UK Skincare Ingredients and Format Trends Market Report 2021
“While awareness of popular skincare ingredients, such as vitamin C and collagen, is high, a much lower proportion of facial skincare users seek these ingredients out, pointing to a gap…

UK Skincare Ingredients and Format Trends Market Report 2021

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The UK Skincare Ingredients and Format Trends report identifies consumer attitudes towards skincare ingredient trends, skincare products market share, packaging and emerging trends in skincare ingredients market. This market report covers the market size, market forecast, market segmentation and industry trends for the Skincare Ingredients and Format Trends market in the UK. 

Current Market Landscape 

The pandemic has accelerated trends towards a simple skincare routine, while increased usage of digital tools has made it easier for shoppers to research before buying. ‘Skinimalism’ where consumers adopt a simple regime and show preference for a ‘no frills’ approach to marketing is here to remain.

  • 97% of facial skincare users are aware of vitamin C as a key ingredient, with 81% aware of retinol, and 91% aware of collagen.
  • 29% of facial skincare users are interested in products that contain short ingredients list.
  • 47% of facial skincare users think that skincare actives are one of the top three most important factors to call out on-pack.

However, a much smaller proportion actively seek these ingredients in the products they use, suggesting that brands can do more to educate consumers around the benefits of ingredients to drive usage.

Future Market Trends in Skincare Ingredients and Format Trends

A threat to the category comes from the surge of third-party apps such as Think Dirty and rising research amongst consumers within facial skincare. Brands will have to be more transparent in product effectiveness, ingredient sourcing, ingredient concentration and a brand’s eco-ethical credentials.

An opportunity for facial skincare brands is around reinforcing ingredient functionality at the point of purchase, as 47% of facial skincare users think that skincare actives are one of the top three most important factors to call out on-pack. Understanding ingredient functionality can convert browsers into buyers, particularly for those who aren’t familiar with trending ingredients.

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

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer perceptions of skincare ingredients and formats.
  • Innovation in facial skincare ingredients and formats.
  • Usage of facial skincare products.
  • Information sought on facial skincare packaging.
  • Reasons for researching facial skincare ingredients.
  • Awareness of facial skincare ingredients.
  • Interest in facial skincare product innovation.
  • Perceptions of different facial skincare formats.

Covered in this report

Products: Moisturisers, cleansers (scrubs, washes, wipes, makeup remover, facial soaps), toners, masks and treatments, lip salves, eyecare, anti-aging products, medicated skincare.

Brands: Beauty Pie, IT Cosmetics, Cica, Tranexamic, The Inkey List, Bakuchiol, Squalane, Idebenone, Elizabeth Arden, Saro De Rúe, Cocokind, EVE LOM, Ingredients, Bramley Products.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Maddie Malone, a leading analyst in the Beauty and Personal Care sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

While awareness of popular skincare ingredients, such as vitamin C and collagen, is high, a much lower proportion of facial skincare users seek these ingredients out, pointing to a gap between awareness and knowledge. The pandemic has led to consumers craving more information, both on functionality but also ingredient sourcing. When it comes to formats, sustainability remains a hot topic but hygiene concerns are also paramount, and while solid and packaging free formats tackle sustainability concerns, they pose hygiene questions. Frozen skincare, which requires lower amounts of water, could offer opportunities as well as DIY kits where consumers add water to create their own products at home.
Maddie Malone
Beauty and Personal Care Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

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

    • Impact of COVID-19 on facial skincare
      • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on facial skincare ingredients and formats, October 2021
    • The market
    • The demand for education
    • Companies and brands
    • Familiarity drives comfort when it comes to ingredients
    • Format innovation taps into sustainability concerns
    • The consumer
    • Use format innovation to drive repertoires
      • Figure 2: Usage of facial skincare products, 2021
    • Drive education at the point of purchase
      • Figure 3: Importance of on-pack information for facial skincare, 2021
    • Product effectiveness is a driver for ingredient research
      • Figure 4: Reasons for researching ingredients in facial skincare products, 2021
    • Usage lags behind ingredient awareness
      • Figure 5: Awareness and usage of facial skincare ingredients, 2021
    • Use DIY kits to personalise formulations
      • Figure 6: Interest in facial skincare innovation, 2021
    • Boost usage of serums by tackling price barriers
      • Figure 7: Correspondence Analysis, 2021
  3. Issues and Insights

    • COVID-19 drives the focus on skin health
    • Ingredient awareness doesn’t translate to understanding
    • Stay ahead in format innovation
  4. Market Drivers

