It's been a turbulent time for the UK beauty industry these last couple of years. The sector has dealt with economic downturns, and global lockdowns and (due to the pandemic), the rise of face coverings. Because of this instability, the beauty industry is likely to be rather unpredictable moving forward. But that doesn't mean there aren't trends to examine. Here is a glance at the statistics, beauty industry trends and facts for 2022-2023.
Here are 20 statistics on the beauty industry
1) The beauty industry in the UK is worth £12.14 billion in 2022
The global beauty industry is worth £395.7 billion, and the UK beauty industry makes up 3.1% of that. Post-pandemic has clearly seen the industry make up for much of it's Covid losses but the industry is still away from it's peak as it was utterly divested by the pandemic.
2) E-commerce is expected to make up 25.4% of sales in 2022
The trend of buying beauty products online is only increasing and appears to be more than just a flash in the pan caused by the pandemic. Attitudes have clearly changed on a permanent basis with many consumers preferring the convenience, ease and choice that buying online offers them.
3) The natural beauty industry in the UK will rise to £208.6 million
We're seeing a strong trend towards natural beauty and sustainability and this is only set to continue in the coming years. Consumers are becoming more and more aware of the impact that their beauty choices have on the planet and are looking for brands that reflect their own values. As much as 45% of British consumers use at least 1 organic beauty product in their routines.
4) Beauty industry expected to hit 2019 levels by 2023
While it has certainly been a tough few years for the beauty industry as poor economic conditions and an unprecedented pandemic decimated the industry's growth. Now, it looks like 2023 will be the year that the industry finally hits the heights it was scaling pre-pandemic. And despite a new economic downturn on the horizon, the industry is expected to maintain its growth due to the "lipstick effect".
5) An area for growth: Black, Asian, and multi-ethnic consumers
A report from the Black Pound Report 2022 suggests that the UK beauty industry is missing out on as much as £2.9 billion per year in potential sales by not catering to black, asian and multi-ethnic consumers. This is an untapped market that is only going to grow in importance in the coming years.
6) 63% of people working in the hair and beauty sector are self-employed
The hair and beauty industry has always been a haven for self-employment and freelance work. This Covid-19 has only served to increase this trend as people look for greater flexibility and freedom in their work lives. This is likely to have a lasting impact on the industry even after the pandemic ends.
7) There are 44,880 beauty and hairdressing businesses operating in the UK as of March 2020
These statistics were carried out by the Office of National Statistics and is broken down geographically as follows:
- North East – 2,020
- North West – 5,425
- Yorkshire and the Humber – 3,690
- East Midlands – 2,980
- West Midlands – 3,815
- East – 3,875
- London – 7,015
- South East – 5,425
- South West – 3,110
- Wales – 2,155
- Scotland – 3,810
- Northern Ireland – 1,560
8) Colgate dominate the health and beauty sales
Colgate is currently the biggest name in the industry with 73.9% of British households having bought their products. This was followed up by Nivea at 61.4%.
9) Dettol are the UK's most popular health and beauty brand
Hygiene brand Dettol is the most popular brand among UK respondents with 84% of those having a favourable view towards the brand. This makes sense in the context of the pandemic which saw an increase of awareness towards hygiene and a particular rise in interest in sanitary products like antibacterial sanitisers.
10) Kylie Cosmetics is the most popular beauty brand on Instagram with over 25.5 million followers
Kylie Jenner's beauty brand continues to go from strength to strength and is able to defy the broader trends of the beauty industry. This is potentially a key avenue for growth amongst UK beauty brands.
11) UK skincare market size will be worth £3.064 billion in 2022
This is an area that has seen tremendous growth throughout the pandemic and beyond. There appears to be a real appetite for beauty products in the self-care space which is an interesting development for sure. Perhaps we will see a trend away from purely cosmetic beauty products towards self care products like skin and hair care.
12) Britons spent £8.6 billion at hairdressers and personal care salons in 2019
While this number certainly took a hit during the pandemic lockdowns, it's likely we see a resurgence as the underlying trend shows a growing interest in personalised, self-care service.
13) 94% of people who worked in the beauty industry were female in 2019
While hardly surprising based on historical data, it's nonetheless an important data point. As the industry looks to diversify and attract more male customers, this will be an interesting trend to watch in the coming years. As it stands, women typically spend over £100 more per person annually then men, this gap should be looked at with interest.
14) The average person in Britain spends £400 per year on beauty products
This is a significant amount of money and it's likely that this number has only increased during the pandemic as people have looked for ways to feel good about themselves while stuck at home.
15) 22% of hair and makeup brands were vegan in 2021
Another interesting data point that illustrates the changing sensibilities of consumers. Brands that can tap into this trend and offer vegan-friendly products are likely to find themselves in a strong position.
16) 69% of beauty and haircare brands are listed as cruelty free in 2021
While not a surprise to see the dramatic increase of "cruelty free" brands, it will be interesting to see how consumers punish the remaining 31% and demand a switch to ethical testing and sourcing.
