image displaying a 2021 wellness trend of responsible body care

Natural Body Care Trends for 2021: Why Shoppers are Seeking Functional Ingredients and Natural Self Care Items (New Data)

Savvy shoppers and functional wellness in body care

While food and beverage trends usually take center stage when retailers and brands are trying to understand the natural and wellness industry, something interesting is happening in the body care aisle.

Shoppers are expanding their commitment to healthier lifestyles when they’re shopping for soaps, shampoos, skincare, and other body care items that are less toxic and harmful for their bodies and for the planet. Today’s savvy shopper has their eye on functional wellness when it comes to their personal care products.

Naturally positioned toiletries and other self-care staples are growing 14.4% year over year according to data from the SPINS Natural Enhanced and MultiOutlet channels (powered by IRI) for a 52-week period ending January 24.

By comparison, the conventional group only grew 1.4%. Natural is certainly on the rise, and it’s even more apparent once you dig into the natural items that outperformed their conventional counterparts:

Natural Enhanced Growth

Compared to +1.4% increase in conventional

Soap and Bath Prep

Compared to +16.2% increase in conventional

Hair Care

Compared to -1.7% decrease in conventional

DEEP DIVE: Natural Body Care Attribute Trends for 2021

Trending Functional Ingredients in Body Care

More and more shoppers are beginning reading the labels on their skin care products before they add them to their carts as functional wellness gains popularity. The school of thought that you shouldn’t eat any ingredient that you can’t pronounce has made its way to skin care, where many shoppers don’t want to use any products unless the ingredients list is simple and the brand is transparent about its sourcing.

Shoppers aren’t just avoiding certain ingredients in skin and body care; they’re actively looking for functional ingredients.

Functional ingredients have been increasingly popular for shoppers who want their food and beverages to give an added boost to their immune system. These ingredients can range from Vitamin C to mushrooms—items that provide an extra nutritional benefit. That’s exactly what shoppers want from their body care items as well.

Growth in body care items with turmeric
Growth in body care items with probiotics
Growth in body care items containing charcoal

Shoppers are looking to maximize their time and budgets with every purchase. By choosing body care items with functional ingredients and natural sourcing, they get a product they need, improve their health, and stretch their dollars. Expect to see these trends grow as more brands innovate new products and more customers seek out the retailers who carry these products.

"Functional ingredients provide a universal benefit for many consumers. Skincare products are not one size fits all, but functional, naturally derived ingredients allow brands to provide universally efficacious products rooted in health to a larger consumer base. Furthermore, in the post-COVID world, functional ingredients will become even more of a staple in skincare as consumers become more cautious of what they put on their skin and where they spend their money. Gone are the days of marketing - we are now entering into the world of truth when it comes to product offerings, and authenticity is key." 

Teri-Ann Merchigiani of Oars + Alps

Teri-Ann Marchigiani

Product Development and Innovation Manager

Oars + Alps

Know Your Functional Ingredients in Natural Body Care

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that, when used topically, might keep your skin cells healthy and prevent skin disease.

Turmeric has been touted for its anti-inflammation properties, which can help wounds heal more efficiently or reduce flare-ups from acne and psoriasis.

Charcoal is associated with detox diets, and in body care, this translates to removing stains from teeth and irritants from skin.

How to Leverage Trends in Natural Body Care to Grow Your Business 

Trends are good, action is better.

For retailers:

Retailers can utilize the SPINS  Ingredient Avoider and Ingredient Seeker attributes to decide what to include or exclude in their category assortment and stay ahead of the trends.

Consider creating a section in your body care department that helps shoppers “discover” the wide variety of clean and functional products. They might not be aware of how quickly that category has expanded.

For brands:

Brands use the SPINS Ingredient Avoider and Ingredient Seeker attributes to plan their new product development and to see which categories find the ingredients in their products most attractive (your white space!).

Both brands and retailers can also use the SPINS Functional Ingredient attribute view to highlight specific desired ingredients and use the SPINS Certification attributes view to identify brands following certain trending standards, such as B Corp Certified businesses (are you B-Corp certified?).

In conclusion, shoppers may still focus more on purchasing healthier foods but there's a rise in demand for healthy, eco-friendly body care products as well. Emerging brands are popping up all the time, and you don’t want to be left behind as the market continues to expand. Keep innovating and finding ways to reach this growing segment of consumers who are open to trying new drinks that suit their lifestyle.

New Body Care Categories Are Coming to SPINS

Beginning April 5, we will be adding new body care categories to give you a deeper dive into product performance across channels. With the addition of the Shaving & Hair Removal category, as well as 8 new subcategories, you’ll get the full picture of this growing department. Get data on everything from gels to cosmetic accessories to hair tools and razors.


Themes for 2021:
Body Care Trends

Inside the report:

  • Natural Body Care Products Outpace Convention​
  • Skin Care – a natural extension of healthy eating
  • Functional Wellness
  • Plus, 8 new body care subcategories now available

Ready to use insights like these to your advantage?
We'd love to help you get started.