We’ve been taking a closer look at consumer beauty trends for 2019, and one thing is clear: consumers are increasingly looking for unique skincare treatments and products. New terms are becoming commonplace up in the world of professional treatments. Services such as dermaplaning, microneedling and hydrafacials are currently trending on Yelp and are more frequently seen in salons. But the trend towards more “medical” sounding procedures doesn’t exclusively end in the esthetician’s chair: skincare products are also impacted.
The end of the last decade has revealed a unique cultural phenomenon in which consumers are increasingly creating more complicated skincare routines for themselves. It’s difficult to completely identify how and why the multi-step, multi-product skincare routine became so pervasive but here are two theories:
- K-Beauty the skincare and make-up trend that popularized the “The Korean 10-step beauty routine” which promised a glow-y complexion and a youthful, light aesthetic. K-Beauty products have become ubiquitous in stores and online. Consumers are delighted by the beautiful packaging, clearly stated benefits and unique ingredients (snail slime anyone?).
- Influencers as brand-ambassadors, blending the visible boundaries between every day consumers and traditional spokespeople, perhaps creating the impression that everyday people including “your friends“ are using complex skincare routines, so maybe you should too.
There is some evidence that these trends are more than just a flash in the pan. Google Trends show a sustained increase in the topic of “skincare routines” since around 2014. There is also other evidence in the rising popularity of the new brand “The Ordinary” which promises “Clinical formulations with integrity” and requires that its consumers select their own formulations (The Ordinary provides suggested routines) and pay careful-attention to potential to counter-indications.
The result of these trends and more complicated routines is a more aware consumer, specifically one that has the expectation of finding a product that is uniquely matched to their specific needs. It becomes the responsibility of the product developer to be deeply in-tune with the desires of their consumer and to build a product that appears custom made for them.
How then do drugstore brands compete? While we wait in anticipation of the fully personalized Neutrogena MaskiD™ which truly plans to blur the line between mass availability and bespoke skincare. Brands should be mindful of delivering lines of products that still meet the unique needs of many consumers, possibly creating diverse options for different stages of that routine.
This is where Sensory Spectrum’s personal care panels can be of great use. Look at the map below: in an instant, visualize the diversity of experience consumers may have while using facial cleansers. Consider where your products fall. Are they producing a lot of foam, how do they dispense, do they leave the skin feeling “squeaky clean” or “smooth and soft”, are they drying to the skin? In a few short sessions, one of our highly trained Personal Care Panel (PCP) can provide you with a clear picture of the category landscape and where your products fall in it. This is one aspect of understanding facial cleansers, the entire consumer experience includes so many more maps.
A more informed consumer means that developers must act aggressively to ensure that their products allow the creation a customized experience through of variety of products and stages of the beauty routine.