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Five skincare trends set to take 2021 by storm

From following basic skincare routine to choosing homegrown brands, here's what you can expect from the beauty industry this year

Consumers are choosing to slow down and that is changing not only the marketing but also the consumer trends. (Photo: Pixabay)

We spent most of 2020 inside our house, whipping Dalgona coffee and applying the remaining beans as a face scrub. The pandemic year introduced us to various beauty trends — be it the increasing popularity of DIYs or a piqued interest in bespoke and active skincare products. Needless to say, 2021 is only anticipated to take these trends forward.

We take a look at skincare trends that are all set to make a mark this year. From sticking to a basic skincare routine to experimenting with hemp-based products — here’s what we found out. 

Rise of slow beauty movement 

In an industry that has always advertised quick-fixes, slow beauty is making its presence felt. “Slow beauty is all about overall wellness and self-care. For consumers, it centres on an ideology of adopting natural, holistic, body-positive, and sustainable beauty practices,” said Khayl Reis, co-founder and CEO at Glutaweis, a luxury skincare brand. 

He continued, “This includes going beyond using beauty products to heal our skin. It is more about seeking authenticity and transparency while focusing on wellness, quality over quantity, and most of all — a healthy balance of mental and physical wellness.”

For brands, it means delivering an experience of conscious care for consumers. “It is a feeling of self-care that is driven by the passion that goes into handcrafting artisanal products with select chosen ingredients,” said Sween Garg, founder of Ekavi, a homegrown skincare brand.

Natasha Parekh, founder, Vaunt Skincare, agreed, saying that unlike the quick-fix fad, slow beauty is here to stay. “I think the movement is sure to pick up now more than ever, as in the past year, people have become more conscious and aware.”



While slow beauty is about embracing natural products and practising holistic wellness, ‘skinmalism’ is about having a minimalist approach to beauty and skincare. “It celebrates your skin in its natural form, with its texture, pores, and blemishes. This also takes away the pressure of an overwhelming and elaborate skincare routine, and inspires people to focus on the essentials,” said Parekh. 

He added that one of the major reasons for embracing this skincare approach is driven by the pandemic which led to a psychological shift in consumer behaviour and buying habits.

Reis added: “Skinmalism is all about minimal coverage. In a world that is obsessed with retouches, this is a novel move. It is also a sign many want to move away from the unrealistic standards of beauty and embrace vulnerability.” He believes the trend, claimed as the “new glow up” for 2021 by Pinterest, is here to stay. 


Increased support for homegrown brands 

According to a report by Goldstein Market Intelligence, published May 2020, “India cosmetics market was valued at nearly $11.16 billion in 2017, and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 5.91 per cent during the forecast period 2017-2030”. 

Amid the pandemic, Indian consumers finally began to notice the many facets of the Indian beauty industry. Sublime Life, a clean beauty homegrown brand, witnessed a “massive upward trend of a 40 per cent increase in sales as compared to the pre-pandemic times,” shared founder Deep Lalvani. Similarly, the sales for Arata, another homegrown brand, “increased by 4x from last February,” revealed founders Dhruv Bhasin and Dhruv Madhok. 

They attribute the trend to three major reasons. “The ‘Vocal for Local’ sentiment along with availability issues from overseas brands made Indian consumers open up to homegrown brands a lot more than before,” said Lalvani, while Bhasin added: “The Indian consumer is now able to make an apple to apple comparison for all kinds of products and services, as India now has international brands available. These are available at the same price, if not cheaper, than what the homegrown brands are offering.”

Additionally, strong social media presence and digital marketing have helped in growth. “A stronger digital footprint along with creative visibility on social media channels has given us plenty of exposure,” added the founders, while Bhasin said: “We are projecting our sales in FY22 to be 2x of what they were in FY21.”


A rise in sales of body care products

With hygiene being a mainstay, body care products shall continue to retain their space in makeup cabinets even in the new year. Mansi Chowdhary, director, Body Cupid, believes people are going back to the basics. “We expect other ranges like body scrubs, body polish and body lotion to pick up as well because consumers are slowly coming to terms with the situation and want to feel good and look good in a more substantial manner.”


Products like body washes, hand creams, shampoos, body butter, and lotions fall under the self-care and hygiene category, said Manish Chowdhary, co-founder, WOW Skin Science.  “Any product that enables the consumer to maintain hygiene and cleanliness will continue to see growth. While there is a sense of relief with the vaccine available now, the consciousness about hygiene will not change. This is because maintaining hygiene will continue to be the first barrier in our fight against this illness,” he said. 

Increase in sale of hemp-based beauty products


According to Global BD Skin Care Market Research, “the global CBD skincare market was valued at $633.6 million in 2018 and is anticipated to reach $3,484.00 million by 2026.” It is no surprise then that this ingredient is swiftly becoming the consumer’s favourite. 

“Consumers are looking for new and exciting products that are derived from natural and sustainable sources. Cannabis fits this mould perfectly, thus driving product demand through the roof,” shared Rohit Kamath and Loveena Sirohi of India Hemp Organics.

The many benefits of hemp and CBD are coming to the fore with increasing awareness. “CBD has been found beneficial for its anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory properties and has shown promising results in treating skin concerns like inflammation, dryness, and radical damage,” shared Deepika  Sharma, founder of Hempstrol.

“It’s important to note that demand and sale for the cannabis industry in India is directly related to awareness of the product and its legality in terms of the production because the industry is still relatively new and at a nascent stage,” she added. 

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First published on: 22-01-2021 at 13:20 IST
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