Every month, various beauty industry analysts from The NPD Group write blogs about the latest trends being seen in beauty, based on the firm’s market information and insights. Through a partnership, Beauty News will publish NPD’s blog the day it’s posted to keep you in-the-know. Here, Larissa Jensen, NPD’s Beauty Industry Advisor, shares her insights on consumers’ shifting beauty routines.

In a year filled with the unexpected, one constant has been the dramatic changes to beauty routines. When it comes to makeup usage, just over seven in 10 women have reported wearing makeup less often this year.* While this may come as no surprise, the effects are being felt through prestige makeup sales results. In the eight weeks from July 5 to August 29, average week-over-week sales for total beauty were up 2 percent, while makeup sales were flat, according to NPD. If this trend continues, it will be hard to move the needle in a positive direction for an already beleaguered category. Even with the possibility of a holiday boost over the next few months, makeup will likely end 2020 about one-third smaller than it was in 2019.

By contrast, close to 80 percent of skin care users have not changed their skin care routine during the pandemic.** The same could not be said for the consumer shopping habits in skincare, which changed dramatically. Looking at NPD’s weekly sales data by channel, there was an almost immediate shift in skin care sales from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce. While all beauty categories experienced the swing to e-commerce, skin care’s online dollar sales often exceeded the dollars sold in brick-and-mortar stores while doors were open. This dynamic was nonexistent in makeup or fragrance sales; once stores began to reopen in June and July, sales volume shifted back to be primarily from physical stores for these two categories.

What will happen as daily activities return to some sense of normalcy? The good news for makeup is that over 80 percent of women say they will return to their regular makeup usage.* But normalcy can be elusive, especially this year. As consumers seek to create their own normal, returning to old beauty routines can play a comforting role in that journey.

*Source: The NPD Group/ Makeup Consumer Report, May 2020
**Source: The NPD Group/ Facial Skincare Consumer Report, June 2020