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The State of Natural Beauty: Here's what consumers want

Innovation, sustainability, and quick routines are what matters

The beauty and personal care space is an electrifying part of the natural products industry, with brands leading the way in innovation and beauty shoppers being some of the most engaged.

Personal care and beauty is a $51 billion industry that's growing 5.4%, according to Alice Mintz​, director of integrated solutions at DAAP, a SPINS subsidiary. Natural, in particular, is driving 21% of beauty's growth, which is an over contribution relative to its 8% industry share. Industry experts shared data, trends and more during "The State of Natural Beauty" panel discussion at Expo West.

Brands are also making a conscious effort to market products for all. Beauty, particularly in the natural space, is becoming more inclusive regarding gender, race, age, socio-economics and skin type, increasing accessibility for all.

Many consumers look to natural and specialty retailers to stock clean beauty products. Jocelyn Lyle​, senior vice president of development and partnerships at Environmental Working Group (EWG), shares that 75% of Americans believe toxic chemicals in personal care products are a severe threat, according to a recent EWG poll. That number increases to 84% among women under 50. EWG also found that 71% of household purchasers prefer to shop for personal care in-store instead of online. ​


Social media platforms such as TikTok and expanded online resources make consumers more educated than ever. As a result, there is a purchase influence cycle where a consumer will learn about a product and the effects of a particular ingredient, which drives them to the store to test a product and look closely at the ingredient list for themselves. Consumers know what desired results to expect. Efficacy and transparency will be key to getting a product off the shelf and integrating it into their routine. As Mintz predicts, "Natural will transform the beauty industry at a faster rate than we experienced with food and beverage." On the left, you can see that ACURE utilizes TikTok to demonstrate how to use its new sustainable powdered mask and the ingredients behind it.

Cultural forces are driving the trends outlined below. Each trend is a response to society's desire for holistic health and well-being, purpose-driven innovation and to meet modern life.


Skincare as makeup​
One of the beauty trends New Hope Network is seeing is the barefaced look and coquette makeup—think romantic with light pink shades, softly blended and a dewy, luminous look. These looks are light and require only a few products. 

Simplicity is essential, and when wearing makeup, people want it to do more and be beneficial. Hybrid products such as Mineral Fusion's 2-in-1 Lip & Cheek Stain help simplify a routine and ease paring down the number of products in one's bag. The brand's Sheer Moisture Lip Tint provides a beautiful color with benefits. It hydrates and firms from ingredients such as shea butter and peptides. Skincare as makeup products

32_6.pngAnother example is Babo Botanicals' Daily Sheer Fluid Tinted Mineral Sunscreen can also be used as a primer base. It is lightly tinted, suitable for multiple skin tones and hydrating. The ingredient list contains upcycled passion fruit seed oil sourced from a family-owned farm in Peru, organic raspberry oil, and sweet white lupine for blue light protection.​ From Pacifica's Kind Glaze, skincare meets makeup in this dewy illuminator that supports a healthy skin barrier. Ceramide NP, vegan collagen and vegan squalane all hydrate the skin and lock in moisture.​

Skinimalism and shortened personalized routines
In addition to minimal makeup, consumers are cutting down on their skincare routines. The goal is to find a simple, personalized routine best suited to their skin needs. Many took the time to practice multi-step and intensive skincare routines during the pandemic quarantine. Now though, people are going back out and getting busier. They want a simplified routine with minimal products, hence a call back to hybrid products where they can get more out of one product instead of needing two. It is all about a return to quality over quantity.


Pictured, HiBAR's solid face wash line offers different solutions based on your skin's need and specific PH balance.

Shorter and cleaner ingredient list​s
Andalou and Pacifica clean beauty productsA product does not need a complex list of ingredients to stand out. The ones with "-less" are making bigger impacts. The search for shorter, simpler lists and fragrance-free products continues to rise. Consumers know more about the science of certain ingredients and what works best for their own skin. They can easily sort through the noise and are paying attention to the quality of ingredients and efficacy of a product.


Pictured, these products in stick formats are easy for consumers to incorporate into their routines. Both Andalou's new Dark Spot Corrector (left) and Pacifica's Wake Up Beautiful Balm (right) boost trending plant-based ingredients.

Read about even more products here at New Hope. 

Final tips for moving forward: Whether embracing one or multiple of the trends mentioned above, SPINS has some final advice:

1. Build trust with certifications

  • Help consumers identify products aligned with industry expectations
  • Third-party validation matters.​ EWG's recent polling found that 75% of household purchasers are interested in third-party certifications.​ Over 50% of household purchasers use third-party certifications at least sometimes to find safer products, and 52% of millennials and Gen Z are aware of EWG VERIFIED
  • Data shows that clean and cruelty-free are top characteristics among both younger and older generations driving their beauty purchases
  • SPINS data shows the following sale increases over the past two years: +41.5% for Certified B Corp (particularly in hair care), +29.7% for products labeled aluminum free and +20.7% for products labeled organic (again, particularly in hair care).

2. Lead with incremental innovation

  • Make new products approachable to the curiously cautious consumer

3. Efficacy rules the routine

  • Affirm the position that natural products can equate to high performance

NewHopeNetwork_Horizontal_CMYK 450x178.jpgThis article originally appeared on New Hope Network, a Supermarket News sister website. Visit the site for more trends and insights into the natural and organic products industry.

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