NPD Group: Brits go back to skincare basics in the quest for healthy, natural, ‘ageless’ skin


Consumers are switching their skincare routine to a more back to basics regime, according to the NPD Group Inc., a global information company. Sales of cleansers and face masks in the UK reported double digit growth in 2014. This reflects a wider trend in the market for consumers to seek a healthy natural glow, often cited as ageless beauty.

The total value of the prestige beauty market in the UK in 2014 was £2.3bn and recorded growth of 5.2% on 2013. Skincare represents an important sector of the market and was valued at £500m in 2014 compared to £491m in 2013 (an increase of 1.7%).

Back to basics skincare
A staple of any skincare regime, cleansers were one of the fastest growing sectors within the prestige skincare market in 2014 and are the biggest contributor to growth. Valued at £51.4m in 2013, sales of facial cleansers (including make-up removers) grew by 13.9% in 2014 to £58.6m. Facial masks also recorded impressive sales figures in 2014 with an 11.2% increase in Brits go back to skincare basics in the quest for healthy, natural, ‘ageless’ skin on the previous year. Sales of facial masks were valued at £6.5m in 2014, up from £5.8m in 2013.

Anti-ageing to ageless beauty
The anti-ageing market in skincare remains an important part of the prestige skincare market and in 2014 was valued at £165m, an increase of 1.3% on 2013. However, there is a shift in consumer spending to skincare basics and specialist lines including brightening products and oils which are continuing to drive the market as a whole. June Jensen, director UK beauty for The NPD Group, said: “Consumers are driven by the desire to look good, but are focusing less on ‘anti-ageing’ products designed to make them look younger, and more on lines that give them healthy, glowing and more radiant skin. People want to look good for their age – this is sometimes referred to as ageless beauty.”

The top five prestige skincare products reflecting the shift to ‘ageless beauty’
Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum
Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin
Clarins Super-Restorative Night Cream
Chanel Le Lift
Lancome Visionnaire
The future’s bright
Brightening products in the prestige skincare sector reported double digit growth in 2014. The market was valued at £22.8 million in 2013 and grew by 12% to £25.5 million in 2014. Targeting dull, uneven and pigmented skin tones, new product development in this category and increased interest from consumers purchasing products that offer brighter, more radiant skin has helped drive sales.

The beauty of oil
Facial oils are increasingly forming a part of the everyday regime for beauty buyers. The market for face oils increased from £3.2m in 2013 to £3.9m in 2014, an increase of 23%.

The top five women’s face oil products of 2014 (in alphabetical order)
Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil
Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil
Clarins Santal Face Treatment Oil
Decleor Arromessence Iris Super Serum
Sisley Paris Black Rose Precious Face Oil
Jensen said: “There’s been a huge shift in the beauty industry as consumers seek out products that refresh and revitalise their skin more than ever. As they go back to basics purchasing cleansers, masks and oils in ever greater numbers, they are less concerned about looking younger. Beauty companies are responding to this with products and ranges that focus less on the anti-ageing and more on radiance, renewal, health and the all-important glow factor.”