Heather Ibberson

April 8, 2021

Must-know beauty trends

A monthly briefing on the latest beauty trends and news across the industry from cosmetics, skincare and more.

What’s happened across the beauty industry last month? Get up to speed with the trends shaping this market.

A compilation on the latest trends in the beauty, skincare and color cosmetics market every month, along with news and other points of interest to keep your eyes on.

Looking to get more insights into the beauty market? Reach out to one of our retail specialists today.

The top trends

1. Scalp care comes into focus

Our team highlighted the scalp as a niche category within haircare that we expected to see trending in 2021 as an extension of the face - coined as the "skinification of haircare" by Cult Beauty founder Alexia Inge.

According to research firm Euromonitor International, the pandemic and wellness boom has fueled the growth, with the global haircare market growing 2.4% last year, reaching $79.9bn. Cult Beauty also saw sales of scalp scrubs and treatments grow by 330% over the last year, with popular products including The Inkey List's caffeine stimulating scalp treatment.

At the beginning of the month, Living Proof relaunched its existing Dry Scalp Treatment by placing it within its own dedicated scalp range. CEO Zach Rieken said that the new collection's narrative emphasizes short-term scalp relief, improved thickness of the hair and the long-term benefits for an overall healthier scalp.

BeautyBio also expanded into haircare, launching its at-home facial micro-needling tool specifically designed for the scalp to help stimulate hair growth in October 2020. Within 90 days, the brand sold six months' worth of product, which now accounts for 20% of its overall business.

2. Mature customers demand visibility

The beauty industry is moving away from using the term anti-aging in marketing, with mature influencers like Lyn Slater refusing to work with beauty brands that use the phrase.

In March, Laura Geller announced that it had made the permanent switch to feature models exclusively over 40 years old. The founder stated that she had heard growing requests from mature clients to see their demographic featured more in social campaigns.

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Image via Laura Geller

Headline highlights

Lady Gaga unveils The Studio by Klarna X Haus Labs

The singer has opened a creative space in Los Angeles County for emerging creatives. The first group of chosen creators will receive a $10,000 grant from Klarna and mentorship from the Haus Labs team.

Rihanna files trademark for Fenty Hair

Following Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin, Rihanna appears to be expanding in haircare tools and products, including the potential for hair relaxers and hair dye.

SK-II launches film division, SK-II Studio

The Japanese skincare brand plans to release eight original films in 2021. Its first film, The Center Lane, will be released on March 29th alongside a #ChangeDestiny fund, to which the company will donate $1 per film view.

Estée Lauder expands partnership with QVC

After launching on the website in April 2020, the prestige beauty brand made its live stream debut on the shopping channel on March 16th.

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L: Image via Estée Lauder. R: Image via SK-II

Standout email communications

Trending on TikTok

With more consumers making purchase decisions based on TikTok reviews, Beauty Bay sent an email highlighting all the viral beauty products it stocks..

Virtual summits

Glow Recipe announced its second Glow Together Virtual Summit, this time in partnership with Cult Beauty UK.


Nordstrom partnered with Package Free to make zero-waste versions of everyday essentials available to shop online and in selected stores.

Fermented skincare

Soko Glam highlighted the benefits of fermented ingredients, such as antioxidant benefits and reduced irritation.

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Left: Glow Recipe Email US - Mar 27, 2021. Right: Soko Glam Email US - Mar 28, 2021

Sustainability headlines

Lancôme unveils first sustainability program

Dubbed Caring Together for a Happier Tomorrow, the initiative emphasizes biodiversity and social inclusion, striving to empower women and protect natural ecosystems.

Garnier is 100% cruelty-free

Cruelty Free International has officially approved Garnier under the Leaping Bunny program, making all of its products 100% cruelty-free.

Coty to recycle carbon into perfume

The company unveiled plans to recycle carbon into perfume by using ethanol from captured industrial carbon emissions in most of its fragrances by 2023. The company has partnered with LanzaTech to manufacture the ingredient.

L'Oréal's commitment to Green Sciences

By 2030, 95% of its ingredients will be derived from renewable plant sources, abundant minerals or circular processes.

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Image via L'Oreal

D&I headlines

KNC Beauty partners with Revlon for KNC School of Beauty.

The brand is hosting free virtual entrepreneur classes for Black beauty brand founders with a first-place prize amounting to $10,000 from Revlon and business coaching with New Voices Foundation.

Supporting AAPI communities

The beauty industry has been outspoken in its support of the #StopAsianHate movement. Soko Glam donated 100% of profits from its Good Skin Days purchases from February 23rd to March 2nd to Hate Is A Virus and Stop AAPI Hate. Estée Lauder Companies also announced it will donate $450,000 to organizations including Asian-Americans for Equality.

Unilever erases the word normal

As part of its new Positive Beauty vision and strategy, the company has dropped the word "normal" from all its beauty products and banned excessive editing of models in post-production, seeking to create a "more inclusive definition of beauty."

BFA Industries launches BFA Impact program

The parent company of Ipsy and BoxyCharm announced further commitments to diversity and sustainability, pledging to amplify over 50 brands from underrepresented communities across the next three years and eliminating 100% of virgin plastic waste by 2030.

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Image via @thenue_co

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