Beauty routines get a fillip: Bigger appetite for skincare, colour cosmetics lose sheen, digital drives interest

November 2, 2021

Spending longer hours indoors has impacted the way Indians approach beauty routines. According to the latest research by Mintel, 39%* users of facial moisturizer have used the product more since the COVID-19 outbreak than they did in the pre-Covid times. Nine out of 25 (36%**) previous users of facial serum/essence have increased their usage since the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020 as compared to prior to the COVID-19 outbreak (ie 2019 or before). Close to one third (29%)*** Indians have used facial masks more since March 2020 than they did in 2019 or before. According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD), in spite of the focus on skincare, skincare launches have dropped to 23% in Jul 2020-Jun 2021 from 25% in the previous year.

Tanya Rajani, Beauty & Personal Care Analyst – India said:
With more time spent at home, there has been a rise in consumer interest for skincare. Skin health is a priority for Indian consumers which is why even through the pandemic consumers continue to invest in skincare regimes. Indian consumers, especially those who are prone to acne, pigmentation and breakouts, are investing in skincare products to maintain their skin health.

However, Indian consumer’s daily usage has been limited to facial moisturisers. Even prior to the pandemic, Indian consumers’ investment in the different types of skincare was very limited. The increased interest in skincare, thus, is an opportune time for brands to capitalise on. With consumers sitting more at home, they have more time at their disposal to try new products. Brands can use this stay-at-home period to dial up on education to expand the skincare regimen, especially with a cohort of consumers whose out-of-home routines have reduced since the pandemic.

Brands can encourage daily use by addressing specific issues and offering products for specific skin types. They can solidify beauty routines by offering innovative skincare products to address mask-related issues with new benefits, which will appeal to Indian consumers who have to now wear a face mask in public. Including additional claims such as maskne claims and self-care claims to cater to new consumer behaviour can see longevity.

The declining need to doll up
Wearing make-up is an occasional affair for most Indians. Since the outbreak of the pandemic in India in March 2020, about a quarter of Indians have used less make-up than they did before the pandemic. Consider this – 23 out of 100 Indian consumers wore less eye make-up since March 2020 than they did in 2019 or before. According to Mintel’s latest research, 11 in 50 people wore less face make-up and lip make-up than they did before they were homebound due to the pandemic.

Tanya Rajani, Beauty & Personal Care Analyst – India said:
“Indian consumers wear makeup primarily for out-of-home occasions like weddings or parties. Now with fewer occasions to step out, consumers are wearing makeup less and the usage of colour cosmetics has reduced. To prevent a decline in usage, brands need to change their positioning and drive the message of its home-based use. Brands can tap more home-based occasions for makeup such as Zoom meetings, attending virtual social dos such as weddings, birthdays, baby showers, going to intimate house parties and so on, to ensure continued use as opposed to a weekly indulgence.

Brands will have to strive to maximise in-home beauty experiences to make up for the drop in out-of-home beauty routines.

Beauty routines surf the digital wave
COVID-19 has accelerated the influence of digital media. 35% Indian beauty product consumers said that digital media has the biggest influence on their beauty product purchase decision. Additionally, seven out of 20 Indians (35%) are interested in digital try-on features for their beauty products. More than one third of Indians (39%) said they enjoy watching and /or reading about what other people’s beauty routines are.

Tanya Rajani, Beauty & Personal Care Analyst – India said:
With consumers sitting at home more, their engagement with digital media has increased. Now is the right time for brands to assertively enter and capture the online space to educate, engage and retain consumers. Consumers are now more ingrained in the digital beauty ecosystem as they rely on e-commerce and social media for beauty updates, trends and shopping. Consumers enjoy reading and watching other people’s beauty routines.

As the pandemic continues to speed up digital adoption, beauty brands have the opportunity to deploy digital tools and tactics to nudge these consumers forward into becoming users over just spectators. Brands should create a presence at multiple digital touch points that have become an integral part of consumers’ lives. Virtual consultation, live streaming and digital try-ons are some of the engaging online mechanisms that can be used to drive beauty product awareness and enhance beauty routines for home-bound users. New digital tools like AR and VR adopted by brands can help consumers build their routine. Beauty routines that provide immersive experiences can provide the much needed break consumers are seeking today.

Online/social media provides immense opportunities for brands to build brand loyalty. There is potential for brands to leverage the use of celebrities and influencers to build beauty routines and increase product usage, thus reaping the benefits of the burgeoning influencer marketing and social media hype generation. They can use the online/social medium to tailor engagement to different target groups, providing specific product suggestions or helpful, fun tips and beauty hacks.

Notes to editors:
*1,675 internet users aged 18-65+ who have used facial moisturizer products either before and/or during the COVID-19 outbreak
**1,346 internet users aged 18-65+ who have used facial serum/essence products either before and/or during the COVID-19 outbreak
***3,000 internet users aged 18-65+

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For the latest in consumer and industry news, top trends and market perspectives, stay tuned to Mintel News featuring commentary from Mintel’s team of global category analysts.

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