UK Diversity in Beauty Market Report 2021
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“The events of summer 2020, which saw the BLM movement gain momentum, have had reverberations across all industries and not just politics. In BPC, brands and retailers can no longer…

UK Diversity in Beauty Market Report 2021

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)


Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the UK Beauty market, including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

There has been an increasing awareness of representation within the beauty industry over the past few years, with the 2020 BLM movement creating major ripple effects throughout the sector. 46% of BPC buyers are more likely to buy from a brand or retailer who takes a stance on minority group issues, with a failure to take a stance creating a risk of losing customers.

The COVID-19 pandemic has played a major part in exacerbating societal divides, especially when it comes to economics. BAME groups have been disproportionally effected by COVID infections and are also more likely to have lost their job through the closure of non-essential businesses.

The call for more representation of different ethnicities, disabilities, and other minority groups may create opportunities for brand innovation. The most common issue faced when purchasing BPC products is finding the right product for skin-tones, both due to varying ethnicities and other differences in skin-tone. With an increased online presence of many BPC brands, there have also been steps to creating more inclusive shopping experiences, with filters for different abilities to help people with specific needs find the right products.

Brands will need to work to share their diversity efforts with customers, demonstrating that they are working towards permanent change and that their efforts are not just to tick boxes. Connecting with social issues, especially amongst younger customers, is the key to improving perceptions of the BPC industry and help its recovery from the pandemic.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Beauty, Personal Goods and Toiletries market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on the beauty consumer.
  • How consumers define a diverse beauty brand.
  • Issues faced when buying BPC products and opportunities for brands and retailers.
  • The impact of diversity issues when buying BPC products.
  • Attitudes towards diversity in beauty.
  • Perceptions of well-known brands and opportunities in brand attributes.

Covered in this report

Brands: Alterna, Indeed Laboratories, @pullupforchange, Guide Beauty, L’Oreal Paris, Dove, NIVEA, The Body Shop, Womanology, Faace, Arbonne, SUQQU, Freya + Bailey, 4.5.6, Volition Beauty, THG Company, MyBeautyBrand, Glossybox, Prime Beauty Cosmetics, Rimmel, L’Occitane, VictoriaLand Beauty, EleVen, Credo Beauty, Sunscreen Company.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Roshida Khanom, a leading analyst in the Beauty & Personal Care sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The events of summer 2020, which saw the BLM movement gain momentum, have had reverberations across all industries and not just politics. In bpc, brands and retailers can no longer stay silent on topical issues related to diversity and equality, as many consumers seek to buy from those that align with their values. However authenticity is essential, as consumers are increasingly seeing through hollow initiatives. Consumers are also looking to support minority-owned brands and businesses, giving opportunities for well-known brands and retailers to offer a platform and support these smaller businesses. As diversity is multifaceted, brands can innovate at lifestage rather than age to be more inclusive, particularly as the lines between age groups and genders continue to blur. There are also plenty of improvements that can be made to the in-store environment, with those with disabilities – both hidden and visible – struggling with access. As BPC purchase has significantly shifted online due to COVID-19, brands and retailers can use online buying to offer a more inclusive shopping experience, altering the way homepages are shown to reflect the needs of the shopper.

Roshida Khanom
Associate Director – Beauty & Personal Care

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • COVID-19: Market context
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • Impact of COVID-19 on BPC
      • Figure 1: Short, medium and long-term impact of COVID-19 on BPC, 18 January 2021
    • The market
    • The rippling effects of the BLM movement
    • Companies and brands
    • Make beauty accessible for all abilities
    • Innovate by lifestage rather than age
    • The consumer
    • Shake it up from the inside out
      • Figure 2: Definition of a diverse beauty brand, December 2020
    • Skin tone issues aren’t limited by ethnicity
      • Figure 3: Issues faced when purchasing BPC products, December 2020
    • Time to take a stand
      • Figure 4: BPC buying behaviours when it comes to issues relating to minority groups, December 2020
    • Authenticity is essential
      • Figure 5: Attitudes towards diversity in BPC, December 2020
    • Well-known brands have space to grow
      • Figure 6: BPC brand perceptions, December 2020
  3. Issues and Insights

    • Addressing the differences COVID-19 has highlighted
    • The issue of authenticity
    • Time to take a stand
  4. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • BLM movement reverberates through all industries
    • Many are priced out of BPC
    • Beauty can break barriers in-store
  5. Market Drivers