17) 16-24 year olds are the highest spending age group, spending an average of £67.30 a month
In contrast to most luxury industries, in the beauty sector, people aged 16-24 are the highest spending age group. This may be why we are seeing such big moves towards sustainability and veganism as this age group is typically more engaged with social and environmental issues.
18) 94% employ fewer than ten people
The beauty industry remains a highly fragmented one with the vast majority of businesses employing fewer than ten people. This presents both opportunities and challenges for those looking to enter the industry.
19) 30% of customers started using moisturiser more often in 2020
This is further evidence of a growing trend towards self care and a focus on skin care. This is an area that is likely to see continued growth in the coming years. As people were stuck inside their homes during lockdown, they became less interested in looking good and more interested in feeling good.
20) Ted Baker is the most searched beauty brand in the UK
Ted Baker is searched over 414000 times per month, which is double the next most popular brand, The Ordinary. This is dwarfed, however, by the most globally searched brand Chanel, who received over 3.8 million searches per month.
- Ted Baker: 414000 searches
- The Ordinary: 259000 searches
- CHANEL: 210000 searches
- DIOR: 190000 searches
- Origins: 161000 searches
- e.l.f: 146000 searches
- Liz Earle: 119000 searches
- Morphe: 110000 searches
- Skinny Dip: 109000 searches
- Clinique: 105000 searches
- La Roche-Posay: 84800 searches
- Huda Beauty: 82700 searches
- Clarins: 79400 searches
- Rituals: 77200 searches
- Bio Oil: 56100 searches
- Toni & Guy: 54200 searches
- Urban Decay: 52400 searches
- MAC Cosmetics: 48700 searches
- Doll Beauty: 42900 searches
- NARS: 42400 searches
10 Beauty Industry Trends for 2023
Here are some of the trends we are observing heading into 2023.
1) Rise of remote work
As remote work increasingly becomes the norm for many workers, the demand for cosmetics like makeup will likely decrease. This is because those working from home won't feel the need to put on a full face of makeup just to answer emails. However, this could also be an opportunity for beauty products like moisturisers and other self-care products to fill the void.
2) Global recession
As we head into another period of economic instability, the beauty industry is expected to take a hit. However, it is worth noting that during the last global recession, the "lipstick effect" came into play where consumers continued to spend on small indulgences like cosmetics even when they were cutting back on other areas of their budgets.
Demand for sustainable, eco-friendly products is only going to increase in the coming years. Consumers are likely to opt for products that are more eco-friendly and merchants are likely to act on this trend. Expect more organic products, sustainable packaging and charitable contributions. We expect this trend to only pick up speed from now on and soon, consumers will place sustainability above brand loyalty.
4) Online shopping
E-commerce is likely to grow even more as the pandemic has shattered many people's preconceptions about online shopping. In the past, there was a perception that online shopping was only for those who were tech-savvy but now, even older generations are shopping online. This trend is only going to continue as it is more convenient and often, cheaper.
5) A move towards smaller businesses
In addition to a growth of online shopping, we also expect to see a move from consumers towards smaller, independent establishments. This is in line with the current trend of "shop local" that has been picking up steam in recent years. In the beauty industry specifically, we expect to see a move away from big beauty brands and towards smaller, more niche brands.
6) Increased focus on self-care
As the world becomes increasingly stressful, we expect to see a rise in popularity of self-care products. This could be anything from face masks and skincare products to aromatherapy and candles. People are likely to invest more in products that help them relax and unwind.
Personalisation is another big trend that we are seeing in the beauty industry. Consumers want products that are tailored to their specific needs and preferences. This trend has already been picking up steam in recent years with the rise of customisable makeup palettes and subscription boxes. We expect this trend to continue as brands strive to stand out in an increasingly crowded market.
Technology is also playing a big role in the beauty industry. We are seeing the rise of virtual try-on tools, AI-powered skincare routines and smart beauty devices. This trend is only going to continue as brands look for ways to use technology to improve the customer experience.
9) Natural ingredients
Similar to the emphasis on sustainability, environmental consciousness is also driving the trend towards natural ingredients. Consumers are moving away from synthetic ingredients and towards products that are made with natural, organic ingredients. This preference is likely to continue as people become more aware of the impact of their beauty routines on the environment.
Right now, the beauty industry is still overly focused on white women, both in terms of consumers and those working in the industry. But as the beauty industry embraces self-care and personalisation, we expect to see a move towards greater diversity. This is an area that's ripe for growth as billions are currently left on the table from ignoring these potential groups.
The beauty industry is expected to see a number of changes in the coming years. The move towards sustainability, online shopping and smaller businesses is likely to continue. In addition, we expect to see an increased focus on self-care and personalisation. Growth is likely to return the industry to its pre-pandemic levels and the potential of the industry is huge.
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