked recent entries into the facial mask segment that exemplify interests in customizable skincare. Examples include GLAMGOW’s FlashMud Brightening Treatment, Origins’ GinZing Refreshing Face Mask Pods and Sephora’s Collection Lingzhi Sleeping Mask, all of which may appeal to consumers of the prestige facial skincare market.

                 Sleeping Mask

Products like facial masks and trends like multimasking, which deliver a more customized and spa-like experience, continue to gain traction among both high-end and younger skincare consumers. As the market becomes increasingly competitive and saturated, products that are more specialized and create a niche in the facial skincare marketplace will likely see the most success. 

Shannon Romanowski is the Category Manager of Health, Household and Beauty & Personal Care Reports at Mintel. She brings a unique background that combines technical knowledge along with a strong understanding of consumer and sensory research, as well as a passion for the beauty industry.

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