Personal Care Products

Personal Care Products

Industry Outlook

The coronavirus pandemic, which began in late 2019, has had a major impact on the personal care products industry. Business lockdowns, social distancing requirements, and mask mandates have turned the public's focus to products for hygiene, including hand sanitizers, and cleaning products. The research group McKinsey and Company found that consumers intended to spend less on beauty products in the near term and would spend more in other areas, such as footwear and clothing. That said, there was an uptick in lipstick purchases, which many consider to be an "affordable luxury," even during stressful times. An estimated 20 to 30 percent drop in revenue in the global beauty industry was projected for 2020, and an even larger decline (35 percent) was predicted for the U.S. beauty industry. However, the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in 2021 and improved economy will bolster consumer confidence, leading to a rebound in the personal care products industry. An Allied Market Research report predicts that the global cosmetics market will reach $463.5 billion by 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 5.3 percent from 2021 through 2027. There will be an increased demand for skin care products, products made from natural ingredients.

There are several areas in which the pandemic will have long-term effects on the beauty products industry. First, self-care and do-it-yourself beauty products grew quickly in 2020, and this growth is expected to continue post pandemic. Direct-to-consumer e-commerce had been growing prior to the pandemic, and this trend will continue in the years to come. The pandemic also highlighted the importance of having supplies to meet the demand. Moving forward, there will be more innovation in the personal care industry, which means "there may be a greater role for contract manufacturers, both to diversify (and thus reduce production risks) and to serve as thought partners in product innovation."

Overall employment prospects in the personal-care products industry should be good in the coming years. American society is placing an increasing emphasis on personal appearance and hygiene, which suggests that companies providing products that enhance attractiveness will continue to have good growth. As people live longer, the growing number of older people will fuel increasing popularity in cosmetics and general-care products (such as anti-aging creams and lotions) that help people look younger. The teen market is also a growing sector of the personal-care products industry. Many teens use beauty products on a daily basis, and a growing number are relying on social media and watching videos, such as makeup tutorials on YouTube, to learn more about personal care and beauty products.

The number of jobs for research and development professionals should continue to enjoy good growth as a result of the public’s demand for new products, including “green” products.

Employment in manufacturing will be only fair as a result of plant automation and more efficient production methods, although the implementation of “green manufacturing” techniques should create demand for workers with specialized knowledge and training.

Employment of market research analysts and marketing specialists is expected to grow by about 20 percent (or much faster than the average for all careers) through 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Many companies want to improve their products and services and to identify new potential markets and customers. Market research analysts and specialists will be needed to gather information about consumer behavior and develop marketing strategies to help companies meet consumers' needs.

The cosmetics sales industry is one of the most successful industries in the United States. Despite its strong growth, the industry is extremely competitive, and many businesses—especially smaller cosmetics stores—fail each year. The weakening of consumer confidence, increased competition from other retailers and direct-marketers, and the growth of Internet businesses are just some of the issues cosmetics stores will face in the next decade. Brick-and-mortar stores will be focusing on improving customer service to compete with online retailers, which can mean more job opportunities for retail sales workers.

The “green products” movement will also continue to affect employment in the personal-care products industry. Consumers are increasingly seeking personal-care products that have natural ingredients because studies have shown that some synthetic ingredients are harmful to the human body and to the environment. Fifty-two percent of consumers believe that natural ingredients are better for them than synthetic ingredients, according to a survey by Datamonitor. Consumers are also requiring personal-care products manufacturers to be more forthcoming about listing all product ingredients. In fact, 60 percent of women consumers surveyed by "Green Beauty Barometer" survey read beauty product ingredients and 37 percent planned to purchase more all-natural beauty products in the next two years. The Green Beauty Barometer survey was conducted by the teaming up of skin care company Kari Gran and Harris Poll, a subsidiary of Nielsen.

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel, formed in 1976 by the Personal Care Products Council and supported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is tasked with reviewing and assessing the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics. The panel is an independent body of medical and scientific experts who assess the safety of cosmetics ingredients. These developments suggest that there will be strong demand in the personal-care industry for scientists (especially toxicologists), compliance and regulatory professionals, and public relations specialists in the coming years.

Other trends in the personal-care products industry, as discussed in a MarketResearch article in January 2020, include increased focus on consumers' well-being. Beauty products that contribute to consumers' overall well-being rather than vanity and luxury are sought after. The increased focus on healthy living has also increased the growth in skincare products, such as face masks, toners, basic moisturizers, and cleansers. This skincare focus is expected to continue while the focus on color cosmetics wanes. Country-branded beauty products are also gaining in popularity due to globalization and "renewed interest in travel and culture." The "made in" stamp on cosmetics products has become a strong selling point. Of particular note is Korean beauty (also known as "K-beauty"), a 10-step skincare regime that many women are adapting. Other increasingly popular beauty "hotspots" are Scandinavia, Australia, and Japan. Also noted in the MarketResearch article is the growth in the men's grooming market, which is expected to gain speed in the coming years. Many cosmetic companies are working on capturing the men's market with new skincare products specifically for men.