Beauty & Wellbeing

Five key beauty business trends from WGSN

By Sarah Camilleri


By Sarah Camilleri

11 February 2021

In collaboration with the British Beauty Council, global trends forecaster WGSN recently presented a selection of beauty business trends, entitled ‘Beauty Big Ideas 2023’, outlining key consumer shifts that are set to shape the beauty industry once the coronavirus emergency has passed.

We share five key beauty business trends that reflect the fact that beauty routines and products will be reshaped with a sharper focus on health, science, sustainability and social justice… (Photo by Autumn Goodman on Unsplash)

Picture of Jenni Middleton, Director, Beauty WGSN, dressed in a green dress posing for the camera near a balcony

“We are on the cusp of some really innovative times for the beauty industry. The pandemic has shown that science will save us, as well shifting consumer attention to sustainability and the natural world around us.”

Jenni Middleton

Director, Beauty WGSN

TREND 1: A push for progress

By 2023, consumers will demand a radical rethink of how we deliver products. Refillability, recycling and sustainable packaging will be re-imagined and new designs will surprise and delight consumers.


Products will need to function in a trading environment that places high demands on their creation on both environmental and social grounds. For example, AVEDA uses wholechain technology to verify its Madagascan vanilla (pictured below), collecting data from its supply chain via QR codes and phones to track the bean’s journey from farmer to formulator.


a close up picture of Madagascan vanilla pods
AVEDA uses wholechain technology to verify its Madagascan vanilla


“The beauty industry will need to reinvent itself as more ethical, inclusive and sustainable,” said Jenni Middleton, director of Beauty WGSN.


Beauty brands that stand for something will sit at the forefront of radical change. What consumers are looking for are products that heal the world, embrace biodiversity and can be delivered in the minimal footprint. Transparency and full traceability will be key.”



TREND 2: Embracing frugality

Financial restraints caused by the pandemic will radically change consumer approaches to purchasing and products that streamline multi-tasking, delivering refined skincare routines, will take off.

“The drive will not be a focus on the cheapest product or the smallest price tag, it will be about brands that drive value with the consumer in mind,” said Middleton.

“It’s about investing in products that really work for you. It’s about finding ways to empower the consumer to make purchasing decisions with brands that protect the planet through ethical production and provide proven results.

a picture of the Brandefy app on a white phone inside an orange square
Brandefy helps consumers find the best beauty deals

The next of our five key beauty trends, so-called ‘skinimalism’ will drive simplified skincare regimes and product development, and ‘dupe culture’ will enable financially pressed consumers to find affordable alternatives.

Emerging social platforms will vastly amplify consumer opinion, empowering the consumer to shape the future of beauty. Leading examples of this include Brandefy, which currently has 30,000 active users and has seen a 330% growth year-on-year; Supergreat, shares beauty tips and views to keep brands accountable; Dupethatbeauty influences 1.3 million Instagram followers; and Makeupdupe 65 million views Tiktok.

BRANDS TO WATCH: Proven, Merit, Supergoop, Live Tinted, Myrror

TREND 3: Mastering wellbeing

The next of our five key beauty trends focuses on the fact that consumers are thinking so much more about their physical and emotional wellbeing since the pandemic. We have embraced many hi-tech tracking tools to monitor our health, but innovation will come in tech to track mood and elevate mental wellness.


“All beauty brands will need to behave as health and wellbeing brands in 2023. Products that not only make you look good but make you feel good,” said Middleton.


“The ‘Happy Beauty’ segment will look to leverage the link between emotional wellbeing and skin health – products designed to reduce stress and improve mood as well as optimise skin health. Beauty products that work at a cellular level and those that look to balance and strengthen the skin’s natural ecosystem will be essential in future,” she predicted.

“Beauty needs to harness the new found respect to science created by the pandemic. Science will also become a cornerstone of beauty rituals and treatments with consumers.”


The pandemic has dialled up our appreciation of the power of touch and the delivery of hands-on professional treatments. Although many spa guests will be comfortable with rituals protected by new hygiene protocols, no-touch therapies are here to stay and will grow as part of the spa offering in future.


BRANDS TO WATCH: SelfMade, The Nue Co; Venn; Beneath Your Mask, Trinny London, Capsix Robotic (as illustrated in the video above)

TREND 4: Tech-cceptance

Positive relationships between consumers and beauty brands nurtured during the pandemic will continue, heralding “a new era in beauty innovation and ‘beauty moonshots”.

“Post-pandemic, people are going to be much more willing to embrace brands that embrace biotechnology, including ‘green’, ‘blue’ and ‘white’ biotech beauty regimes and products.” revealed Middleton.

“Consumers will want to know more about product design, science and ethics. Brands will need to pull back the curtain.”

The blur of physical and digital will see consumers place more value on products that can elevate their lifestyles. New at-home devices and tools will emerge and comfort levels around technology and lab-based innovation will grow.

BRANDS TO WATCH: Lyma, Sarah Chapman (see video above)

TREND 5: Intentional community

By 2023, consumer collaboration will be a cornerstone of trans-global beauty. This trend will see new ecosystems develop between brands and consumers, working together to create belonging and inclusivity.

Trusted voices of beauty will be driven by consumer validation, with products and services making significant shifts to embrace customers as co-creators of brand voice and contributors to product design.


An advert for Geenie community marketplace


“In future, dignity will be valued, rewarded and fairly represented. Systemic discrimination will be challenged and the beauty industry can really push forward and allow this honest dialogue to continue,” said Middleton.


To download an exclusive preview of WGSN’s annual Big Ideas: Beauty Report, click here:

Be informed...

WGSN is a global authority on consumer and design trends. To find out more, click below

Be inspired...

The British Beauty Council works to ensure the beauty industry is a dynamic and growing sector – encouraging the best talent to enter as well as supporting and encouraging brands and entrepreneurs. To find out more, click below

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