Multicultural women are driving growth in the beauty industry.

Multicultural women are driving growth in the beauty industry.

By Rieva Lesonsky

When I was a kid Clairol ran a successful series of ads themed, “Is it true blondes have more fun?” and “If I’ve only one life…let me live it as a blonde!”, essentially proclaiming blondes were the beauty ideal. But today, according to new research from Mintel, it’s “trend-driven, multicultural women [who] are propelling the U.S. beauty industry forward.”

Toya Mitchell, Multicultural Analyst at Mintel, explains, “When it comes to the latest beauty trends, America’s multicultural women seem to be the most enthusiastic. Hispanic women who perform a beauty routine are more likely to experiment and adopt multiple steps into their routines. They’re also more interested in multi-purpose beauty products (49% vs 41% of women overall), in-shower body products (36% vs 27%) and online beauty tools (31% vs 16%). Black women are more likely to be interested in trends surrounding natural beauty products (64% vs 45% women overall).”

Overall, natural beauty is identified by 45% of women as a top trend. Also hot: Beauty devices, which Mintel reports are the “fastest-growing segment in the U.S. beauty industry.” Mintel defines skincare devices as cleansing/exfoliation systems, LED/laser treatments, hair removal devices, and massagers/infusion systems. Total retail sales of beauty devices grew 7.6% between 2016-2017, hitting about $1.6 billion.

That’s still just 4% of the beauty market, but though device usage is limited, Mintel research shows interest is strong. While only 35% of women use a skincare device, 41% say they’re interested in trying one.

Other beauty categories saw slower, yet still positive growth: color cosmetics (29% market share; up 2.2%), hair products (28% market share, also up 2.2%) and skincare (25% market share, up 1.4%).

“The increasing diversity of the country bodes well for the beauty industry,” says Mitchell, “as more and more brands are developing products to fit the unique interests and needs of multicultural consumers. Custom-blended beauty products is one area in particular that shows promise.”

If you’re in the beauty business, you might want to invest in Mintel’s Beauty Consumers U.S. 2018 report.