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There’s Never Been a Better Time to be in the Skin Care Industry

Woman working at a spa making appointment over the phone


For the first time in recent history, the skincare industry is outpacing the cosmetics industry. That’s good news for aestheticians.


According to data from market research company The NPD Group, the skincare category grew by 13 percent and contributed 60 percent of the beauty industry’s total gains, while makeup, the industry’s largest category based on sales, grew by just 1 percent.


“If I had to use one word to characterize the state of the U.S. beauty industry today, it would be disruption,” said Larissa Jensen, executive director and beauty industry analyst at The NPD Group. “New retail concepts and technologies are changing the way we create, market, purchase, and use beauty products. Brands and retailers must not only be cognizant of these transformations and act upon them, but identify new white space opportunities to captivate consumers and further differentiate themselves from the crowd.”


While the data focuses on product sales, the implications for the aesthetics community are clear: consumers are now more interested in improving their skin condition than in covering it up.


Jensen said she expects the growth to continue, and the data analysis experts at the financial research and analysis firm Trefis agree. Conservative estimates value the global beauty industry at over $300 billion in 2018, with the global skincare’s portion of the market valued at nearly $135 billion. Trefis projects it to continue rise—nearly 30%—to reach $180 billion over the next five years.



How can you take advantage? 

Make sure your backbar is well stocked and well merchandised. The data confirms that consumers are spending more than ever on their skin care and seeking it out. Keep best-selling products on hand. Promote them. Make sure your displays are clean, inviting, and easily accessible when clients come into your space. And always offer recommendations.


Provide expert advice. Know your products and be prepared to answer their questions about ingredients and expected results. Natural and organic products are a growing trend. However, your success relies on results, so be prepared to help your client understand the advantages of scientifically proven formulas and help to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the marketing terms “natural” and “organic.”


Exploit trends. What’s been hot in the past year? The fastest-growing segments within facial skincare were lip treatments, toners/clarifiers, and all other face (which includes serums and creams). Interest in treatments for countering signs of aging is growing as the average age of a millennial is now thirty. And the male market continues to expand. Subscription services are big in the product realm. Why not for services as well? You Sell a series of facials at a reduced price, instead of a single full-priced service.


Get social. If you haven’t already fully embraced social media, it’s long overdue. Social media has opened up new avenues for interacting with consumers and discussing skin issues and treatments. For everything from promoting your treatments to allowing clients to book appointments, social media may be the most valuable tool at your disposal.