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Looking Forward: 2021 Beauty Trends

2020 has been a year unlike any other. Our way of life, including how we buy and consume, has significantly altered in just a matter of months. Nevertheless, the beauty industry – amidst store closures and lockdown restrictions – has, yet again, proven to be resilient.


As we look forward to 2021, we’ve outlined 8 beauty trends that will shape the beauty industry in the year to come.

1. Safe beauty and transparency

Safe beauty is a concept that seems to have evolved from clean beauty and will encompass applying the learnings of the pandemic to meet the needs of consumers – without compromising on the environment, quality and efficacy. Beauty brands with a medicalised focus, that use natural and clinically tested ingredients and can back up their claims with proof that their products actually work, will do well in the coming year.

2. New-Gen hygiene

The pandemic has turned everyday essentials into hot commodities. In the coming year, we will see more development in these categories to suit consumers’ needs and wants, i.e. hand sanitizers for sensitive skin and luxury toothpastes.

3. The mask effect and maskne

The ‘new normal’ has impacted the way we go about our days and how we interact with those around us. The increase in mask wearing and, as a consequence, maskne, has precipitated the demand for sensitive skincare products. Moreover, new technologies have already been developed in order to prevent the transference of makeup on masks, i.e. Kolmar Korea.

4. Zoom Face

After months of looking at ourselves on video calls, ’Zoom Face’ has taken its toll on a lot of users. Consequently, searches for cosmetics procedures that target eye bags and even forehead wrinkles have increased exponentially. In 2021, the demand for treatments and products that address under eye bags and smooth fine lines is expected to rise.

5. Advanced blue light protection

2020 has forced us all to glue our faces to our screens. Although blue light protection isn’t a new player in the beauty industry, companies have discovered new innovative ingredients, such as rosa rubiginosa and licochalcone A, to combat the effects of blue light. We expect cool and exciting formulations to transpire over the course of 2021.

6. Skinimalism

According to Pinterest’s 2021 Beauty Predictions report, people are doing away with their complicated makeup routines and embracing the no-makeup makeup look. As a result, this coming year, we will see more cosmetics brands marrying skincare and makeup for the ultimate ‘glow-up’.

7. Bold brows

Pinterest also predicts that we will see and embrace bolder eyebrows in 2021, with searches for ‘goth brows’ (+120%), ‘ombré powder brows (+50%) and ‘colour eyebrows (+35%) escalating. ‘Bleached eyebrows’are also expected to make a huge comeback this coming year, with searches up by 160%.

8. Probiotic Skincare

Skincare that addresses our microbiome health has been a popular topic for years. In 2021, however, probiotic skincare is expected to flourish. VENN Skincare founder and CEO, Brian Oh, believes that this will be a big trend in the coming year – with synbiotic products (combining prebiotics and probiotics) already being used to balance the microbiome.

With resilience at its core, we have no doubt that the beauty industry’s agile and innovative nature will develop game-changing brands that will withstand whatever the new year may bring. Consequently, new and established beauty brands will need to up their game by listening to their consumers and staying on top of trends in order to future-proof themselves and remain relevant in 2021.

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The Red Tree is the UK’s leading international beauty brand consultancy and a powerhouse of ideas, insight and inspiration. For an informal discussion on how we might help you, please contact us.

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