Multicultural women set to drive the future of the US beauty industry

May 10, 2018

From the smokey-eye look to custom-blended and all-natural beauty products, new research from Mintel reveals that today’s trend-driven, multicultural women are propelling the US beauty industry forward.

Whether an everyday or special occasion makeup look, it seems Hispanic women who perform a beauty routine are more likely to experiment and adopt multiple steps into their routines, with two thirds (66%) saying they create complex makeup looks, compared to 51% of US women overall. When it comes to the latest beauty trends, America’s multicultural women seem to be the most enthusiastic. Hispanic women who perform a beauty routine are more likely to be interested in multi-purpose beauty products (49% vs 41% women overall), in-shower body products (36% vs 27% women overall) and online beauty tools (31% vs 16% women overall). Meanwhile, Black women are more likely to be interested in trends surrounding natural beauty products (64% vs 45% women overall).

“It’s an exciting time for multicultural beauty in America as more and more brands are developing products to fit the unique interests and needs of multicultural consumers. The increasing diversity of the country bodes well for the beauty industry. Our research shows that Hispanic and Black women, in particular, tend to be more engaged with beauty trends and more experimental with their beauty routines. With new launches from brands like Fenty Beauty, Kylie Cosmetics and FORM that offer more options for varying skin tones and hair types, there is opportunity for product usage to grow. Custom-blended beauty products is one area in particular that shows promise as these products resonate with women who may find it difficult to match their skin color and undertones or find the right products for their hair texture,” said Toya Mitchell, Multicultural Analyst at Mintel.
18% of women aged 25-34 are interested in following the K-beauty trend.

K-beauty plays the long game

While the majority (45%) of women who participate in a beauty routine say natural beauty is the trend that interests them the most, Mintel research shows that certain trends are ripe for growth in the US market. One in 10 (9%) say they are interested in following the K-beauty (Korean beauty) trend, with interest rising to 13% of those aged 18-24 and 18% of those aged 25-34. Although half (49%) of US women overall follow a one- or two-step skincare regimen, a dedicated three in 10 (29%) say they have a three or more step skincare routine, indicating multi-step K-beauty regimens have potential to resonate with consumers.

“K-beauty is now considered more mainstream, with US brands launching formats and textures mimicking their Eastern counterparts, such as sheet masks, jelly cleansers and essences. However, as K-beauty routines are known for being long and time-consuming, we’re seeing an emerging trend known as the ‘skincare diet’ which involves slimming down the beauty routine to five steps or less. We’ve even seen South Korean fragrances being launched with skincare benefits to minimize the routine,” said Alison Gaither, Beauty and Personal Care Analyst at Mintel.

Beauty is best when left to its own devices

Beauty devices* are the fastest growing segment in the US beauty industry. In fact, despite making up just 4% of the market, total retail sales of beauty devices grew 7.6% between 2016-2017 to reach an estimated $1.6 billion. This is the fastest rate of sales growth the category has seen in the last five years (since 2013).

While skincare device usage is limited, Mintel research reveals that interest is strong. Although just over one third (35%) of women say they use any skincare device, 41% of women say they are interested in trying one, with laser hair removal devices garnering the most interest (46%).

Elsewhere in the category, sales of beauty staples such as color cosmetics (29% market share) and hair products (28% market share) grew 2.2% in the same timeframe, while skincare (25% market share) grew 1.4%.

“The beauty devices category is the fastest growing in the US beauty industry, with future growth expected to come from new product innovation and the availability of lower-priced skincare devices. We’re seeing customization evolve to include tech tools that diagnose hair and skin issues, with brands making it easier for consumers to bring this trend home,“ concluded Gaither.

*Mintel defines skincare devices as cleansing systems, exfoliation systems, LED/laser treatments, hair removal devices, and massagers/infusion systems, and hair appliances as blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons, and hot rollers.

Press copies of Mintel’s Beauty Consumers US 2018 report and interviews with Toya Mitchell, Multicultural Analyst, and Alison Gaither, Beauty and Personal Care Analyst, are available on request from the press office.

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