Beauty industry rebound…

July 1, 2021By Behind the Shelf Blog

…and how do I treat my maskne?

by Fran Lewis, business development and marketing strategist

In May, when the national mask and social distancing rules for those vaccinated were lifted, I was surprised at how quickly residential areas and businesses were to adapt. By the next day, post-mandate lift, my apartment complex in Milwaukee, WI had removed all “mask mandate” signage, and the bars across the street were roaring with life. I felt excited, nervous, ready to get out there, but at the same time, I couldn’t remember the last time I put on makeup or completed my skincare routine to its fullest extent. Over the last year, my skin has changed due to diet, geographic location, stress, and most of all — the constant mask-wearing.

Before I hit the town, I needed some advice on rejuvenating my skin and healing what seemed like a permanent chin blemish caused by my mask. Luckily for me, HRG specializes in category management, including skin care and beauty, so I sought an in-house expert to shed some light on what other, more-committed–to-beauty-and-wellness shoppers, are buying. young woman with chin blemish

Holly, HRG’s skin care analyst, advised I visit my nearby pharmacy and browse facial moisturizers, pore strips, and hydrating masks, as these products have seen three consecutive months of growth in 2021 (source: HRG Tri-PAC™ data). As I perused the aisles of my local pharmacy, I noticed this exact trend that Holly had mentioned. Everywhere I looked were products and solutions to prevent the now basically permanent maskne blemishes on my chin. While this solved my skin care missteps, I now needed new beauty products to finish my look if I was going to step back into society — fully vaccinated and mask-less. While shopping the beauty section, I wondered about the impact the pandemic has had on the industry.

According to McKinsey & Company’s “How Covid-19 is Changing the World of Beauty,” in-store shopping accounted for 85% of beauty-product purchases pre-COVID, but online sales didn’t counter these losses in 2020. More than 30% of the beauty market was shut down, and most are uncertain whether they will ever open again. So, where is the glimmer of hope?

It’s in the notion that “beauty” was beginning to mean so much more to the world, even before the pandemic. Self-care and cosmetics were starting to intertwine, and the pandemic simply accelerated the trend. I don’t feel I need to put on every cosmetic product I had prior to COVID, it’s that I want to care for and value how I feel about my skin. If retailers can continue this self-care movement and adapt to the channels in which consumers shop, then the beauty industry will recover nicely from this ugly time in history.