2020 Beauty Industry Trends

An evolving industry in a transformative year

Resilience, agility and reinvention have been the words of the day this year. The virus has sent us to the drawing board to rethink operations, production and distribution, examine how relevant products are to the changing consumer priorities in health and wellness, redo our projections and, overall, tune in much deeper with our audiences.

Beyond the obvious rise of ecommerce over traditional beauty retail and the increase in demand for beauty and personal care products directly associated with health and wellbeing, 2020 has prompted several other important trends in beauty: 

2020 Beauty industry trends

The ‘clean to conscious’ beauty movement

According to an Euromonitor beauty industry trends report, quoted by the Global Cosmetic Industry Magazine, the pandemic has reinforced the ‘clean to conscious‘ movement, with beauty consumers taking a more personalized approach to personal care and looking for beauty products with a strong alignment to health, safety, immunity, and overall wellness

34% of beauty consumers are digital shoppers, with a high percentage looking for personalized options in most product categories: skincare, hair care and hair color, make-up.

Consumers are also more and more invested in beauty sustaina­bility as they look toward brands that display greater transparency across their entire supply chain, from ethical sourcing of beauty ingredients, manufacturing and testing processes, to sustainable packaging.

Top 6 beauty product trends from BEAUTYSTREAMS

During the Cosmoprof Asia Digital Week last month, the trends experts from BeautyStreams analyzed hundreds of the latest innovations in beauty products introduced at the show to identify the underlying industry trends. 

Not surprisingly, their findings show that trust is in high demand.  This year has taught us to evaluate brands and products based on how they protect and enhance our health and wellbeing.  According to the report “trust, which encompasses purpose and ethics, is the North Star that drives consumer loyalty and engagement”

The main trends identified by BEAUTYSTREAMS are:

  • Self-care Tech and the rise of the ever more sophisticated devices for DIY at-home beauty, aided by AR and AI technology and virtual personalized consultations
  • Local Treasures: Travel restrictions have prompted a rediscovery of local resources, traditions and cultures. Human resilience has found a new appreciation for local ingredients and local production, that are not only a big plus in sustainability, but also a celebration of uniqueness and diversity
  • Hyper-Hygienic – elevating the war against germs: the no-kidding trend of 2020 cued in a myriad of “innovative formats, self-cleaning
    packaging, and multitasking products that nourish the skin as they guard against the virus
  • Seal of Science – scientific credentials assure safety; “with safety being more important than ever, the definition of ‘clean’ is evolving to
    incorporate products with safe chemicals, as opposed to unsafe naturals”
  • Nature’s Potions – the unsung heroes of health and beauty, powerhouse ingredients from nature are getting more appreciation this year, accelerating the consumer shift towards natural and organic products.
  • Mask-Friendly Beauty – as eyes have taken center stage in beauty this year and new skincare concerns have developed from mask-wearing, a challenge is slowly turning into a new opportunity. New beauty products are in demand, from ‘maskne’ products to transfer-resistant color cosmetics, new eye make-up colors, lashes and brows products.

Read full Cosmotrends report here

beauty diversity

Growing Support for minority-owned businesses

As part of the expanding ‘beauty consciousness’ across all areas of ethical concern, support for minority-owned beauty business has picked up unprecedented momentum this year.  Some black-owned brands such as Oui the People or Uoma Beauty saw exponential growth, while many others have finally had the chance to be heard, seen or considered by the major retail chains.

When it comes to Latina-owned beauty brands, Deanna Utroske’s conversation with Stephanie Flor identifies a strong tendency to go back to the community roots, connect with ‘who we are’ and honor Latina communities’ traditions and rituals.

Needless to say, the growth is only just beginning, with hard work ahead to keep the momentum and tip the scales to true diversity (see Bloomberg article on the mixed blessings of the 15% pledge).


Skincare line by FLOSLEK Cosmetic Laboratory in Poland, featuring vegan cosmetics
and refillable, recyclable packaging

Beauty Trends: A Generational Thing?

As we move past the challenges this year and plan ahead, beauty brands are paying attention to evolving generational beauty needs, not just in terms of specific targeted products, but also in terms of approach and means of engagement. 

According to a Global Cosmetic Industry article, Gen Z are now outnumbering Millennials and developing a distinct taste in beauty and shopping preferences.

Born into an already fast evolving digital world, Gen Z are efficient multi-taskers on multiple devices and platforms and love to co-create as active participants, as opposed to millennials who embraced the ‘digital experience’ and the sharing features of social media.

Needless to say, this has lead to an explosion of increasingly better quality digital content and has spurred beauty brands partnerships with an ever younger group of influencers.

Gen Z have a simpler, more direct approach to beauty, less influenced by marketing frills. More tuned in social realities, our youngest adults are deeply caring about inclusivity and diversity and have a ‘beauty from the inside out‘ approach that will cater to each individual’s needs and taste.

They are discerning, well-informed consumers that will prefer a cool beauty product to a cool experience and will scrutinize products and brands for authentic values that are aligned with their own.

Gen Z beauty trends