World Market for Beauty and Personal Care

June 2021

Beauty and personal care sales declined in 2020, with major losses in Western Europe and North America. Colour cosmetics and fragrances were the main casualties, while raised hygiene standards made bath and shower the clear winner. The post-COVID-19 era will centre on survival of the fittest and adapting to beauty’s “new normal”, with sustainability-focused and digitally-savvy brands likely to thrive, as well as those that offer affordable, clinically-backed and wellness-orientated solutions.

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Examining five trends shaping the beauty and personal care industry

2021: the year of climate action, as consumers want eco-anxiety transformed into eco-action.

2020 was a year of sustainability milestones, with emissions levels dropping dramatically and major companies like L’Oréal and Shiseido unveiling new climate targets and commitments. Going forward, companies will need to live up to these pledges.

Global consumers want beauty brands that deliver the best value and create positive change.

Beauty brands that are purpose-driven, digitally-savvy, clinically-backed, affordable and approachable are most likely to thrive post-COVID-19. efficacy, science-backed clinical positioning and affordability will be common themes in beauty-facing categories (like skin care) but also in personal care, especially bath and shower, and oral care.

Post-COVID-19 recovery enables consumers to resume beauty discovery through personalisation.

As more shoppers rely on digital for beauty purchases globally, the desire to find and use beauty products that suit individuals’ needs will grow. Personalisation will be more common in super-premium and premium segments.

Evolving priorities around wellness have consumers calling for a back-to-basics approach

Consumer priorities around physical and emotional health are creating demand for simplicity, creating opportunities for brands that adopt a no-frills approach with simple messaging and safe formulations, alongside those with science-backed credentials and proven efficacy.

Omnichannel reality is the next battleground for beauty brands

Players that rode that omnichannel wave during the e-commerce acceleration benefited greatly in 2020, suggesting that the next playing field of competition will be to create “phygital” spaces that allow beauty consumers to digitally interact with each other and with brands.


COVID-19 impact on beauty and personal care
Examining five trends shaping the beauty and personal care industry

Global outlook

2020 decline unparalleled, but not expected to hamper long-term growth
Beauty and personal care in context
Skin care is the largest category in most regions
Western Europe and Asia Pacific register largest absolute value losses
Skin care declined slightly in 2020, but healthy rebound expected in 2021
Skin care continues to be Asia Pacific’s key driver, especially facial care
Besides bath and shower, oral care among categories that posted gains
China’s gains over 2020-2025 generated mainly by skin care
Following decline in 2019, fragrances to see a global rebound in 2021
Beauty specialist retailers abruptly pivot from strong historic growth
Direct sellers expected to rebound in cosmetics and skin care in 2021
E-commerce expected to ride 2020 momentum across regions, categories

Leading Companies and Brands

Market fragmentation continues to rise in most regions
L’Oréal preserves leadership, while Coty falls in the ranks
Geographic exposure a key factor in ongoing performance
L’Oréal’s derma-division and digital investments offsets vulnerability
Local Chinese brands are some of the fastest growing globally
Private label fuelled by store closures and reduced consumer confidence

Top Trends Shaping the Industry

2020 themes remain relevant, but will transition towards newer trends
Examining five trends shaping the beauty and personal care industry
From sustainability to purpose: climate action
Survival of the fittest in beauty and personal care
Democratising personalisation in health and beauty
Value creation through back to basics in health and beauty
Phygital reality

Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Scenarios hinge on spread of COVID-19 mutations and vaccination rates
Skin care maintains momentum to over-index beauty’s total growth
Asia Pacific to offer a bright spot amid uncertain global recovery
Shifts in attitudes and behaviour in the context of COVID-19

Market Snapshots

Global snapshot of baby and child-specific products
Global snapshot of bath and shower
Global snapshot of colour cosmetics
Global snapshot of deodorants
Global snapshot of depilatories
Global snapshot of fragrances
Global snapshot of hair care
Global snapshot of men’s grooming
Global snapshot of oral care
Global snapshot of skin care
Global snapshot of sun care
Regional snapshot: Asia Pacific
Regional snapshot: North America
Regional snapshot: Latin America
Regional snapshot: Western Europe
Regional snapshot: Middle East and Africa
Regional snapshot: Eastern Europe
Regional snapshot: Australasia


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