Beauty & Personal Care: What Does the Future Look Like?
Collaboration Takeaways

The Global Wellness Collaborations bring industry leaders together in meaningful dialogue to share ideas and best practices for navigating the COVID-19 crisis around a specific industry segment.

Topic: Beauty & Personal Care: What Does the Future Look Like?
Date of Discussion: June 2, 2020
Countries/Regions Represented: Afghanistan, Aland Islands, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Rwanda, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, UAE, UK, US, Uruguay, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.

    • The overall sales of our segment, especially in beauty, makeup and skin care, were going extremely well at the beginning of the year. Globally, 2019 sales were supposed to be worth $75 billion. We were expected to grow at a 5 percent rate every year. And now since the Coronavirus pandemic, it may be 10 years until we hit that number again.
    • Makeup sales are dropping. A benchmarking company did a survey in March and then one in May. About 50 percent of the women said they’re wearing less makeup now. Skin care, however, is seeing strength.
    • In China, makeup sales in February dropped 80 percent, but in March, the drop was only 20 percent, so it was a fairly quick rebound.
    • Of those sales, 85 percent were made in-store, not online.
    • We’re going to have to be creative in how we build those revenues back up, rewriting menus, getting clients comfortable with the idea of new protocols, and not to mention renewed efforts are needed to get staff to come back to work. A big opportunity for us in the service sector is innovation.
    • There is a retail opportunity for niche brands. They have been able to step up and have a major effect—one they wouldn’t have had before. Some of these small brands that sell, for example, candles, have sales of six and seven times their normal number.
    • We, as beauty experts, need to make sure we emphasize to clients our service and the unique craft that they experience when they come back in to see us.
    • I think the time to shine and encourage a rebirth of beauty is now. We know that skin cells renew themselves in 28 days, so shedding old dead skin cells and replacing them with new ones now should be very compelling.
    • So, I do think that the time to restart and regrow is now. This is a moment of looking toward a new bright future.
    • Boosting immune health is important now. For example, with vitamin cocktails, emphasizing the internal and the external through high-quality products and pills. It is all about an educational package now—of course, it depends on where in the world you are and the reopening timing.
    • If you are in a country that hasn’t opened up yet, or if there are clients that are very insecure, I can see that we will have more of a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) salon offering. This would be where the therapist takes the client step-by-step with professional products in a closed environment with tailor-made protocols. That way, everything is very secure. You can follow through with the client regarding the results.
    • The places that you see opening last is where the consumer had been flocking in. Now that is taking place with social distance. So, it’s a balance. There’s a great demand, but they are also aware of safety measures that need to be applied.
    • I work a lot at the moment in the skin-care world, which is an interesting one to be in right now. Because, as you’ve all quite rightly said, it shifted from being a very tactile high-touch environment to being, out of necessity, purely online.
    • I’d love to know how many people right now are wearing perfume or aftershave because a lot of reports have come out saying that where this industry used to have 11 touchpoints, that this has actually dropped off a cliff in terms of what people are buying.
    • Shower gel is still important. But a lot of those things that are more occasional have really declined. And so, in seeing that shift where people are actively washing their hands, there is now a desperate need to moisturize and solve the problem of dryness.
    • I have noticed that there’s been a drop in makeup and cosmetics. Companies that are beginning to shift again to makeup are finding that it is the natural look—a healthy glow that is popular.
    • The second thing I am seeing is that what is becoming more popular is beauty products that are going to boost your mood rather than just make you look or feel beautiful.
    • So, it may be a shower gel, or it may be a face wash. We all have had time now, and many of us have had a little bit more time at home, to actually turn our normal standard routine of skin care into a de-stress ritual. So, we’re actually using our beauty regime to unwind.
    • I’m seeing brands look at the emotional side of things. Also, there is work by many on making wellness available for all. With the increasing income barriers, there’s also an emphasis on affordability that has to come to the fore. And finally, the pricing is definitely being reviewed by a lot of lines.
    • Also, of importance is doing digital well. As a therapist, many of us realize that you cannot replace the power of touch. We do need to bridge the chasm between the inherent or inspiring retail experience, which is high touch, and the online experience.
    • In the past, you’d go into a spa, and they would not refer to your online experience in any way. And during the online experience, there isn’t any reference to the spa experience. There are just “thank yous” and questions about how you got your last product. There’s been a lot of work over the last two to three months in actually integrating those two and helping them speak to each other more.
    • Brands know they need multiple touchpoints, not just one or two, in order to build some sort of character and identity.
