There has been a shift towards a more conscious and sustainable approach to beauty over the past few years – about time, too. Women are increasingly selective about the products they purchase and the brands they support, and the onset of the pandemic only accelerated this pre-pandemic trend. The Gaggler spoke with industry experts from Beautyworld Middle East’s recent Pulse of the Industry: Skincare & Personal Care webinar to get the lowdown on how women’s changing behaviour towards beauty is sending ripples across the industry.
Today’s Socially Conscious Women
As a result of today’s generation of environmentally aware and socially conscious women, natural, sustainable, and ethical beauty products have emerged as one of the primary growth drivers alongside the traditional beauty industry. Speaking as a panelist in the webinar, Amna Abbas, Senior Analyst for Beauty, Health & Fashion at Euromonitor International, said: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, personal care shifted from cosmetic purposes towards self-care as a holistic focus towards overall health and well-being. Skincare and non-colour cosmetics are on the rise, a trend that we expect to continue growing over the coming years.” Amna went on to predict, “Sustainability will be adopted by brands and consumers alike, as beauty brands continue to explore clean, green, and conscious space within the industry.”
With the internet making it easier than ever to research beauty products and ingredients, women are becoming both increasingly knowledgeable and more deliberate with their buying choices. The broader landscape of health, environmental, and societal concerns fuel this movement to make better choices not only from a personal perspective but also for the planet. No doubt, COVID-19 has spurred a renewed sense of conscientiousness as women increasingly look for brands that align with their personal values so that they can feel good about their choices as well as their looks.
Back to Basics
As the pandemic promotes a ‘back to basics‘ approach when it comes to beauty and personal care, brands that emphasize simplicity and transparency – think: The Ordinary and Drunk Elephant – have seen increased popularity. These industry players seek ways to reduce the adverse effects on the planet, from carbon-neutral practices and eco-friendly formulas to refillable containers and recycled packaging. “There is an emphasis on conscious consumerism and cleaner living. Customers have begun to prioritise wellness and detoxification, both in terms of diet and products, fuelling the demand for safe ingredients and brand transparency,” said Anisha Oberoi, CEO & Founder of UAE- based Secret Skin, a tech-enabled enterprise for sustainable beauty.
“Consumers, with the intention of being ‘mindful,’ are now paying more attention to labels, processing methods, sourcing practices, and other details associated with the creation and representation of personal care products before making a purchase. And on account of this, many beauty brands in the international scene have decided to clean up their act and made the decision to stop using potentially harmful ingredients in their products and are now on a mission to educate and encourage consumers to make the switch,” added Anisha.
Many big brands have already responded to the shift towards conscious consumerism, including Rihanna’s cosmetics line Fenty Skin, which features refillable packaging and globally sourced clean ingredients; Estee Lauder’s Aveda, which piloted blockchain technology to account for sustainable sourcing and improve the traceability of its Madagascan vanilla supply chain; and L’Oreal’s Garnier, which pledged to become 100% carbon neutral by 2025, along with using no virgin plastics and all plant-based, renewable ingredients.
With more and more women gravitating towards a more conscious lifestyle and aligning their purchasing behaviour accordingly, all aspects of the beauty industry will continue to be influenced. We will continue to look for effective and high-quality cosmetics while scrutinising the values of beauty companies and favouring the brands with more eco-friendly, ethical, and sustainable products and practices. Join us?
Beautyworld Middle East 2021 will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre from October 5-7, showcasing the latest beauty offerings across natural and organic cosmetics, skincare, personal care, and hygiene. Learn more here.