Skincare sales slip as millennials simplify regimes

Millennial women aged 20 to 29 are among the most likely to have reduced the number of products in their facial skincare routine, according to the latest research conducted by Mintel for their Women's Facial Skincare Report. 

Carried out among 1,008 female internet users aged 16+ in May 2019, it was found that over the last year almost three in ten (28%) women have reduced the number of products in their facial skincare routine, with 54% of those aged 20 to 29 having simplified their routines, making this the biggest age group to have done so.

The proportion of women using four or more products to cleanse has fallen sharply from 26% in 2018 to 18% in 2019, with the biggest facial cleansing casualties including facial cleansing wash (from 55% to 50%), facial cleansing wipes (from 54% to 43%) and facial toners (from 29% to 25%).

Facial care products also saw a decline, with the number of women using day cream/lotion dropping from 66% to 60%, while night cream/lotion fell from 48% to 44% and blemish balm, colour correct and daily defence creams dipped from 21% in 2018 to 15% in 2019.

This comes as Mintel research reveals there has also been a decline in the purchase of make-up, potentially led by reduced usage following the trend for naturally radiant skin. Indeed, some 31% of women who wear make-up are buying colour cosmetics less frequently now compared to last year, and 19% have spent less on the category in the last 12 months. Overall, the women's facial skincare market is expected to decline by nearly 1% in 2019, falling to an estimated £1.16 billion from £1.17 billion in 2018.

Alex Fisher, Global Skincare Analyst at Mintel, says, “A growing number of UK women are turning away from the multi-step K-Beauty routine, hoping to reach the same glowing result without having to put the time in. This need for simplicity has pushed them towards minimalist skincare products with more intense active ingredients, such as serums and oils.”

“Disposable wipes have been hit particularly hard as consumers become more aware of the product's negative effects on the environment. As sustainability grows in importance, many beauty consumers are deliberately cutting out these single-use products.”