Hwa Jun Lee
Hwa Jun is a Senior Beauty and Personal Care Analyst at Mintel, based in Seoul.

As wellbeing trends evolve in the skin care market, consumers’ interest goes beyond skin beauty to skin health. Western markets such as US and UK lead skin health claims in skincare products, and the growth differential is noticeable in South Korea and China even if the base is still niche. Pre/probiotic and microbiome claims in skincare are relatively niche so far but growing year on year, for enhancing skin health. And consumers’ understanding of this concept is also increasing. In the US, less than one in five consumers have tried to balance their skin microbiome by showering or bathing less often this year. For skin health in beauty products, prebiotics such as oat will play a more important role in the global beauty business.

Oat has been a well-known natural ingredient in the skincare market for a long time. As prebiotics are in the spotlight in the skincare market recently, oat ingredients are being re-estimated as prebiotics. Oat is known as a prebiotic with the ability to support the growth of microorganisms naturally found in the skin microbiome. And it often claims to moisturise the skin leaving it soft and smooth, soothe the skin and replenish the skin barrier in skincare products.

Oat extract (Avena Sativa Kernel Extract) is one of the most frequently used oat ingredients in the skincare market. And the usage of Oat extract in new pre/probiotic skincare launches are increasing year by year. 4.9% of new pre/probiotic skincare launches have Oat extract in Sep 2020-Aug 2021, globally and which is more than double of 1.7% in Sep 2017-Aug 2018, according to Mintel GNPD.

What we think

During the pandemic, uncertainty persists, which will drive consumers to continue to opt for products with “traditional” active ingredients. Traditional activities can be familiar and easily trusted. Oats that have already been well-known and have been used for a long time are expected to be on highlight.