    • The rippling effects of the BLM movement
    • How white is White?
      • Figure 7: Ethnicity, by skin tone, December 2020
    • The government improves access for disabled people
    • Brexit could impact UK’s diversity
    • Gender inequality remains a real issue
      • Figure 8: Financial situations compared with a year ago, by gender, October 2020
    • The great economic divide
      • Figure 9: Adding to savings and reducing mortgage debt in last three months and next three months, by socio-economic group, October 2020
    • Cater to the over-55s in-store
      • Figure 10: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2015-25
    • Breaking the gender barriers
      • Figure 11: Attitudes towards gender stereotypes and gender politics in advertising, by gender, October 2019
  6. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Promote Black-owned businesses
    • Showcase authenticity through NPD and communication
    • Make beauty accessible for all
  7. Launch Activity and Innovation

    • Communicate for all hair textures
    • Hormonal skincare could inspire NPD in haircare
      • Figure 12: Hormonal skincare launches, 2020
    • From anti-ageing to mindful ageing
      • Figure 13: Skincare for ageing skin, 2020
    • Supporting Black-owned skincare
      • Figure 14: Freya + Bailey Natural Skincare and 4.5.6 skincare, 2019 and 2020
    • Power to the people
      • Figure 15: Community-inspired/generated beauty brands, 2020
    • Time to go beyond foundation in makeup
      • Figure 16: Prime Beauty, November 2020
    • Make beauty accessible for all
      • Figure 17: Guide Beauty Cosmetics, December 2020
      • Figure 18: VictoriaLand Beauty, December 2020
    • Celebs launch diverse ranges
      • Figure 19: EleVen by Venus Unrivaled Sun Serum (US), 2020
  8. Advertising and Marketing Activity

    • Getting it wrong…and owning up to it
      • Figure 20: Munroe Bergdorf for L’Oréal, June 2020
    • The ASA tackles stereotypes
    • Standing up for textured hair
    • Catering for different abilities
      • Figure 21: Alterna Haircare accessibility adjustments, December 2020
    • Driving authenticity in advertising
    • Consumers want information
    • Give a platform to others
  9. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • COVID-19 exacerbates inequalities
    • Represent from the inside out
    • Take a stand, don’t bow down
  10. Impact of COVID-19 on the Beauty Consumer

    • Lifestyles of the over-55s have been particularly impacted
      • Figure 22: Worry and extreme worry related to COVID-19 impacting lifestyles, by age, 8-16 December 2020
    • Professional hair brands can target over-55s
      • Figure 23: Visited a hairdresser/barber in the last 3 months, by age, December 2019 and December 2020
    • BAME groups have been hard hit
      • Figure 24: Spend on BPC products compared with before COVID-19/coronavirus, 8-16 December 2020
    • Online retailers have to be more inclusive
      • Figure 25: Beauty/grooming purchase behaviours since the start of the COVID-19/coronavirus outbreak, 11-22 June 2020
  11. Defining Diversity

    • It’s all about the product
      • Figure 26: Definition of a diverse beauty brand, December 2020
    • Race is a bigger issue than gender right now
    • Time to shake it up at the top
    • Keep up age-positive messages
      • Figure 27: Agreement with the statement “A diverse beauty brand is one that promotes positive messages about ageing”, by gender and age, December 2020
    • Young people want brands to be political
      • Figure 28: Agreement with the statement “A diverse beauty brand is one that takes a political stand on issues that impact minority groups”, by age, December 2020
  12. Issues Faced when Buying BPC

    • Consumers struggle to match products to their needs
      • Figure 29: Issues faced when purchasing BPC products, December 2020
    • The age issue differs by gender
      • Figure 30: Issues finding BPC products suited to their age, by age and gender, December 2020
    • Improve in-store access for hidden disabilities
      • Figure 31: Issues related to reading information or accessing physical stores for BPC shopping, by age, December 2020
    • Drive communication in new ways
    • Ease the online experience
    • Educate sales assistants on changing consumer needs
  13. Attitudes towards Buying BPC

    • Take a stand
      • Figure 32: BPC buying behaviours when it comes to issues relating to minority groups, December 2020
    • Representation is important
    • Young people put their money where their ethics are
      • Figure 33: Behaviours relating to boycotting a BPC brand/retailer for racism or lack of representation, by age, December 2020
    • Promote minority-owned businesses
  14. Attitudes towards Diversity in BPC

    • BPC remains female-centric
      • Figure 34: Attitudes towards diversity in BPC, December 2020
    • The issue of tokenism
    • People with disabilities have been left behind
    • Show greater body diversity for men
  15. Brand Perceptions

    • NIVEA and Dove can push the boundaries of empowerment
      • Figure 35: BPC brand perceptions, December 2020
    • L’Oréal Paris can drive authenticity with ongoing efforts
    • The Body Shop can drive gender-inclusive messaging
    • MAC Cosmetics only stands out to its target consumer
      • Figure 36: MAC Cosmetics brand perceptions, by gender, December 2020
  16. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology

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