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6 Beauty Industry Trends to Watch in 2020

It’s estimated that the global beauty industry is currently worth $532 billion, according to Forbes. Mainly concentrated the United States, China and Japan follow suit to be the second and third largest beauty markets in the world. And even though the economic growth slowed down within the last year, it’s predicted that the market will be a $800 billion industry by 2025. Estée Lauder and L’Oreal both posted sales growth in 2019, at rates of 9% and 5.5%, respectively. After all, even during economic recessions, consumers still look to everyday luxuries like like favorite high-end lipstick for a morale boost. Here are 6 industry trends on the rise that deserve to be on your radar in 2020.


Segments on the Rise

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following categories are expected to see unprecedented growth with the next 4 years:

  • Barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists: 10% expected growth by 2024
  • Manicurists and pedicurists: 10% expected growth by 2024
  • Skincare specialists: 12% expected growth by 2024
  • Massage therapists: 22% expected growth rate by 2024




Conscious Consumerism 

From promises of decreasing water consumption by L’Oréal and Unilever to committing to 100% eco-friendly packaging, consumers are getting more savvy and less wasteful. Later this year, Procter & Gamble will debut a new hair line called Waterless to further its eco-friendly initiatives. The World Health Organization also reported that 4.2 million deaths every year occur as a result of exposure air pollution. The beauty industry is taking note, marketing more skincare items with built-in pollution defense and higher SPF to help protect against skin cancer using light-reflecting technologies.


Clearing Up Clean Beauty

The world of clean beauty is fraught with misinformation. With many consumers not knowing the difference between clean, natural and organic, the onus is now brands to clearly define what constitutes as “clean” (despite the U.S. having very different standards compared to EU regulations). With many brands jumping on the clean beauty bandwagon, 2020 will be a banner year for brands to stop greenwashing and marketing products riddled with chemicals as “safe” to consumers, and start being more transparent about what everything means.


Slow Beauty and Skinimalism 

With laborious, 10-step K-beauty routines seeing a decline by consumers worldwide, the trend of “slow beauty” is on the rise. Think minimalism, but for your skin. Similar to detoxing or fasting your body by consuming less, “skin fasting” and “skinimalism” aim to reduce a user’s consumption of skincare products while simultaneously helping to reset and detox the skin while simplifying your beauty routine. I mean, if this means it’s trendy to switch from 10 products to three, I’m all in! Similarly, makeup sales in the U.S. declined last year, with 31% of people reporting that they purchased less makeup in 2019 when compared to the previous year, according to Haarper’s Bazaar.


Nano Influencers

Consumers seeking advice from their peers about what beauty products to buy is nothing new. That groundbreaking form of word-of-mouth marketing helped create the beauty influencer ecosystem popular today. But platforms like MyBeautyBrand are gaining attention from consumers, as people are starting to seek beauty advice outside of the Instagram platform. As Instagram continues to roll out its test of removing likes on the platform, we will see how this shapes the future on sponsored content on social media.


More Incubators & Tech Acquisitions

With more indie brands emerging than ever before and beauty incubator success stories on the rise, it’s no surprise that the industry’s biggest players are investing in incubators of their own. Independent players, such as Seed Beauty—the masterminds behind ColourPop and Kylie Cosmetics—have set the stage for corporations like Revlon to create Flesh, Sephora’s Accelerate, L’Oreal’s Seed Phytonutrients and Unilever’s Skinsei. Within the last year, Colgate-Palmolive acquired antiaging skincare line Filorga for $1.69 billion, Shiseido purchased clean skincare line Drunk Elephant for $845 million, Unilever acquired J-beauty giant Tatcha and L’Occitane purchased skincare brand Elemis for $900 million. In the world of beauty tech, L’Oreal’s purchased virtual try-on app company Modiface, and Ulta Beauty and Henkel have made their first tech acquisitions shortly after. So, what does this mean to the consumer? Beauty corporations will continue to operate under the guise of being their trendy indie counterparts, and the line between AI and connected beauty systems will get continuously more blurred.


Inclusivity Is Still on the Rise

In a post-Fenty Beauty landscape (you couldn’t stop hearing the phrase 40 shades of foundation a few years ago), inclusivity is still everything. But not just for female millennials and Gen Zers: think all of the previously untapped markets that beauty brands were not caterting to, such as Gen Xers and Boomers. Allied Market Research forecasts that the men’s grooming boom is inevitable, and that the men’s global personal care market will reach $166 billion by 2022. From skin care to hair care, more products than ever are being marketed towards all ethnicities, body types, skin tones and gender identities. #imaneditour




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