    • I think there is a huge opportunity for spas as well as traditional beauty specialist retailers to integrate technology into self-selection material. For example, within our internal organization, we’re developing QR codes and using tech to help people self-select. That will not work in place of a beauty advisor, but there is an increasing realization that we need to provide information and engagement in different ways, particularly for consumers that are more conscious and fearful of having a direct dialogue, particularly in the near term.
    • We all need to think about how tech is used in our retail environment because there is a plethora of diagnostic tools, QR codes, etc.
    • Another area is how we can really capitalize on this concept of a spa in the comfort of your own space. We need to think about where people want to have a spa treatment, and then there will definitely be people rushing to go back to a spa environment.
    • There will be many consumers that don’t want to compromise the quality of their treatment but may not want to take the trip or the excursion to go into a public space.
    • We’re seeing increasing curiosity around a beauty concierge service where a therapist could go to your home, where people may feel more in control of their own environment.
    • Another area we are developing is how we can partner with a community to develop a spa in your own home.
    • We’re developing video content so people can order if they’re in a hotel, say a five-step program. Then a short video with wellbeing cards arrives in their room. Or they can then retail this, and it could be delivered to a person’s home. It would include a tutorial on how to do the treatment on themselves.
    • The last area where we have seen significant success in the last two weeks is the concept of “mirror me.” These are zoom meetings where consumers can either pre-buy or pay tuition in advance for a five-step treatment. They are then taught by a member of our education team, which includes how the products can be used to maximum benefit. We hosted our second one last week, and we had 150 people on one call! So, there was just one therapist, and 80 percent of the people had pre-purchased the retail product. The cost per person was approximately 70-75 pounds sterling.
    • The mirror-me concept is where you are pre-buying a kit, and it is a set topic. So, it could be your five-step program to your best night’s sleep or your five-step program to re-energize your skin to get you ready for the summer, etc.
    • So, it’s a value bundle discount. And, for example, one that we’ve run, I think normally the retail price would be 100-110 pounds purchase sterling, we were selling that at a discounted rate for 70-75 pounds online, so comparatively against a treatment or massage, it’s still attractive.
    • In our situation, our owner decided to start doing virtual consultations and opened up online bookings. She books one every hour. She put it on Instagram and filled her schedule! They’re doing about 1,200 to 1,500 dollars a day in retail sales.
    • There are different forms of services that we are piloting. I’m now in beta testing. We’ve launched one-to-one virtual consultation so someone can book. We will give a prescriptive one-to-one diagnostic based on how the person is feeling and what they need. There is a discount code and a coupon that goes to them for a product or future professional treatment.
    • It’s about educating people online, whether it be a Facebook group, Zoom call, or in their stores, and showcasing the products. It may be a skin-care item, a toner or whatever, but what happens is they are talking to their audience and their customers. It’s a really nice way to go. Also, our curbside service is really picking up.
    • I remember doing curbside service myself in 2006. I did it a long time ago, and it was a big success. We called it “beauty to go.” I think we are going to see more of it.
    • In-store, I just think it’s going to look very different because, in the US specifically, I know that they are now taking away testers. So now people cannot touch the product and makeup and skin care—only the employees can.
    • There’s a number of people talking about self-care. This idea has put the consumer in the driver’s seat. So, we may see that things do not go back to the way they were before. Some people really like the empowerment of that.
    • What we’ve done over the last two years is we built a digital foundation that we’ve shared with our retail partners across Canada, and we are helping them build their online stores.
    • Curbside pickup is huge here in Nova Scotia, where we live. As of Friday, spas and med spas are reopening.
    • Most spas aren’t even allowed to carry products on shelves anymore. As a customer, you have to wait in your car to get a text to say come in for your service. Even if you want a product, you have to order it online before you even come into the store.
    • In terms of supplements, the products that are selling the most is the whole vitamin D ingredient. We have the luxury of one of our key products has vitamin D in it.
    • And this was a trend that we’ve all witnessed for years, but now it’s really happening with the hockey stick growth, which we just heard from supplements for vitamin D and such for telehealth and telemedicine.
    • With everything, I think one thing I’ve noticed is that before the pandemic hit, there was a growing trend towards self-care and education. And I think that’s really been accelerated by the pandemic. And I also think it’s really interesting with retail online. Also, what we are seeing during the pandemic is that a lot of spas are launching at-home programs.
