Wellness trends impacting the beauty industry

March 3, 2020
7 min read

A holistic approach to achieving physical and emotional equilibrium has become a key motivator of consumer behavior. Mintel examines consumer behavior through the lens of seven drivers, determining what is impacting behavior now and in the future. Mintel consumer driver, ‘Wellbeing,’ explores how wellbeing is no longer limited to looking after oneself in broad terms. Adults are adopting a multifaceted approach to health and choosing products and services that complement their personal wellness and evolving needs.

In particular, the beauty industry is taking an interest in the wellness revolution as self-care becomes an essential component of physical, mental and emotional health.

Traditional health themes are getting a makeover

Health management is caring for oneself and taking actions today to ensure a healthier tomorrow. Common activities used to maintain everyday health and wellness are gaining cross-category attention as adults want to look and feel their best.

Trend in action

According to Mintel research on sleep benefits, merely 10% of adults rank maintaining outer appearance as an important benefit of sleep. Beyond physical wellbeing, adults rank improved energy, stress relief and improved mood as the top benefits of sleep. The sum of the cognitive benefits of sleep outweighs physical attributes, offering an opportunity for brands across categories to focus on recharging the mind and body to achieve peak wellness. Keeping with that theme, in the beauty industry, key players are tying a full night’s rest to renewal and recovery.

REMIX is an aromatherapy and beauty line that uses 100% natural, essential-oil-based therapies, botanicals, crystal-healing, and the principles of energy medicine to deliver mind-body healing in an effective and individualized way that’s modern and fresh. The product can also be used as a subtle perfume and rubbed into the ends of hair for nourishment and shine, offering multiple benefits for the end user.

Combating inflammation through self-care practices

Pain and inflammation are pervasive, impacting nearly 90% of US adults. High incidence of pain drives consumers to try non-medicinal treatment methods when their discomfort is persistent or debilitating. According to Mintel research on over-the-counter pain management, nearly three quarters of adults have tried a hot-cold compress to manage pain and almost half of adults are interested in a therapeutic massage to relieve pain. At the core of pain experienced is heightened inflammation, which is commonly caused by chronic stress, a condition impacting more than one-third of Americans. The connection between stress and inflammation opens the door for wellness solutions focused on physical and emotional relief. This concept has been adopted by the beauty industry through a swell of products aimed to combat inflammation while promoting self-care and relaxation.

Beauty brand Kora Organics offers a gua sha Rose Quartz Heart Facial Sculpter, which aims to increase circulation and lift and sculpt the face. Rose Quartz is a healing stone that helps ease tension while increasing self-love and promotes feelings of wellbeing. By using this beauty tool, consumers are able to care for both their inner emotional wellbeing and outward appearance.

Mintel predicts consumers will continue to optimize their beauty routines to focus on self-care principles. More than a quarter of adults agree skincare products are relaxing, creating an opportunity for brands to create products that enhance relaxation and reduce stress, while still providing functional beauty benefits such as reducing inflammation.

The beauty behind functional ingredients

The correlation between good nutrition and good health is established. Thanks to innovations in food and drink, functional ingredients are defined as ingredients resulting in a positive, beneficial effect on a particular function of the body, are giving consumers a health boost. Well-known functional ingredients, such as probiotics, vitamins and superfoods, have gained traction as health and wellness essentials. While health will remain at the forefront as this trend evolves, consumers will begin to seek additional added benefits that relate to their outer appearance and inner emotional wellbeing. Nearly half of consumers currently use or have future interest in food or drink products with anti-aging benefits and two in five adults agree their ideal supplement would support beauty/skin health.

Trend in action

As medical research continues to demonstrate the benefits of hemp-derived ingredients, such as CBD, its use as a functional beauty ingredient is only beginning to scratch the surface. Producers of hemp/CBD products also claim to offer multiple skin benefits, such as anti-itch, refortifying the skin barrier. According to Mintel research on color cosmetics, nearly half of women express interest in trying makeup with CBD, suggesting use of the ingredient in beauty products will appeal to a significant number of women. Hemp/CBD as a hero ingredient has appeared in a slew of launches in this space, as it appeals to consumers interested in using beauty products as a way to manage and support their mental health.

Heretic’s CBD-infused Dirty Grass, works as a functional fragrance because it offers calming and relaxing benefits associated with CBD oil in addition to a blend of ingredients used in aromatherapy. With more than two in five Americans struggling with a mental health condition (stress, anxiety or depression), everyday beauty and personal care products are being re-evaluated, and consumers are looking for products that ‘do more’ to address physical and emotional needs.

Beauty Butter is a collagen-boosting butter with activated pearl and shavegrass, which is said to create a glowing lit-from-within look. Not only will consumers enjoy the taste and flavor of the Beauty Butter, but the added skincare association strengthens appeal, resonating with adults seeking added benefits.

How self-acceptance has transformed wellness and beauty

The body positivity movement is a trending topic in today’s health and wellness landscape, aiming to celebrate all bodies and normalize weight representation. In recent years, the cultural conversation around body positivity has welcomed a new movement called body neutrality, which goes beyond pushing back on society’s ideals of beauty by saying appearance is not indicative of their worth, ultimately neutralizing the impact of appearance on a person’s lifestyle and wellbeing.

The concept of body neutrality detaches confidence and self-acceptance from outer appearance, which is an ironic significant motivator for adults. According to Mintel research on US facial skincare, nearly three in five adults agree having good skin makes them feel good about themselves; and according to Mintel data on weight management, the same number of adults manage weight in order to feel more confident in their appearance. However, the stance of body neutrality may shift the reasoning consumers prioritize their appearance. Consumers want to feel their best physically, mentally and emotionally – investing in beauty as a lifestyle choice rather than a societal pressure.

Trend in action

Social media account @i_weigh movement founder Jameela Jamil embraces the idea of body neutrality. Jamil’s account is her self-acclaimed ‘revolution against shame’ and celebrates inclusion of stigmatized topics such as having acne, struggling with weight or being transgender. Jamil aims to shift body positivity to be more attainable and realistic.

What we think

Consumers want to look and feel their best without extra effort. Beauty products that work with consumers health goals, such as getting a good night’s sleep and reducing inflammation will stand out to the growing number of adults seeking products to complement their wellness and beauty needs. Since adults are spreading out their health management efforts, it’s likely they aren’t experts in any one area, allowing brands across categories to supply accessible, wellness-focused solutions.

Andrea Wroble is a Health & Wellness Analyst at Mintel. Andrea focuses on writing reports and providing consumer-driven insights for health and wellness categories.

Clare Hennigan is a Senior Beauty Analyst at Mintel, identifying key trends and developing insights impacting the beauty landscape.

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