2014 saw the trend for healthy eating and healthy lifestyles boom, driven by the success of social media stars such as Hemsley and Deliciously Ella, who was signed as a columnist for the Daily Telegraph due to the popularity of her recipes. Health and wellness enthusiasts took to social media in their droves to share their recipe ideas, fitness routines and lifestyle tips, inspiring others and driving an interest in a holistic approach to health and beauty.

The rise of wellness gurus on social media and in publications has sparked a greater interest in nutrition and its impact on appearance. For example, according to Mintel’s Women’s Haircare UK 2015 report – the factors women feel have the biggest impact on appearance of hair are primarily internal, with health and diet jointly holding the highest perceived importance.

Literature gets a healthy boost

The topic of nutrition and its impact on beauty has also been a focus in the literary world, with new books including Eat Pretty by Jolene Hart and Eat. Nourish. Glow by Amelia Free topping the Amazon Best seller list.

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The popularity of these books could have an impact on the skincare market, as books and accounts such as these highlight the role food items play in improving skin and consumers may be inspired to switch to produce that treats skin concerns, or find that yoga or other exercises give their skin more of a glow. In turn, if dietary changes are found to be effective, product usage or willingness to spend on expensive products may fall long term.

Consumers and skincare

However, whilst two thirds of UK women feel diet is one of the top factors influencing the appearance of skin, and although the holistic approach to health and appearance championed by lifestyle bloggers has lifted interest in nutrition for the skin, those who feel diet has a great effect are not lower users of any skincare products. This indicates that a nutritional focus on improving skin’s appearance will not replace traditional skincare products, but could be supplementary.

Mintel’s research also shows that diet is the most strongly considered by women aged 65 and over and higher income consumers, indicating how important and necessary time and money are if consumers are to eat healthily and focus their diet on specific nutritional needs.

How can skincare brands respond to the health trend?

Despite this, it is undeniable that the trend is making waves. Facial skincare brands can therefore develop apps and online platforms to suggest tips for healthy eating and wellness to accompany an effective skincare routine. For example, many dieters use apps to track calories, and so skincare brands can offer nutritional trackers to help women eat more of the ingredients which can play a beneficial role in the appearance of skin. Skincare brands could also introduce ‘booster’ powders/drops, which can be added to homemade remedies to give extra skin benefits.

There is also an opportunity for brands to move away from the traditional choice of brand ambassador – celebrities and models – and focus on a new age of social media health and wellness stars who have cult followings.

For example, skincare brand Simple has recently launched a new campaign for their Micellar range of cleansing water and wipes, designed specifically for those with sensitive skin. As part of the campaign Simple enlisted the help of experts in skin, make-up and nutrition to form The Kind Is Simple Community. Nutritionist Jenna Zoe offers advice to Simple fans on the topic of clean eating, and how changes to the diet can have great benefit to the appearance of skin. Along with the other members of The Kind Is Simple Community, Zoe will participate in a Twitter party for the launch, answering questions on skincare and nutrition in real time.

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Charlotte Libby, Senior Beauty Analyst at Mintel, collates and analyses a wide range of data on the beauty markets, including consumer trends, product sales and new innovations. Charlotte joined Mintel in 2013 as an Analyst across the Beauty & Personal Care and Household sectors and now specialises in Beauty. Prior to joining Mintel, Charlotte held several roles in the UK beauty industry, starting her career at a fashion & beauty PR agency before moving to publisher Bauer Media to work on their women’s magazine portfolio. This range of experience has made her a voice of consumer trends in the beauty industry.

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