Exploring Today’s Natural Beauty Trends and Consumer Values

April 25, 2024
by SPINS Marketing

The State of Natural Beauty

Beauty is a $55 billion industry, with 5.9% of growth over the last year and a widening selection of products. Each department, such as skincare, fragrances, and hair care, is worth billions on its own and includes products positioned as conventional, specialty, and natural. Beauty shoppers have a range of options to suit each of their needs—no matter where they’re shopping. While sales are up across all positioning groups, natural’s growth (20.2%) easily outperformed specialty (9.6%) and conventional (4.1%).

With natural reaching a 10% share of the beauty industry, it is now worth $5.5 billion but accounts for 29% of the industry’s overall growth. Much of that growth can be attributed to natural beauty’s ability to evolve with the times. Today’s beauty customer has a new mindset that reflects a different set of priorities than we’ve seen in years past. The natural beauty shopper reflects an evolving mindset that we’re seeing in other natural industries:

  • Lifespan to healthspan
  • New global notions
  • Protecting the planet
  • Intentional indulgence

Dig into the full State of Natural Beauty from Expo West 2024 and hear more insights on these topics

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Lifespan to Healthspan

The shift from lifespan to healthspan reflects a focus on the quality of a person’s life rather than solely focusing on duration. That’s not to say age is irrelevant, but shoppers want products that allow them to live long, active, and health-focused lives. Natural beauty shoppers are interested in products that protect the body’s biome, address root problems as opposed to symptoms, and incorporate certain acids. As a result, we’ve seen:

  • 28% growth in body moisturizers with bee propolis, an ingredient some shoppers believe helps with a variety of issues, including colds and healing physical wounds
  • Oral care products with xylitol are growing at three times the rate of their counterparts
  • Natural beauty products with retinol have earned more than $100 million

New Global Notions

Shoppers are taking cues from a variety of traditions and innovations around the world and adding global ideas to their beauty routines. Natural shoppers are turning to French pharmacy products and ancient beauty practices. They are also concerned with sun exposure as skincare experts continue to spread the message that everyone should be wearing sun protection every day.

Protecting the Planet

Beauty doesn’t have to come at the expense of the planet’s wellbeing, and manufacturers are making sure shoppers don’t have to choose between the two. We’re seeing an increased focus on mitigating microplastics in products, finding products with planet-focused certifications, and buying products that have a minimal impact on the planet. As a result, we’ve seen:

  • Suncare products labeled as safe for coral reefs growing more quickly than those without the label
  • Organic products show accelerated growth compared to non-organic label products
  • $30 million of growth across Certified B Corp natural beauty products

Intentional Indulgence

Everyone loves an occasional indulgence, whether it’s a decadent dessert or a premium clothing item. For many shoppers, that indulgence can still come with a purpose. An intentional indulgence mixes a bit of self-care with personal values. For natural shoppers, that can mean a technological item (such as a light therapy mask) or a moment of escapism (in the form of luxury soaps). Plus, Gen A—the generation born after 2010—is poised to be a formidable shopping bloc that was raised with values, exposure to global cultures, and mindful spending. Intentional indulgence is showing up in beauty aisles with more than 200% growth of natural skin care tools and accessories.