If you’re a human who has gone to the drugstore, logged onto YouTube/Instagram, or gotten caught in a wild conversation about the multiple-weight hyaluronic acid serum your friend Suzy uses, allow us to state the obvious for you: Skin care is having a major moment. And we will see Phase Two of this mega-trend dominate 2020… and beyond.
Conservative projections state that in five years’ time, the global skin-care market will be valued at $180 billion. To put that into perspective, that’s a 30-percent climb from 2018. The expansion is so huge that skin care has dethroned makeup as the top seller at L’Oreal Paris, the world’s biggest beauty company, and market-researchers at The NPD Group place 60 percent of all growth within the beauty industry squarely at skin care’s baby-soft feet.
“There is no question about the fact that patients know more about skin care now.” — Mona Gohara, MD
Fueling 2020 growth, new indie brand launches soar to numbers we’ve not seen before—look out for huge growth from Necessaire, The Inkey List, and Corpus Naturals. And big, old-guard beauty companies are modeling their businesses differently by creating internal incubators that are nimble enough to launch trending skin-care products more quickly. For example, Unilever, the maker of heritage brands like Dove and Suave, has launched and acquired over 10 new skin-care-focused brands in the past five years, with another two set to reach consumers in 2020. While Procter & Gamble brought their lighthearted 2018 New Zealand skin-care acquisition, Kiwi, Stateside late this year and have plans to grow its presence over 2020.
The other shining star of the skin-care surge? Dermatologists, aka the reigning queens of this beauty empire. “You’ve got an increase in people wanting to go to the dermatologist,” says Cyndi Isgrig, president of the beauty e-commerce site Dermstore. Dermatologist and star of Well+Good’s Dear Derm video series Mona Gohara, MD, says that not only has she seen an increase in business, but that clients are becoming increasingly savvy about their skin. “There is no question about the fact that patients know more about skin care now. Ingredients, efficacy, and even brand mission is top of mind,” she says. Isgrig agrees that consumers are becoming more informed about their largest organ, largely due to the rise in popularity of derms (and the knowledge they provide clients), and this information has them hungry for high-performance products.
In 2020, as more smarty-pants MDs are becoming involved with product formulation (seriously: a Nobel laureate just launched a line) and as more derm-backed lines like SkinMedica become available online, expect increased knowledge to push forward more innovative products that streamline our shelfie from 65 powder-pink tubes to four or five targeted ones: Think targeted, efficacious solutions that cut down on the need for a 10-step routine. “We’re reaching a place now where we’re willing to return to expert-based skin care, and that’s going to require a level of performance and science,” says industry veteran and Flesh Beauty founder Linda Wells (the brand will be adding skin care to its line in January 2020).
This increase in general skin-care curiosity has given rise to a generation of skin sleuths who diagnose each other’s skin conditions and prescribe tailored regimens and advice to each other through Facebook Groups and subreddits like Skincare Addiction. At present, the powerhouse group has one million members, and saw over 130-percent growth from October 2017 to October 2019; at large, the top 50 beauty subreddits have seen 63 percent growth in the past year. These people aren’t just slapping anything onto their faces, there’s deep passion here.
All of this growth, however, doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways the category could be serving people better.
All of this growth, however, doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways the category could be serving people better. It’s high time for skin care to step up and meet the needs of every skin tone and type (we have it on good authority that this will be happening next year, though we can’t say just how just yet). Startlingly, 70 percent of women of color polled in a recent report from UK’s Superdrug said that they felt mainstream solutions didn’t currently work for them. Seventy percent. The industry must do better. We’ve also got to rethink the way we talk about “good skin” versus “bad skin.” Because if anti-aging fell by the wayside last decade, then skin shaming for acne or rosacea or eczema has to be this decade’s problem to solve.
Whether you’re a drugstore, indie, or derm-backed kinda woman, there is plenty of newness and innovation coming from your favorite skin-care brands over 2020, so don’t expect this runaway trend to slow down anytime soon.
But wait, there’s more! Click here to read the rest of our 2020 Wellness Trends predictions.
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