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Skin deep: Body care sales rise — increasing basket-building opportunities

For 2022, consumer interest in skin care is about the face as well as the entire body.

The days of lounging in a bath for long periods or partaking in 10-step skin care programs may be over, but the importance of taking care of skin is stronger than ever. 

Even as consumers return to work and social activities, they fit body care into their wellness routines.

For 2022, skin care is about the face as well as the entire body. New items for “below the neck” are proliferating, delivering basket-building opportunities to mass market retailers, according to Yarden Horwitz, co-founder of Spate, a company that uses data science to predict product trends. “The skinification of body care is here,” she said.

[Read more: CVS Pharmacy pilots Skin Care Center]

“Skin care ingredients like collagen and retinol are making their way down to the body,” Horwitz said. “This reveals a great opportunity for brands to create ingredient-driven, large-format products to help consumers achieve hydrated, glowing skin beyond their face.”

The same ingredients and product trends that took facial skin care sales to new heights in 2020 and 2021 will have a similar impact on body care.

“The traction gained in hair and facial hair care, along with the beauty customers’ expectations for innovative, clean, plant-based ingredients, recycled packaging and purpose-driven ethos will ultimately be seen in body care,” said Angel Cornelius, CEO and co-founder of Maison 276, a brand that markets skin and hair care for all complexions and ages. 

[Read More: HRG’s Future 50: Standout products hitting store shelves in 2022]

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The most recent IRI figures validate consumer interest in skin care for the entire body. For the 52 weeks ending May 15, 2022, in multiunit doors, hand and body product sales escalated almost 5%. Facial skin care, while still important, slowed from double-digit inclines over the past two years. 

Bath product sales that bubbled to the top in 2020 declined 0.5% as consumers had less time to relax in a bath. Yet Spate data suggests interest in getting the bath experience without filling up the tub: searches for shower steamers were up almost 40% in March of 2022.

Spate identified other fertile categories that focus on specific body parts. Breast care is one where searches for “boob cream” rose more than 25%. There are already prestige products for breasts, such as Décolletage Treatment Balm by Yina and a line from Femme and Flora. 

Okay Naturals was a trailblazer in natural ingredients, but also in products that target body parts. Leveraging its expertise in conscious formulas, Okay offers a Detox Foot Soak using Himalayan pink salt, lavender and tea tree oil.

[Read more: Protect yourself: Sunscreen trends blend into the beauty space]

Pure for Men has another body part in mind: It markets Bum Balm Self Care for down there. The mint and clove moisturizer eliminates and fights odors. 

Yamit Sadok, senior director of marketing at Reserveage Beauty, highlights her company’s Pro-Collagen Booster skin care collection as an example. “It is designed for the whole body,” she said, pointing to a Firming Neck Cream and the Hydrating Hand and Foot Cream in the lineup.

Other budding body care categories, based on Spate searches, are tattoo lotions (Mad Rabbit is one brand), chafing remedies and exfoliating gloves.

[Read More: REX Awards 2022: Beauty]

From Clean to Clinical
Body care used to be about anti-aging, but that has been supplanted by a quest for health and self-esteem. Americans said the No. 1 perception they have about beauty is “being comfortable in your own skin,” according to a Euromonitor International study. That was followed by looking healthy, inner confidence and embracing yourself. The lowest response was rejuvenation. 

The focus on wellness encouraged consumers to eyeball ingredients in their products. Although the United States is making headway in eliminating potentially toxic ingredients, without regulation there is still confusion of what is natural or clean. The potential for brands to “clean wash” remains.

The result: Consumers are transitioning from clean to clinical, according to Kayla Villena, industry manager of beauty and personal care at Euromonitor. They want scientifically supported ingredients and brands, and often seek advice from experts, such as dermatologists, on social platforms. “Brands that have science-backed credentials and proven efficacy are poised to do well over the next five years, especially dermocosmetics [products with sophisticated active ingredients, often created with dermatologists],” she said.

[Read More: Products to Watch: HRG’s 5 best bets from June 2022]

Shoppers are searching more often by ingredients rather than brands. Active ingredients that support skin health, especially those with moisturizing and skin barrier protection benefits, with sustainably sourced ingredients, will perform well in the next five years, according to Euromonitor research. 

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As consumers seek education, they are turning to social media — TikTok in particular — and websites. More educated shoppers, called “skintellectuals,” know their niacinamides from their bakuchiols. 

“We find a trend of customers prioritizing self-educating themselves about the ingredients that are typically used in traditional body care products, and seeing that the same trend that occurred with hair care and skin care of requiring clean products is now increasing,” said Rochelle Graham-Campbell, CEO and co-founder of Alikay Naturals. 

