Trends In Natural Beauty: Clean, Green, & Ingredient-Lean

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Consumers today expect more from their beauty products than long-lasting wear in the right shade. Our most recent market research on consumer behavior shows that young beauty users are especially cognizant of the impact of their purchases on their health and the environment. Natural beauty—once a fringe category—has become mainstream.

Young women are the driving force behind this phenomenon. When we surveyed avid beauty users aged 18-54, we found a strong correlation between age and interest in beauty brands marketed as natural, clean, or green. The younger the respondent, the more likely they had an interest in natural beauty.

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To capture this valuable new class of beauty users – many of whom do not have well-established beauty routines and are more likely to try new products – brands need to stay competitive by leveraging health and wellness consumer insights to fuel product innovation.

What are the latest trends in natural beauty?

We found four key highlights in our research. Consumers are seeking:

1. Sustainable beauty.

Survey respondents—especially those aged 18-34—are actively seeking “green beauty” and “blue beauty” brands. Adapt your brand to address these concerns, or you could be left behind by your target demographic—much like straws, microbeads, and glitter.



2. Purposeful ingredients.

Beauty users are dissecting labels like never before, in part thanks to the abundance of apps and online resources like ThinkDirty and EWG’s Skin Deep, which analyze ingredients in products ranging from makeup to household cleaners. Today’s beauty consumers are not afraid to do their homework to find products whose formulas suit their preferences.



3. Sustainable packaging.

Consumers around the world are making more online purchases than ever before. And they’re looking for ways to offset this increase in packaging.



4. Skincare = selfcare.

COVID-19 did a number on many industries. Skincare was not one of them. Throughout the pandemic, many women took up elaborate skincare routines to de-stress. On average, beauty consumers use five products as part of their daily routines, providing ample opportunity for beauty brands to introduce new products.



Stay ahead of the curve with cutting-edge market research solutions.

Beauty brands are facing unprecedented demands from consumers that want greener, cleaner, more natural products. To stay one step ahead of the competition and reach this eager, new generation of beauty users requires continuous product innovation and a strategic marketing plan.

Here’s how to compete in the crowding natural beauty market:

Tailor and test your messaging.

As with all trends, both macro and micro, you need a refined strategy to stand out from the crowd. New clean beauty products enter the market all the time. To keep yourself in a category of your own, your brand must offer a unique perspective in-store and online.

Pro Tip: Test your brand positioning and messaging on platforms like our Health & Wellness Community. Inside the community are curated segments of consumers interested in brands that offer products that are better for them and the environment. Natural beauty enthusiasts are one such niche in our Health & Wellness Community. Leveraging the platform, you gain a front row seat to their perspectives to ensure your message breaks through the noise in a way that truly resonates.

Conduct at-home consumer product tests.

The COVID-19 pandemic put a screeching halt to most in-person product trials. In the meantime, brands taking a break from product testing are left shooting in the dark—producing products without the assurance their target demographic will embrace with open arms. Today, you must meet your consumers where they are. If they’re home, your product trials need to be there, too.

Pro Tip: Leverage In-Home Usage Tests (IHUTs), where you can test products with your specific target in their most natural environment. These tests allow you to evaluate the efficacy of product or packaging choices before bringing a new product—or a newly-optimized existing product—to market. If you’re looking to stand out in a crowded market, In-Home Usage Tests make certain your target customers recognize your product’s benefits compared to others in market.

Use an innovation platform to craft and refine new products.

Every beauty brand’s loyal customers are a little different – and it’s important to know what new products your current and prospective customers will embrace with open arms (and shopping bags). With the rising popularity of plant-based, waterless, or cannabis-infused beauty products, how do you know which trends to adopt? Or how to introduce them to your specific audience?

Pro Tip: Before pouring a significant investment into a new product or rebrand, give it a test run with a market research innovation platform. Our IDEAvate platform is both a think tank and a strategic framework for product testing. You leverage both consumer insights and social influencer feedback to eliminate uncertainty from new product development to ensure your new product is “future proof”.

It’s a cleaner, greener day for the beauty industry and insights-driven marketing will make you a category leader. Download the full results of our survey for an even more in-depth look at the natural beauty movement.


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