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Three Beauty Trends Brands Should Consider for 2023

From the science behind products, to embracing ‘imperfections’, to the continued impact of TikTok – explore three key trends beauty trends should not ignore in 2023.

January 16, 2023

4 mins read

Catz Thompson

2023 is here and is bringing a new post-pandemic chapter for beauty brands to navigate. With transparency, innovation and discovery driving the key trends for the year ahead, brands have a unique opportunity to co-create their futures in tandem with their now savvier, highly informed, highly expectant audiences. 

Here we explore three key trends shaping the beauty industry and how authenticity lies at the heart of much of the sector’s developing landscape. 

1. The science of beauty

Driven by a combination of an increased focus on value-for-money products triggered by economic uncertainties and desires for more transparency from brands, beauty consumers are more conscious than ever of proof points for the products that end up in their cabinets. As such, beauty is seeing a transformation from an art driven by the aesthetics of the end results to a science where demand is derived from the why and how behind these results. 

The self-fulfilling cause and effect cycle between consumer demand and brand innovation has taken full hold of this trend. Below we consider some of the key outcomes of this trend in consideration of new product development and an evolution of existing products and brands: 

  • Explicit transparency on ingredients: consumers want to know what goes into products, and brands are delivering. Not only are brands explicitly detailing the ingredients used in promoting products, but some are going so far as to extend this narrative to their entire brand aesthetic. Deciem-owned The Ordinary are one such brand, and became the most searched for skincare brand of 2022 with 135,000 average monthly searches, and achieving 1.7 billion views on TikTok under the hashtag #theordinary.  

  • Spotlighting holistic benefits of products: an extension of the desire to see precise ingredients, consumers are asking for clarity on the full benefits of the products they use, for example whether a foundation not only gives a dewy finish but also includes anti-aging properties, SPF protection, and moisturises the skin it covers.  

  • A rise in biotechnology: the ingredients spotlight unveils more than the scientific makeup and benefits of products – it highlights whether these ingredients are sustainable. Cue biotechnology, where natural ingredients are analyzed and replicated in a lab to produce the same results without the coinciding depletion of natural resources.  
the beauty report 2023

2. Embracing ‘imperfections’

Triggered in part by less time spent out of the house during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a rising rejection of heavily edited images, the beauty industry and its consumers are challenging conventional notions of sculpted beauty and embracing natural states. 

In 2023 this is going beyond natural-looking makeup hacks, with consumers instead seeking means and products that benefit our raw materials. In both the haircare and skincare space, for example, one such trend is slugging, where products are layered on to maximize hydration for a natural glow.
 
The concept of imperfections has undergone a rebrand to become instead an authentic view of an individual’s natural state. Influencers and celebrities are increasingly swapping skin-smoothing filters for post-slugging hair and gel eye patches as the unsexy side of beauty becomes increasingly part of mainstream narratives. A tripled search volume for pimple patches between 2020 and 2023, and such products being created and promoted by celebrity brand owners such as florence by mills founder Millie Bobby Brown, is an indicator that beauty is no longer shying away from previously perceived imperfections.  

3. The time of TikTok

When it comes to beauty trends, TikTok has taken a central role in the conversation. It’s now used by 52% of users to discover new beauty products (LinkedIn). 

This melting pot of opportunity for brand exposure and growth has emerged with the social media platform’s ability to empower discovery and enable connection between creators, brands and consumers. TikTok has become a go-to search channel for beauty buyers and has been the most impactful social platform for the industry having recorded 176% year-on-year growth (The Fashion Network). At the same time brands are able to collaborate with influencers and creators with highly trusting community followings to help develop deeply authentic connections with consumers. 

Whilst beauty brands have collaborated with influencers across channels with great success for some time, the shift with TikTok is that creators use the platform in a highly authentic, less polished way than their other social presences. Beauty brands should trust and embrace TikTok creators as the experts to produce and share content that will most resonate with their audiences, taking the opportunity to connect with, engage and build trust with their target consumer. 

The story of the beauty industry is constantly being written, with its 2023 chapter set to be shaped by a desire for authenticity taking many forms. Beauty has become no longer skin-deep as consumers and brands alike seek to explore and embrace the details and nuances of individual beauty - from a product’s creation, to how it's used, to the communities its shared in. 
 
Click here to take a deeper dive into the trends shaping the 2023 beauty industry by downloading our latest report.

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