“Whether it is regular body care or feminine care, Alikay Naturals is committed to our results-driven, holistic approach in developing products that provide solutions for customers through our bath and body collection and the HER feminine care collection,” she said.

Among the ingredients moving the needle are ceramides, glycolic acids, vitamin E, hemp, hyaluronic acids, elastin, Brazil nut, chlorophyll, probiotics, algae, retinol and urea, according to retailer interviews.

[Read more: Edgewell unveils gender inclusive Fieldtrip skin care line]

Brands are reacting with items infused with sought-after ingredients. Dove’s Body Love Collection features a Restoring Ceramide Serum that the company said strengthens the skin barrier to retain moisture. RoC Skincare is gaining traction for its clinically proven retinol range that is backed by dermatologists. Sales are up 21% year to date based on Nielsen data through March 26, 2022. 

The At-Home Spa Has Staying Power
IPO Cosmetics has been a benefactor of the pandemic-fueled trend to perform more skin care rituals at home. “Our consumers stopped going to the spa and [they] use our 4-Step Facial Kits because they are able to achieve the same results,” said Michelle Kim, CEO of It’s Perfect On. “You’re getting high-quality ingredients for a fraction of the price. In under 20 minutes, you can achieve hydrated, glowing skin.”

The at-home experience can benefit mental health, said Graham-Campbell. “When customers use our products like our Tropical Splash Body Icing, they can experience a moment of pause by not only applying to their body but maybe also speaking positive words while doing so,” she said.

[Read More: Ulta Beauty to connect brand partners, audience via UB Media]

Products doing double duty are a growth opportunity in body care. “Multifunctional products thrive during periods of uncertainty, which was the case during the financial crisis, and that same pattern is expected,” Villena said. 

Body Care with Purpose
Like many personal care categories, body care packaging is under the microscope for excessive packaging. 

Newer digitally native and indie brands are being developed with social causes, waste reduction and circular systems in mind, which give them an advantage over other brands, according to Euromonitor’s Villena.

[Read more: Today’s beauty brands are finding a more sustainable future through packaging innovations]

Beauty brands that highlight the importance of mental health, universal design (such as braille, easy to open for consumers with differing levels of ability, etc.) and positive benefits for the environment will be in high demand, Villena said, adding that packaging waste reduction will be key, as companies aim to meet their sustainability commitments.

The 99% plastic-free positioning encouraged Walgreens to add Hey Humans to its assortment this year, according to Lauren Brindley, Walgreens’ group vice president of personal care and beauty. 

At Unilever, sustainable packaging, product formulation and responsible sourcing are top of the checklist. “We’re really excited about our recent launch of Dove’s refillable body wash, which is now available at major retailers including Target, Walmart and Amazon,” said Niki King, head of sustainability at Unilever.

[Read more: Moisture moves: Skin care trends in 2022 focus on healthy skin, with an emphasis on hydration and antiaging]

Urban Hydration is a company with altruistic endeavors. The brand has a partnership with WATERisLIFE, enabling the company to donate a gallon of drinking water to a community that does not have easy access. 

Beauty’s New Big Bet: Oral Care
The skinification trend is also overtaking another personal care segment — oral care. 

“Oral health can really help people think about their overall health. We talk so much about confidence in beauty and feeling and looking great … one great smile is a really good piece of that story,” said Andrea Harrison, vice president of merchandising, beauty and personal care at CVS.

Product Picks

Hello Products Gum Nourishmint Fluoride Toothpaste, SRP: $6.99
“We see ingredients like coconut oil, charcoal and natural mint continue to be ingredients that consumers are looking for,” said Rekha Rao, CEO of Hello Products. “Some new ingredients that we see really making their way into oral care from personal care are hyaluronic acid, hemp seed oil and tea tree oil.” Hello’s new Gum Nourishmint is an example. The fluoride toothpaste features a hyaluronic complex and comes in a sweet mint flavor.

Tom’s of Maine PurActiv Teeth + Gum Health Toothpaste, SRP: $6.99 
Tom’s, known for its natural formulas way before that concept came into vogue, is harnessing purified zinc and sea salt to deliver a deep clean with its latest launch: PurActiv Teeth + Gum Health Toothpaste.

White Glo Accelerator Teeth Whitening Kit, SRP: $39.95
Australia’s No. 1 teeth whitener brand is coming to the United States. Formulated by dentists, the range of full oral care products is vegan and cruelty free. 

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