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Published
Sep 18, 2020
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WFH drives UK skincare usage higher, dents make-up sales - report

Published
Sep 18, 2020

Heightened hygiene and increased time at home are boosting the UK skincare sector with new research from Mintel showing that women's interest in facial skincare routines has risen this year.


Skincare usage has soared in the UK this year



On Friday, the researcher said that cleansers and moisturisers are proving to be 2020 beauty winners.

That follows a year in which skincare was already on the rise. Britons spent £1.18 billion on women’s facial skincare in 2019 as colour cosmetic sales declined by 5%.

Skincare had dipped in 2018 as make-up was riding high, but the situation has been turned on its head in 2020. 

Mintel’s research showed that over the last 12 months, beauty loving British women have increasingly used peel-off or wash-off masks (as many as 62% of 16-24 year-old women use them). And face wash usage has risen from 50% in 2019 to 55% in 2020. There’s also been an increased use of micellar water (from 25% to 29%) and usage of toner has risen from 25% to 31%.

Moisturisers, which saw a decline in 2019, have seen renewed popularity too. Day cream/lotion is proving to be the favourite, as the number of Britons using these is up from 60% in 2019 to 67% in 2020. Night cream usage has also flourished, increasing from 44% to 47% over the same period.  

Mintel asked women about their beauty routines during lockdown and found that 30% of facial skincare users said they had moisturised more since the outbreak of Covid-19, (rising to 41% of 16-24s), while 18% of facial skincare users spent longer on their routine and 14% used more facial treatment products such as face masks. Attention to hygiene including hand washing also increased significantly at the beginning of April when 81% of Britons said they washed their hands more often.

In the year to June, the cleansing and face mask segments both saw a 9% rise in value.

Roshida Khanom, Mintel’s Head of Beauty and Personal Care, said: “In this Covid age, consumers are seeking physical and mental wellness, and facial skincare has benefited from the well-being benefits of following a beauty routine. The significant rise in face wash and facial toner usage in particular, may well be impacted by a greater focus on health and hygiene during the pandemic.

“The mandatory use of face masks/coverings in a number of public places in 2020 could boost prospects for facial skincare, with new product development in skincare products to soothe irritated skin. Antibacterial claims could also appeal.”

Mintel said that after the 5% drop in make-up sales last year, the sector remains in decline. Some 55% of female facial skincare users have reduced how frequently they wear make-up. 

Khanom added: “Korean beauty trends have benefited the women’s facial skincare category in recent years, with women reducing their use of make-up to show off the hard work on their skin. The pandemic may well have played a significant part too with frequency of make-up usage down. As women gave their skin a break from using make-up, many turned to skincare to rejuvenate their facial skin. 

“Make-up usage will fall further throughout 2020, as social distancing measures remain and working from home becomes the next normal for many”.

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