    • You know, with beauty and personal care, we have had a chance to be creative and offer some new ways of servicing our customers, and now with the reopening, it is important to get back to the original business but also maintain the new ways of doing business. Actually, that seems quite compelling.
    • The global wellness industry is shifting in so many different ways. I’ve worked with the Barbados Tourism Board, hence why I’m wearing their shirt today. I put on an event last year called “Mindful Living Barbados,” trying to shift and create space for different voices.
    • One of the things that is happening, and sometimes goes under the radar, is mental health. I provide online counseling for people, individuals, couples and families.
    • There is a wellness collective called Restore in Toronto that provides online yoga and wellness for women of color.
    • And now, what we’re seeing is that direct and indirect trauma impacts the wellness industry because it impacts people’s mental health.
    • We know that verbal abuse has the ability to impact someone’s mental health and wellbeing. We know that indirect and secondary trauma has an impact also.
    • I provide a lot of support to individuals who experience racism in the workplace. I’ve connected with many black girls who created the collective and have wellness programs specifically for women of color.
    • In the past, some people may have seen the beauty industry as a little superficial. Now that we are more deeply involved in wellness, people see beauty as something for the inside, the outside, and also to help people feel better about themselves.
    • What we’re seeing is a recalibration of what a brand stands for and how they’re going to differentiate themselves in this new environment.
    • The brands that will survive really must have these characteristics: authenticity, simplicity, sustainability, clarity, inclusivity, innovation, etc. You really need to focus on what your core message is because people have had a lot of time now to do research and really engage and connect with others in terms of who that brand is and who is behind it.
    • It really is a time for deep introspection and determining who you are, what you represent, and how you can better somebody’s life, whether that’s through mental wellness, a skin-care cream, or a lip gloss.
    • Brands that are using natural ingredients are still at the forefront. We’re seeing a lot of biotech ingredients that consumers find interesting in regards to the whole sustainability cycle today. We call it sustainability 2.0.
    • I think there’s probably going to be a trend in licensure to look at upscaling estheticians and perhaps massage therapists over time to be much more medically oriented. This is a result of the interest in standards, hygiene and sanitizing procedures, etc. I can see where the medical industry and the spa industry might start looking for synergies.
    • One of the comments in the “chat” is telling us that what was called the typical lipstick effect is this time a lip gloss effect.
    • Goodwill, volunteering, and using your voice and your time for good is becoming more important. I think this ability to rise above your product and rise above your traditional marketing and advertising to make an impact is really happening and will accelerate going forward.
    • Social responsibility and people, brands and companies that are seeing beyond and seeing the big picture, they want to have an impact at this time. It’s a really good moment for that. And people really respond to that.
    • The word beauty encompasses so much. We all come at it from different orientations.
    • From the Director of Marketing at a high-end retailer, Dallas/San Antonio and Houston: skin-care sales even during lockdown did incredibly well!
    • Smaller beauty boutiques are taking to social media to showcase products, tell ingredient stories, coloring. Curbside service will also continue to grow.
    • Our nail polish and treatment sales have had double-digit growth, as people are looking to do their manicures and pedicures at home.
    • In the US, testers for skin care/cosmetics in department stores and boutiques will be handled by employees only to give to the clientele. Spaces are being reconfigured to sell and to have an experience.
    • Beauty and spa are back to normal in many countries in Europe; we have had high demand for about two weeks.
    • In Austria, in the spa resort, people are getting all spa services without exception.
    • Self-care in spa will grow exponentially.
    • I am involved in natural cosmetic ingredients, and we find a large increase in interest in immune-boosting antioxidant-rich beauty products. The demand for these beauty-from-within supplements will boom as nutraceuticals are doing well right now.
    • It’s not just the need/opportunity for online beauty/retail integration but also for the “at home” spa programs that have launched over the past two months.
    • The massive move to online is happening for many manufacturers and vendors in our industry. This takes away the purchase from spas, which is revenue that would have been very helpful for the spa—even keeping them in business. Many spas have moved to video tutorials, but they do not have the profit margin nor the technology that the brand has. Many of our loyal clients have moved to the brand website, which does not assist in loyalty for the individual spas.
    • I think there was a trend toward self-care and education before the pandemic, and this has only been accelerated with COVID.
    • There is a prediction that 60 percent of the day spas and salons will be closed down in UAE because of the pandemic.
    • “Beauty matters. It is not just a subjective thing but a universal need of human beings. If we ignore this need, we find ourselves in a spiritual desert.” Roger Scruton
    • Reconnecting with nature will be a big part of what will drive consumers in the future.


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