    • Consumer confidence becomes increasingly polarised
      • Figure 8: Trends in consumer sentiment for the coming year, 2020-21
    • Over-55s are increasingly going online
      • Figure 9: Internet usage in the last 3 months, by age, 2011-20
    • Talk to teens through TikTok
      • Figure 10: UK population estimates and projections, 2015-25
    • Demand for natural alternatives to popular ingredients
      • Figure 11: Types of BPC products typically purchased, by category, 2020
    • Women are looking for support navigating skincare
      • Figure 12: Women’s facial skincare behaviours, 2021
  5. Launch Activity and Innovation

    • Brands continue to innovate in ingredients consumers know and trust
      • Figure 13: NPD in skincare well-known ingredients, 2020 and 2021
    • Facial skincare brands look abroad for inspiration
      • Figure 14: Examples of NPD with globally trending ingredients, 2020 and 2021
    • Rise of ethical claims in facial skincare continues
      • Figure 15: Fastest growing claims in the facial skincare category, 2015-20
    • Naked formats pose pandemic-related safety challenges
    • The rise of frozen skincare
      • Figure 16: Saro de Rúe Freeze Dried Hyaluronic Acid Anti-aging System, 2021
  6. Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Behaviour

    • The pandemic drives lower maintenance behaviours in BPC
      • Figure 17: Planned changes to beauty/grooming routines: Once COVID-19/coronavirus is no longer a concern, 2021
    • BPC consumers switched to online shopping
      • Figure 18: Changes in online beauty/grooming purchases since the start of the COVID-19/coronavirus outbreak, 2020
    • Mask wearing triggers skin conditions
      • Figure 19: Factors that have triggered skin conditions during the last 12 months, 2021
    • Use format to target maskne
    • Facial skincare buyers are looking for ethical claims
      • Figure 20: Buying behaviours when looking for ethical BPC brands, 2021
      • Figure 21: Cocokind, OneKind 25 Ceramide Barrier Serum, USA, 2021
  7. Usage of Facial Skincare

    • Showcase the importance of cleanser for skin health
      • Figure 22: Usage of facial skincare products, 2021
    • Drive repertoires with skincare sets
      • Figure 23: Repertoire of facial skincare products used, 2021
      • Figure 24: EVE LOM, Begin & End Dual Pack, 2021
    • Partner with experts to appeal to men
    • Go beyond appearance benefits for over-55s
      • Figure 25: Usage of facial skincare products, by age, 2021
  8. Facial Skincare Information Sought

    • Make ingredient information known
      • Figure 26: Top three most important on-pack information pieces for facial skincare, 2021
    • Call out ingredient function on-pack
    • Transparency is key in natural and organic sourcing
    • Call out sustainability credentials
    • Demonstrate functionality to the over-55s
      • Figure 27: Importance of on-pack information for facial skincare, by age, 2021
    • Make importance of concentration known
      • Figure 28: Ingredients, oil complex, USA, 2021
  9. Reasons for Researching Facial Skincare Ingredients

    • Effectiveness is the key driver for research
      • Figure 29: Reasons for researching ingredients in facial skincare products, 2021
    • Shout out ‘safer’ natural ingredients
    • Take note of TikTok ingredient trends
    • Consider parallels with the food sector
    • Support consumers with specific skin concerns or allergies
    • Engage the over-55s in ingredient research
      • Figure 30: Lack of research of skincare ingredients, by age, 2021
  10. Facial Skincare Ingredient Awareness

    • Educate consumers around ingredient benefits
      • Figure 31: Awareness and usage of facial skincare ingredients, 2021
    • Tap into skinmunity trend to drive interest in vitamin C
    • CBD battles with avoidance
    • Support male interest in CBD
    • Inform men around the benefits of collagen
    • Educate women beyond anti-ageing ingredients
  11. Interest in Facial Skincare Innovation

    • Personalised formulas offer an opportunity
      • Figure 32: Interest in facial skincare innovation, 2021
    • Less is more in ingredients lists
    • Showcase the personalisation benefits of DIY kits
    • Offer value and sustainability with supersized products
      • Figure 33: Bramley, bubble bath 5 litre starter pack, 2021
    • Younger consumers are interested in on-the-go formats
      • Figure 34: Interest in on-the-go facial skincare formats, by age and gender, 2021
  12. Facial Skincare Format Perceptions

    • Familiarity drives positive associations for creams/lotions
      • Figure 35: Correspondence Analysis, 2021
      • Figure 36: Skincare Ingredients and Formats, 2021
    • Sheets need to cater for eco-friendly priorities
    • Opportunity within budget-friendly serums
  13. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our databooks* are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

*databooks not available with UK B2B Industry reports.

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