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  • By Diana Tavares

5 Beauty Industry Trends For Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Five trends shaping the future of the beauty industry in 2021 and how digital marketers can tap into them.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

In this post, we will investigate five beauty industry trends for 2021, provide you with data-driven marketing insights and share digital marketing tips on how to incorporate these trends into your digital marketing strategy.

Jump Ahead

How The Beauty Industry Is Reacting To The Covid-19 Pandemic

Currently valued at $500 billion, the global beauty industry has grown steadily over the years.

While the beauty industry has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with global consumers spending less on beauty products, it is expected to recover faster than other industries.

Beauty is an innovation-led industry, which is why it has been able to adapt more quickly.

- Audrey Depraeter-Montacel, global beauty lead at Accenture. Vogue Business

However, the recovery in beauty is uneven across categories. Lifestyle changes during the COVID-19 lockdown, such as working from home, social distancing and mask-wearing, have led to a shift in the way consumers buy beauty products.

Cosmetic and fragrance saw a decline while other categories have been benefiting from self-care and pampering trends.

Below, we will dig into five beauty industry trends for 2021.

1. The Boom In Self-Care And Pampering Categories

Even in times of economic duress, consumers still spend money on small indulgences, a phenomenon known as the ‘lipstick effect’.

According to McKinsey, these are the beauty product categories on the rise:

  1. Skincare

  2. Hair care

  3. Nail care

  4. Bath and body products

  5. Self-care and pampering products: candles, aromatherapy, detox products

Despite the decline in makeup sales, some product categories saw an increase in demand. According to In China, Alibaba reported eye-cosmetic sales increased 150%, month over month, during the week of February 18, 2020. ()

Last year, mentions of 'eye makeup' spiked by 26% in July in r/makeupaddiction, one of the top five beauty communities on Reddit. While in the UK, mentions of 'eye' makeup increased 83% YoY in r/skincareaddictionuk.

Digital Marketing Tips

Focus on the product categories on the rise and help consumers find products that are relevant for their new lifestyle. Makeup brands, for example, could win by shifting the focus to above-the-mask makeup products, such as eyebrows and eye makeup.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

2. DIY Beauty On The Rise

Beauty salons have been closed for several months due to COVID-19 lockdowns and even where they have not, some consumers have been avoiding services that require close physical contact.

Moreover, many consumers have been facing economic difficulties and reducing spending. As a result, it comes as no surprise that the do-it-yourself (DIY) beauty care trend is on the rise.

DIY hair care, nail care and care in other beauty categories have been increasing since March 2020.

According to Cult Beauty, Google searches for DIY beauty treatments quadrupled since March 2019, with over a million related queries. Some of the most Googled DIY beauty treatments included:

  1. Haircut

  2. Home Hair Dye

  3. Eyebrow Grooming

  4. Hair Mask

  5. Lash Lift

Brands that advocate DIY skincare saw an uplift in online sales during the lockdown, such as organic cosmetics brand 'Aroma Zone' which increased sales by 70% for cosmetics and 40% for essential oils, according to TOKION.

Digital Marketing Tips

Create a data-driven content strategy, to provide new and existing customers with all information they need about ingredients, ingredient combinations and their benefits.

The Ordinary, for example, has a build my regimen questionnaire that recommends a skincare regimen based on the given answers. The INKEY List also follows this strategy with their recipe builder.

3. A Consumer Driven By Ingredients

According to the Spate Top Rising Ingredients Report, this past year, consumers spent time at home learning the dos and don’ts of ingredients in beauty. Now, many of the beauty category’s top emerging trends are ingredient-driven.

The Ordinary continues to top the list as the brand most associated with trending ingredients. As seen with Azelaic Acid, Glycolic Acid and Niacinamide, the brand leads with ingredients — naming products by ingredient name.

- Top Rising Ingredients Report, Spate

According to Reddit’s 2020 UK Year in Review, the most discussed skincare brands in r/skincareaddictionuk were:

  1. Cerave

  2. The Ordinary

  3. La Roche Posay

  4. Paula’s Choice

  5. INKEY List

All of these brands have included ingredients as part of their digital marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing Tips

Help your customers make informed decisions by publishing ingredients related content. Include ingredients information in the product pages and offer users an intuitive way to shop by adding them to your website navigation menu.

See below some examples of ingredient-driven strategies picked from the most discussed skincare brands mentioned above.

4. Skinimalism

Skinimalism is the new glow up, according to Pinterest’s 2021 Trend Predictions Report.

It’s the end of the caked-on make-up look. Pinners will embrace slow beauty and let their natural skin texture shine through. This new effortlessly chic routine is simple and sustainable.

- Pinterest Predicts

Pinterest’s Global Data shows a year-on-year increase in searches for

  • How to get naturally glowing skin +4x

  • Face yoga exercises +4x

  • Home-made skincare +110%

  • Aloe vera face mask +115%

  • Natural everyday makeup +180%

Digital Marketing Tips

Help users find products that will benefit their skin and share makeup tips on how to achieve a natural look.

Photo by Jessica Felicio on Unsplash

5. The Rise of Indie Beauty

Another trend spotted by Pinterest is the rise of indie beauty.

Take it from Gen Z: Indie isn’t what it used to be. Their version is defined by bold-coloured crop tops, baggy jeans and emoji-inspired make-up and nails. When it comes to beauty, 2021 will be about feelin’ cute.

- Pinterest Predicts

Pinterest’s Global Data shows a year-on-year increase in searches for

  • Indie nails +21x

  • Smiley face nails +9x

  • Indie makeup +4x

  • Inner eye pop of colour +45%

  • Butterfly eye makeup +6x

Digital Marketing Tips

Promote products and share tips on how to achieve trend indie looks, such as indie makeup or nails.

Photo by Min An from Pexels


The global beauty industry has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, by being an innovation-led industry, it is expected to recover faster than others, thanks to its ability to adapt more quickly.

The recovery in beauty has been driven by a shift in the way consumers buy beauty products. New emerging beauty industry trends are leading to an increase across self-care and pampering product categories, while some makeup categories have been struggling.

Data-driven marketing insights are the key to create a successful digital marketing strategy. At Strategy Pixel, this is at the core of our business. We use data-driven insights to develop every digital marketing strategy.

Learn more about our services and how we can help your business.


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