Clean Beauty To Dominate the Beauty And Skincare Industry

It is fascinating to see how this niche market completely took over a global industry and is now an independent vertical in itself

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By Anurag Kedia


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"Clean beauty' has evolved from being just some buzzword to a revolutionary movement that is redefining the beauty and skincare standards across the globe. What started as a mere trend is gradually becoming a way of life for consumers. It is fascinating to see how this niche market completely took over a global industry and is now an independent vertical in itself.

Now, the clean beauty market is set to dominate the $380 billion-plus beauty and skincare industry in 2022. It is also estimated to reach $22 billion by 2024 (Statista). Let's dive deeper into the concept of clean beauty, understand its rise in the country, and other upcoming trends in the beauty and skincare industry in 2022.

Rise of clean beauty amid the pandemic

The talks about clean beauty were prominent in the west for several years. Hence, the well-travelled millennial generation was already introduced to the concept. However, the lack of awareness and accessibility made it difficult for them to imbibe the concept in their lives. Now, a lot of D2C brands saw this as an opportunity and jumped on the bandwagon. They introduced clean beauty and skincare products at affordable prices. By "clean' we mean products free from ingredients that are harmful to the skin as well as the environment.

People became more aware of clean beauty during the pandemic. When our routines were put on hold, consumers started evaluating their lifestyle choices. This is when people became conscious about what they're putting inside their bodies. The typical consumer began reading the fine print of the products they use, only to realise the damage such products have been causing. Moreover, they got the time and chance to witness the impact of their choices on the environment. This encouraged consumers to opt for products that are free of sulfates, parabens and other toxic ingredients. They realised that skincare was not about achieving flawless beauty standards but feeling positive and powerful about your skin. This is when the niche demand for "clean' and "toxin-free' skincare and beauty products became a mainstream trend.

The 2022 outlook for the industry

The millennials and GenZs are the two driving generations for the sales of clean beauty and skincare products globally. The "woke' generation, some might say, are highly aware of the chemistry behind the products they put on their body. With a mass understanding of the harmful impact of conventional beauty and skincare products, the newer generations have become the flag bearers of this industry. As more and more people start adopting clean beauty and toxin-free products, the industry is likely to see exponential growth in the years to come.

The Indian market which is highly dominated by conventional beauty brands and their products has also started moving towards cleaner alternatives. Consumers have already started questioning the moguls of the beauty industry on the composition of their hero products. They have also voiced their demand for sustainably sourced and natural beauty ingredients in the products. The rapidly growing Indian clean beauty industry is also projected to be over $2 billion by 2025.

In a recent brand survey, we found out that almost 3/4th of consumers' top preference is sulphate and paraben-free products. Most of these inputs came from millennial and GenZ respondents. This strengthened our confidence in being in the right market and working towards the right vision for sustainable growth. The clean beauty market which is currently growing at a CAGR of 12.07 per cent (Brand Essence) presents good prospects for all the industry stakeholders as well. This is one of the reasons why clean beauty brands have been getting massive rounds of funding across the board.

What's "trending' in the upcoming year for beauty and skincare?

The pandemic changed the way consumers view beauty and skincare. Consumers are more conscious about their skincare choices, now more than ever. They are interested in the development process of the product more than the product itself. In the coming years, the beauty industry is expected to be dominated by two other trends: slow beauty and skinimalism.

Both these trends are drastically different from the traditional definition of beauty and that's what I believe is a major contributor to their rise globally. Slow beauty defies the traditional approach of quick fixes and instant results. Also, it moves beyond just skincare and focuses on developing overall well-being that ultimately reflects on your skin. On the other hand, skinimalism encourages consumers to let go of the hefty 10-step makeup and skincare routines. Rather, build a smaller yet effective regime that brings afloat natural and healthy skin. Skinimalism is more personalised and requires individual effort in finding what works for their skin. These fresh concepts of beauty and skincare have already started gaining prominence globally. Now, it'll be interesting to see how D2C beauty brands in India also make these a part of their product offerings and brand narratives.

Anurag Kedia

Co-founder and CEO, Pilgrim

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