Olivia Guinaugh
Olivia is a Home & Personal Care Analyst at Mintel. She explores trends and new business opportunities in household and personal care categories.

Mental health is a top concern, particularly for younger consumers. This has led to an increased focus on self-care that goes beyond just exercise and medical visits, with consumers now prioritizing their mental wellbeing. Preventative health and self-care have been growing in importance for some time, but various forces (eg workday stress and socio-political unease) are making it a key focus.

Consumers across the globe express interest in products or rituals designed to help them de-stress or manage their overall wellbeing. According to Mintel US research on managing health, more than one -third of adults currently don’t use mindfulness activities – such as meditation – to manage their health, but are interested in trying. Similar to meditation, taking a bath is considered a holistic way to unwind and de-stress. In fact, Mintel research on soap, bath and shower products shows that nearly three-quarters of US consumers are using bath products more often this year because they want to relax, and more than half for health benefits. This aligns with Mintel Trend, “Mood to Order,” which highlights how consumers are seeking ways to enhance or manage their mood with products and rituals that help them disconnect and recharge.

Although consumers are more likely to shower than bathe, broader self-care trends combined with the growing act of setting aside “me-time” to find an escape from modern day stressors is reviving the bathing ritual and reigniting consumers’ love of bath products. Furthermore, bathing is not just a cleansing experience for consumers, but also a self-care ritual.

Bring the luxury spa experience home

With all of the stresses of everyday life, consumers are finding it important to indulge sometimes. However, instead of going to the spa, bath brands are making it easier to recreate the therapeutic spa experience at-home by offering luxury bath products designed to relax the mind and body. Luxury products are typically perceived as overpriced options. However, luxury beauty brands find acceptance among most women, with more than half of women reporting usage of luxury and/or prestige beauty products, according to Mintel US research on the luxury beauty consumer. Self-care, social media influence and personal connections contribute to luxury purchases, indicating consumers are seeking more than the tangible effect of the beauty product alone. Furthermore, consumers find value in luxury beauty brands that go beyond price, suggesting that luxury bath products that have therapeutic value will stand out to consumers seeking holistic ways to manage their wellbeing.

Sourced from the Pacific Ocean, Herbivore Botanicals’s Soaking Salts are described as a time-honored remedy for both mind and body. Formulated with Cambrian Blue clay and a blend of lavender and eucalyptus essential oils, the Detox Bath Salts are designed to detox the body and clear the mind, while the Calm Bath Salts’ soothing and calming blend of floral Ylang Ylang and natural vanilla claim to relax the mind and body.

Despite a lack of scientific backing, some consumers believe that spiritual healing and crystal therapy can assist their overall emotional health. Consumers also associate ingredients like lavender, magnesium, rose quartz and sage as being purer and safer than synthetic ingredients. Aman, a luxury wellness resort, launched its own line of crystal-infused personal care products and claims its products not only provide physical benefits, but also emotional balance. For example, Aman’s Grounding Amethyst Bath and Shower Oil claims to harness the relaxing energy of amethyst to promote a return to inner peace. According to the brand, amethyst powder is not only an excellent cleanser, but also known to support cell rejuvenation and promote a calming, meditative energy.

Described as a detoxifying bath soak, Lord Jones’s new High CBD Formula Bath Salts is infused with 240 mg of CBD to help restore body and mind, transforming bath time into a nurturing spa experience. According to the brand website, the bath salts are handmade in small batches from the finest ingredients including pink Himalayan salt, arnica, magnesium rich Epsom salts, calendula petals, and a unique blend of terpenes and essential oils, all of which helps to melt tension and promote a calm sense of well-being.

In 2019, luxury beauty brand Lancôme launched its La Vie Est Belle Happiness Bath Bombs, bringing existing trust and confidence into the bathing market. The bath bombs are designed to bring the signature scent of Lancôme’s iconic La Vie Est Belle fragrance into the bathtub, creating a luxurious, sensorial bathing experience for the user. Lancôme’s expansion into the bath products category aligns with Mintel Trend, “Extend My Brand,” which explains how brands are expanding into new categories to find new business and intrigue more consumers.

Björk & Berries’s Birch Ritual Bath Salt is made with hand-picked flowers and herbs from the company’s very own gardens in Fäviken, Sweden. The bath salt claims to provide a relaxing moment of peace and tranquility, while leaving skin moisturized and lightly fragranced. Björk & Berries is an eco-luxury beauty brand derived from Swedish nature and culture, and according to its website, bath salt is a cleansing and detoxifying cure inspired by an old Swedish tradition.