Within the next few weeks, a majority of the country will be free of all—or nearly all—mask-wearing mandates—which through the eyes of the beauty industry means Americans will be showing our full faces again.

Mintel, a global consumer intelligence company, asks if “the beauty industry will see a surge in a different kind of mask buying as consumers reignite beauty regimes?”

Initially, Mintel says, the facial skincare category was expected to experience slower than anticipated growth because COVID-19 led to a shift in consumer priorities. But as restrictions lift, consumers are resuming their previous typical beauty and personal care routines.

Mintel reports that consumers are returning to the use of the more traditional skincare staples, such as cleansers, “suggesting routines post-COVID-19 will look similar to those in place beforehand.”

But Mintel suggests COVID-19 “has acted as a catalyst to several emerging movements that will shape the future of new product development and brand messaging.”

Post-pandemic consumers are, of course, still concerned about their physical health. But they’re also seeking ways “to cope with high levels of stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic, increasing the connection between self-care and skincare.” That desire has led to an increased demand for products that positively impact people’s wellbeing.

Mintel predicts this will lead to the introduction of more innovative products. But, they add, “to stand out in the competitive and saturated skincare market, businesses must demonstrate their added value to individuals, communities, and society at large, including:

  • wellness concepts for humans and the planet
  • upcycled, plastic-free, zero waste, and compostable new product development
  • microbiome-friendly certification and ultra-clear labels.”

One specific product they report will benefit from the unmasking, is ironically, facial masks. “Sense of the Intense” is part of the trend, according to Mintel Trend, which says, “there is huge potential in maximizing sensory benefits and innovating textures to give users a more pleasant and exciting experience. For example, one in five U.S. skincare users who look for fun effects when buying face masks.”

The Mintel 2019 Global Beauty and Personal Care (BPC) Trend, “Beauty with a Brain,” notes some businesses are using technology to offer a “novel solution to beauty concerns.” Another innovative addition to the skincare industry is the increased use of CBD, which Mintel says is “fast becoming a BPC staple.”

Considering entering the facial mask industry? Mintel says, “in the U.S., three in five skincare users want smoother skin, three in 10 say masks are an effective skincare step, and more than a quarter say facial care routines are time-consuming.” That’s solid info, whether you want to develop products or sell them.

Unmasking stock photo by Alliance Images /Shutterstock