Has COVID Changed Our Beauty Habits?


| LAST UPDATE 05/11/2022

By Peral Simons
Pandemic News, Mask, Beauty
Stock Photo via Getty Images

The world looks very different than it did before March 2020. In fact, there is very little that the COVID pandemic didn't get its contagious hands on. From work-life balance to traveling on a plane, COVID transformed our lives in ways we could never have imagined. In light of this, Kantar, a data and evidence-based consulting agency, set out to see how the global beauty industry and our beauty habits have developed over the past two years. Here's what they found.

In their recent report, 'On Trend: The evolving beauty consumer,' Kantar published their findings - which included some staggering statistics. The pandemic has become synonymous with the mass shift towards working from home, which began due to the compulsory lockdowns. What was the effect of this on the beauty industry? The studies found that on a weekly basis, the use of cosmetics has gone down by 28% in comparison to the levels before the pandemic. The combination of more time at home and fewer gatherings has meant people are wearing less make-up overall. When they do apply, they opt for more simple, quick routines that involve fewer and more premium products. 

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When breaking it down into individual cosmetic products, the report showed that people are focusing less on face and lip products, particularly in Europe. On the opposite end, eye makeup has seen a rapid increase in popularity, perhaps due to the face masks that leave just the eyes on display. Premium and natural beauty products made up 18% of sales in 2017 and now make up 24%. This increased popularity has been instrumental in the beauty industry's return to pre-pandemic revenue levels.

Clean Makeup, COVID Beauty
Stock Photo via Getty Images

Another noticeable change in the attitudes of the beauty industry customers has been in their environmental consciousness. As the world becomes more aware of the importance of the ingredients and sustainability behind a product, people seek more natural and vegan cosmetics. Globally, consumers purchasing natural face and body products increased from 18% to 24% of overall sales over the pandemic period. Customers have proved they are willing to pay more to ensure they are not harming the planet or its people. While there is a lot more to unpack in the full report, the takeaway lesson is that beauty companies need to be paying attention to the recent lifestyle changes and adapt their products accordingly. The beauty industry is still thriving. It's just changing.

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