American Marketer

Fragrance and personal care

Half of women research skincare online before in-store shopping

August 19, 2019

Dior Hydra Life


As women become more interested in investigating the ingredients in beauty products and the brands behind them, online research is playing a significant role in their discovery.

According to data from NPD Group, 50 percent of women research skincare online before heading to a store to make a purchase. Word-of-mouth marketing is also taking place online, as consumers consult reviews and social media to decide if products are right for them.

“These engaged consumers are looking to become more educated about the ingredients in their skincare regimen, particularly in those more basic products such as cleansers, moisturizers and anti-aging serums,” said Larissa Jensen, executive director and beauty industry analyst at the NPD Group, in a statement. “Consumers are using their spending power to ensure their voice is heard and supporting brands that commit to natural ingredients and transparency.”

Skincare selection
Forty-six percent of consumers are avoiding skincare that contains sulfates, phthalates or gluten. This has grown from 40 percent in just two years.

Being transparent about ingredients can also make brands top of mind in consumers’ consideration set.

Premium and luxury beauty brands are facing growing competition from mass players, since the messaging that resonates with consumers is more than skin deep.

A webinar hosted by Euromonitor on June 26 delved into the key forces driving the beauty business today, from wellness and body positivity to male makeup. While premium labels continue to outperform mass brands, today there is less separation between the two in the mind of the consumer as health becomes a greater concern than aesthetics (see story).

Consumers are investigating their skincare before purchasing. Image credit: La Mer

“Skincare continues to perform well among engaged female consumers, regardless of what generation they are in," Ms. Jensen said. "The number of consumers who are making purchase decisions primarily based on the price of a product is decreasing; as the significance of knowing exactly what they are putting on their skin becomes more important."

Beauty categories beyond skincare are evolving as consumers care more about health.

Consumers today are placing a greater importance on taking care of their skin, turning to makeup that offers more than just cosmetic benefits.

NPD Group’s “2018 Makeup In-Depth Consumer Report” found that nine in 10 U.S. women that use makeup have applied cosmetics infused with skincare. Consumers are taking a more proactive approach to beauty, looking for products that will help them achieve healthier skin instead of using makeup as a means to conceal issues (see story).